Tight security ahead of Burhan Wani's first death anniversary



High alert has been sounded throughout the Kashmir Valley on Friday and unprecedented security arrangements put in place to maintain law and order ahead of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani's first death anniversary on Saturday.

All exams scheduled for Saturdday have been cancelled by Kashmir University, which said that new dates would be announced later.

Train services between Baramulla town and Bannihal town in the Jammu region will remain suspended Saturday, authorities said.

Curfew-like restrictions imposed in old city areas of Srinagar on Friday will continue on Saturday, said police.

Similar restrictions were imposed in Baramulla town and will continue tomorrow as well. 

An definite curfew has been imposed in Pulwama's Tral town, the hometown of Wani who was killed in a gunfight with security forces in Kokernag area of Anantnag district on July 8 last year.

Sources in state police said authorities were likely to impose restrictions in Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Sopore, Bandipora, Kupwara, Ganderbal and some other towns of the Valley to ward off protests called by the separatists on Saturday.

All separatist leaders have been either placed under house arrest or taken into preventive custody.

Burhan Wani had become the poster boy of militancy in the Valley and no other militant commander's death evoked such mass violence in Kashmir since 1989 when the ongoing cycle of armed violence started here.

As many 94 civilian protesters lost their lives in clashes with the security forces during the unrest and violence triggered by his killing last July.

Over 200 other civilians lost vision either partially or completely because of pellets fired by the security forces to contain unruly mobs.

The unrest continued for 53 days during which everything from normal life, businesses, tourism, education and even routine governance came to a grinding halt in Kashmir.

Alarmed by the events of last year, the Union Home Ministry has sent over 20,000 additional central armed forces to augment the existing security set-up in the Valley.

To keep the militants at bay, a multi-layered security set-up drawn from the army, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the state police is manning the 286-km-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway which is the lifeline of supplies to the Valley and the only road link used by the pilgrims of the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.

People deserted streets earlier than usual on Friday in uptown Srinagar and other district headquarters as public transport also disappeared from roads while security forces were present in force on traffic crossings, outside sensitive installations and other law and order vulnerable places. - IANS