Posts Tagged ‘Indian-controlled Kashmir’

Kashmir on a knife edge once again after security forces kill three youths

June 22, 2010

By Andrew Buncombe in Delhi, The Independent/UK, June  22, 2010

Indian police chase protesters in Srinagar on Sunday;
AP

Indian police chase protesters in Srinagar on Sunday

Kashmir is boiling again. The killing of three young men by security forces in the past ten days has ratcheted up tension and sent hundreds of demonstrators into the streets.

The Indian authorities have responded by deploying thousands of police and paramilitary forces.

Yesterday, the city of Srinagar, capital of the Kashmir valley, was brought to a standstill as separatists called yet another strike to protest against the killing of the young Muslim men. Police have imposed a strict curfew in an effort to halt the demonstrations that have reverberated around the city. The most recent protests date from June 11 when a 17-year-old student was killed by police as they fired at demonstrators during a routine protest in the city.

Continues >>

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Protests over Kashmir rapes enter Day 6

June 7, 2009

Rashid Ahmad, Hindustan Times/India, June 7, 2009

Srinagar

After relative calm since the Assembly polls in December, pro-freedom calls returned to Kashmir this week.

On Saturday, demonstrations and clashes between police and protestors filled the streets of a paralysed Kashmir for the sixth day. Several were injured as protestors clashed with police and CRPF at Nowhatta, Jamia Masjid, Rajouri Kadal, Nowgam, Chanpora and Manchwa areas.

This time, it began with the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian town, 60 kilometres south of Srinagar.

Nelofar (23) and her sister-in-law Asiya (17) went missing on the evening of May 29. Their bodies were recovered from a nearby stream on May 30.

Police and administration said the women had drowned but residents and relatives of the women accused security force personnel of raping and killing them.

The bodies were found just yards away from a CRPF formation and the headquarters of district police lines. The headquarters of district police lines is also located in the vicinity.

Nelofar’s husband, Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar, said, “The bodies were recovered on the edge of the stream, not from the water. Both the bodies were half-naked and they had bruises all over.”

The deaths provoked massive protests in the town, which later spilled over the other parts of the Valley.

Separatist leaders called for total shutdown on June 1 and demanded that Indian troops be withdrawn from Kashmir. The call found takers all across the valley with massive violent protests in favour of azadi and against India.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who faced severe flak for saying the women were not raped and murdered, has ordered a judicial probe.

With Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani calling for continued demonstrations and protest marches on Saturday, the uncertain situation is likely to continue in Kashmir.

Several separatist leaders were also arrested on Saturday.

Mumbai atrocities highlight need for solution in Kashmir

November 30, 2008

    Jihadi groups will exploit Muslim grievances unless peace can be brought to the troubled state

  • guardian.co.uk, Sunday November 30 2008 00.01 GMT
  • The Observer, Sunday November 30 2008

Three weeks ago, in the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar, I met a young surgeon named Dr Iqbal Saleem. Iqbal described to me how on 11 August this year, Indian security forces entered the hospital where he was fighting to save the lives of unarmed civilian protesters who had been shot earlier that day by the Indian army. The operating theatre had been tear-gassed and the wards riddled with bullets, creating panic and injuring several of the nurses. Iqbal had trained at the Apollo hospital in Delhi and said he harboured no hatred against Hindus or Indians. But the incident had profoundly disgusted him and the unrepentant actions of the security forces, combined with the indifference of the Indian media, had convinced him that Kashmir needed its independence.

I thought back to this conversation last week, when news came in that the murderous attackers of Mumbai had brutally assaulted the city’s hospitals in addition to the more obvious Islamist targets of five-star hotels, Jewish centres and cafes frequented by Americans and Brits. Since then, the links between the Mumbai attacks and the separatist struggle in Kashmir have become ever more explicit. There now seems to be a growing consensus that the operation is linked to the Pakistan-based jihadi outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba, whose leader, Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, operates openly from his base at Muridhke outside Lahore.

This probable Pakistani origin of the Mumbai attacks, and the links to Kashmir-focused jihadi groups, means that the horrific events have to be seen in the context of the wider disaster of Western policy in the region since 9/11. The abject failure of the Bush administration to woo the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan away from the Islamists and, instead, managing to convince many of them of the hostility of the West towards all Muslim aspirations, has now led to a gathering catastrophe in Afghanistan where the once-hated Taliban are now again at the gates of Kabul.

Meanwhile, the blowback from that Afghan conflict in Pakistan has meant that Asif Ali Zardari’s government has now lost control of much of the North West Frontier Province, in addition to the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, while religious and political extremism flourishes as never before.

Pakistan’s most intractable problem remains the relationship of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) over the last 25 years with myriad jihadi groups. Once, the ISI believed that they could use jihadis for their own ends, but the Islamists have increasingly followed their own agendas, to the extent that they now feel capable of launching well-equipped and well-trained armies into Indian territory, as happened so dramatically in Mumbai.

Visiting Pakistan last week, it was clear that much of the north of the country was slipping out of government control. While it is unlikely that Zardari’s government had any direct link to the Mumbai attacks, there is every reason to believe that its failure effectively to crack down on the country’s jihadi network, and its equivocation with figures such as Hafiz Muhammad Syed, means that atrocities of the kind we saw last week are likely to continue.

India meanwhile continues to make matters worse by its ill-treatment of the people of Kashmir, which has handed to the jihadis an entire generation of educated, angry middle-class Muslims. One of the clean-shaven boys who attacked CST railway station – now named by the Indian media as Mohammad Ajmal Mohammad Amin Kasab, from Faridkot in the Pakistani Punjab – was wearing a Versace T-shirt. The other boys in the operation wore jeans and Nikes and were described by eyewitnesses as chikna or well-off. These were not poor, madrasah-educated Pakistanis from the villages, brainwashed by mullahs, but angry and well-educated, middle-class kids furious at the gross injustice they perceive being done to Muslims by Israel, the US, the UK and India in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kashmir respectively.

If Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is the most emotive issue for Muslims in the Middle East, then India’s treatment of the people of Kashmir plays a similar role among South-Asian Muslims. At the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the state should logically have gone to Pakistan. However, the pro-Indian sympathies of the state’s Hindu Maharajah, as well as the Kashmiri origins of the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, led to the state passing instead to India – on the condition that the Kashmiris retained a degree of autonomy.

Successive Indian governments, however, refused to honour their constitutional commitments to the state. The referendum, promised by Nehru at the UN, on whether the state would remain part of India, was never held. Following the shameless rigging of the 1987 local elections, Kashmiri leaders went underground. Soon after, bombings and assassination began, assisted by Pakistan’s ISI which ramped up the conflict by sending over the border thousands of heavily armed jihadis.

India, meanwhile, responded with great brutality to the insurgency. Half-a-million Indian soldiers and paramilitaries were dispatched to garrison the valley. There were mass arrests and much violence against ordinary civilians, little of which was ever investigated, either by the government or the Indian media. Two torture centres were set up – Papa 1 and Papa 2 – into which large numbers of local people would ‘disappear’. In all, some 70,000 people have now lost their lives in the conflict. India and Pakistan have fought three inconclusive wars over Kashmir, while a fourth mini-war came alarmingly close to igniting a nuclear exchange between the two countries in 1999. Now, after the Mumbai attacks, Kashmir looks likely to derail yet again the burgeoning peace process between India and Pakistan.

Kashmir continues to divide the establishment of Pakistan more than any other issue. Zardari might publicly announce that he doesn’t want to let Kashmir get in the way of improved relations between India and Pakistan, but Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is officially banned, continues to function under the name of Jama’at al-Dawa, and Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed continues openly to incite strikes against Indian and Western targets. At one recent meeting, he proclaimed that ‘Christians, Jews and Hindus are enemies of Islam’ and added that it was the aim of the Lashkar to ‘unfurl the green flag of Islam in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi’.

Sayeed also proclaims that the former princely state of what he calls ‘Hyderabad Deccan’ is also a part of Pakistan, which may explain the claim of responsibility for the attacks by a previously unknown group named the Deccan Mujahideen. It is clear Sayeed appears to operate with a measure of patronage from the Pakistani establishment and the Zardari government recently cleared the purchase of a bulletproof Land Cruiser for him. When Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, was yesterday asked on Indian TV whether Pakistan would now arrest Sayeed, he dodged the question answering: ‘We have to recognise that there are elements in every society that can act on their own.’

In the months ahead, we are likely to see a security crackdown in India and huge pressure applied to Pakistan to match its pro-Indian and pro-Western rhetoric with real action against the country’s jihadi groups. But there is unlikely to be peace in South Asia until the demands of the Kashmiris are in some measure addressed and the swamp of grievance in Srinagar somehow drained. Until then, the Mumbai massacres may be a harbinger of more violence to come.

• William Dalrymple’s Last Mughal won the Duff Cooper Prize and the Crossword Indian Book of the Year prize.

Undeclared curfew imposed in occupied Kashmir

November 24, 2008
The News International, Nov 23, 2008
SRINAGAR: The authorities in occupied Kashmir have been continuing to keep the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other Hurriyet leaders including Maulana Abbas Ansari, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi, Fazl Haq Qureshi and Bar President, Mian Abdul Qayoom under house arrest and resorting to strict measures to thwart the March towards Ganderbal.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the call for the March has been given by the Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee on the occasion of holding of 2nd phase of shame polls by the occupation authorities in six constituencies of Ganderbal and Rajouri districts.

Except these constituencies, undeclared curfew has been imposed in the entire Kashmir Valley and roads leading to Ganderbal have been sealed.

Heavy deployment has been made in Srinagar and other major towns of the Valley. All roads leading to Ganderbal have been sealed with barbed and razor wires and barricades.

The police and paramilitary personnel have been forcing people to remain indoor and patrolling the deserted streets to foil any attempt by Kashmiri people to assemble for the march.

In view of strict restrictions imposed by the authorities and a general strike called by the Coordination Committee, all shops and business establishments are closed.

The residents complained that security personnel are not allowing them to come out of their houses.

Indian-controlled Kashmir:Kashmir votes as separatists protest, urge boycott

November 18, 2008

Protesters, police clash as polls open in Indian Kashmir amid separatist boycott call

AIJAZ HUSSAIN
AP News

Nov 17, 2008 12:26 EST

Large crowds voted in some towns in Indian Kashmir on Monday while protesters clashed with police in others as state elections began amid boycott calls by Muslim separatists.

The elections — to be held in phases over more than a month in an attempt to avert violence — come after some of the worst protests against Indian rule in the country’s only Muslim-majority state and a crackdown on separatist leaders who oppose the polls.

“You can’t have free and fair elections in the presence of hundreds of thousands” of occupying forces, said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a key separatist leader who has been under house arrest for three days.

Separatists say the elections will only entrench New Delhi’s hold on the troubled Himalayan region.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where most people favor independence from India or a merger with Pakistan. The region is divided between the two countries and both claim it in its entirety.

Despite the calls for a boycott, long lines of voters stretched around polling booths in several towns north of the capital, Srinagar.

Overall, about 55 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots Monday, said B.R. Sharma, the state’s chief election officer.

But it varied from district to district. In many Muslim-dominated areas, turnout was so low that paramilitary soldiers and police outnumbered voters.

In Bandipore, a town 40 miles north of Srinagar, police fired tear gas at dozens of protesters, local police official Mohammed Yousuf said. Two people were detained and one was injured, he said.

More than 30 separatist leaders who called for an election boycott have been detained in recent days under a law that allows police to hold people for up to two years without trial.

The recent pro-independence demonstrations were the largest in Indian Kashmir in two decades. They were met with a tough crackdown by government forces, and at least 48 people were killed.

The elections are being staggered to allow the government to deploy thousands of security forces in each area.

Police said they feared more unrest, particularly from militant separatist groups, although insurgents have vowed not to use violence to enforce the boycott. Campaigning was mostly peaceful.

Militant separatist groups have been fighting since 1989 to end Indian rule. The uprising and subsequent Indian crackdown have killed about 68,000 people, most of them civilians.

Source: AP News

Indian-controlled Kashmir: Candidates face peoples’ wrath across valley

November 17, 2008

Kashmir Watch

Srinagar: Congress candidate for Ganderbal, had to face the public fury when people at Zakura disrupted his public rally by hurling stones at him and his party workers. Reports reaching PBI substantiate that Congress candidate Sheikh Ishfaq had to address an election rally at Zakura on Sunday afternoon. However, when he reached the venue, the local residents disrupted the rally by stoning the party activists who were accompanying Sheikh Ishfaq. This created a panic among the party workers and they retaliated the stone pelting by throwing stones and other things at the houses of local residents.

Sources told PBI that supporters of Sheikh also hurled stones at a mosque and as a result window panes of the mosque were broken. Eyewitnesses told PBI that the damage to the panes of mosque infuriated the entire population of the locality who came out of their homes and tried to attack the congress party workers along with their leader Sheikh Ishfaq.

However, Police and CRPF personnel, present at the time, safely removed Sheikh’s supporters from the spot.

Meanwhile, angry inhabitants of Dardasun Kralpora Kupwara, pelted stones at independent candidate for Kupwara assembly constituency, Shabnam Lone and her party workers when they tried to organize an election rally at Dardasun on Sunday. Shabnam had to take on heels from the spot.

Several party workers were reportedly injured. Three vehicles also suffered damage in the stone pelting. Later police arrested one person identified as Farooq Ahmad of Kralpora.

In another similar incident, Qaiser Jamshed Lone of NC faced public fury at Kalaroos when people disrupted his election rally by throwing stones at the participants of the rally. Qaisar escaped the spot under police cover.

Posted on 16 Nov 2008 by Webmaster

Police arrest Kashmiri leader over anti-poll rally

October 24, 2008

REUTERS
Reuters North American News Service

Oct 23, 2008 02:33 EST

SRINAGAR, India, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Indian police arrested a Kashmiri separatist leader in an overnight raid after he led a rally urging people to boycott forthcoming state elections in the disputed Himalayan region, police said on Thursday.

Multi-stage state elections are due to start on Nov. 17 in Kashmir, where the past two months have witnessed some of the biggest anti-India protests since a separatist revolt against New Delhi’s rule broke out in 1989.

Yasin Malik, chief of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front who started an anti-election campaign in north Kashmir on Wednesday was detained at his house in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse scores of demonstrators protesting against the arrest.

Kashmir’s main separatist alliance the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, which is demanding an end to Indian rule in the region, has called for a complete boycott of the elections scheduled to be held in seven phases.

There had been pressure to suspend the elections, due this year, after at least 42 people were killed by security forces and more than 1,000 wounded in anti-India protests.

“New Delhi is trying to project the election as an alternative solution to Kashmir, but we will not allow it to happen,” Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told reporters. “We appeal to the people to boycott the elections.”

The government has announced a ban on public meetings of five or more people for one month.

There will be a massive deployment of security forces across the strife-torn region during the poll.

In the past, separatist guerrillas have attacked candidates, polling stations, party workers and rallies during elections, killing scores of candidates and workers.

But early this year, United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-based militant alliance fighting Indian troops in Kashmir, rejected the use of violence to force a boycott of elections.

Violence involving Indian troops and separatist guerrillas has declined significantly since India and Pakistan, which both claim the region, began a slow-moving peace process in 2004. (Reporting by Sheikh Mushtaq; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Alex Richardson) (For the latest Reuters news on India see in.reuters.com, for blogs see blogs.reuters.com/in)

Source: Reuters North American News Service

When Will India Quit Kashmir?

October 20, 2008

Kashmir Watch, Oct 19, 2008

Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal

After protesters thronged to United Nations Military Observer Group office in Srinagar demanding the resolution of Kashmir dispute, as it is already known, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is planning to visit India towards the end of this month or in early November.  Another important move in this regard is that United Nations Secretary General has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Major General Kim Moon Hwa of the Republic of Korea as Chief Military Observer in the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). Major General Kim will replace Major General Dragutin Repinc of Croatia.

The historic opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote roads for trade would be supplemented by some more bold initiatives to facilitate Kashmir resolution process, both on bilateral and internal fronts. Kashmir resolution process involves not only various shades of political opinion but all sections of the society. In a historic decision, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu (CCIJ) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AJKCCI) on Oct 14 formed a 32-member joint chamber of commerce. But the cross-LoC trade cannot be an alternative to Kashmir solution.

The latest developments in the State offer Government of India an opportunity to reinforce its resolve of working through peaceful means and through public participation towards the resolution of the problem.

Freedom Leader Geelani

Calling for a complete shutdown on October 24, the United Nations Raising Day, the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Saturday urged masses to send emails, letters, faxes, telegrams and SMS to the UN’s New York headquarters to press for granting Right to self determination (RSD) to people of Kashmir to determine their fate.

Indian Terrorism

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed claimed the State had started witnessing continuous changes of great importance and substance after the 2002 elections transforming its ground scenario positively and this had resulted in consistent increase of public participation in the democratic processes and his party contributed to it. Let that be. But he should enter now the freedom movement by actively involving himself with the freedom leaders fully committed to the cause of full and complete freedom from foreign occupation.

An international organization research on the Kashmir conflict, 7thspace.com, to assess experiences with violence and mental health status among the conflict-affected Kashmiri population, has reported that 85 per cent of Valley population have confrontation with the violence while 66 percent have witnessed torture. The survey reported that the civilian population in Kashmir is exposed to high levels of violence, as demonstrated by the high frequency of deliberate events as detention, hostage, and torture. Respondents reported frequent direct confrontations with violence since the start of conflict, including exposure to crossfire (85.7%), round up raids (82.7%), the witnessing of torture (66.9%), rape (13.3%), and self-experience of forced labor (33.7%), arrests/kidnapping (16.9%), torture (12.9%), and sexual violence (11.6%).The survey found high levels of psychological distress that impacts on daily life and places a burden on the health system. Ongoing feelings of personal vulnerability (not feeling safe) were associated with high levels of psychological distress. Over one-third of respondents were found to have symptoms of psychological distress, women scored significantly higher. A third of respondents had contemplated suicide.

India Destroys Medicinal Fauna of Kashmir

Kashmir is infested with Indian terror forces, agents and pro-India elements sabotaging the cause of freedom. India argues it has every right to heavily militarize Jammu Kashmir and kill the Kashmiri Muslims stock and barrel. Around 60,000 troops are posted in the Gurez which has a habitation of only 30,000 people. The ecology of Gurez is under threat as the army troopers deployed in the border area have been accused of vandalizing the environment by extracting valuable medicinal plants and minerals. Gurez has got vast resources of precious and costly medicinal plants and minerals, which were extracted legally by the locals till 1989 when armed rebellion broke out in Kashmir. After the turmoil, thousands of soldiers were deployed in Gurez and they continue to man each and every ridge.

The locals said that valuable medicinal plants like Kuth (Saussurea cosstus), Diosoriea (Dioscorea deltoidea), Mushki Bala( Veleriana wallichii) Guchies (Morchella esculenta), Black Zeera, Artimesia, Bellodona, Podophyllum (Banwangon) are found in abundance in Gurez. They said that had these natural resources been extracted by the state administration with the help of locals, the economy of the border area would have received a boost. They, however, alleged that the troopers are illegally extracting the natural resources, posing ecological and economic threat to the border area.  “There are legal, scientific and technological methods to extract the medicinal plants from the forests. However, troops during illegal extraction are not following these methods and destroy the precious and costly medicinal plants for their monetary benefits,” they said. “We were exporting medicinal plants legally worth crores of rupees to other parts of India and world before start of militancy. After the deployment of army personnel in Gurez, peaks encumbered with medicinal plants and minerals are now on the verge of extinction.

Continued . . .

No freedom in Kashmir

October 9, 2008

Kashmir Watch

It  is about time that New Delhi stopped treating the crisis in Kashmir as a law and order issue and began to address the many genuine grievances that Kashmiris have against Indian rule in the Valley. A two-day curfew, the arrest of key Kashmiri leaders and the deployment of thousands of soldiers and other security personnel may have put paid to plans of holding a massive freedom rally in Srinagar on Monday, but this triumph is bound to prove short-lived for the administration. So long as state repression continues and India keeps up its present troop levels in the territory, it is unlikely that the protests, which have been continuing since June, will die down. The protests were originally linked to the disputed allotment of several hectares of land for accommodating Hindu pilgrims. But these massive demonstrations have now come to reflect the general resentment that the Valley’s largely Muslim population harbours towards the Indian authorities. Equally disturbing are the communal overtones that these protests have acquired.

India must recognise that it is a popular uprising and not a Pakistan-backed insurgency that it is dealing with in Kashmir. It can no longer point the finger of blame at Islamabad. The situation today is completely different from the events of yesteryear, when the popular Kashmiri revolt of 1989 was virtually hijacked by extremists who sought to give the struggle a religious hue. India, instead of cashing in on a period of relative peace in Kashmir following Islamabad’s about-turn on certain security polices post-9/11, has done little to assuage the political and economic woes of the Kashmiris or repeal the draconian laws that govern their lives. Nor has there been feasible progress on finding a solution along with Pakistani and Kashmiri leaders to a festering territorial dispute.

Whether New Delhi likes it or not, the Kashmir question is becoming internationalised more than ever before. With Pakistan safely on the sidelines, the pressure is mounting on the Indian authorities to deal with issues that are leading to anger and may be a factor in India’s home-grown militancy. However, coming down with a heavy hand on the freedom of assembly and speech in Kashmir can hardly be effective. It will breed greater resentment besides making India’s democratic credentials suspect in the eyes of the world community. A well-defined political solution, acceptable to the Kashmiris, is the need of the hour if further alienation of the Valley’s inhabitants is to be prevented.

[Editorial note-Dawn-October 8, 2008]

Kashmiri leader: Resume normal life

October 7, 2008

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Coordination Committee Would Meet On Oct 8 To Decide Future Course Of Action; ‘Curfew Is A Moral Victory Of People’

Srinagar, Oct 6: Urging people to resume normal activities from Tuesday if the curfew restrictions are lifted, Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Monday said  the “Indian response to the Lal Chowk march has conveyed to the world how even the peaceful protests are crushed in Kashmir.”

Mirwaiz, who is senior member of the Coordination Committee (CC) spearheading the present pro-independence struggle in the Kashmir Valley, said the Committee is meeting on October 8 to discuss the future course of action.

Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir that the stringent curfew imposed by the authorities ahead of October 6 march was a “moral victory of the people.” He said the CC had urged people to demonstrate peacefully and not to shout any provocative slogan.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed the imposition of curfew as “Martial Law” and “sheer frustration of the government.”

“We were going to hold the peaceful protest at Lal-Chowk but it was thwarted by the imposition of curfew. These restrictions ahead of our march are unjustified and undemocratic,” Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir by phone.
He said the pro-freedom leaders were either arrested or kept under house arrest. “Even people all across the valley were subjected to house arrest.”

Mirwaiz said that rally was a mere means of registering protests and demanding our right to self-determination. “It was not going to be a referendum. People have already shown what they want in huge rallies in August,” he said.

The Hurriyat chairman said that it was the moral victory of people as they made themselves heard at the international level. “On one hand India calls itself a democratic country but on another hand there is no room for expressing one’s views,” he said.

He condemned the imposition of harassment and restrictions on the movement of journalists in Srinagar and elsewhere.

Mirwaiz said Co-ordination Committee will meet on October 8 to decide the future course of action. The Hurriyat members are later expected to welcome a 15-member AJK chamber of commerce and Industry delegation on Thursday.

Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani also condemned the clamping of curfew in Valley ahead of the march.

“The protests were going to be peaceful so the administration’s decision to impose restrictions is unjustified and uncalled for,” Geelani told Greater Kashmir by phone.

He said it was not the protesters but the police and CRPF troopers that resorted to violence and used brute force against the unarmed civilians in the past three months which resulted in the death of more than 60 persons.

Terming the curfew “as an act of state terrorism”, Geelani said, “Even those who possessed curfew passes issued by the state administration were not honored by the troopers.”

Geelani said the coordination committee was aware of the problems faced by traders, students, and therefore has decided to call off the strike from Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Hurriyat Conference Provincial President Nayeem Ahmad Khan while condemning the detention and arrests of the Hurriyat leaders said India cannot suppress the ongoing struggle use force or placing restrictions.

“India has intensified atrocities on Kashmiri people and dozens of innocent peaceful marchers including senior Hurriyat leader, Sheikh Abdul Aziz were killed in indiscriminate firing by troops in last two months,” Khan said.

Khan said that people were going to hold the peaceful demonstrations at Lal Chowk as was done earlier. “India does not want Kashmiris to be heard at international level. But the issue has already caught the international attention and the Indian literate class was now opening supporting the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” he said.

Meanwhile, a CC spokesman said despite curfew restrictions, people in different areas staged peaceful demonstrations.

He said the call for Lal Chowk chalo was given as on this very place first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had promised the people of the Jammu and Kashmir that they would be given the right to choose their destination. ‘’We just want the world to know that we are demanding what we were promised by the first Prime Minister,’’ he said.

He also condemned the house-arrest of senior Hurriyat leaders, including Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others, besides detaining more than 100 senior and other leaders.


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