India puts Kashmir in lockdown on rebel's death anniversary

Ashley Carr
July 9, 2017

Militant leader Burhan Wani was killed a year ago on July 8 by security forces. Four districts of South Kashmir, including Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag are restive since the elimination of Wani in an encounter with security forces past year.

Several separatists have been taken into preventive custody after several groups called for complete shutdown on July 8 to pay tribute to Wani on his first death anniversary.

Curfew has also been imposed in Tral town of Pulwama district, the native town of Wani, who was killed in a gunfight with security forces in Kokernag area of Anantnag district a year ago.

An Indian paramilitary force officer watches as a Kashmiri woman along with her child walks past a barbed-wire road checkpoint set up by Indian security forces in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Friday, July 7, 2017.

Separatist leaders- including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik- had asked people to march to Tral to pay tribute to Wani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on this day a year ago.

They however, said life was going on normally in the rest of the valley.

Analysts say New Delhi's failure to engage in a political dialogue in the region is fanning the anti-India sentiment.

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His death led to a wave of protests during which dozens of people were killed.

Police fired tear gas canisters when protesters threw rocks at them - an increasingly common tactic in the region.

"The blood rendered by Burhan Muzaffar Wani has infused a new spirit in the freedom movement".

The Kashmir University has postponed all exams that were scheduled to be held on July 8 in wake possible protests that may take place on Wani's first death anniversary. Despite a ceasefire agreement that was reached in November 2003, sporadic skirmishes continue in Kashmir. They also shut mobile internet services as part of the lockdown to stop activists from rallying online support.

The vacations coincide with a protest schedule issued by the separatists and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir based United Jehad Council (UJC), an umbrella of militant organizations.

Distancing itself from its Kashmir leader Saifuddin Soz's remark about keeping Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani alive, the Congress on Saturday calling Wani a terrorist with whom there was no scope of dialogue.

The authorities have also snapped internet services in the Valley as a precautionary measure.

Other reports by My Hot News

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