SRINAGAR: A complete shutdown was observed in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) on Sunday against the banning of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) by the Indian government.
Call for the strike was given by the joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
All shops and other business establishments were closed in Srinagar and other big and small cities of the valley while the traffic was off the road. The police and paramilitary forces had set up checkpoints at several places. In Srinagar downtown, police and paramilitary forces were deployed to foil possible protests.
The Indian government banned the JKLF led by Muhammad Yasin Malik on Saturday for its pro-freedom activities. Yasin Malik is presently lodged at Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu under a draconian law, Public Safety Act.
Crackdown operations had been launched against the party leaders and activists in the territory.
“The order to ban Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and JKLF is nothing but an act of political vengeance and an oppressive tactic to suppress the just movement of people of Kashmir. The Indian government’s decision to ban the organisations peacefully striving for the resolution of Kashmir dispute, will not cow down the people.” the JRL statement said.
It added that the Indian government wants to push people to the wall for raising the demand to get their rights but it will not make pro-freedom leadership crumble.
Hurriyat leaders and organizations, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi, Democratic Freedom Party, Dukhtaran-e-Millat and High Court Bar Association, in their separate statements, denounced the ban on JKLF. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that such anti-Kashmir tactics would neither change the reality of Kashmir dispute nor the urgency to resolve it. The High Court Bar Association termed the ban contrary to the well-established norms of freedom of speech and expression.
Meanwhile, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of a martyred youth, Tahir Ahmad Dar, in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. A large number of mourners including women participated in his funeral. The martyr was laid to rest amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Bodies of Tahir Ahmad Dar and another youth were recovered from the debris of a house at the end of a three-day cordon and search operation by the Indian troops in Warpora area of Sopore on Saturday. The operation was launched by the troops on Thursday. The killings led to forceful anti-India demonstrations in Sopore.
Indian authorities booked two JI leaders and a school principal under draconian law, Public Safety Act in Bandipora and Shopian districts, and shifted them to jails in Jammu. The detainees include JI Bandipora district and Tehsil Presidents, Hafiz Sikander Malik and Sheikh Ali Muhammad, and the principal of a JI-run school in Shopian, Mubashir Hussain.
On the other hand, a 24-year-old Kashmiri student was assaulted with iron rods by a group of Hindu extremists in Bengaluru, the capital city of India’s Karnataka state. The victim, Absar Zahoor Dhar, who belongs to Srinagar, suffered grievous injuries during the assault.
On Saturday, Kashmiri rights activist and wife of pro-freedom leader Yasin Malik, Mushaal Mullick condemned the “unlawful” ban placed by New Delhi on her husband’s JKLF.
Mullick said, “The move has exposed the true face of the so-called largest democratic country for the world to see.”
She said the Indian authorities could never silence the voice of Kashmiri people by banning the party, adding that, “Putting him [Malik] behind bars will only stir more hate for the Indian regime in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).
“These tactics can neither change the reality of the Kashmir dispute nor deprive the Kashmiri people of their legitimate right to self-determination.”
She said the unlawful detention of her husband, owing to his rising popularity, would only come back to haunt New Delhi.
“I urge the international community to play their due part to find out a just and viable solution to the decades-old Kashmir dispute before it is too late,” she added.
Mullick said that peace in the region would never come to pass until the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Yasin Malik-led JKLF was banned by the Indian government on Friday for its pro-freedom activities in India-held Kashmir.