Valley remembers July 13 Martyrs amid shutdown

Pro-freedom leaders’ march foiled

BY FAZIL QAYOOMgraves-found-in-kashmir

Srinagar, July 13 (GNS) Kashmir Valley Saturday observed a complete shutdown to remember the martyrs of July 13, 1931 while the government imposed restrictions in some parts of old Srinagar to foil the march called by pro-freedom leaders towards Martyrs Graveyard Naqshband Sahab Shrine.

The strike was called by both factions of Hurriyat Conference to remember those Kashmiris martyred by the forces of autocratic ruler Maharaja Hari Singh outside the Srinagar’s Central Jail here.

The authorities had imposed stringent restrictions in Srinagar to prevent people from marching towards the Martyrs’ Graveyard on the call of pro-freedom leaders.

Chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conferences Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other senior separatist leaders including chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik, National Front (NF) Chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah, Bilal Gani Lone and Shahid-ul-Islam were put under house arrest.

Shops and business establishments remained closed across the valley and traffic was off the roads. Even the inter-district transport was thin. Schools and government offices remained closed as State observes July 13 as a holiday.

Since Saturday morning, heavy contingents of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed in lanes and by-lanes of Srinagar to thwart any protest demonstration. Restrictions were imposed in most parts of the old city that include Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, MR Gunj, Safakadal and Kralkhud.

In Khanyar area of old Srinagar where the Martyrs Graveyard is located, police and CRPF laid razor wires and erected barricades at road junctions since Friday evening to stop the movement of people. Besides the fortification of the area around the graveyard, armored vehicles of police and CRPF were also seen at road junctions.

“When we woke up today morning there were only police and CRPF men around. They did not make any announcement of curfew but for whole day we were forced to stay indoors”, Wasim Bhat, a local resident said. He added that residents were not allowed to purchase eatables and other essentials.

Uptown areas of Srinagar also witnessed heavy deployment of police and CRPF since Friday morning; however skeletal transport was witnessed plying on the roads. “Most of vehicles plying on the roads in uptown were coming from airport area, carrying Yatris and other tourists,” a police official told GNS.

Similar reports of complete strike were also reported from Ganderbal, Budgam. Baramulla, Kupwara, Handwara, Sopore, Bandipora, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts due to the strike. All shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads.

The roads in these districts wore a deserted look. Shops and business establishments remained closed.

Meanwhile, scores of youth on Saturday morning attacked a police vehicle by pelting stones resulting to injury to a police man in Khanyar area of Old city.

Police also prevented Awami Ittihaad Party’s (AIP) from visiting Martyrs graveyard Srinagar by arresting its party patron, Engineer Abdul Rashid along with other party members. The party workers while shouting pro-Kashmiri slogans were intercepted by Police at Rajbagh and were detained at Police Station Rajbagh. (GNS)


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