February 2016 News

J&K With JNU

27 February 2016
Greater Kashmir
Mudasir Yaqoob

Srinagar: Complete shutdown was observed across Kashmir valley and parts of Chenab valley in Jammu division on Saturday to express solidarity with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi which has been at the centre of a controversy over an event to remember Afzal Guru on his third death anniversary. Hurriyat Conference (G) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) had called for the strike to express solidarity with the arrested students of JNU, against the harassment of Kashmiri students in New Delhi and the detention of Prof SAR Geelani. The effect of shutdown call was also witnessed in the uptown areas of Srinagar city. The areas including Sonwar, Chanapora, Bemina also remained completely affected by the shutdown call. Life remained paralyzed in Srinagar with transport remaining off the roads. Petrol pumps, shops and other business establishments remained closed due to the strike. Government offices also witnessed thin attendance due to lack of public transport. Reports of shutdown were also received from other districts of the Valley. Ahsan Untoo, Chairman, International Forum for Justice, was detained by police at Press Enclave here as he tried to hold a solo protest march. Untoo was holding a banner which read: 'Brave-hearts of JNU, we are with you.' Police bundled him in a Gypsy and took him to Kothibagh police station. Baramulla town and its adjacent areas witnessed complete shutdown. Business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads. Government offices also wore a deserted look. Similar reports were received from Pulwama, Shopian, Tral, Awantipora, Pampore, Islamabad (Anantnag), Kulgam, Kupwara, Handwara, Sopore, Budgam, MagamBeerwah, Chadoora, Khansahab, Khag and Char-e-Sharief. However, no untoward incident was reported from any corner and situation remained peaceful. In Kishtwar district of Jammu division, complete shutdown was observed against the killing of a Gujjar in police firing during a demolition drive in Sarore area of Bari Brahmana early this week. Protests were also held in the town to express solidarity with the JNU students. The protesters demanded the immediate release of SAR Geelani and Kanhaiya Kumar who have been charged with sedition. Several separatist leaders including ailing chief of JKLF Muhammad Yasin Malik and spokesperson Hurriyat (M) Shahid-ul-Islam were placed under house arrest. Malik was placed under house arrest on Friday late evening. A JKLF spokesman, while condemning Malik's house detention, said that two leaders of the outfit have also been detained in police stations. 'Muhammad IshaqGanaie, District president Islamabad and Rafiq War, District President Kupwara were detained in police stations yesterday,' said the spokesman. 'The way in which Indian rulers have slapped charges of sedition on Prof SAR Geelani and JNU students and arrested them has exposed the Indian democracy. Kashmiris through an exemplary strike have registered their protest against this oppression,' Malik said in a statement. Malik, while condemning the continued incarceration of Prof SAR Geelani and others said that imposing ban on people's right to speak and think, using brute force and black laws to put people behind bars have exposed Indian democracy. Senior Hurriyat leaders including General Secretary of Hurriyat (G) and chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Ayaaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Mohammad Ashraf Laya, Mohammad YaseenAttaai, Zameer Ahmad, Hafiz MudasirNadvi, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza and others were either placed under house arrest or detained in police stations. Thanking people for observing shutdown, Hurriyat (G) said that today's strike was a clear message of the Kashmiri people against the unjust arrest of Kashmiri scholar Prof SAR Geelani, Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and other JNU students and registration of sedition charges against them. 'If the Indian government does not listen to the public demands and doesn't released them forthwith, the Kashmiri people will again take to roads and will continue to raise their voices against this injustice,' Hurriyat (G) said in a statement. It added that the voices against the wrong policies of the Indian rulers are now rising from within the country and these modest voices of today can be a 'devastating storm in the offing'. 'Today's shutdown in Kashmir was also against that section of the Indian media who always side with the oppressor instead of supporting the oppressed and who violate all the principles and values of independent journalism. This section of the electronic media of India has become the mouthpieces of the communal and fascist forces and they only know the language of hatred and anger,' it added. Nayeem Khan flays adminstration for curbs on separatist leadership: Jammu & Kashmir National Front (NF) chairman and Hurriyat Conference (G) leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan lashed out at the state administration for imposing curbs on political leaders, terming it highly condemnable. Muslim DeeniMahaz has condemned the arrest of Khalid Bashir, the Ameeri Zillah Pulwama of MDM by Kakapora police.