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JEHANGIR ALI | 9 SEPTEMBER, 2016

Kashmir Clampdown Continues, 63 Days And Still Counting


SRINAGAR: Curfew has been imposed in parts of Kashmir Valley to foil freedom protests with authorities disallowing the press conference of Syed Ali Geelani by sealing the Srinagar residence of the Hurriyat hawk.

In a startling revelation, Geelani, in a statement on Friday, said the authorities have prepared a "kill list" comprising "journalists, freedom-seekers, civil society and traders", and warned New Delhi and J&K government against such "misadventure".

The octogenarian leader, who was supposed to address a presser at his residence, later released the text of his speech to media, asserting that the prevailing uprising has "unnerved the government".

"Burhan’s killing ended the smokescreen of collaborators like Abdullahs, Muftis, Lones and their ilk. Their only task is to strengthen Delhi by provide shameless justifications for cold-blooded murder, maiming and blinding of our people”.

Hailing people, especially traders, for shutting down their businesses over the last more than two months, Geelani said these sacrifices are "building blocks of the free nation we are destined to become”.

Earlier, police and paramilitary forces had set up checkpoints on Airport Road flanking Geelani's residence where commuters were frisked and media-persons were turned away. However, some journalists managed to reach outside the residence of the Hurriyat hawk but they were disallowed from entering.

Amid reports that the state government is contemplating handing over to the Army four south Kashmir districts which have seen massive anti-India and pro-freedom protests since Burhan Wani's killing, the Army chief Gen DS Suhag, is in the Valley and he is expected to meet the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor NN Vohra.

Meanwhile, normal life remains paralyzed for 63rd consecutive day in the Valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 with dozens of protesters wounded in parts of north and south Kashmir today after forces attacked freedom rallies in these areas.

“There are apprehensions of law and order problems due to which curfew has been imposed in parts of capital Srinagar and major towns of the Valley including Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Baramulla as a precautionary measure," a senior police officer said.

Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remain shut in the Valley with the government offices recording thin attendance due to absence of public transport and fears of protests.

Yesterday, Governor Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba reviewed the internal security situation in a meeting at Raj Bhavan.

The Governor also met the Director General of Police and the GoC XV Corps to discuss issues relating to the restoration of normalcy, an official spokesman said.

However, more than 150 civilian protesters were wounded across the Valley on Thursday in retaliatory action to curb pro-freedom and anti-India protests that have swept the Valley following Burhan's killing.

(Photograph Basit Zargar)

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