Geelani passes away: Kashmir wakes up to communication blackout, sealed roads

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Millions of residents of Kashmir Valley have woken up to a strict curfew imposed by the government forces admist a near communication blackout after Syed Ali Shah Geelani died at his home last night.

Concentrina wire and the paramilitary personnel dotted the city while civilians were not allowed to leace their homes. “The roads are sealed.There is very heavy deployment on the streets,” a local resident of Srinagar told an out-of-station Kashmir Walla reporter over a secured line. 

Except a few government-owned BSNL networks, the mobile connections were snapped at late night. The mobile internet services remain to be out of bounds in the Valley. 

“Phone services are barred, I was just on a call with my husband a few minutes back which suddenly dropped and is now out of network,” a social media user wrote at 3:56 am.

A 22-year-old resident of south Kashmir’s Pulwama said she felt desolated amid the blackout. “There is a pindrop silence on the roads,” she said. “Can’t even hear a bird.”

Police officials couldn’t be reached for comment in this story.

The Kashmir Walla earlier reported quoting family sources that Geelani’s body was taken into custody nearly at 3:30 am and was rushed for the burial near his house in Hyderpora, where he succumbed following a prolonged illness. 

Kashmir’s 8 million residents were pushed into a blanket communication blackout last in August 2019 for several months as New Delhi revoked the region’s decades-old limited-autonomy. 

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