Hurriyat (G) Softens Protest Chart, Threatens Stir If Excesses Go On

Hurriyat (G) Softens Protest Chart, Threatens Stir If Excesses Go On

20 November 2010
Rising Kashmir
Ishfaq Ahmad Shah

Srinagar: In its fresh protest calendar, Hurriyat (G) has called on people to observe shutdown on November 24 and 27. The party has also proposed to build a memorial wall at martyrs’ graveyard Eidgah, Srinagar for the civilians killed in the valley this summer. Addressing a press conference at his Hyderpora residence on Saturday, Hurriyat (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani urged people to march towards Eidgah on Friday (November 26) along with a brick each for the construction of the memorial wall. Calling for complete boycott of Panchayati elections, he also threatened to Hurriyat’s protest programme if New Delhi continued to ignore the ground situation in Kashmir and the excesses at the hands of troopers go unchecked. Attributing the reduction in the number of strikes in Hurriyat (G) calendars to the feedback from people, the veteran separatist leader said, “Whenever we have to issue a protest calendar we give it after proper feedback from people. That is why we are going to reduce number of strikes in coming days.” Announcing the strike call for November 24 and 27, Geelani urged all sections of society especially transporters and government employees to observe the strike in letter and spirit. “The strikes should be observed as a custom. The Sumo drivers, transporters and government employees are also part of our struggle and I expect them to observe complete strike whenever asked to do so,” he said. Geelani said his party will continue the peaceful struggle for right to self-determination in Kashmir. “I would like to ask the critics of strike calls that are there any other alternatives? If we come to protest on roads, we are being showered with bullets. What else we are left with? 112 people have been killed in the past five months by police and CRPF men. Besides, 3520 people have been injured, 1040 have been arrested, 52 students have been booked under Public Safety Act and there are 35 political leaders who are languishing in jails,' he said. 'What should be our response towards this violence by India? Either we have to surrender and give legitimacy to the Indian military occupation or we have fight for our rights. Rather than surrendering before India, we will prefer to die,' he added. Stating that Kashmiris have opted for peaceful means of struggle after the change in world opinion about the armed movement, he said, “In every freedom movement, armed men have played their role effectively. Armed struggle was part of Indian freedom movement as well. But the 9-11 attacks have changed the world view of a genuine armed struggle so our politically mature nation opted to peaceful means which was reflected during 2008 Amarnath Land transfer agitation.” Geelani accused the state of pushing the people of Kashmir, especially youth, to the wall. “Like in the past, India is still ignoring the facts on ground. The people are being pushed to the wall. I warn India that these imperialistic policies would have disastrous consequences,' he said. The Hurriyat (G) chairman termed the appointment of interlocutors as a “delaying tactic”. Urging people to boycott the Panchayat elections, Geelani said, “Those who demand freedom have no justification for voting for those people who party to the killings, rapes, arrests and other brutal activities of Indian state in Kashmir.” Geelani also termed the five-month long agitation this year as “biggest achievement” in the history of Kashmir’s struggle. “The current struggle has given us many things. The world is recognizing our struggle. Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) supports our cause. US says that ours is a longstanding dispute. Russia which was using its Veto power against us, is now ready to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the issue,' he said. Meanwhile, hailing the statement of Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Kashmir, Geelani said, 'I, on behalf of my nation, thank Iran and its leaders and expect their support for our struggle in future as well.”


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