Valley Shut On Martyrs’ Day

Valley Shut On Martyrs’ Day

13 July 2010
The Indian Express


Srinagar: Kashmir on Tuesday observed the 79th anniversary of the Martyrs’ Day with a total shutdown. The call for hartal was given by both factions of the Hurriyat Conference, besides the militants, in memory of the 21 people gunned down by the troops of the then Kashmir ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, near the Valley’s central jail in 1931. Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had called for a march to the martyrs graveyard at Naqshband Sahib in downtown Srinagar, which was foiled by the government by clamping curfew in parts of the city. Police and paramilitary personnel had erected barricades and placed barbed wire on key roads to restrict any kind of movement. Elsewhere in Valley, the shutdown was complete with the business establishments and the shops remaining closed. The hartal was generally peaceful unlike the past few weeks, when frequent clashes between the police and people led to the death of 15 persons, including a nine year old boy and 25-year-old woman. The day of these martyrs is also observed by the state government with Kashmir having made it a gazetted holiday. J-K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah visited the graveyard at Naqshband Sahib here. He was accompanied by the Union Minister for New and Renewal Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah. A contingent of J&K Police presented the guard of honour on the occasion. Omar highlighted the sacrifices of 1931 martyrs and said that they laid the edifice for democracy, social justice and independence. Former J-K Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Congress president Saif-u-Din Soz also visited the graveyard. However, Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continued to remain under house arrest in order to prevent him from leading a procession to the graveyard. The ‘31 martyrs belong to times when there was no ‘Kashmir problem’. Killed for protesting against the autocratic Dogra rule, they have always been the focus of a tense stand-off between the mainstream political parties and the separatists. Farooq meets PM, PC, says normalcy returning to J-K New Delhi: Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to apprise them of the latest situation in the trouble-torn state. Sources said Abdullah, whose son and J&K CM Omar Abdullah is under fire for perceived mishandling of the situation in J&K, told the Central leaders that normalcy was returning to the state. Abdullah also assured the Central leaders that the state government was taking all necessary steps to keep things under control. He also informed the PM and Chidambaram about the deliberations at the all-party meeting. ENS


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