Srinagar, May 21: Government Monday enforced strict restrictions in parts of Kashmir capital Srinagar to foil ‘Eidgah March’ called by the Joint Resistance Leadership to commemorate martyrdom anniversaries of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and Hawal massacre victims, even as the Valley observed a complete shutdown in memory of the martyrs.
Despite curbs and blocking of roads by police and paramilitary forces, youth in various areas tried to take out processions and march towards the martyrs’ graveyard at Eidgah, but their attempts were thwarted by the forces. Police stopped a March near Tangabagh that had started from Aali Kadal amid pro-freedom slogans. The participants were dispersed while some of them arrested.
Reports said that areas falling under jurisdiction of seven police stations including, Maisuma, Nowhata, Khanyar, Safa Kadal, Maharaj Gunj, Kral Khud and Rainawari witnessed curfew-like restrictions. Eyewitnesses said that Eidgah Martyrs Graveyard and the Mirwaiz Office at Rajouri Kadal had been completely sealed while nobody was allowed to move towards either Mirwaiz officer or Eidgah graveyard.
“Forces didn’t allow anyone to venture out of his house in old city,” the witnesses said.
The joint resistance leadership Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik had asked people to reach Eidgah where a “congregational pledge will be taken for protecting the martyrs’ blood and taking their mission to its logical conclusion.”
A spokesperson from Mirwaiz led Hurriyat said that dozens of workers of the amalgam and also many leaders and activists of Awami Action Committee (AAC) were either detained or their residences raided by the police. “We strongly condemn the authorities’ decision to impose strict curbs in Srinagar to prevent people from marching towards Eidgah,” he said. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tweeted that half of the city were put under siege to stop people from marching towards Eidgah.
Para-military troopers and police were deployed in strength to foil Eidgah rally. Wearing riot gear and carrying automatic rifles, the forces maintained a tight vigil and confined the residents indoors. Almost all the roads leading to the Martyrs’ graveyard, where Mirwaiz and Lone are buried, were sealed with barricades and spools of razor wire. At many important crossings, Forces had used armoured vehicles to restrict the movement of civilians.
Pertinently, Hurriyat Conference (M) has been observing Hafta-Shahadat (Martyrs’ Week) to commemorate the martyrdom anniversaries of Shaheed-e-Milat Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq, Hawal martyrs and 15th martyrdom anniversary of Hurriyat leader Khawaja Abdul Gani Lone.
Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani continued to remain under house arrest at his uptown residence while Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also remained under house detention.
Meanwhile, Kashmir observed a complete shutdown to pay homage to late Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq, late Abdul Gani Lone and Hawal martyrs. The shutdown call was given by joint resistance leadership. The strike call evoked complete response with shops and business establishments remain closed and traffic off the roads. The shutdown affected the life in all the districts and town of Central, North and South Kashmir. (CNS)