Shutdown in Kashmir on Maqbool's death anniversary

MAJID NABI. Dated: 2/12/2019 4:58:03 PM

SRINAGAR, Feb 11: Normal life was thrown out of gear as complete shutdown amid stringent restrictions and protests was observed across Kashmir on 35th death anniversary of JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat who was executed on this day in Tihar jail in 1984.
Separatist conglomerate, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising both factions of Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and KashmirLiberation Front had called for complete shutdown to mark the death anniversary of JKLF founder.
Authorities in order to prevent JRL from holding any protest rally imposed stringent restrictions under section 144 in parts of Srinagar city including city centre Lal Chowk, Maisuma and around historic Jama Masjid in Nowhatta.
JRL had asked people to hold protest at city centre Lal Chowk to press for the return of mortal remains of Bhat and Guru to their families for a proper burial.
All the shops, commercial establishments and fuel stations remained closed and traffic was off the roads, however skeletal movement of private vehicles, cabs and auto-rickshaws could be seen plying on deserted roads.
Attendance in government and semi-government offices banks and courts was thin as the employees could not make it to their respective workplaces due to non-availability of public transport.
Police also detained scores of people including women after foiling a protest rally on the call of Joint Resistance Leadership at Maisuma locality here this afternoon.
Protesters amid pro-freedom slogans took out a protest rally from Maisuma, however posses of police deployed in advance bundled them into already awaiting vehicles and detained them at nearby police station.
Stringent restrictions were also imposed In Trehgam, the ancestral village of Bhat, 95 km from Srinagar in north Kashmir, reports said.
Meanwhile, heightened security arrangements were put in place by the authorities to thwart any attempt of protests by separatists in old city. All the entry and exit points leading to down-town were sealed with iron barricades and razor wires with police and paramilitary personal manning streets in full riot gear.
City centre Lal Chowk was also sealed with barricades to prevent people from holding any protest in the vicinity.
Top separatist leadership was either arrested or placed under house detention by the police to prevent them from holding any protest.
While Chairman’s of both factions of Hurriyat Conference including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were placed under house detention, JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik who was arrested from his residence few days ago remained in custody at Kothibagh police station.
Reports received from other parts of the valley including north and south Kashmir suggested that separatist’s shutdown call evoked total response with all markets closed and traffic off the roads.
Reports reaching here from central Kashmir said people observed complete shutdown in response to JRL call.



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