Authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in most parts of Kashmir on Saturday after security forces killed the top militant commander, officials said.
Burhan Wani, chief of operations of Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in fighting Friday after military troops, acting on a tip, cordoned a forested village in the southern Kashmir’s Kokernag area, said Police Director-General K. Rajendra.
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- Home Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured of Central assistance to deal with the situation. In a tweet yesterday, Mr Singh said he was “Deeply anguished at the loss of precious lives“. Central forces have been sent to Kashmir.
- Amarnath Yatra remains suspended and curfew has been imposed in all 10 districts of Kashmir Valley.
- Expressing grief over the deaths, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said “disproportionate use of force for crowd control results in loss of precious lives and grave injuries which should be avoided at all costs”.
- “We are really surprised that some people are trying to support those so-called protesters who are sympathising with the terrorists,” said Union minister Venkaiah Naidu. “He (Burhan Wani) is a Hizbul commander. How can any Indian have sympathy for such people? The government will not tolerate any such activity.”
- As violence escalated in south Kashmir yesterday, 40 government offices were damaged. Four police stations were set on fire and weapons were looted in Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian. In Kulgam district, there is complete breakdown of communication and even police wireless devices are defunct.
- According to the police, 14 people died in the firing. More than 90 of those injured were security personnel.
- Despite restrictions, a large number of people gathered in Tral for Burhan Wani’s funeral on Saturday. He was killed in an intelligence-led police operation along with two other terrorists on Friday afternoon.
- Police says Burhan Wani was killed because he was planning a terror strike. Sources add that the fact that he was found in plains and not in a mountain hideout indicated that he was planning an attack.
- The 22-year-old had become the face of new militancy in Kashmir, representing the disturbing profile of young, educated local boys taking up arms. He featured in videos circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp aimed at recruiting young Kashmiri men for terror.
- Mobile internet services were blocked across the Valley on Friday. School board exams were postponed. Train services from Kashmir’s Baramulla to Jammu’s Banihal were also suspended. The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, which passes through south Kashmir, was closed yesterday.
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