India orders Kashmir clampdown ahead of anniversary of militant killing

A day after clampdown on the first death anniversary of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani, normalcy returned to Kashmir valley as services that were suspended to abort possible protests resumed on Sunday. General J.S. Sandhu, Corps Commander of Srinagar based Chinar Corps, on Friday visited south Kashmir areas to review security situation.

Wani, an icon of the freedom movement in held Kashmir, was killed by the Indian troops on July 8 past year, leading to a surge in the calls for separation.

The first martyrdom anniversary of Burhan Wani would be officially observed in Azad Kashmir today (Saturday) with a renewed pledge to continue peaceful struggle till liberation of the held valley from Indian subjugation.


Witnesses and reports said hundreds of mourners are also visiting the grave of Burhan Wani to offer "fateh khwani" while locals have made special arrangements to provide food and other essentials to the visitors.

The Army has also deployed three additional battalions (one battalion has 1,000 troops) in these trouble-prone districts. Radha Kuma, who is also a famous feminist, academic and an author said that the situation in Kashmir had progressively deteriorated.

The 40-day-long Yatra to the Himalayan cave shrine started on June 29 and will end on August 7 on Shravan Purnima coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival. Authorities have restricted the movement of people in the city's old quarter, which has often erupted in violence.


More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. Out of them, 90 joined militants' ranks.

As a precautionary measure, the State police on Thursday directed internet service providers to block all social media sites or shut down their services in Kashmir from 10 pm on Thursday till further orders. The clashes with the security agencies led to the killing of almost 100 people from the state, so far, with many more sustaining serious eye injuries from pellet guns used by the government forces to quell the protests.

Thousands of troops have fanned out across Indian-administered Kashmir, where authorities have imposed a widespread curfew and cut off all internet services after separatist leaders called for a week of demonstrations.


The official, however, said only 2G services were working on mobile networks.


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