Pro-Freedom groups hold protest amid restrictions

Srinagar: Amid restrictions, leaders and activists of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Jammu and Kashmir Freedom League (JKFL), and Democratic Freedom party took out a protest march in Srinagar on Wednesday, demanding the return of the mortal remains of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Mohammad Afzal Guru. The police detained at least a dozen of them and shifted them to different police stations, including Shaheed Gunj and Batamaloo.
JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat and Parliament attack accused Mohammad Afzal Guru were hanged and buried in Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 11, 1984 and February 9, 2013 respectively.
The protesters, led by Noor Muhammad Kalwal, were carrying banners demanding the return of the mortal remains of Bhat and Guru, while marching towards Lal Chowk. However, police and paramilitary forces deployed in the area thwarted the protest march.
Noor Muhammad Kalwal, while addressing the protestors, said Muhammad Maqbool Bhat was hanged and buried at Tihar jail Delhi 32 years ago and the hanging and denying him a proper burial was a stain on justice, humanity and human values. He said the same story was repeated with Muhammad Afzal Guru and both these Kashmiris were even denied a last meeting with their families. This, he said, was indicative of the enmity of the Indian state against Kashmiri Muslims.
Kalwal said Kashmiris living around the globe were demanding the return of the mortal remains of their martyrs, and this demand was justified according to international laws and human values. India, he said, instead of repenting its criminal behavior against Kashmiris was continuing its oppressive attitude.
Earlier in the day, Maisuma and its adjacent areas faced restrictions with the police placing barricades and concertina wire on important junctions to curb public movement. Such barricades were also placed at Regal Chowk to thwart anti-India protests.

Restrictions Today
Restrictions will be imposed on Thursday in the Old City and Maisuma areas of Srinagar on the death anniversary of Maqbool Bhat.
Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Farooq Ahmad Lone said Section 144 will be imposed in these areas to maintain law and order. Pro-freedom groups have called for a strike on Thursday to protest against Bhat’s hanging while pressing for the return of his mortal remains from Tihar jail.

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