SRINAGAR: Pro-freedom leaders on Tuesday thanked people of Kashmir for observing a complete shutdown on January 26.
Hurriyat Conference (G) general secretary and chairman Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Shabir Ahmad Shah, said observing shutdown on such days “is crucial to make our voice reach the world forums”.
“People boycotted India-sponsored functions. It signifies their deep-rooted pro-freedom sentiments. This shutdown should as an eye-opener for India,” he said in a statement issued here.
Shah said organising functions with the might of eight lakh forces was “nothing but a joke”.
“The forces and local administration turned the whole Valley into a virtual jail. People were subjected to severe trouble and humiliation. Even patients had to suffer a lot due to frequent frisking, which is extremely condemnable,” he said.
Hurriyat (G) spokesman, Ayaz Akbar, in a statement issued here, said the shutdown “is a referendum against the forced military occupation by India”.
“Till the last Indian solider is present in Kashmir, we will continue our freedom struggle. India has no right to call itself a democratic country or to celebrate its Republic Day until it accepts the democratic demands of Kashmiri nation and fulfils its promise of holding a free and fair referendum here,” he said.
“If India shuns its rigidity it will help in ending the prevailing political uncertainty and instability in the entire South Asian region.”
Tribute paid to slain militant
The pro-freedom camp also paid tributes to Mushtaq Ahmad Haroo, the militant who was killed in a gunfight with government forces in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday morning.
Chairman Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Shabir Ahmad Shah, said the deceased has been active in the field of “Jihad” for the last several years.
“Shaheed Mushtaq dedicated his life for a cause of freedom. We reiterate our pledge of taking the mission of martyrs forward and will not let anyone play with their precious blood,” Shah said.
A DFP delegation also participated in his funeral prayer and to express solidarity with his bereaved family.
Members of Muslim Deeni Mahaz (MDM) also participated in the funeral and visited the bereaved family.
“Mushtaq gave up worldly luxuries to fight in the way of Allah. It should be an eye opener for those who have turned materialistic. The relatives of the martyr, who are satisfied with his mission, are to be congratulated not condoled,” the party’s spokesman said in a statement issued here.
Chairman JKLF (R), Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bita Karate, said, “These martyrs serve as beacon light for those pursuing the freedom struggle.”
He prayed for eternal peace to the slain militant and expressed sympathy with his bereaved family.