Shut­down in Val­ley to mark Afzal Guru’s 6th death an­niver­sary

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Region - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ■

SRINAGAR : A shut­down was ob­served in Kash­mir val­ley on a call by sep­a­ratists to mark the sixth death an­niver­sary of Par­lia­ment attack con­vict Mo­ham­mad Afzal Guru, who was hanged in Ti­har jail on this day in 2013.

Shops and other busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments re­mained closed and train ser­vices be­tween Bani­hal and Bara­mulla were also sus­pended.

Sev­eral sep­a­ratist lead­ers in­clud­ing Hur­riyat chair­man Mir­waiz Umar Fa­rooq and Syed Ali Shah Gee­lani were placed un­der house ar­rest to pre­vent them from hold­ing any protest marches ahead of the death an­niver­saries of Afzal Guru and Jammu and Kash­mir Lib­er­a­tion Front founder, Maq­bool Bhat.

Ad­di­tional troops were de­ployed in So­pore town to pre­vent un­to­ward in­ci­dents.Some sep­a­ratist lead­ers were de­tained as they tried to visit the na­tive vil­lage of Guru in So­pore.

Mir­waiz Umar Fa­rooq tweeted about ar­rest of sep­a­ratist lead­er­ship in Kash­mir. “As Mar­tyr­dom an­niver­saries of #Sha­heedAfza­lGuru and #Sha­heedMaq­boolBhat are be­ing ob­served on 9th and 11 feb au­thor­i­ties have started crack­down on re­sis­tance lead­ers and ac­tivists, I have been just put placed un­der #HouseAr­rest,” Mir­waiz wrote.

Sep­a­ratists Joint Re­sis­tance Lead­er­ship (JRL), con­sist­ing of both fac­tions of Hur­riyat Con­fer­ence and Jammu Kash­mir Lib­er­a­tion Front (JKLF), called for the shut­down to press for their de­mand that mor­tal re­mains of both Afzal Guru and Maq­bool Bhat be re­turned for burial in Kash­mir. A func­tion was held at Afzal Guru’s na­tive vil­lage in So­pore, where speak­ers de­manded that the body of Guru, which is buried in Ti­har jail should be handed over to his fam­ily. Guru was hanged and buried in­side New Delhi’s Ti­har jail on Fe­bru­ary 9, 2013.

■ Para­mil­i­tary per­son­nel stand guard dur­ing a shut­down at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. WASEEM ANDRABI/ HT

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