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Kashmir under siege on Afzal Guru's death anniversary

Monday, 10 February 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: Srinagar | Agency: DNA

Tensions mounted on the first death anniversary of the parliament attack convict Afzal Guru prompting the authorities to impose curfew-like-restrictions and snap mobile internet services across the Kashmir Valley on Sunday.

Eyewitnesses said youth pelted stones on the security forces at several places in north Kashmir despite curfew like restrictions. Youth, eyewitnesses said, were raising slogans demanding the mortal remains of Guru who was buried in Tihar jail soon after he was hanged on this day last year.

"Some minor stone-pelting incidents have been reported from Naidkhai Sumbal, Papchan, main Chowk Bandipora, Margund Kangan and Hadipora Sopore. There are no reports of any injury to anybody so far," a police spokesman said in Srinagar.

Separatists led by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik defied restrictions and led the march in Miasuma area in Srinagar on Sunday.

Wearing black hair scarves and carrying banners, the protestors tried to march towards Lal Chowk. However, police immediately swung into action and arrested Malik and his associates to foil his Lal Chowk Chalo call.

"By executing Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru, without giving them a chance to see their loved ones and refusing them a proper burial, India has broken all the records of tyranny and oppression," said Malik.

Independent lawmaker from Langate and the architect of Save Afzal Guru resolution Sheikh Abdul Rasheed aka Engineer Rasheed was also arrested when he along with associates tried to defy restrictions to lead a protest march from Jawahar Nagar.

"Four party workers were hospitalised on account of receiving injuries due to use of disproportionate force by CRPF. Engineer Rashid along with five other workers was arrested and detained at Police station Rajbagh," said a spokesman of Er Rasheed led Awami Ithaad Party.

Earlier, authorities had imposed curfew-like restrictions in most parts of the Valley as a precautionary measure. Several separatists leaders have been taken into preventive custody while Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been placed under house arrest.

Authorities also snapped mobile internet to prevent rumor mongering across the Valley. Separatists led by Geelani have called for three days shutdown from Sunday to demand the mortal remains of Guru and JJKLF leader Maqbool Bhat who was hanged in Tihar on February 11, 1984.

Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in strength to maintain order in Kashmir. Concertina wires were placed at major road axis to prevent the people from assembling and marching in the valley. "The situation remained normal so far throughout the Kashmir Valley," the police spokesman said.

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