34 Days Later, Protests Continue In Kashmir
SRINAGAR: Kashmir remains under curfew and restrictions on 34th day on Thursday with fresh reports of protests received from across the valley.
Officials said curfew and restrictions will continue in ten districts of the valley which have been on the boil following the killing of Burhan Wani last month.
Although vehicular traffic has started appearing on the roads in almost all parts of the valley, except south Kashmir districts, there is palpable fear in the air due to the heightened presence of police and paramilitary forces. The strategic national highway has also been handed over to the Army.
"Tomorrow (Friday) is going to be a crucial day due to which restrictions will be continued in parts of Srinagar, Pulwama, Baramulla, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag districts," a senior police official told The Citizen.
Clashes broke out in summer capital Srinagar where government forces lobbed teargas shells at a rally marching towards Mazar-e-Shouhada to pay homage to slain Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz who was shot dead in 2008 during a march to Muzaffarabad.
According to reports, dozens of civilian protesters and Hurriyat activists led by Hurriyat leader Masroor Abbas Ansari took out a march from Khanqah-e-Sokhta in downtown and headed towards the Martyrs' Graveyard at Eidgah. Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwai Umar Farooq was also detained when he tried to march to the area.
Forces intercepted them on Nallahmar road and stopped them from marching ahead, sparking clashes which were going on at the time of filing of this report. “We were peacefully marching to the Martyrs' Graveyard when forces fired teargas shells. Some of the demonstrators suffered injuries,” said a witness.
All roads leading to Mazar-e-Shouhada were sealed by the authorities to prevent the march called by the separatists to pay tribute to Aziz who was shot dead during a march in 2008 uprising called by Kashmir fruit growers to Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Separatists had urged people to march to Mazar-e-Shouhada after Zuhr prayers to pay homage to Aziz and others who died in 2008 and 2010 agitations.
Reports of protests were received from other parts of the alley as well including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Budgam with educational institutions, shops, public transport and other businesses suspended since the ciil uprising broke out on July 9.
The Hurriyat trio, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, remain under preventive detention or in custody while the mobile internet services have also been curtailed to prevent "law and order problems.
(Cover photo by Saqib Majeed)