The Jammu and Kashmir Police today directed internet service providers to block all social media sites or shut down their services in Kashmir from 10 pm today till further orders in view of the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani this weekend. The order was issued by Inspector General of police, Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan to various lease line internet service providers in the valley. “In view of the apprehensions of misuse of internet services by anti-national elements, which is likely to cause deterioration in law and order situation, you are directed to block all social media sites,” the order read. It added that if blocking of the social media sites was not possible, the service providers should shut down their services in Kashmir valley from 10 pm today till further orders.
The authorities are also likely to suspend mobile internet services across the valley as a precautionary measure. Burhan’s killing in an encounter with security forces on July 8 last year had triggered massive protests and prolonged period of curfews and shutdowns across the valley. As many as 85 people were killed and thousands of others were injured in daily clashes between security forces and protestors for a period of over four months. Security has been beefed up in the valley, especially in south Kashmir districts.
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Police and other security forces have intensified area domination to prevent assembly of people in Wani’s native village in Tral area. Separatist groups have called for a strike on July 8 to pay homage to those killed in action by the security forces against stone-pelting mobs.