Jammu and Kashmir Valley on high alert over Burhan Wani death anniversary

Baramulla encounter: Security forces kill one terrorist in J and K's Sopore

Srinagar/Jammu and Kashmir, July 7: A day ahead of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s death anniversary, authorities have beefed up security in the Valley to prevent terrorists and separatists from observing the day. According to reports, terror outfits have plied to observe the day. Hurriyat leaders and Hizbul supreme commander Syed Salahuddin have called for a complete shutdown tomorrow and chalked out a week’s protest calendar. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday chaired a high-level meeting to review the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of Wani’s first death anniversary on Saturday.

Minister of State Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Inspector General of National Security Guard ( NSG) and other senior officers were also present in the meeting. The concerns of the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir Government have augmented as the annual Amaranth Yatra is going on in the state. The security forces and intelligence agencies are apprehending trouble in the Kashmir Valley on Wani’s death anniversary. Wani, who was the poster boy of the HM in Kashmir Valley, was gunned down in an encounter in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on July 8, 2016.

Widespread protests erupted in the Kashmir valley after Wani’s death. Kashmir Valley was placed under curfew for consecutive 53 days and it was lifted from all parts on August 31, 2016. However, the unrest continued for about five months after Wani’s death in which 78 people, including two police personnel, were killed. Considering the unrest post Wani’s death, the Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered house arrest of separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik. The Centre and the state government are leaving no stone unturned to make the annual Hindu pilgrimage secure and safe.

Providing security for this year’s yatra has been a major concern for the Home Ministry as the pilgrimage is facing a terror threat, according to an intelligence warning. The security officials, especially the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), have mobilised the highest level of security measures, including tracking systems through satellites and drones for the safe conclusion of the Yatra. Even, before the commencement of the Yatra, Rajnath had chaired a security review meeting in which Ahir, Rajiv Mehrishi, Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Joint Secretary Kashmir and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officials participated.

Ahir had earlier said the Amarnath Yatra is on the radar of Pakistan, but the Indian Government is prepared to tackle the issue. This year till June, Pakistan supported terror outfits like Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba have launched 22 attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in which 16 civilians, 57 security personnel have been killed. The security forces also 102 terrorists. The security forces got a big fish on May 27, when they killed HM ‘commander’, Sabzar Ahmad Bhat and his aide Faizan Muzaffar in Soimoh village of Tral in Pulwama District in an encounter. Sabzar was the successor of Burhan Wani. (ANI)

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