Separatists, militants plan week-long protests in Kashmir to mark Burhan Wani’s death anniversary
The separatists in the Kashmir Valley have called for a week-long protest to mark the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
The programme includes a complete shutdown on July 8, the day Wani was killed in encounter last year, and July 13 when 22 Kashmiris died during protests against the regime of Maharaja Hari Singh in Srinagar in 1931.
Wani’s death triggered the five-month long unrest in Kashmir, where at least 100 civilians died in clashes with the security forces.
The protests have been planned by separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderates Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF leader Yasin Malik and more.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the separatist leadership has asked people to visit homes of slain militants on July 9. They have also asked Kashmiris, especially those living abroad, to mount a special media campaign on July 11.
The separatist protest coincides with a similar call by the United Jehad Council (UJC), an umbrella group of militant outfits, to mark Wani’s death.
With the twin programmes planned by separatists and terrorists, the Intelligence Bureau has warned of further trouble in the Valley. The Home ministry said it has prepared to handle any security challenges in Jammu and Kashmir.
The security forces who have been given a free hand to deal with the situation have already launched a major offensive called 'Operation clean up.' As part of this operation, the forces have gunned down several militants.
Official sources said the Centre has already sent over 20,500 central paramilitary personnel to the state in the wake of Wani's first death anniversary and the ongoing Amarnath yatra.
"We are prepared to handle any security challenge," a senior home ministry official said on Tuesday.
Four districts of the state – Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag – are on the boil since Wani’s killing. Over 80 youths from these area have taken to arms following Wani's killing, sources from the state had said.
The state government has announced a 10-day summer vacation in all educational institutions in the valley from July 6.