Separatist leaders call for shutdown today

The separatist leadership in Kashmir Monday called for a Valley-wide shutdown on April 23 (Tuesday) against the alleged ill-treatment meted out to the ailing and incarcerated Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, closure of the national highway for two days a week and suspension of cross-LoC trade.

In a statement, the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik said the shutdown call is also against the alleged ongoing aggression of central investigation agencies against “Kashmiri leaders, activists, senior businessmen, trade union leaders, kith and kin of resistance leaders and other people belonging to different walks of life”.

“Highhandedness has forced Muhammad Yasin Malik to go on a hunger strike which has entered its 12th day. The life of already-ailing Malik, who is admitted to RML Hospital Delhi, is in danger and rulers and their agencies are busy in playing with his life callously,” the statement read.

“A concocted and frivolous case was formulated and many resistance leaders, businessmen and journalists were targeted, arrested, summoned to Delhi and investigated.

They include Shabir Ahmad  Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saif-u-Ullah, Raja Meraj-u-Din Kalwal, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias BittaKaratay, businessmen Zahoor Ahmad Watali and Muhammad Aslam, Javid Ahmad and ShahidYousuf Shah, ailing SyedaAsiyaAndrabi, FehmidaSofi and NahidaNasreen. They were arrested and lodged in Tihar Jail, Delhi,” the statement read.

“Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Muhammad Umar Farooq was summoned to Delhi recently. Not only this, two sons of ailing Syed Ali Shah Geelani namely Syed Naeem and Syed Naseem are being continuously summoned and interrogated by NIA from 2017. Besides this, a maligning campaign was launched through media against Kashmiri resistance which is in fact going on unabated,” the statement read.

“A blanket ban on civilian traffic and movement for two days on highway is most undemocratic and inhuman act which is tantamount to snatching freedom of free movement and is a gross human rights violation,” the statement read. “Similarly the orders to stop trade across the ceasefire line (LOC) have also put the lives and economy of thousands into jeopardy and these revengeful orders deserve condemnation from one and all”.

“The shutdown will also be observed to protest the highway closure for two days a week and the suspension of cross ceasefire line (LOC) trade as both measures are anti-people causing great distress to people and affecting their livelihood,” the separatist leaders said in the statement.