Srinagar: ‘Resistance leadership’ on Wednesday decided to trim their weekly protest calendar to two days a week and with this nearly five month long agitation, it appears, is coming to a close. The unrest sparked by the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8 has left some 100 people dead and thousands injured and maimed and cost the state economy billions of rupees.
According to the Hurriyat sources, over five-month-long protest shutdown is likely to be called off partially.
The separatist troika of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik in a statement said they were working out “a plan for transition from weekly protest calendars to a year-long” chain of events “to consolidate our gains and build upon them in order to move ahead further”.
“The peoples’ uprising of the last six months has taken the freedom struggle forward. It has opened out the possibilities and the scope of our struggle and we have moved closer to our goal,” the statement said.
Indicating that the separatists have realised that protests and shutdowns cannot be carried on endlessly, the statement said the “way forward” now lay in “a long term sustainable strategy” that has “minimum costs for the people”.
It said the leaders were trying to reach out to all sections of the society to “discuss the idea, seek their suggestions and their assurance of participation and support to the year-long plan”.
The troika has been spearheading the valley-wide protest shutdown since July 9, a day after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed by security forces.
Initially, the separatists issued weekly protest calendars asking people to resume activities for barely a few hours in a week. This was later modified to a day’s relaxation.
The unrest — the deadliest in six years — has also left over 15,000 persons injured.
Around 150 people injured by pellets fired from pump action guns by the security forces face the prospect of permanent blindness.
Meanwhile, business and other activities remained crippled since July 9 in violence hit Kashmir valley, where traffic was also off the roads. However, traffic movement on roads has witnessed drastic improvement in the last over two weeks.
The educational institutions have been functioning only during relaxation days in the valley. However, the Jammu and Kashmir Government announced winter vacations from primary to class 8th from December 19 and for High and Higher secondary classes from December 24 in the Kashmir Valley, which is reeling under cold weather conditions.
Earlier, there were speculations that the Government would not announce any winter vacation in the Valley, where all educational institutions remained closed since July 9.
Meanwhile, the winter vacations for all educational institutes, including government and private schools, will end on February 28, 2017.
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