JRL calls for shutdown today, LalChowk march tomorrow

JRL calls for shutdown today, LalChowk march tomorrow

Kashmir business community, Bhadarwah body support decision

The Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik asked people to observe a complete shutdown on Monday against bloodbath in Kulgam and asserted that people and the leadership will march towards LalChowk on Tuesday to stage a sit-in there.

In a statement, the JRL said that Kashmir has been turned into “a slaughterhouse where no one—young, old, children or women—is safe.” 

“Oppression has crossed every limit now and Kashmiris cannot tolerate this silently anymore,” they said, adding that “Kashmiris should observe

 a complete shutdown against Kulgam carnage and other oppressive measures on Monday (October 22). On Tuesday (October 23), people along with JRL leadership will march towards Lalchowk and hold a sit-in against the aggression.”

The leadership said that they were preparing a memorandum to be submitted to the United Nations secretary general. 

“The memorandum will be made available on social media and all Kashmiris will sign it as a mark of hate against Delhi’s inhumanity in Kashmir,” the JRL said.

“Kulgam killings are a part of ongoing state terrorism,” the JRL statement read, adding: “Although tyrannical measures have been continuing from last many decades and have failed to break the resolve of the people, after the governor’s rule, this bloodshed, oppression and tyranny has risen to new heights.”

“Recent carnage, arson and destruction at Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama and at many places in north and central parts of Kashmir during which innocents have been killed at will; people including women, children, old and young have been beaten, tortured and humiliated by forces, is a glaring example of the state sponsored terrorism,” the statement read.

The JRL expressed grief over the killing of a pregnant woman in alleged crossfire in Pulwama recently, and alleged that “destruction of residential houses by planting explosives or by burning them down, devastation of vehicles, household goods and killings in custody have risen after the threatening statements of governor.” “Recently in Srinagar, a young man Rayees Ahmad Sofi was taken into custody and tortured whole night in front of his family and then killed in cold-blood under custody,” the statement alleged. 

“At TrichalPulwama, forces unleashed a reign of terror, beating and vandalising whosoever came their way,” they said.

“Governor’s recent assertion that ‘bullets not bouquets will be showered’ have proved true by his soldiers at Kulgam. But the bodies of innocent Kashmiris lying on ground have proved that Kashmir is under forcible control and only law of jungle is prevalent here,” the statement read.

AIB CALLS FOR SHUTDOWN IN CHENAB VALLEY TODAY 

Meanwhile, condemning the civilian killings in Kulgam district on Sunday, Anjuman-e-IslamiaBhadarwah called for a complete shutdown in Chenab Valley on Monday in solidarity with the people and the JRL. 

In a statement, AIB president Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh said: “Such killings are most heinous and open up a bloody war against unarmed civilians.”

“We are with JRL and our message to government of India is loud and clear that we stand for the cause of Kashmir and tomorrow’s shutdown call in entire Chenab Valley is aimed at showing solidarity with innocent Kashmiris,” Sheikh said.

KASHMIR TRADERS, OTHERS BACK JRL CALL  

Condemning civilian killings, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, an apex business organisation in Kashmir, urged the government to “restrain from launching (anti-militancy) operations in civilian areas which invariably trigger more killings.”

“Killing of innocent people and brutalisation of unarmed civilians at LarooKulgam deserve condemnation in strongest possible terms,” read a KCCI statement, adding that the “seemingly endless loss of innocent Kashmiri lives is a matter of pain and anguish for all of us.” President of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (R-faction), Bashir Ahmad Rather, said: “By such killings, New Delhi cannot break the resolve of Kashmiri people.”

“The ongoing repression across Kashmir in the name of CASOs—during which people, irrespective of their age, are harassed, detained, tortured and property worth lakhs vandalised—is worst kind of rights violation,” Rather said. “Kashmir is purely a political and human issue and every effort to muzzle or crush the genuine struggle is destined to fail.”

Chairman All Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers-cum-Dealers Union, Bashir Ahmad Bashir, while condemning the Kulgam killings, said: “Government should understand the gravity of (Kashmir) issue and resolve it according to aspirations of the people.”  He said his Union extends full support to the JRL shutdown call.

All Kashmir Auto Rickshaw Drivers Association in a statement expressed full support to JRL call and urged all its members to observe complete shutdown on Monday.  

President Shahr-e-Khaas Traders Federation, ZainaKadal, Nazir Ahmad Shah also condemned the civilian killings and extended support to the JRL shutdown call. 

Presidents, Traders Association, LalChowk, Din Muhammad Mattoo, said: “Civilian killings are taking a heavy toll on the psyche of people. It is a worst form of human right violation which people of Kashmir are facing. People have no alternative but to observe shutdown to register their protests against brutal killings.”

(Bhadarwah reporting by Tahir Nadim Khan)