Curfew like restrictions in Old City to foil Eidgah march

Security forces on way towards encounter site at Yarwan forest in Shopian district on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Younis Khaliq
Security forces on way towards encounter site at Yarwan forest in Shopian district on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Younis Khaliq

Militants flee from cordon

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, May 21: Authorities today imposed curfew-like restrictions in Old City areas of Srinagar to foil Eidgah march called by separatist leaders to commemorate the death anniversary of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone.
Mirwaiz Farooq, father of Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was shot dead by gunmen inside his home on this day in 1990 while Abdul Gani Lone was killed during a commemoration function of late Mirwaiz at Martyrs’ graveyard Eidgah in 2002.
Separatists had called for a shutdown today and had appealed people to march towards Eidgah to commemorate the anniversaries of the two leaders.
Restrictions under Section 144 CrPC were imposed “as a precautionary measure” in five police station areas of Old City. The areas where restrictions were imposed were following under the jurisdiction of Khanyar, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, Rainawari and M R Gunj.
A large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in restriction bound areas. Police and CRPF deployed on roads had erected concertina wires, which halted pedestrians as well as vehicular movement. All the roads leading to Eidgah were also sealed by the security forces. Click here to watch video
Mirwaiz was scheduled to lead a rally today but the authorities last evening placed him under house arrest to prevent him from leading the rally.
Notably, Hurriyat used to hold a rally every year on May 21 at Eidgah to pay homage to the two slain leaders. However, the authorities have been imposing curbs on these rallies following the 2010 unrest in the Valley.
Separatists had also called for a complete shutdown across the Valley to commemorate the anniversaries of slain leaders.
All the shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and private offices remained closed throughout the day while as the vehicular movement was thin on the roads. The Government offices here also witnessed thin attendance today.
And militants today slipped out of cordon after a brief gunfight with security forces in Yarwan area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
A joint team of Army’s 20 Para, SOG and CRPF cordoned off Yarwan forests in Shopian after inputs about presence of 2-3 militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad in the area. Militants fired on the troops during the searches leading to a brief gun battle.
However, militants fled from the cordon and the operation continued till evening and was later called off.
Skeleton of man missing from nearly two years ago was found in Hagnikote forests of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Some locals while collecting mushroom in the forests spotted the human skeleton along with an identity card. As per the card, the identity of the deceased is Mohammad Akram Mir,70, son of Abdul Aziz Mir of Sharkoot Vilgam.
According to locals, Akram was a retired employee of Sheep Husbandary Department and had gone missing in July 2017.
The family had also lodged a missing report in police station Vilgam the next day after Akram did not return home.
Meanwhile, a police team and Army’s 15 RR rushed to the spot soon after the news about the lying of male skeleton spread in the area.