By Mohammad Majid Malik
Bhaderwah: A complete shutdown was observed in Bhaderwah town of Chenab valley to exhibit solidarity with the people of Kashmir valley and to pay homage to the people slain by the government forces during the past four weeks to quell a massive anti-India uprising.
The shops and other business establishments owned by a particular community remained closed in Bhadarwah and attendance of students in schools and colleges remained thin. However, there was no impact on the traffic. The government offices and banks also remained functional for the day.
A large group of youngsters held a protest demonstration at historic Jamia Masjid Chowk. They chanted slogans against the highhandedness of the government forces in Kashmir in the aftermath of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
The shutdown call was given by Anjuman Islamia Bhadarwah. “The atrocities against civilians by the government forces are increasing with each passing day. It seems that the coalition government is on a killing spree and Mehbooba Mufi is sprinkling salt on the wounds by shedding crocodile tears,” said Anjuman Islamia Bhadarwah President Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh. “To show solidarity with the suffering Kashmiri brothers and to lodge our strong protest against the pathetic attitude of Sangh-controlled government and inhuman acts of the government forces, we have called for a peaceful bandh,” he added.
Talking to media persons Abdul Hafeez Khateeb, President Bhaderwah Development Forum expressed her heartfelt condolences to the families, who lost their dear ones in the incidents of firing in Kashmir valley. He said such incidents were uncalled for and security forces must observe restrain while dealing with civilians in such a situation.
Protests and shutdown were also observed in several other parts of erstwhile Chenab valley including Doda, Kishtwar, Banihal, Thatri, Chatroo and Bhalessa. While addressing the gathering at Kishtwar, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Imam Jamia Masjid said the government forces were using lethal weapons against the innocent civilians and killing them in a planned manner. He termed the killings of Kashmiris as genocide and described it as an ethnic cleansing of a particular community. “Thousands of people were injured in open brutality from armed forces among which hundreds of people turned blind while hundreds of them became disabled with lifelong injuries,” he said and called for an end to use of lethal weapons like pellet guns on the unarmed protesters. He said that people of whole Chenab valley including Kishtwar district are “with the on-going Kashmir movement”. “The people will continue its support to on-going freedom struggle in Jammu and Kashmir.”He urged people to remain united and asked them “to fight and raise their voices against the oppression and continues occupation in Jammu and Kashmir”.