July 2017 News

Amarnath Yatra Suspended, Security Clampdown In Kashmir For Burhan Anniversary

7 July 2017
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: Unprecedented security measures have been put in place and authorities have decided to suspend Amarnath yatra and enforce curfew-like restrictions in Kashmir on the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on Saturday. A police official said adequate measures would be taken in the Valley tomorrow to maintain law and order and foil protests and rallies. The first death anniversary of Burhan is being observed in the Valley tomorrow. Burhan, 22, was killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Kokernag area on July 8 last year. Burhan's killing had triggered over five-month long unrest in the Valley during which about 90 people were killed and over 13000 injured in security forces firing. According to police sources, over 20,000 police, CRPF, ITBP, BSF and army men would deployed in the Valley, especially in four volatile south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam tomorrow to maintain law and order and foil anti-India protests and rallies. The separatists have called for shutdown tomorrow and called on people to march towards Tral, the hometown of Burhan. South Kashmir has been on boil after the killing of Burhan and over 100 youth have joined militant ranks since July last year. IG CRPF Ravideep Singh Sahi told New Indian Express that adequate security measures have been taken to ensure peace in the Valley. 'The area domination during day and night has been intensified, nakas have been laid at the entry points and flashpoints all over the Valley and coordinated deployment with JKP, RR and SSB and other security agencies has been done to maintain law and order,' he said. He said security agencies have formulated adequate planning and preparation to deal with any untoward situation tomorrow. Asked whether Amarnath Yatra will continue tomorrow, Sahi said the annual Hindu pilgrimage to cave shrine in south Kashmir will remain suspended tomorrow. He said due to security concerns, it has been decided to stop Amarnath yatra tomorrow. According to IG CRPF, all the security personnel brought to Valley for yatra duty would be deployed for security duty tomorrow to maintain law and order and ensure peace. Asked whether militants are planning attacks to mark death anniversary of Burhan, Sahi said, 'We have got intelligence reports that militants are planning attacks'. 'The security forces are on high alert across the Valley to foil any militant attacks,' he said adding the alert is not only for south Kashmir but for Srinagar and north Kashmir also. The security personnel have erected barricades at the entry points in south Kashmir to prevent people from staging protests and rallies on the death anniversary of Burhan. They have set up temporary check-points, where all the vehicles and commuters are being thoroughly checked. A police official said curfew-like restrictions would be imposed across the Valley tomorrow to foil the marches and rallies called by separatists.