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Kashmir tense, restrictions imposed, Amarnath yatra suspended

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Srinagar : Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in parts of Kashmir, including Srinagar city, and Amarnath yatra suspended as authorities apprehended protests in the Valley, where tension prevailed following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces.

Protesters blocked main roads and entry to interiors of the city at many places following a strike call by top separatists leaders who were put under house arrest as a precautionary measure. Public address systems were used in some places today to relay the audio messages of Wani, who had emerged as the poster boy of militancy.

Mobile internet across Kashmir has been suspended while mobile telephony services have also been restricted in south Kashmir.

A police official said the situation was by and large peaceful in most parts of Kashmir so far but Tral — the hometown of the slain militant commander — witnessed protests by residents following his killing in the encounter in in Kokernag area yesterday.

“Restrictions have been imposed on movement of people in six police station areas of Srinagar city, most parts of Pulwama district and Anantnag town in south Kashmir as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” a senior government official said.

He said the decision was taken in view of the violent protests at some places last night in these areas after the news of Wani’s death.

“A group of youths also started pelting stones towards the camps of security forces who have not retaliated to the provocation so far,” he said.

Authorities have suspended Amarnath yatra from Jammu base camp to base camps at Baltal and Pahalgam in the Valley as a precautionary measure.

The train services between Baramulla in Kashmir and Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountain range have also been suspended for the day as the trains have been targeted by mobs in the past.

Top separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik were placed under house arrest last night as they had called for a shutdown today.

The two factions of the Hurriyat had planned funeral prayers in absentia for the slain militants. Radical women’s outfit Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Aasiya Andrabi has called for a three-day shutdown.

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