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Burhan Wani death anniversary: Officials taking nothing to chance

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Srinagar, July 8: The Valley remained tense even as security forces raised the alert levels on the death anniversary of Burhan Wani, the slain Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist. Mobile internet services were suspended in the Kashmir valley on Saturday as a precautionary measure in the wake of the death of three civilians in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

    Burhan Wani

    The civilians were allegedly killed in firing by the security forces during clashes with stone-pelting protesters in Kulgam on Saturday, they said.

    Mobile internet has been suspended in the entire Kashmir valley, a police official said. He, however, said broadband services on BSNL landlines are working.

    The decision to suspend mobile internet services is a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, he said.
    Restrictions have been imposed in Tral township, in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, and in the Nowhatta and Maisuma police station areas of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, a police official said
    He said the curbs have been imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order and to avoid any untoward incident.

    Wani, a resident of Tral, was killed in an encounter with security forces in the Kokernag area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district on July 8, 2016. His killing triggered massive protests and prolonged period of curfews and shutdowns across the Valley. As many as 85 people were killed and thousand others were injured in clashes between security forces and protesters over four months.

    The official said security forces have been deployed in strength at sensitive places across the Valley
    Meanwhile, the strike called by separatists against the shifting of Asiya Andrabi, the chief of radical women's outfit Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM), to Delhi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), evoked mixed response in the Valley on Saturday/

    The separatists, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), had on Friday called for a strike to protest the shifting of Andrabi and her colleagues.

    The JRL comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik appealed to the people to "observe a complete shutdown and maintain civil curfew".  While shops and other establishments were shut in the city centre Lal Chowk here, business continued as usual in other areas of the city, the official said.

    He said public transport was sparse, but private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were plying in many areas of the city
    The official said similar reports of a mixed response to the strike were received from other district headquarters of the Valley.

    Cracking a whip on separatist leaders ahead of Wani's death anniversary, the police had on Friday detained Malik in a police station here, while Mirwaiz was put under house arrest. Geelani continued to remain under house detention.

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