Disputed Kashmir has seen an explosion of protests against Indian rule since government forces shot and killed Burhan Wani a year ago.
Indian authorities imposed sweeping curfews, cut phone and internet service, and deployed thousands of extra troops across Kashmir as the region braces for mass protests marking the anniversary of a charismatic separatist leader.
Leaders who have been either confined to their houses or jailed have called for protests starting Saturday to mark Wani's martyrdom.
Kashmiri protesters gather in an alley during clashes with Indian government forces in Srinagar on July 8, 2017.
Burhan Wani, a commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen famous for appearing on social media in military fatigues to attract young people to join the fight against Indian forces, was martyred in southern Kashmir on July 8 a year ago.
While newspapers like The Hindu addresses Burhan and his likes (the local men/boys from Kashmir who have taken up guns to fight for their freedom) as "militants", other mainstream media outlets call him a dreaded "terrorist" who was killed by the army for the greater good of the nation.
In an interview on the occasion of Burhan Wani's martyrdom anniversary, he said India can not strangulate the indigenous struggle of Kashmiri people at gun point. Look the way they have imposed strict restrictions all around to prevent people from observing his death anniversary...
Witnesses said the banners of Hizb "Central Coordination Committee Srinagar" emblazoned with pictures of Burhan in centre and veteran Hurriyat leader on one side and Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin on the other have come up at the martyrs' graveyards in many areas of the restive south Kashmir. I am a realist and this will take a long time."He added, "We have relied on the military situation too much".
Pakistan and India have been in a tense standoff with an upsurge in ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration by Pakistani militants into Kashmir.
Wani's death had led to widespread protests throughout the Valley resulting in the deaths of at least 78 people with many being injured.
"If service providers find it hard to block the social media sites, then they should shut down their services in Kashmir from 10 pm on Thursday till further orders", an order issued by Khan to different Internet service providers read.
"Also, why did the PDP-BJP government in the state give compensation to his family?" he asked.
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