MUDDASIR ALI | Greater Kashmir
Srinagar, Sep 14: Massive protests rocked Amira Kadal and adjoining Hari Singh High Street and Sarai Bala here on Sunday against the alleged desecration and damage of the shrine of Hazrat Peer Dastageer Sahib at Saraibala on Saturday by paramilitary CRPF troopers.
Scores of people from Saraibala, Maharaj Bazaar, Ghoni Khan, Koker Bazaar and Magermal Bagh came on streets early morning and staged a dharna in the Hari Singh High Street Chowk against the incident.
The protesters, who included a large number of youth and women, raised pro-freedom and anti-CRPF slogans. They accused the CRPF troopers of indiscriminately beating the locals on Saturday. “They even barged into some houses at Saraibala and beat the inmates. The troopers damaged the windowpanes of many houses,” said Ghulam Rasool, a local resident.
Senior pro-freedom leaders, including the chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and the chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik, visited the shrine and strongly condemned the act. They joined the protestors in the dharna.
Addressing the people, Geelani and Malik said that no force on earth can stop Kashmiris from achieving their right to self determination.
India might use more force, but aspirations won’t die: Malik
Malik said, “Even if India put Kashmiri people to test again and again by using indiscriminate force, our aspirations for right to self determination wouldn’t die down.”
Malik said: “Kashmiri people continue to offer sacrifices to get freedom. Hundreds and thousands of people have been subjected to the custodial disappearances. Hundreds of Kashmiris are lodged in dreaded jails of India including Tihar and Jodhpur. Let India put Kashmiris to test again and again, we wouldn’t give up till our nation gets Azadi.”
Referring to the BJP’s demand for ‘nationalizing’ the Amarnath Yatra route, Malik said entire Kashmir was out on the roads seeking “Azadi.” “The BJP statement doesn’t hold any importance when Kashmir will be free,” Malik said.
Earlier Malik, joined by senior pro-freedom leaders, Javaid Ahmad Mir, advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, Showkat Ahmad Bakshi and others appealed to the international community, including United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Conference to intervene in Kashmir. “More than 50 people were killed by CRPF and police during the recent agitation and hundreds have sustained the bullet injuries. We appeal the UN and the OIC to visit the Kashmir and see for themselves how unarmed and peaceful protesters are killed and injured with impunity.”
Malik also called upon people to abide by the programme of Coordination Committee. He strongly condemned the blasts in Delhi, describing it as “barbaric act.”
No force can stop us from achieving right of self-determination
Geelani said, “Kashmir has risen to seek the right to self determination and there is no force which can stop us now from achieving this goal”.
Geelani and Malik were referring to the statement by the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, to the party’s working committee in New Delhi on Saturday that “there is also no question of pandering to or being soft on the separatists (in Kashmir).”
Geelani said, “I want to tell the people in New Delhi that it is the people’s movement in Kashmir. How many voices can the state government and New Delhi suppress by using indiscriminate force.” The government, Geelani said, had given “unbridled powers” to the CRPF and police to suppress the people. “We condemn the use of force on unarmed and peaceful protesters in Kashmir,” he said.
On Bhartiya Janta Party’s demand of “nationalization” of the entire route to Amarnath cave, Geelani warned New Delhi of “dire consequences” if any attempt was made to change the demography of the state. “We wouldn’t allow creation of a Hindu state in the disputed region of Kashmir,” he said.
Rejecting the accord between the governor’s administration and the Jammu-based Sangrash Samiti over Baltal land, Geelani said, “Instead of raising prefabricated huts and toilets, concrete structure are being constructed at Pahalgam and Sonmarg, en-route to the cave. We wouldn’t allow creation of Amarnath Nagar in Kashmir and we wouldn’t sit silent.”
While referring to National Conference patron, Dr Farooq Abdullah’s statement that even if there is five per cent voter turn out, elections should be held, Geelani said, “These are the people who live only to see their petty interests fulfilled. Kashmiri people can’t expect anything else from NC and its leaders as they have always betrayed the nation.”
Geelani condemned the blasts in New Delhi that have killed more than 30 people. “Such inhuman acts should be condemned by one and all,” Geelani said and asked people to strictly follow the program of Coordination Committee.
Curfew lifted but demos continue in VarmulHundreds of people took to the roads in north Kashmir’s Varmul district on Sunday and staged pro-freedom demonstration.
Authorities lifted the curfew from the township this morning. Curfew was imposed in the township on Friday after a youth was killed in police firing near Cement bridge.
After the curfew was lifted, residents raising pro-freedom slogans assembled in the Varmul Chowk and took out a procession. Demonstrations were on when this report was filed.
Curfew continues in ShopianThere was no relaxation in curfew in Shopian on the second day today. The curfew was imposed in the township on Friday after a youth was killed and many others injured in Police and CRPF firing.