Centre girds up for safe Amarnath Yatra as ultras plan Burhan anniversary

Centre girds up for safe Amarnath Yatra as ultras plan Burhan anniversary

Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani's first death anniversary passed off in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday without any major protest, barring a few incidents of stone-pelting and clashes in which five women were reportedly injured.

Wani's father today appealed for peace and harmony in Kashmir on the death anniversary of his son.

Separatist leaders - most of whom were either detained or confined to their homes in the run-up to the anniversary - had called for a week of protests from Saturday to mark Wani s death. However, Indian authorities have made arrangements to foil those plans, imposing a widespread curfew in three towns of Kashmir, including Tral - the native town of Wani - and have also put restrictions on the movement of people in other parts of the region.

Security across the state has been beefed up, and social media websites and Internet services have been shut down to prevent protests and rallies, especially in south Kashmir districts.

According to the statement issued Joint Hurriyat Leadership including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik has appealed people to observe complete shutdown on July 8.

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In uptown areas of Srinagar and other places in the valley where restrictions were not imposed, shops, public transport and other businesses remained closed and very little private transport was seen on the roads.

An order by the district administration also stated that essential services, government employees and accredited and registered media persons would be exempted from the restrictions imposed across the state. Police and paramilitary soldiers fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

SRINAGAR, India Residents in Indian-controlled Kashmir clashed with government forces Saturday as they defied a stringent curfew on the anniversary of the killing of a charismatic rebel leader whose death triggered open defiance against Indian rule. Wani, the chief commander of the notorious Hizbul Mujahidden, who was killed previous year and his death sparked violence in the valley. General J.S. Sandhu, Corps Commander of Srinagar based Chinar Corps, on Friday visited south Kashmir areas to review security situation.

On a day when the Kashmiris are mourning the death of their "hero", two civilians lost their lives after Pakistani army violated the ceasefire and resorted to mortar shelling and firing at border posts and villages along the Line of Control in Poonch district.

He said: "The truth is that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had said she would have let Wani live".

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