Shutdown, restriction mark 28th Hawal massacre anniversary

Normal life was thrown out of gear due to restrictions in parts of Srinagar city and shutdown in Kashmir on the 28th anniversary of Hawal massacre that witnessed around 65 civilian killings at the hands of paramilitary CRPF men on 21st May 1990.

Srinagar’s downtown remained out-of-bound for people for the third consecutive day as authorities re-imposed curbs in areas falling under jurisdictions of police stations of Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safakadal, and MR Gunj as a “precautionary measure” to prevent protests and march to Eidgah.
Heavy contingents of police and CRPF dotted the lanes and by-lanes of downtown to prevent people from marching toward Eidgah.

Paramilitary forces in riot gear erected barricades and concertina wires across roads in downtown while vehicular movement on roads through Eidgah area was disallowed.
“People were not allowed to move towards Eidgah in groups, however, some people were allowed to offer Fateh prayers individually,” a local said.

Later, in the evening, youth defied restrictions at Zaldagar area of the city and clashed with the paramilitary forces.
However, no untoward incident was reported.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for a march to Eidgah to commemorate the martyrdom anniversaries of Mirwaiz Moulana Muhammad Farooq and People’s Conference founder and Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone and victims of Hawal massacre.
Mirwaiz Farooq, the father of the Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was killed by unidentified gunmen on 21st May 1990.
The day also witnessed a massacre of around 65 unarmed civilians and injuries to hundreds when CRPF men at Hawal locality of old Srinagar emptied their guns on a huge procession carrying the body of deceased Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq.
On the same day in 2002, Lone was killed by unknown gunmen during a rally on the 12th martyrdom anniversary of Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq.
“At Eidgah Martyrs Graveyard as #YoumETajdeedEAhed as half the city has been put under severe curfew and restrictions but the commitment to carry forward the legacy of our martyrs till freedom from occupation runs deep in the heart of each one of us,” Mirwaiz Umar tweeted.
Meanwhile, a shutdown was observed in Srinagar city and other district headquarters of the Valley in response to JRL call.
Shops and business establishments remained closed while movement of public and private transport was affected.
Train services between Baramulla and Banihal remained suspended due to security reasons.
This was tenth time trains were suspended in the Kashmir valley during May.
Train services had resumed on Sunday after remaining suspended on Saturday for security reasons in the Valley in the wake of Lal Chowk march called by JRL against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Kashmir visit.
javid@risingkashmir.com

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