Kashmir Shuts, Demands Maqbool’s Remains On His Anniversary

Srinagar : Amid restrictions, Kashmir Valley Saturday observed a complete shutdown to commemorate 33rd death anniversary of pro-independence icon Muhammad Maqbool Bhat who was hanged on 11 February 1984 in  New Delhi and buried within jail premises.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) which has been ever since calling for return of their leaders mortal remains from Tihar Jail, had called for protest shutdown which evoked near total response across Kashmir Valley and Muslim dominated parts of Jammu division.

Restrictions were imposed on the movement of people in and around the native place of slain leader in Trehgam beside other sensitive areas across Kashmir.

All the shops and business establishments remained shut while transport was off the roads. The government offices and banks recorded low attendance. However, skeletal movement of private transport was witnessed in uptown areas of the City. Large contingents of police and CRPF personnel had been deployed to thwart any protests.

Maqbool Bhat, a resident of frontier district Kupwara, was hanged and buried by government of India on February 11, 1984, in Tihar jail of New Delhi. 

The call for shutdown was issued the year by joint resistance leadership that includes JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik.

Hundreds of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personal in riot gear and armed with assault rifles were deployed across Valley. 

Reports said that the forces imposed curbs in the Old City to contain protests. “They had erected concertina wires and armored vehicles were parked at various junctions and bridges of the Shehar-e-Khas,” they said.The police had also deployed its men in volatile Maisuma and Gaw Kadal localities of the City. City Centre Lal Chowk was also sealed by authorities.

Reports said that scores of people took to streets in Trehgam village of Kupwara in north Kashmir to demand mortal remains of Maqbool Bhat. Witnesses said that the protesters raised pro-freedom slogans and demanded the return of mortal remains of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder.Reports added that curfew-like restrictions were imposed in several areas of North Kashmir to foil pro-Bhat protests.

Reports of shutdown were received from all the districts of valley including Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla. Stray incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Narbal and Palhalan area of North Kashmir’s Pattan town. Reports said that two boys were arrested in Palhalan after the stone-pelting incident.

A police official said that the situation remained peaceful across Kashmir. “A protest march was taken out in Trehgam, elsewhere in Valley the day passed off peacefully,” he said.

Pertinently, authorities had detained almost all the leaders of the resistance camp either in their houses or in different police stations. 

2 Sustain Pellet Injuries In Palhalan

Two youths sustained pellet injuries during clashes between the government forces and protesters in Palhalan area of Pattan in Baramulla district on Saturday.

Reports quoting sources said that both of them were immediately shifted to a local hospital.

Earlier, clashes erupted in the area which escalated later.

They said that protesting youth were trying to march towards the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway, but were stopped by the government forces near the local government higher secondary School at Naik Mohalla resulting in clashes.

DFP Delegation Visits Trehgam

On the directions of party chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah, a delegation of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) visited Trehgam village of Kupwara distric, the native village of JKLF founder Muhammad Maqbool Bhat.

The delegation which included Ghulam Mohammad, Mohammad Ibrahim, Abdul Waheed, and other activists from Baramulla and Kupwara met the family of Maqbool Bhat and expressed solidarity with them. They also participated in the prayer meeting organised in favour of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat.

On the occasion, Shabir Ahmad Shah while talking to the family members of Maqbool Bhat over phone said, “I feel privileged to be an associate of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat. Few days before he was arrested, I got an opportunity to hold some of the meetings with him. He truly was ‘Maqbool’ and the freedom movement gained ‘Maqbooliat’ through his efforts.”

Shah assured the family that whole nation is with them and won’t let the great sacrifice of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat go waste. He said Shaheed Bhat sacrificed his life for the liberation of his nation and his martyrdom infused a new spirit in the freedom struggle.

“Shaheed Maqbool Bhat was a great hero of the nation and we’ll continue to demand the return of his mortal remains,” he said.

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