Srinagar: A shutdown amid restrictions in parts of city here on Monday was observed in Kashmir Valley against the arrests of seven pro-freedom leaders by India’s premier investigation agency – NIA – on charges of funding militancy and unrest in the region.
The call for shutdown was given by three top leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik to protest NIA action. Authorities, apprehending protests, imposed restrictions in in areas falling under five police station areas of Old City including in Khanyar, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari and Safakadal. All the roads in these areas were sealed off since morning by hundreds of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men who were deployed to enforce curbs.
According to GNS, the situation in other parts of the Srinagar was peaceful and there were no restrictions. While majority of shops in Srinagar civil line and uptown were closed, there was no impact of shutdown on private as well as public traffic. Witnesses said that public transport on various inter-city and inter-district roads was plying normally and the shutdown call was largely ignored by transporters.
Reports said that clashes between youths and government forces broke out between youth and government forces at Habba Kadal and Fateh Kadal areas of the downtown. Police fired teargas and used pepper grenades against the stone-throwing youth. The situation returned to normal in these areas. Police said that the situation remained peaceful and “business was going on as usual in most of the areas”.
Reports from district headquarters said that most of the shops were closed in response to call by resistance leaders but traffic was largely plying on all routes. These reports said that few shops were open in townships and villages. As per a report, clashes erupted in Bijebehera area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district between youth and government forces. No one was reported injured.
Pertinently, the arrested leaders include Altaf Ahmad Shah Funtoosh Geelani, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah @Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Khan and Farooq Ahmad Dar @ Bitta Karate. They have been arrested in connection with the NIA Case No. RC-10/2017/NIA/DLI (J&K Terror Funding Case) under sections 120B, 121, 121A of IPC and sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39, 40 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Reports from Delhi said that all the even leaders were presented before Special NIA Judge at Patiala Court in Delhi and have been sent to 10 day judicial remand. Meanwhile, Hurriyat (G) today strongly condemned the NIA action and warned of public protests.
NIA is being used as a war weapon against Hurriyat leadership: Hurriyat
Huriyat Conference on Tuesday in a statement said that NIA is being used as a war weapon against leadership and local henchmen are facilitating these arbitrary measures against leadership.
Reacting sharply over arrests conducted by NIA and producing them in Delhi court, the Huriyat said that Indian government is frustrated to the extent that they frame and raid residences of pro-freedom leaders and activists on the pre-planned psychological crackdown, so that they surrender and stop voicing the sentiments of their nation, thereby covering and shielding their atrocities and barbarism against common and unarmed people.
Huriyat blamed Delhi authorities for their stubborn and unrealistic approach and added that instead of resolving the issue as per aspiration of people, they are pursuing their Zafrani agenda.
Indian agencies under well thought out plan are desperate to malign and defame our sacred movement, said Huriyat and warned India that these inhuman, immoral and undemocratic tactics will not deter pro-freedom people from advocating their just cause.
Referring to ploy and deceit played by Delhi and its stooges, Huriyat said that they have deployed NIA sleuths and resistance leaders are being harassed and fictitious cases filed against them. It is a well thought out plan and ploy to defame movement and harass leadership, added Huriyat.
Ridiculing ruling party in Delhi Huriyat said that they are not serious to solve Kashmir issue as they instead of following political means, are pursuing their repressive policy and fanatical ideology.
Huriyat said that these haughty measures won’t cow down our passion and we will pursue our mission till the issue is resolved as per aspirations of people. Huriyat assured people that all these repressive and arbitrary measure won’t deter leadership and they will continue to raise their voice against forced occupation and highhandedness of local and Delhi authorities.
They warned authorities of dire consequences and said if these repressive tactics are not stopped forthwith, they will resent and call a public protest against these repressive measures.
Huriyat said that United Nations, international community including USA, China Iran, Turkey and OIC are witness to the fact that Kashmir is a disputed state and yet to be resolved as per resulutions accepted in UNO.
Urging international community for their interference and mediation, Huriyat said that we hope that these forces would fulfill their obligations and resolve the issue so that way and means are explored to make an end to war euphoria and prevailing uncertainty in sub-continent.(GNS)