Geelani, Mirwaiz detained; Hurriyat hqrs raided, communication wires cut
SRINAGAR: Police took into custody pro-freedom leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to foil their proposed march to Sonwar to present a memorandum to the UN-appointed military observer at the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) head office.
The pro-freedom leadership has announced a 72-hour programme for the march towards Sonwar and asked the people to observe sit-in wherever the government forces stop them.
Sensing the sensitivity of the call, the government forces occupied the main streets and chowks in the entire capital Srinagar and major towns of the valley much before the people woke up in the morning.
At many places, armoured vehicles were parked in the middle of roads to block the movement of private vehicles.
Geelani and Mirwaiz stepped out of their barricaded residences at Hyderpora and Nigeen but the cops waiting outside immediately took them into custody. They were escorted to nearby police stations and lodged there for the entire day. Two party workers of the Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference were also detained.
A group of women marched towards the UN office from Dalgate area shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. They were intercepted by the police near CD hospital. The women later dispersed peacefully.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people gathered in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district to pay homage to slain militant commander Burhan Wani on 40th day after his death.
At about 4.30pm, police raided the office of Hurriyat (M) at Rajbagh and cut telephone and other communication wires. A tower installed in the lawns of the office was also damaged.
Eyewitnesses said that the people from villages of Kaloosa, Watpora, Sheikh Mohalla, Onagam, Papchan, Pazalpora and Nowpora, came out on streets and roads and held special prayers for Wani on his chehlum (40th day after death).
The speakers paid glowing tributes to the slain commander and described him as an icon who instilled a new life in the freedom struggle of Kashmir.
People in Maharaj Ganj area alleged that paramilitary personnel entered their locality in the wee hours and went on rampage without any provocation. They said that the troopers attacked parked vehicles and smashed their windscreens and headlights. Several houses were attacked with batons and rifle butts damaging doors and window glasses.
Thousands of people gathered at Yaripora village of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district as part of pro-freedom leadership’s call for peaceful protests. The air reverberated with pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. The rally later dispersed peacefully.
A protest march led by Hurriyat leader Masroor Ansari was stopped by the government forces at Nawakadal pocket of old Srinagar.
A complete shutdown was observed in entire Kishtwar district against the killing spree perpetrated by the government forces in Kashmir valley.
Imam Jamia Masjid Kishtwar Farooq Ahmed Kichloo issued the strike call last night after a decision by the Majlis-e-Shoora comprising various Imams of the Masjids and the religious bodies.
The call for shutdown according to Majlis-e-Shoora was forwarded to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir region in view of civilian killings.
In Pinjora, Shopian, people burnt effigy of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
The impact of the shutdown was near-total in Palmar, Drabshalla, Chatroo, Mughalmaidan, Dadpath, Bhunjwah, Sarthal and adjoining areas of the district.
A police spokesman said that the law and order situation remained by and large peaceful in the region barring stone-pelting incidents at Warpora in Sopore and Brein area in Nishat of Srinagar.
The spokesman said that curfew remained in force in parts of Srinagar, Anantnag and Magam area of Budgam in central Kashmir.