SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani and Chairman JKLF Yasin Malik Saturday called for statewide shutdown on January 26.
“Kashmiris are peace loving people and have no enmity with India or its people. But until the people of this disputed region are given a chance of deciding their future, India has no right to celebrate its republic day in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a big joke with the democracy,” Geelani said in a press statement issued here.
He asked the parents, teachers, and government machineries not to “force the school children and the government employees to attend the function of 26 January”.
Paying tributes to the victims of Handwara and Kupwara, Geelani also called for shutdown in these north Kashmir townships on January 25 and January 27, respectively.
He asked the people of these towns to hold special prayers on the days.
“The strikes and shutdowns are not our hobby; we don’t want to annoy the public with this. But we are struggling for a great cause and sometimes this mode of protest becomes compulsory and we have no other option available to highlight the excesses and the cruelties of the government forces,” he said.
Geelani demanded an impartial probe into all the massacres that have taken place in the state, stating that “until the forces involved into these massacres are not held accountable, the loss of human lives will continue in this disputed region”.
Geelani criticized the police over its threat to photojournalist of a prominent English daily of Kashmir.
“There is practically police raj in the state, and the constitution and the law has been formally suspended here. It is the condition of freedom of press in the state, so one can easily imagine the condition of the freedom of expression of a common man,” he said.
Meanwhile, JKLF Chairman Yasin Malik also called for shutdown on January 26.
“The republic day of a nation that has snatched the freedom of a poor nation can never be a day of joy for the oppressed people and because of this we Kashmiris are compelled to observe this day as a black day,” Malik said in a press statement issued here.
“All kinds of transport, business centers and other activities will come to stand still and Kashmiris through their peaceful protest will convey a message to the whole world that people of Jammu Kashmir are continuing their struggle for freedom despite all oppression,” he added.