Restrictions in downtown on massacre anniversary

Srinagar: Restrictions will be imposed Sunday in several parts of the Old City here to scuttle a march to the Shrine of Naqshbandh Sahab (RA), called by pro-freedom Hurriyat Conference (M) to commemorate the anniversary of the people who were killed in 1931 by Dogra soldiers.
On July 13, 1931, 22 Kashmiris were shot dead by the forces of autocratic ruler Maharaja Hari Singh outside Srinagar’s Central Jail here. The victims were protesting against the prosecution of Abdul Qadeer, who had raised voice against the atrocities committed by Maharaja on local Muslims. Every year, this day is officially observed as Martyrs’ Day. While the pro-India leaders visit the shrine amidst heightened security to pay tribute to the martyrs, the pro-freedom leaders are placed under house arrest.
Officials told Kashmir Reader that restrictions will be imposed in the wee hours Sunday on the public movement in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Khanyar, Nowhatta, Maharaj Gunj, Safa Kadal and Rainawari police stations to thwart the march called by Mirwaiz, who holds a considerable support in the Old City. All roads leading to the shrine of Naqshbandh Sahab (RA) will be blocked to prevent the Hurriyat march. Besides it, mobile bunkers will be put on standby at important crossings to prevent people from assembling in the historic Jamia Masjid, as asked by Mirwaiz.
“Restrictions will be imposed in several areas of downtown to avoid any law and order problem in view of separatists march,” a senior official of the district administration said.
He said that the CRPF and police deployments will be made in the downtown area in the wee hours Sunday. The deployments, he said, will be removed in the evening.
Meanwhile, official sources said that Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and several leaders of his amalgam might be placed under house arrest in view of the march. Besides it, the leaders of other pro-freedom groups will also be restricted to their houses to thwart any untoward incident.
A spokesman of Hurriyat Conference (G) said that the amalgam’s chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani continues to remain under house arrest without any break. The Octogenarian leader, he said, was not even allowed to offer congregational Friday prayers.

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