Srinagar: Kashmir observed a complete shutdown on the 32nd death anniversary of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat who was hanged and secretly buried in Tihar Jail on February 11, 1984.
Thousands of police and paramilitary forces patrolled Srinagar city and other sensitive towns of the Valley to prevent anti-India protests. To prevent JKLF from organising programmes, the police had picked up JKLF chairman Yasin Malik four days ago and detained him at the Central Jail. Several other JKLF leaders and activists had been detained during a protest march on Wednesday when they were demanding that New Delhi should return the mortal remains of Bhat and Afzal Guru.
In several areas of old Srinagar, the government forces had barricaded roads with concertina wire to restrict movement of transport and people.
A complete shutdown was also observed in Baramulla, Sopore, Pattan, Palhalan, Rafiabad, Bandipora, Kupwara, Handwara, Kralpora and Trehgam.
In Bhat’s hometown Trehgam, dozens of people marched in the town, shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. They offered prayers for Bhat and Afzal Guru.
A large number of people visited Bhat’s house and paid glowing tributes to him and thousands of others who “have sacrificed their lives for the freedom movement”.
Bhat’s younger brother Zahoor Bhat and Hurriyat (M) leader Wasim Ahmad addressed the people and asked the government of India to return the mortal remains of Bhat and Guru to their families.