Mirwaiz, Lone anniversaries: Govt cages Azadi leadership, imposes restrictions

Shutdown observed in Valley; clashes in old city after ‘curfew’ lifted

Srinagar: A shutdown and clashes in some parts of the Valley on Saturday marked the anniversaries of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone, who were killed by unidentified gunmen on May 21, 1990 and May 21, 2002.
The government had deployed thousands of policemen and paramilitary troopers and sealed some roads in various parts of the Valley with razor wire to prevent pro-freedom protests. The resistance leadership had appealed to the people to march to Eidgah, where the two martyred leaders are buried.
Most pro-freedom leaders, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yaseen Malik, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Ayaz Akbar and others were either put under ‘house arrest’ or detained at police stations to prevent them from mobilizing and addressing people.
An unannounced curfew was imposed in a vast area that comes under the jurisdiction of Khanyar, Nowhatta, MR Gunj, Rainawari, Safa Kadal, Maisuma and Nigeen police stations.
Small groups of protesters clashed with government forces soon after curfew was lifted in the evening. Police fired teargas canisters to disperse them.
Dozens of Mirwaiz Umar-headed Awami Action Committee members were detained by police in Nowshehra area of Srinagar after they tried to march towards the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Eidgah to pay homage to the leaders.
The government forces deployed there resorted to teargas shelling to disperse the youth protesting the police action against AAC leaders.
Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq was shot dead at his Nigeen residence on May 21, 1990 by unidentified gunmen. During the commemoration of his martyrdom in 2002, at Eidgah, unknown gunmen also killed Abdul Gani Lone.