#Burhan Backlash: On Day 4, Lockdown Valley Remains on Edge



Amira Kadal by Bilal Bahadur
KL Images: Bilal Bahadur

On the fourth day of militant commander Burhan Wani’s killing, Kashmir continues to be on boil. And to contain the dissent, additional deployment has been called in to lockdown the area—especially the defiant south Kashmir which remains on edge post-Burhan killing.

So far, 23—officially confirmed—people have been left dead in an overwhelming security situation erupted after Burhan was killed in an encounter along with his two associates in south Kashmir’s Kokernag on Friday. His funeral witnessed a “record-breaking” participation of mourners from across valley.

On Monday morning, the authorities had beefed up deployments in view of a killing of a Tengpora youth last evening. The additional force was apparently called to quell any attempt of spilling clashes in city. “For the present dispensation,” says one government official, “maintaining calm in city is a major challenge.”

The Old City areas falling under the jurisdiction of six police stations remained lockdown under heavy security measures since Saturday. Under the tense situation, graffiti expressing solidarity with Burhan Wani has come up in many parts of city: “Burhan Still Alive in Our hearts”; Freedom, state of war”; “We want Azadi”.

Reportedly, many parts of south Kashmir that erupted in violent protests following Burhan’s killing are under strict lockdown on Monday.

Amid continuous clampdown in city and countryside, people are facing security bottlenecks —especially the health care professionals.

Lal Chowk 1

In SMHS, the doctors are decrying the “mounting assaults” on ambulances ferrying wounded and doctors being debarred from reaching their stations. “It is a warlike situation,” says one young surgeon at SMHS. “Hadn’t there been NGOs and some volunteers from city around, we wouldn’t have tackled this medical emergency crisis of our own.” Medicos from SKIMS and district-level hospitals are also expressing the similar concerns.

So far, the PDP-BJP government has resorted to clampdown tactics to contain the wave of defiance in valley at the moment. Yesterday, soon after the emergency cabinet meeting, the government spokesperson appealed for peace. Naeem Akhtar addressed a brief presser inside Secretariat detailing the grim situation prevailing in Kashmir. “People shouldn’t take their protest to a level where security personnel feel compelled to pull a trigger,” Akhtar, who is also education minister in Mehbooba Mufti’s cabinet, said — without taking any questions.

Later, Mehbooba Mufti appealed caged Hurriyat leadership to help restore the calm in valley.

“For us,” a senior police said, “the main challenge is to maintain calm at all costs.”

Reportedly, the government has already started sending out normalcy signals by partially resuming the suspended Amarnath Yatra.

After death of Burhan’s news flashed across TV channels and social networking sites, government clamped down on phone network in South Kashmir while mobile internet is off since late last Friday night.


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