Hurriyat (G), JKLF call for strike on Saturday

By Fazil Qayoom
Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (G) has called for sit in protests on Friday and a general strike on Saturday in protest against the detention of former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani and the crackdown on Jawarharlal Nehru University (JNU) students for organizing an event on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru on February 9.
Addressing media at his Sanat Nagar residence, senior pro-freedom leader Shabir Ahmad Shah said that people will organise peaceful sit-in protests in their respective areas on Friday and observe a strike the next day. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front too has called for a strike on Saturday.
Shah addressed the media as Huriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani is in New Delhi.
“A media trial has been started against SAR Geelani which is intolerable. He (SAR) did nothing seditious,” Shah said.
Shah also called for an end to “witch hunting” of Kashmiris studying in various Indian states after the JNU crackdown.
“Authorities by resorting to such tactics are trying to ruin the future of our children,” he alleged.
“Parents of many students studying in various Indian states have approached us. They expressed apprehensions regarding their safety,” Shah said.
Asked about youths taking up arms for freedom struggle, Shah said, “The armed struggle is part of the ongoing freedom movement.”
Shah, who is chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) that is a constituent of Geelani-led Huriyat, also condemned death threat to Syed Ali Geelani by underworld don Ravi Pujari, saying intimidation was part of “many conspiracies hatched against the veteran pro-freedom leader”.
He appealed people from all sections of the society to make the shutdown call a success.
JKLF chairman Yasin Malik, who has been ailing for the past some time, said in a statement that Kashmiris will not remain silent over demonization of Kashmiri students in New Delhi and other Indian states, the arrest of social activist SAR Geelani and intimidation of JNU students.
“Indian rulers and their authorities have unleashed a reign of terror against
Kashmiri students. Slapping a case of sedition on JNU students and SAR Geelani is a glaring act of undemocratic attitude of Indian rulers and their growing intolerance,” the statement said.
“A case of contempt has now been filed against the students. All this being done to keep these people in jail on false and fabricated chares and to avenge those who dare to raise their voices against oppression and suppression,” he said.
Yasin said that witch-hunting of Kashmiri students is actually a ploy to destroy their careers and this cannot be tolerated silently.