SRINAGAR: Indian aut­h­orities on Friday shut down the internet in India-held Kashmir and sealed off the hometown of militant commander Burhan Wani, a day before the anniversary of his killing by the army, which had fuelled further unrest across the Himalayan region.

Wani, a commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, who is best known for appearing on social media in military fatigues to urge young people to join the fight against Indian forces, was killed in southern Kashmir on July 8 last year.

On Friday, police halted people’s movements in his hometown of Tral, in a bid to forestall gatherings and demonstrations, witnesses said.

A security alert has been enforced across the Kashmir Valley, with some preventive arrests made ahead of the anniversary, Inspector General of Police Muneer Ahmad Khan said.

“The alert is not only for unlawful assembly of people and rallies but also for militant strikes,” he said.

Late on Thursday, authorities ordered internet service providers to shut down data services, citing the risk of anti-India elements using social media to stir up unrest in the disputed region.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2017

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