Govt Restrictions Foil Eidgah March


Shutdown disruptsnormal life elsewhere in the Valley

SRINAGAR:Authorities on Thursday foiled a march to Eidgah called by the Hurriyat Conference (M) to commemorate the assassination anniversaries of Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq and Khwaja Abdul Ghani Lone. Elsewhere, life remained affected due to a shutdown called by the pro-freedom groups.

Since early morning, heavy contingents of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in Old City areas falling under seven police stations which include Safa Kadal, Nowhatta, Maharaj Gun, Rainawari, Kralhud, Zadibal and Khanyar and restricted the movement of civilians by erecting mobile bunkers and concertina wires on main squares and bridges, witnesses said.

The Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had called for Eidgah march to pay tribute to his late father Molvi Muhammad Farooq – who was assassinated by suspected militants on this day in 1990 at his residence – and Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Lone – who was assassinated by unidentified gunmen in Eidgah at a commemoration rally in 2002 on this day. More than fifty people were also killed on this day when paramilitary forces opened fire on mourners carrying the coffin of slain Mirwaiz at Hawal.

All the roads, lanes and by-lanes leading to Eidgah were sealed by police and paramilitaries and no one was being allowed to go to the area till afternoon.

Authorities had placed most of the senior Hurriyat leaders under house detention including its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq while few others were detained, a Hurriyat spokesman said here.

Earlier in the day, the joint team of police and paramilitary CRPF men resorted to heavy tear gas shelling to quell the protesters in Palhalan area of Baramulla district.

Reports said that scores of youth early morning attacked a forces convoy by stones and intercepted a policeman who was later beaten ruthlessly by the protesters.

Following the stone pelting incident and beating of a cop in the area, additional reinforcement of police and paramilitary CRPF reached to the area and fired tear smoke shells to contain the protesting youth.

Meanwhile, a shutdown was observed in most parts of the valley. Most of the schools, colleges, business establishments were shut while attendance of employees remained thin in most government offices and banks. Though private transport remained unaffected, but public traffic was mostly off, witnesses said. 

Hurriyat (M) castigate govt for imposing curbs

Says like previous regime, this Govt toohere to appease mentors

Srinagar- Hurriyat Conference (M) castigated the government for imposing restrictions to thwart march to Eidgah in connection with ‘martyrdom’ anniversaries of Molvi Mohammad Farooq, Abdul Ghani Lone and Hawal ‘martyrs.’  

“(The present dispensation) continued with the dictatorial practices of its predecessors to appease its mentors and conceal the reality of Kashmir by imposing declared and undeclared curfew in the Valley to prevent people from converging at Eidgah,” a spokesman of the amalgam in a statement said.  

Hurriyat, the spokesman said, had called for a peaceful rally at Eidgah to offer Fateh Khwani and pay tributes to the martyrs as well reiterating the complete commitment and resolve of the people towards the “freedom struggle.”

“The height of people phobia among the authorities is to the extent that even individually people were not allowed to visit the martyr’s graveyard as the whole area and all routes leading to the venue were sealed by barbed wires and heavy deployment of police and para military forces.”

The spokesman condemned restrictions and house arrests as “oppressive measures”.

“The resolve of the leaders and the people gets more and more strengthened and their commitment towards their goal reaffirmed by these measures,” the spokesman said.  

Besides Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the chairman of the amalgam, the spokesman said, authorities placed senior leaders including Moulana Abbas Ansari and Agha Syed Hassan Al Moosvi Al Safvi under house arrest.

Other party leader, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, media advisor to advocate Shahid-ul-Islam, Engineer Hilal Ahmad was arrested by police, he said.

“Police also conducted raids at the residences of Awami Action Committee party bearers including senior members Ghulam Nabi  Zaki, Mohammad Shafi Khan, Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi, Farooq Ahmad Saudagar, while dozens of activists were put behind jail.”

Meanwhile Mirwaiz thanked people for observing the strike and making “Hafta Shahadat programmes” a success. 

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