Geelani’s Diwali Relief, No Strike On Festival1 November 2010
Srinagar: Responding to the appeal of All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) and some Hindu organisations, Hurriyat (G) has amended its protest calendar calling off the strike on November 5 in view of the Hindu festival Diwali. APSCC chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina on October 30 had urged Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani to call off the strike call on the occasion of Diwali. “After thorough consideration, it was decided that there would be no strike on November 5 which marks Diwali festival of our Hindu brethren,” Geelani said. He said Sikhs and Pandits form an inseparable part of Kashmiri society and Muslims have religious obligation to respects their sentiments. “We are not against India because it is a Hindu state but we are against it because Indian state, without any legitimacy, has made the people of valley its slaves,” he said. Party spokesman, Ayaz Akbar told Rising Kashmir that many pandit groups living in the valley had also approached Geelani seeking relaxation in strike calendar for Diwali. “Geelani Sahib assured all the groups and subsequently the decision was taken,” Akbar said. “Geelani sahab told the delegations that Hurriyat (G) respects sentiments of all religions and believes in communal harmony,” Akbar quoted Hurriyat (G) chairman. Meanwhile, Geelani has urged people of the state to observe the ongoing week as “Jammu Martyrs’ Week in remembrance of lakhs of Muslims who were killed in Jammu in 1947”. “We should remember the biggest tragedy that Muslims of the state have faced,” said Geelani. He also appealed people to “religiously” follow the protest calendar issued in view of the US president, Barak Obama’s scheduled visit to India. “The whole world will be concentrating on South Asia and especially on India so we have to send out a message that Kashmir is a serious issue and peace will not prevail in the region until the 63-year-old issue is not resolved as per the aspirations of people,” he added.