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Indian-held Kashmir shuts down on Burhan Wani’s death anniversary

SRINAGAR  In occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown, marked by curfew and other restrictions, is being observed across the territory to commemorate the first martyrdom anniversary of popular youth leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani today (Saturday), the Kashmir Media Service reported.

Today’s strike is part of a weeklong protest calendar called by the joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. The authorities have deployed over 20,000 additional troops and blocked roads with concertina wires to check pedestrian and vehicular movement. All roads leading to Tral, the hometown of Burhan Wani, has been completely sealed with Army conducting flag march, warning people not to venture out from their houses to join protest rallies. The martyrs’ graveyard and Eidgah where Wani’s funeral prayers were held has also been sealed. Hundreds of troops from Rashtriya Rifles have been deployed on the village roads. At many places, the troops thrashed people and beat them.

“One can see only men in uniform on the roads, fields, orchards and streets of Tral town. It looks as civilian population doesn’t exist at all here,” said a local media reporter from Tral said adding that Dadsara, Pinglish, Lurgam, Batagund and Rathsuna villages of the town have been turned into military garrisons.

Police raided Burhan Wani’s home in Sharifabad area of the town and harassed the inmates. All these measures have been taken to thwart a big rally scheduled in the town, today. Similar rallies will be held at all district headquarters and elsewhere in the world where Kashmiris are residing.

Like in Jamia Masji Srinagar, no Friday prayers were allowed in Khanqah Faiz Panah in Tral, yesterday. Mobile and Internet services continue to remain suspended.

Reports from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district said that at Chewalgam, Army personnel from 9 Rashtriya Rifles have drawn a warning line on the road with the directions that those who will cross that line, today, will be shot dead. A newspaper reporter from Kulgam said that troops on duty confirmed to him that the line drawn with wax was a message to people not to cross it otherwise they will face bullets.

Burhan Wani, along with two other associates, was killed by Indian troops during a fake encounter in Kokernag area of Islamabad district on this day in 2016. The killing triggered a valley-wide uprising which continues till date. During the period, 156 civilian protesters have been killed, 19,456 have been injured and the eyesight of over 3,000 youth has been damaged by the pellets fired by Indian forces.

All resistance leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai continue to remain in detention or under house arrest.

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