Srinagar: Fearing large scale violence after Friday prayers in Kashmir, which has been gripped by a wave of violence since last Friday after the killing of Hizbul Mujahiden militant Burhan Wani, authorities have clamped curfew in all the 10 districts of the Valley.
To prevent the spread of passion-stoking rumours and posts on social media by anti-social elements, authorities have decided to continue the suspension of all internet and mobile phone connectivity in the entire Valley.
Also, additional paramilitary troops have been rushed by the Centre to assess the state to come out of the ongoing cycle of violence that has deeply affected normal life.
For the last six days, mobile phone operations and internet connectivity had been suspended in South Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Shopian, Khugam and Pulwama.
Officials said that limited mobile phone connectivity will, however, continue on phones of one service provider in the Valley. This has been done because all state government officials have been provided mobile phones of a particular company and their operations is important to coordinate the law and order maintenance during the day.
So far, 37 persons, including 36 civilians and a local policeman have died in clashes between security forces and unruly mobs those hit the roads after Wani’s killing in Bamdora village of Kukarnag area of Anantnag district on last Friday.
On Thursday, a mob torched the house in Bamdora village where Wani was killed by security forces. Eight other houses in the village were also torched by the mobs.
Confirming the incident, ADG of police (Crime Investigation Department), SM Sahai, said the house had been torched by some angry protesters. However, the motive behind the attack is yet to be officially ascertained.
Locals say that the attack on the house by security forces in Bemdora village was a targeted one and that Wani could’ve been taken alive but was killed after being identified.
An orchard belonging to a local entrepreneur who had set up a Rs 5 crore dream project of high yielding apple trees in Bamdora village was also felled by the mobs. The entrepreneur had been praised by the state Chief Minister Mahbooba Mufti on the floor of the state legislature during its recent session for trying to take Kashmir horticulture to new heights.
Sporadic clashes continued at over a dozen places yesterday when curfew defying stone-pelters engaged with security forces. No fresh incident of firing was reported from anywhere in the valley on Thursday.
All senior separatist leaders have been placed under prevented detention by police in Srinagar.
Amarnath Yatra remains suspended
The annual Amarnath Yatra was suspended on Friday because of the prevailing law and order situation in Kashmir Valley, officials said.
"No yatri was allowed on Friday to move from Bhagawati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu city towards the valley," a senior police official said.
"The situation will be reviewed in the afternoon and a call will be taken on whether or not the movement of the pilgrims should be allowed on Friday," the official added.
The annual Amarnath Yatra started on July 2 this year and so far around 1,45,000 pilgrims have had 'Darshan' inside the Cave Shrine situated 3,888 metres above the sea level.
Despite heightened tensions in the Valley because of the killing of Wani, local Muslims have been lending a helping hand to the pilgrims in performing the yatra.
Local Ponywallahs, taxi operators, roadside tea stall owners, porters and the common man in the valley were ensuring that the yatra was not affected because of the prevailing law and order situation in Kashmir.