A complete shutdown was observed in India-held Kashmir (IHK) on Friday to mark the fifth death anniversary of Afzal Guru, who was hanged in secrecy in a jail in New Delhi in 2013.

Guru was convicted in a 2001 attack on India's Parliament in which 14 people lost their lives. Five gunmen entered the high-security parliament complex and opened fire, killing eight police officials before they were themselves shot and killed. A gardener also died in the attack.

Guru was on death row for 11 years. His family received a letter informing them of his imminent hanging two days after he was dead, but the letter, dated Feb 6, 2013, was mailed on Feb 8, a day before Guru's execution.

According to the Kashmir Media Service, all shops and businesses in IHK remained closed and streets remained empty.

Security forces in IHK have imposed restrictions in Srinagar and some northern parts of held Kashmir, including Sopore, of which Guru was a native, to prevent people from staging anti-India protests. The train service between Baramullah and Banihal has also been suspended.

The call for the shutdown was given by leadership of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.

The JRL called for peaceful protests after Friday prayers to press their demand for the return of Guru's mortal remains, as well as those of Kashmiri separatist Muhammad Maqbool Butt, from Delhi's Tihar jail to give them a burial in IHK. Butt was hanged by the Indian government in Tihar jail on Feb 11, 1984.

The bodies of both Guru and Butt are buried within jail premises.

The JRL has also called for a shutdown in IHK on Feb 11 (Sunday) on Butt's death anniversary, and a march to the United Nations observers' office in Srinagar to present a memorandum to the UN secretary general demanding the returns of Guru and Butt's mortal remains.

Hurriyat leaders Gilani, Farooq, Malik are among others who have been placed under house arrest or detained in order to prevent their participation in events being held in connection with the death anniversaries of Guru and Butt.



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