July 2018 News

Tral To Be Garrisoned On Burhan's Anniversary

5 July 2018
Greater Kashmir
Irfan Amin Malik

Tral: Even as the police and security agencies are tightlipped about the security preparedness on the eve of Burhan Wani's second death anniversary on July 8, Wani's hometown is likely to be sealed off for public gatherings on Sunday. Burhan, who rose to be the poster boy of Kashmir's fresh wave of armed insurgency, commanded the longest surviving militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen for many years before being killed along with two associates in a brief gunfight at Bumdora, Kokernag, 70 kilometers south of Srinagar. A top police official disclosed that the plan was already in place to cordon off Tral and all routes leading to the town's Eidgah graveyard, where Burhan is buried. Security officials cite JRL's call for shutdown and anniversary congregation to justify the curbs on public movement in and around Tral. 'The measure will be taken to ward off possible protests and incidents of violence', a senior police official said adding that the security had already been beefed up to prevent militants from holding events marking the anniversary. 'The forces are vigilant and are ready to tackle any situation.' According to the police sources, government forces will turn the Burhan's native Tral area into a garrison in order to prevent people from reaching there. Forces' personnel will remain deployed around Eidgah Tral, where Burhan is buried. On Tral-Awantipora roads, police, army and paramilitary CRPF men will remain alert to prevent public gatherings. 'There will be restrictions in Tral obviously. The entry and exit points will be sealed a day before Burhan's anniversary. Other areas including Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam will also remain restricted,' the police official further said. However, superintendent of police Awantipora, Mohammad Zahid Malik told Greater Kashmir: 'Three days are still left and nothing can be said as of now regarding security preparations.' Top Hizb commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gun battle with government forces in Bamdoora Kokernag area in Anantnag district on July 8 2016. His death sparked a wave of street protests that were quelled by security forces through unprecedented use of force, leaving more than 120 persons dead and thousands others injured with hundred losing their eyes to deadly pellets. Curfew remained in force for at least 50 days and hundreds were arrested to suppress the street campaigns.