SRINAGAR: Following the Hurriyat’s call, a complete strike is being observed in Kashmir Valley today to commemorate the 33rd death anniversary of JKLF founder Maqbool Bhat who was executed in Tihar Jail.

Heavy deployment of security personnel has been made in sensitive places of Kashmir to foil any protests following the Hurriyat’s shutdown call on February 11 when the JKLF founder Bhat was executed in Tihar in 1984.

According to reports, government offices across the valley have recorded thin attendence while traffic movement was minimal on roads. All tuition centres, shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments also remained closed in summer capital Srinagar in view of the Hurriyat’s shutdown call.

Heavy security deployment has been made in all the district headquarters of the Valley as well as other ‘sensitive’ places to prevent any protests. The Hurriyat, which has been seeking mortal remains of Bhat, has asked people to stage protests.

A senior police officer said the situation has remained peaceful throughout the Valley, although a protest rally was taken out in Bhat’s native village, “We are keeping a close watch on the situation. No one will be allowed to disturb peace,” the officer said.

A native of north Kashmir’s Kupwara, Bhat went through a suspect trial in a Delhi court with basic legal assistance denied to him during the most important period of his incarceration.

His family includes his two brothers who have also died in conflict-related violence while the third one routinely serves time in prison on one charge or another. His mother, Shahmali Begum, is alive. They have also been demanding Bhat’s mortal remains.

When the judgement was pronounced against Bhat in New Delhi, he famously told the court: “I have no problem accepting the charges brought against me except with one correction. I’m not an enemy agent but I’m the enemy, enemy of Indian states occupation of Kashmir. Have a good look at me and recognise me fully well, I’m the enemy of your illegal rule in Kashmir.”

Picture courtesy: Faisal Khan

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