Sopore: To commemorate the fifth hanging anniversary of Muhammad Afzal Guru, a complete shutdown was observed across the valley on Friday while the authorities imposed curfew like restrictions in Srinagar areas and in the native village of Guru to thwart any possible protests.
2001 Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru, was sent secretly hanged and buried on this day in 2013 in New Delhi’s Tihar jail.
Earlier, JKLF founder, Muhammad Maqbool Bhat was also hanged in the premises of Tihar jail on Feb 11, 1984.
Authorities had imposed curfew like restrictions in the native village of Afzal Guru and its adjacent villages to thwart any protests on the fifth death anniversary of Guru.
However, the pro-freedom leaders managed to reach the residential house of Guru to pay tributes to him.
In the wee hours of this morning, scores of Hurriyat activists of different factions reached the native village of Afzal Guru and joined the gathering of mourners at Afzal Guru’s home.
They along with the family members staged protest to demand mortal remains of Guru.
Guru’s son, Ghalib Guru who recently qualified the board exams was also seen among the protesters carrying a poster.
The protest rally was led by senior J&K Democratic Freedom Engineer Farooq Ahmad Khan during which they shouted pro-freedom and anti- government slogans.
The protesters also demanded the return of mortal remains of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat.
Witnesses said that a huge contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployment across the town.
All the shops, business establishments remained closed while the vehicular movement was also off the roads.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in rest of the Valley to commemorate the death anniversary of Guru while restrictions were imposed in Srinagar areas falling under the jurisdiction of seven police stations.
Officials said that the restrictions were imposed in Srinagar areas falling under the jurisdiction of seven police stations including Rainawari, Maharaj Gunj, Safa Kadal, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Maisuma and Kral Khud.
Witnesses said that the huge contingent of forces was deployed in the restriction bound areas where forces had erected concertina wires to block the vehicular as well as the pedestrian movement in the areas.
Besides, the historic Jamia Masjid, located in old city area was sealed for the Friday congregational prayers as all the four gates remained locked today.
They said that the residents were disallowed to offer prayers at the Jamia Masjid.
Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman and Jamia Masjid’s head cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continued to remain under house detention.
Meanwhile, following the culmination of Friday congregational prayers at the local Masjid’s, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation front (JKLF) on the call of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) protested at Abi Guzar to demand the return of Guru’s mortal remains.
JKLF leaders and activists gathered at Abi Guzar and staged a protest demanding the return back of the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru.
Holding placards and raising slogans in favor of the return back of their mortal remains, the protesters marched to press enclave.
Later clashes erupted between youth and forces in Nawab Bazar area of Srinagar after the Asr prayers ended.
Locals informed ‘Kashmir Vision’ that the forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the youth who were throwing stones on them.
Meanwhile, authorities had also suspended the Baramulla -Banihal train service as precautionary measure. “As precautionary measure, we have suspended all the train services for today,” an official said.
Notably, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for complete shutdown today and had appealed people to protest after Friday prayers to demand return of mortal remains of Guru.