By A Aalim Ahmad
Tral: The unprecedented send-off given to Hizbul Mujahideen’s slain commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani at Tral was possible only because the people did not give room to the government forces to dominate the town even for a wink.
On Friday evening, as soon as the news about Burhan’s death spread like wildfire in the area, hundreds of youngsters began descending to the main town from every nook and cranny. Most of the youngsters arrived on motorbikes, cars and cabs and even tractor-trolleys to reach the Shariefabad residence of Burhan where he spend 16 years of his childhood before joining the militant ranks in 2010.
By the midnight, several thousand protesters had gathered in Tral town and people continued to pour in from Awantipora, Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag and other adjoin places.
This is the main reason that the government forces were unable to dominate the streets and prevent people from attending the funeral prayers.
“On Saturday morning, every crevice of Tral town was manned by a protester or a mourner,” said Muhammad Amin, a local resident.
“The good sense prevailed upon the government forces not to bring their necks out of the camps. They remained confined to their formations for the whole day,” he said. He confronted police chief Shiv Murari Sahai’s version that that Tral area was managed by the government forces.
“In fact, Tral area was managed by the people themselves. There were no violent protests because the government forces were not conspicuous,” Mudassir Ahmad, another local resident said.
The volatile Tral area is surrounded by notorious police and army camps but most of them are situated at the peripheries. The police station and CRPF camp is situated at Tral-e-Bala, almost at the fringe of the town while as the 42 RR’s battalion headquarter is situated at Bajwani, 3 kilometres from the main town.
Around a dozen CRPF and Army camps are located in adjacent villages.
The CPRF bunker located in the main bus stand, which was often an irritant for the local youngsters who often attacked it with stones and occasionally invited bullets from the troopers manning the massive bunker, was removed last year.