February 2017 News
Kashmir Shuts To 'remember Maqbool Bhat11 February 2017
Srinagar: Amid restrictions, Kashmir Valley Saturday observed a complete shutdown to commemorate 33rd hanging anniversary of Muhammad Maqbool Bhat who was hanged on 11 February 1984 and his body was buried inside Tihar Jail. To thwart possible protests authorities had imposed restrictions in the areas falling under five police stations of Old Srinagar city, viz: Khanyar, Safakadal, Maharaj Gunj, Nowhatta and Khanyar while restrictions remained in vogue in Maisuma area of uptown as well. Restrictions were also imposed the movement of people in and around the native place of slain leader Thregam. All the shops and business establishments remained shut while transport was off the roads. The government offices and banks recorded low attendance. However, skeletal movement of private transport was witnessed in uptown areas of the City. Large contingent of police and CRPF personnel had been deployed to thwart any kind of protests. Maqbool Bhat, a resident of frontier district Kupwara, was hanged and buried by government of India on February 11, 1984, in Tihar jail of New Delhi. The call for shutdown was given by all leading pro-freedom leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. Hundreds of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personal in riot gear and armed with assault rifles were deployed across Valley. Witnesses said the forces imposed curbs in the Old City to contain protests. 'They had erected concertina wires and armored vehicles were parked at various junctions and bridges of the Shehar-e-Khas,' they said.The police had also deployed its men in volatile Maisuma and Gaw Kadal localities of the City. City Centre Lal Chowk was also sealed by authorities. Reports said that scores of people took to streets in Trehgam village of Kupwara in north Kashmir to demand mortal remains of Maqbool Bhat. Witnesses said that the protesters raised pro-freedom slogans and demanded the return of mortal remains of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder.Reports added that curfew-like restrictions were imposed in several areas of North Kashmir to foil pro-Bhat protests. Reports of shutdown were received from all the districts of valley including Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla. Stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Narbal and Palhalan area of North Kashmir's Pattan town. Reports said that two boys were arrested in Palhalan after the stone-pelting incident. A police official said that the situation remained peaceful across Kashmir. 'A protest march was taken out in Thregam, elsewhere in Valley the day passed off peacefully,' he said. Pertinently, authorities have detained almost all the leaders of the separatist organization either in their houses or in different police stations.