After top Hizbul commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Zarar, successor of Burhan Wani, was killed on Saturday in a gunfight with the security forces in south Kashmir’s Tral, the Hurriyat has called for a two-day shutdown in the Valley from Sunday.
Bhat’s killing led to protests across the Valley in which one civilian also reportedly died.
The shutdown called by the separatists is over the “use of force” against the protestors following Bhat’s killing.
The separatists have also called for a march to Tral in Pulwama on May 30 to pay tributes to Bhat and the 7 other militants who were killed in two separate encounters in the Valley on Saturday.
HERE IS ALL THAT HAPPENED
1.Sabzar, 28, was killed in a gun battle that lasted four hours in a village in Tral sub-division of Pulwama district. He was appointed successor of Wani after the latter was killed by the security forces in July, 2016.
2.The encounter in Tral began after a patrol of the Army’s counter-insurgency unit Rashtriya Rifles was fired upon near Tral town late on Friday evening. The security forces quickly laid siege to the two houses in Saimoh village where the militants had been hiding.
3.The fierce gunbattle that started in the village on Saturday morning ended when the houses the militants had been using as fortified bunkers were destroyed, police said.
4.In another incident on Saturday, the Army killed six militants after thwarting an infiltration bid in Rampur sector of the LoC in Baramulla district.
5.Authorities are struggling to prevent a repeat of the 2016 unrest, which was triggered by the killing of Hizbul militant Burhan Wani in July. Over 100 people died in the unrest.
6.State police chief S.P. Vaid had said earlier that three militants were trapped in the security force cordon, but during search operations, the bodies of only two were recovered from the debris of the demolished houses. One of the bodies – identified as that of Bhat – carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head.
7.”The bodies of Sabzar Bhat and his accomplice identified as Faizan Ahmad have been retrieved and identified”, police said.
8.As soon as the news about the gunfight spread to neighbouring villages, several protesters marched to the site of the incident and pelted stones at the security forces.
9.A civilian was killed while over two dozen protesters were injured during the clashes in Tral. According to police sources, the third militant – a foreigner – escaped from the scene amid protests.
10.Valley police chief Muneer Khan said that the civilian died in cross-firing between the holed-up militants and the security forces.
11.A spontaneous shutdown was observed in all districts and major towns of the Valley and protests started in Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Badgam, Ganderbal, Srinagar and Kupwara.
12.Public transport went off the roads throughout the Valley as people rushed home in their private vehicles while others walked long distances. Schools and colleges were also shut.
13.Over 30 people were injured in clashes at different places in the Valley. Some people reported at hospitals with pellet gunshots, according to the doctors who attended to them.
14.Curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in parts of Srinagar city till further orders, authorities said.
15.Vaid said the clashes during the day were of a “minor nature” and the situation was well under control.
16.Authorities quickly suspended Internet services in the Valley and blocked all social networking sites, which had been restored only on Friday after over a month.
17.A heavy deployment of paramilitary and police personnel has been made at all district headquarters and sensitive places in the Valley to ensure that the situation remains under control.
18.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was holding a meeting of top security and intelligence officials to ensure that the situation did not flare up like it did in the aftermath of Burhan Wani’s killing last year when over 100 civilian protesters were killed in the nearly six-month long unrest that followed.