Mirwaiz Umar, Geelani, Malik share stage for the first time after 2008 uprising
Srinagar: Three senior resistance leaders—Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq–appeared together on a stage in Narbal, where a boy was “murdered” by the police on Saturday. The event was so unusual that it sparked off speculations about the unity in the resistance camp, a long-pending demand of the people as well as the militant leadership.
The three leaders went to Narbal separately to pay condolences to the family of Suhail Ahmad Sofi, who was shot dead by a policeman on Saturday. Umar was the first to arrive at the residence of Abdul Ahad Sofi, Suhail’s father. Minutes later, Malik and his supporters reached the place.
“The two leaders agreed to a suggestion for a joint address to a public meeting. While preparations were being made, Geelani also arrived,” a pro-freedom leader, who witnessed the developments, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that after greeting the veteran resistance leader, all pro-freedom leaders, including Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal, Javed Ahmad Mir, Hilal Ahmad War went to Jamia Masjid, where Geelani led the afternoon prayers.
After prayers, the pro-freedom leaders addressed hundreds of people at Narbal Chowk. The emotions ran high when the huge gathering shouted vociferous pro-freedom and anti-India slogans on seeing prominent resistance leadership together.
“BJP’s plan is to make Hindus dominant over Kashmiris. They want to convert Jammu and Kashmir into a Hindu state. You have to remain vigilant to defeat their designs,” Geelani told the gathering.
He said, “People have to make a choice between voting and freedom… Azadi won’t come if the hands of pro-India parties like PDP, NC are strengthened by voting for them.
“Do not support the tyrants. Do not support those who indulge in immoral activities…Do not get carried away with the false promises made by the pro-India leaders.”
The last time the trio was seen together was on August 22, 2008 during an uprising against the transfer of land to a Hindu shrine board. Geelani had addressed a mammoth gathering at martyrs’ graveyard, Eidgah while other leaders were present.
All resistance groups and other social, religious and trade organizations had united at that time. At least 64 people were killed in the uprising before the government revoked the decision to transfer land to the board.
In his address, Malik said that “killing our youth” has become a “routine job for the trigger-happy Indian forces”.
“Budding youth are a source of energy for nations but our budding flowers are been trampled by Indian occupational forces. I want to ask Indian rulers and their Kashmiri puppets that how long will this killing spree continue? Why are Indians hell bent upon pushing our young generations towards violent path by killing these young ones in non-violent peaceful struggle,” Malik told the gathering.
“Freedom is our right and our struggle for freedom will continue and nothing can deter us from marching towards freedom” he said.
The JKLF chief said non-violent political movement needs space but the “so-called democratic India is hell-bent on choking that space.”
He advised people and especially the youth to strengthen peaceful struggle and remain vigilant against the conspiracies hatched against freedom struggle.
Senior Hurriyat leader Javed Ahmad Mir, who also attended the joint programme, told Kashmir Reader the martyrdom of Suhail has given a chance to the resistance camp to come closer and take the ongoing freedom struggle to its logical end.
“Narbal residents, even the mourners, were happy to see the pro-freedom leaders sharing joint stage. Their love and their trust gave us encouragement. People want the leadership to unite,” Mir said.
A pro-freedom leader, who quit Mirwaiz led Hurriyat faction recently said that today’s events might prove to be the first steps towards the unification of the resistance camp.