Normal life was disrupted in Kashmir due to the shutdown called by Hurriyat Conference (M) and the government-imposed restrictions in Srinagar downtown to prevent processions on the 29th anniversary of Hawal massacre and martyrdom anniversaries of Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Farooq and People’s Conference founder and Abdul Gani Lone.
Authorities imposed curbs in old city areas including Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safa Kadal, and Maharaj Gunj as a “precautionary measure” to prevent protests and march to Martyrs Graveyard at Eidgah.
Contingents of Police and paramilitary CRPF personnel were deployed in downtown and Eidgah while barricades and concertina wires were laid across the roads to prevent people from taking out any procession.
Locals said they were not allowed to visit the Martyrs Graveyard where both Mirwaiz Farooq and Lone are buried
“However, some people were allowed to offer Fateh prayers from outside the fence of the Martyrs Graveyard,” Shahnawaz Hussain, a local said.
Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had called for a complete shutdown in Kashmir to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of the Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq, martyrs of Hawal massacre and Abdul Gani Lone.
Mirwaiz Umar had called for the congregational Fateh Khawani at the Martyrs Graveyard, Eidgah and the Hurriyat leaders were supposed to address the gathering.
He criticised the authorities for disallowing people from visiting Eidgah.
“Unfortunate that even this year authorities disallow people from visiting #MazarEShuhda Eidgah to pay homage to their beloved leaders #ShaheedMillat & #ShaheedHurriyat Shaheed leaders continue to live in the hearts of their people and their life & message continues to inspire us,” he wrote on micro-blogging website twitter.
Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq, father of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was killed by “unidentified gunmen” on May 21, 1990.
The day also witnessed a massacre of around 60 unarmed civilians and injuries to hundreds when CRPF men at Hawal locality of Srinagar downtown emptied their guns on a huge procession carrying the body of Mirwaiz Farooq to Mirwaiz Manzil, Rajouri Kadal.
On the same day in 2002, Lone along with his guard were killed by unknown gunmen during a rally on the 12th martyrdom anniversary of Mirwaiz Farooq.
Mirwaiz Umar, who was placed under house arrest, reiterated to pursue the peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue and friendship between India and Pakistan.
“On the 29th Martyrdom anniversary of #ShaheedMillat and #HawalMartyrs, we reiterate the pledge that we will pursue the path shown by the visionary leader who throughout his life championed the cause of peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue and IndoPak friendship,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, a shutdown was observed in Srinagar city and other parts of the Valley in response to the Hurriyat call.
Shops and business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads in the city and elsewhere.
However, private cars and auto rickshaws were seen plying on the roads normally.