IOK observes “complete shutdown”

Monday - February 12, 2018
SRINAGAR (India): In Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK), complete shutdown was observed, on Sunday, to mark the martyrdom anniversary of prominent Kashmiri liberation leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt who was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail on this day in 1984 and was buried in the jail premises.

According to Kashmir media service (KMS), call for the strike was given by the joint resistance leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik to press for the return of the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru to their families.

All shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic was off the road. Train service remained suspended in the IOK valley due to the strike.

The puppet IOK authorities had imposed curfew and other restrictions across the occupied valley, especially in Srinagar, Kupwara and Sopore to prevent people from staging anti-India protests and conducting a march towards the united nations (UN) office at Sonawar in Srinagar.

However, defying curfew and restrictions, people from all walks of life gathered at Maisuma and marched towards the UN office to submit a memorandum to demand the return of martyrs’ remains.

As they reached lal chowk, police intercepted the march and arrested several resistance leaders and activists including Showkat Ahmad Bakhshi, Noor Muhammad Kalwal, Yasir Ahmad Dalal, Muhammad Yasin Butt, Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, Bashir Ahmad Kashmiri and Farooq Ahmad Sodagar.

Other hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Bilal Siddiqi, Muhammad Ashraf Laya, Umar Aadil Dar, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah, Molvi Bashir Ahmad and Syed Imtiaz Haider were already under house arrest or in police custody.

Meanwhile, a teenage girl, Saima Wani, who was injured during a cordon and search operation by Indian troops at Chaigund in Shopian district on January 24, succumbed at a hospital in Srinagar.

Thousands of people participated in her funeral in Shopian, on Sunday.

Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other hurriyayt leaders while condemning her killing said that even IOK women and children were not safe from brute Indian aggression in the occupied territory.

On the other hand, the death toll in the attack on an army camp in Jammu rose to 10 including five Indian soldiers and four attackers. Around a dozen soldiers were injured in the attack, which was launched on Saturday morning.

In Islamabad, the Jammu and Kashmir liberation front (JKLF) held a protest demonstration outside the national press club to condemn the hanging of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru.

Kashmir council Europe held a function in Brussels, speakers including Kashmir council EU chairman Ali Raza Syed asked the international community to pressurise India to hand over the mortal remains of the two Kashmiri martyrs to their families in the occupied Kashmir.