Shutdown in IOK on martyrdom anniversary of Afzal Guru

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Separatists on Thursday called for a shutdown in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru, who was executed for his involvement in the 2001 parliament attack case. Authorities imposed strict restrictions to prevent anti-government protests and rallies on the occasion.

At places in the heart of old Srinagar including Gojwara and Mashali Mohalla, Hawal, Concertina razor wire has been laid on the main roads and to block some side streets.

Security forces have been deployed in strength in sensitive areas of the city and elsewhere in the Valley to thwart any protests, the official said.

Several parts of the region were affected due to lock down observed in the memory of Afzal Guru by separatists. A report from Sopore said that hundreds of security personnel in riot gear are out on the streets as people in large numbers began visiting Guru's family in Doabgah early in the morning to share its sorrow and join a prayer meeting.

Tabasum Guru, the wife of Afzal Guru, said even after four years the government of India has failed to honour the most basic of the human rights thereby violating all the principles of ethics and human values.

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The authorities have suspended the Baramulla-Banihal rail service for the day in view of the apprehensions of law and order problems.

There will be a march towards the United Nations office in Sonawar in Srinagar on Friday.

"They (separatists) have failed to bring back the mortal remains of my father".

Slamming the Indian judicial system and political leaders for denying Afzal's mortal remains to his family members, Dal Khalsa leader, H S Dhami said, "The entire verdict was based on circumstantial evidence and Guru was hanged on basis of post-facto sentiments". They were lodged in Police Station Handwara. This has been done for security reasons following directions from the police, he said.

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