Zones For Pandits Will Turn Valley Into Palestine: Hurriyat

8 April 2015
The Hindu
Zahid Rafiq

Srinagar: The row over the State government's nod for creation of separate zones for Kashmiri Pandits is snowballing with the separatists unanimously calling for a shutdown in the Valley on Saturday. 'The PDP has now accepted the RSS plan of creating Israeli-type settlements in Jammu and Kashmir,' Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani told The Hindu. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik issued a call for a protest on Friday and a shutdown on Saturday. He too drew parallels between the proposed zones and Israeli settlements in Palestine. All-Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar saw an attempt to 'divide the Valley along religious lines.' Pandit organisations also said the plan would divide the people. Mufti govt. faces first shutdown call Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's nod for creating separate zones for Kashmiri Pandits, which the PDP calls 'composite townships', has led to the first shutdown call in the Valley after the new government came to power. The separatists, united in their opposition to the plan, have called for the shutdown on Saturday. 'In the garb of the return of Kashmiri Pandits, a State within a State is being created. We are calling for a peaceful protest on Friday and a complete shutdown on Saturday against this ploy of the RSS and the PDP to make Kashmir the next Palestine and rob the people of their land,' Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said here on Wednesday. 'It is an RSS ploy inspired by the Israeli settlements and land-grab in Palestine which they now want to implement in Kashmir,' Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik said at a press conference here on Wednesday. Opposition political parties asked the PDP to come clear on the issue of separate zones for Kashmiri Pandits. 'The PDP is unfortunately acting as a facilitator in the grand plan of the BJP brigade to communalise and polarise the situation in J&K,' Independent MLA Er Rasheed said in the Assembly on Wednesday. 'I have lived in Kashmir for 25 years of the conflict and I do not need separate zones,' Kashmiri Sangarsh Samiti president Sanjay Tickoo said.