Anantnag: To foil the “Anantnag March” called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) on Friday, government authorities have decided to impose restrictions on people’s assembly as well as movement in both Srinagar and Anantnag. Apart from this, police have detained several leaders and activists of both factions of the Hurriyat Conference.
“We have decided to put restrictions in areas that come under the jurisdiction of five police stations in downtown (Srinagar),” a senior government official said. “Besides, we will also be placing partial restrictions in Kralkhud and Maisuma areas of Srinagar.”
The official said that the restrictions were necessary to prevent any “untoward incident” from taking place in Srinagar.
In Anantnag, police were taking pre-emptive measures to thwart the rally.
“We have imposed Section-144, which means no congregations will be allowed to take place,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, South Kashmir, SP Pani told Kashmir Reader.
Security along the Srinagar-Anantnag highway has also been beefed up, with forces conducting checks at several places. A police source told Kashmir Reader that complete restriction on movement may be imposed at certain places in the morning.
The JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik has urged people to march towards Anantnag city centre Lal Chowk to “demonstrate before the whole world what people of Kashmir stand for”. The JRL has said that the government’s response to the march would be “the litmus test for the claimants of democracy”.
A day ahead of the proposed march, the government responded with a crackdown on pro-freedom leaders and activists. A source in the Hurriyat Conference (G) said, “Police raided our houses and detained many of our associates.” He said that police detained Syed Imtiyaz Hyder, Farooq Gutapori, Muhammad Yaseen Attai and Muhammad Yousuf Bhat in police station Budgam and arrested Bashir Irfani.
“Our secretary-general Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai along with his associate Muhammad Ashraf Laya have been placed under house detention,” said an activist of the Geelani-led Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
The Mirwaiz told Kashmir Reader that although he has been detained in his house, “but I will try to leave for Anantnag on Friday at 11am”.
“Police have been after our activists and have raided many places across the valley to detain them,” he said.
He said that his party leader Ghulam Nai Zaki from Sopore and Hurriyat Conference leader Musadiq Adil have been arrested by police.
“Some activists are hiding but raids continue. Many houses were raided even in the downtown,” he added.
“This jalsa (public rally) will highlight the miseries and hardships faced by the people of Kashmir at the hands of oppressive government forces. It will also highlight the reign of terror unleashed by Indian occupational forces and will be a show of solidarity with the people of south Kashmir where the Indian army, paramilitary forces and police have let loose an ugly reign of terror,” the JRL said in a statement.