Lal Chowk, adjoining areas observe shutdown

Separatists Demand Probe By International Rights Groups


Srinagar, Jan 21: Life in Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas was paralyzed Monday due a separatist-sponsored strike called to mark 23rd anniversary of Gawkadal massacre here. On this day in 1990, around 50 civilians were killed in alleged firing of security forces on a procession in Gawkadal area of Lal Chowk.
The strike call was given by separatist outfit Peoples Political Party (PPP) chairman Hilal Ahmad War and was supported by all other separatist groups including Hurriyat (G) and Hurriyat (M).
Shops and other business establishments remained closed in Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Maisuma, Gawkadal, Residency Road and Abi Guzar area. However, traffic was plying normally.
Authorities had deployed heavy contingents of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas to thwart any protest demonstration.

PPP chief led a protest demonstration in Maisuma area and demanded punishment to people involved in the massacre. PPP cadres were carrying banners, reading: “Punish the Killers of Gawkadal Massacre,” “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.”
War while addressing a gathering at Maisuma said: “The Gawkadal massacre is perhaps the first massacre in the history in which signals of massacre were given well before conducting the massacre. On the January 20, 1990 Jagmohan’s first television address as governor of J&K stunned everyone, War said. “It was clear-cut provocative address and a direct threat in which Jagmohan said if anybody creates law and order problem, Meray Haathon Say Aman Ka Patta Khisak Jaye Ga (the card of peace will slip away from my hands). And in less than 24-hours the people were massacred at Gawkadal on his orders.”
Paying rich tributes to the Gawkadal massacre martyrs, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah in a statement Monday said that conscious people will never forget martyrs of Gawkadal.
On the directions of Geelani, several Hurriyat (G) leaders visited Gawkadal and offered Fateah. Those who visited the area include: Firdous Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehraj-u-din, Muhammad Shafi Lone, Moulvi Bashir Ahmad, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah, Yar Muhammad Khan and Muhammad Imran.
Hurriyat (G) demanded investigation into the massacre by international human rights groups.
The High Court Bar Association (HCBA) in a meeting presided over by the Vice-President of the Bar Association Aijaz Bedar, also paid rich tributes to the people killed at Gawkadal.
It was observed in the meeting that the freedom struggle is sacrosanct and the people of Jammu and Kashmir have the first priority for peaceful and permanent resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of people. “Bar Association sincerely propounds the cause of the people of J&K in the larger interest of the people of the sub-continent and will continue its efforts. The Bar Association expresses solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and prays for success of the ongoing movement,” a statement issued by HCBA said.
Senior Hurriyat leader and Jammu Kashmir Peoples’ League chairman, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza while paying glowing tributes to Gawkadal martyrs on their 23rd martyrdom anniversary said that India continues to deprive Kashmiris from basic right ‘right to self determination’ after passing two decades.
Paying glowing tributes to martyrs, who laid their lives for securing right to self determination in serial massacres of Kashmir especially martyrs of Gawkadal, J&K Salvation Movement chief Zaffar Akbar Bhat reiterated the pledge to take the mission of martyrs to logical conclusion.  “Unparallel sacrifices offered by innocent Kashmiris have internationalized the Kashmir dispute and so this is our first duty to keep the martyrs of alive and take their mission to logical conclusion,” Zaffar said.
Other leaders who offered Fateah Khawani include Farooq Ahmed Dar (Bitta Karatey), Senior Vice Chairman Tahir Ahmed Mir, Wajahat Qureshi, Husni Mubarak.
Addressing the gathering, Dar said, “We should never ever allow sacrifices of our people go in vain. The martyrs of Gawkadal have provided a concrete stone to the struggle of Kashmir. It was the pouring of thousands of people on streets of Kashmir against the Indian establishment that provoked government to fire at people. They feared Kashmir might spill out from their hands.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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