Several parts of Kashmir valley are tense following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces. The 21-year-old poster boy of militancy was killed along with his two associates after an intense encounter in Kokernag area on Friday evening. The news of his killing has led to wide protest in several places and especially in Southern Kashmir region, where he belonged.
According to authorities, curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in parts of Kashmir, including Srinagar city and mobile internet services have been suspended. Whereas the mobile phone facility is completely snapped in southern Kashmir.
Amarnath yatra too has been suspended as authorities apprehended protests in the Valley. The pilgrims are not allowed to proceed forward from Jammu.
The killing of Burhan Wani, son of a headmaster and a school dropout, was described by Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police K Rajendra as a major success for the security forces because he was allegedly instrumental in brainwashing many local boys to take up the gun.
Burhan carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head while his associate Sartaz, who was a re-cycled terrorist, was involved in many terror related incidents. The identity of the third militant was yet to be established.
Several images of Burhan and posts extolling him were uploaded on social networking sites like Facebook which the security agencies had got removed but that did not dent his popularity. Considered as a ‘Poster Boy’ of Hizbul Mujahideen terror group for wooing Kashmiri youths to militancy, Burhan had joined the militant outfit in 2010 when he was just 15 years of age.
Soon after the encounter and the news errupting of Wani’s killing, protesters blocked main roads and entry to interiors of the city at many places in and around the valley. A strike call was given by the top separatists leaders who were put under house arrest as a precautionary measure. There are reports that public address systems were used in some places on Friday to relay the audio messages of Wani.
“Restrictions have been imposed on movement of people in six police station areas of Srinagar city, most parts of Pulwama district and Anantnag town in south Kashmir as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” a senior government official said.
“A group of youths also started pelting stones towards the camps of security forces who have not retaliated to the provocation so far,” the office added.
While the police is maintaining that the situation was by and large peaceful in most parts of Kashmir so far but in Tral — the hometown of the slain militant commander – protests by residents is acutely monitored. As Tral witnessed violent protests at some places last night, authorities are not leaving anything to chance.
(With inputs from the PTI)