-Geelani, Mirwaiz arrested
Srinagar: Restrictions and curfew continued in parts of Kashmir including Srinagar city for the 34th consecutive day on Thursday. Reports said that curfew remained in force in Anantnag town while restrictions continued in Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama towns. Restrictions also continued in old city and uptown Batmaloo area of Srinagar city. “Similar restrictions remained in force in Sopore, Kupwara, Handwara and Baramulla towns.”
Curfew, restrictions and shutdown began in the valley on July 9, a day after Hizbul commander, Burhan Wani, was killed in a gunfight with the government forces in Bimbdora village of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. All educational institutions, shops, public transport and other business establishments have remained closed for the last 34 days in Kashmir, although interior markets in cities and towns have been functioning briefly in the evenings.
The separatist leadership had called for offering of Fahe Khawani for Sheikh Aziz at Mazar-e-Dhohada. Separatists had asked people to launch a poster letter campaign asking pro-India politicians and their workers including Panchs and Sarpanchs to resgin from their parties and positions to be pasted on the gates of their homes.
Reports said that all routes leading towards Eidgah Srinagar had been sealed by authorities in wake of Eidgah Chalo call forwarded by separatist leadership to offer special prayers for slain separatist leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz. Eyewitnesses told CNS that as usual strict curfew was in place to restrict the movement of the people. Barricades were erected while mobile bunkers had been created at different points of old Srinagar city to stop people from moving towards Eidgath Martyrs Graveyard. However, defying curfew large number of people tried to advance towards Eidgah graveyard. Reports said that Government Forces lobbed teargas shells into a rally heading towards Mazar-e-Shouhada to pay homage to resistance leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz who was shot dead in 2008 during a march to Muzaffarabad. Scores of people led by Hurriyat leader Masroor Abbas Ansari took out a march from Khanqah-e-Sokhta Nawa Kadal and headed towards the martyrs’ graveyard at Eidgah. Government Forces intervened and didn’t allow the people to proceed towards martyrs graveyard while police arrested Masroor Abbas Ansari and lodged him in nearby police station.
A spokesperson of All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani told CNS that, “Geelani Sahab was arrested by police while trying to visit Mazar-e-Shohada Srianagr. A large contingent of police stopped Geelani Sahab when he tried to venture out from his house. He was detained and shifted to Humhama Police Station,” he said.
Police also arrested Mirwaiz Dr Molvi Muhammad Umar Farooq when he came out from his house to march towards Mazar-e-Shohdah Srinagar. He was reportedly shifted to SP Office Hazratbal. Shortly before his arrest Mirwaiz while talking to reporters said that India has let loose a reign of terror here and it is ruling over Kashmir on military might. He said that people of Kashmir want a permanent solution to Kashmir problem while India is acting like an ostrich and is reluctant to resolve the issue.
Reports from South Kashmir’s Anantnag district said that situation remained peaceful till evening. “There was complete shutdown while authorities had imposed curfew and restrictions in different parts of the district,” said an eyewitness.
Reports from South Kashmir said that thousands of people attended a peaceful pro-freedom rally at Talangam in Pulwama district. Local sources said that people had managed food for those who had come from far off places. “Preparations for this massive gathering were held since last evening,” a local said, “forces tried to disturb late night but we resisted.”
Reports from Shopian district said that the situation remained peaceful while skeletal movement of transport of was also observed on the roads. Eyewitnesses said that traffic was running smoothly on Zanipora route while Mughal road was also open for the traffic. However, the shops and other business establishment remained shut in the main district.
A police handout said that the situation in the valley remained by and large normal barring few incidents of stone pelting by the miscreants. Although restrictions under section 144/CrPC remained in force in the Valley, curfew was imposed in some parts of Srinagar, Pampore town and Anantnag town only. “Miscreants pelted stones on security force deployments in Goriwan area of Bijbehara, Anantnag. Later on they were chased away by using mild force. In Srinagar a group of miscreants pelted stones on security force deployments near Kakasarai in the jurisdiction of Police Station Karan Nagar, Srinagar. They were chased away.” (CNS)