Police seal Lal Chowk, foil prayers for departed JKLF leader

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Srinagar: Police on Wednesday sealed off Lal Chowk, capital’s political and commercial nerve centre to foil funeral prayers in absentia for Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front co-founder and Independent Kashmir ideologue, Amanullah Khan, who passed in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Tuesday.

Police had sealed off Lal Chowk, Miasma and Budshah Chowk by placing razor wires and barricades in the wee hours in wake of JKLF’s announcement of holding absentia funeral. Hundreds of police and paramilitary CRPF personnel were deployed in the area.

The forces armed with riot gear and assault rifles didn’t allow civilians to enter or leave Maisuma while the vehicles were also not allowed towards Ghanta Ghar, Court Road and Residency Road. The restrictions resulted in halt of commercial and transport activities in the area.

To scuttle the JKLF programme, the police in an early morning raid detained front chairman Yasin Malik from his house. 

Condemning the ban on holding funeral, the JKLF chairman lashed out at PDP-led coalition and said: “Banning funeral prayers is glaring example of shortsightedness, low mentality, moral degradation and frustration of Mufti government and occupational authorities.”

“PDP ‘Nagpori’ regime has crossed every limit of oppression and has actually beaten all previous records of it. Amanullah khan like brave leaders and historic personalities are not born often, personalities like these are actually pride of nations,” he said.

Despite restrictions, the JKLF leaders took out a rally from Basant Bagh and staged pro-independence protests. Police however foiled their attempt of holding prayers and arrested many of them including Advocate Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Shaukat Ahmed Bakhshi, Noor Mohammad kalual, Sheik Abdul Rashid, Bashir Ahmad Kashmiri, Bashir Boya, Professor Javed, Mohammad Hanif Dar, Mohammad Afzal Shaikh, Imtiaz Ahmed Ganai, Ali Mohammad Bhat, Nazir Hajam, Imtiaz Ahmed,Basharat Ahmad Dar at Budshah Chowk.

A JKLF spokesman said funeral prayers were held at Trehgam, Kupwara Chowk, Hyhama, Bandipore, Hajin, Pulwama, Kulgam, Budgam, Anantnag, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Sopore etc for late Amanullah Khan.

Meanwhile, pro-freedom leader-turned-mainstream politician Sajad Gani Lone, who now is a Minister in PDP-BJP Government, joined a prayer at Sanatnagar here. Lone is married to JKLF patron’s daughter, Asma.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Lone described Amanullah Khan as a “textbook Kashmiri nationalist”. “Amanuallah Khan sahib-end of an era. Text book Kashmiri nationalist, Struggled for it all his life. Stands out as transparently honest leader,” Lone tweeted.

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