Amarnath Yatra not conducted, train services suspended after police advisory
SRINAGAR: Kashmir Valley on Saturday remained shut on Martyrs’ Day on the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
July 13, 1931, was the day 31 Kashmiris were killed in firing by forces of autocratic Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. It is the state government’s official holiday, on which it pays tributes and homage to the martyrs.
The Governor’s advisor, Khursheed Ganai, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan, and other senior officials paid visit to the graveyard at Naqshband Sahib in downtown Srinagar where the martyrs lie buried. Governor Satya Pal Malik could not attend the tribute-paying ceremony there, like his predecessor NN Vohra who skipped the function last year.
Pro-India parties that include National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Awami Ittehad Party, and Shah Faesal’s Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement all paid visit to the graveyard. However, the same venue was kept out of bounds for the JRL. The Mirwaiz remained house arrest at his Nigeen residence and Geelani at his in Hyderpora.
“It’s extremely sad that people and the leadership were stopped from paying homage to the martyrs of 13th July 1931 by imposition of curfew and restrictions in and around the martyrs’ graveyard at Khwaja Naqshband Sahib (RA) and other areas of downtown, and by putting Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest,” said a handout issued by the APHC led by Mirwaiz.
Public transport was off the roads all day and markets as well as business establishments stayed closed. The government suspended the Amarnath Yatra for the day and shut down train services in Kashmir. The train services were suspended based on an advisory received Friday night from the police.
However, unusually, mobile internet was not shut by the government. Restrictions on public movement, though, remained imposed in volatile areas of Srinagar.
In Naqshband Sahib area of old Srinagar, government forces erected concertina wires at road junctions to prevent both vehicular and pedestrian movement.