Funeral in absentia offered to slain militants; Azadi leaders prevented from offering Friday prayers
Srinagar: Responding to the call of the pro-freedom camp, people held demonstrations at several places in the Valley on Friday in protest against a slew of policies and decisions announced by the government of India and PDP-BJP government in the state.
In Maisuma, scores of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) supporters demonstrated after Friday prayers at Gow Kadal Masjid and then marched towards Lal Chowk.
But the police intercepted the protesters led by Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, younger brother of JKLF founder Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, near Budshah Chowk, detaining dozens of its leaders.
Protest demonstrations were also held soon after the Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid where hundreds of people led by Moulana Syed Ahmad Naqshbandi (Imam-e-Jamia), Hurriyat leaders Ghulam Nabi Zaki and Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi, participated in a protest against the government policies.
Terming the plans of the government of setting up of Sainik and Pandit colonies, permanent structures for non-state subjects and the proposed industrial policy as ‘anti-Kashmiri’, the protesters raised pro-Islam and pro-Azadi slogans while protesting against plans of the government.
The funeral in absentia were also offered to the slain militants who were killed in Kunzar area of Tangmarg, Sarai Bala and Nowgam area in Kupwara district during the past three days.
The youth in old city areas pelted the government forces with stones after being denied the chance to march peacefully. The forces retaliated with tear gas shelling. Minor stone-pelting incidents were also reported after Friday prayers from Sopore town of Kashmir.
The government had put all the senior resistance leaders including, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik under house arrest and prevented them from offering Friday prayers.
The pro-freedom groups had jointly called for strike on Thursday and protests after Friday prayers against the government policies “aimed at changing the demographic character of J&K and affect its disputed status”.
Hurriyat (M) spokesman, while condemning the action, said, “using brute force on unarmed civilians and flagrantly violating the basic human, political and religious rights of the people has reached at its highest in Kashmir.”
He said that all human rights bodies and members of international community should take notice of this situation and act effectively to end the atrocities being committed on the people of Kashmir.