In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Afzal Guru’s 5th Anniversary,Shutdown, restrictions, protests mark day

Srinagar, Feb 09:The entire Kashmir valley Friday observed a complete shutdown on the 5th anniversary of Afzal Guru’s hanging.
The Joint Hurriyat Leadership had called for a strike in protest to reiterate their demand of the return of his mortal remains to his family.
Guru was convicted in the 2001 attack which took place on the Indian Parliament and was hanged in 2013.
Shops and other business establishments remained closed in Srinagar city while as public transport was also off the roads. Reports of shutdown were also received from other district headquarters of the Valley, including Sopore – native town of Guru.
Authorities imposed restrictions in old city areas of Srinagar, the uptown area of Maisuma and in some north and south Kashmir areas.
Senior separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq continue to remain under house arrest while Muhammad Yasin Malik is lodged in the Central Jail.
Muzaffarabad-based umbrella of militant groups called the United Jihad Council (UJC) headed by Syed Sallauddin supported the protest shutdown.
Contingents of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were deployed in the restriction imposed areas.
Train services between north Kashmir’s Baramulla town and Bannihal town in the Jammu region were suspended as a precautionary measure.
Despite strict restrictions, protesters managed to reach the residence of Guru in Sopore to offer their condolences and register their protest.
According to reports large number of contingent of police and paramilitary forces were deployment across town to avert any law and order problem.
Reports added that on early Friday morning scores of Hurriyat activists of different fictions reached Native village of Afzal Guru which includes Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party workers Peer Anayat, Engineer Farooq Ahmed Khan, Aashiq Husain, Rameez Hassan, Mohammad Amin and Abdul Qadeer.
A protest rally was also taken out there in which Hurriyat activists shouted slogans.
While despite strict restrictions in town with all entry and exit points were sealed by forces, clashes rocked post Friday congregational prayers in old area of town when group of youth pelted stones on deployed forces who in turn retaliated by lobbing tear gas shells to disperse them.
However normal life including business life remained affected in parts of Northern region of Kashmir on Friday on Hurriyat call.