Kashmir's top separatist leadership on Tuesday called for a complete shutdown on February 9 and February 11 on the anniversaries of Muhammad Afzal Guru and Muhammad MaqboolBhat respectively.
The Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani called for complete and state-wide shutdown on 9th and 11th February and appealed people to hold special prayers on these days as a tribute to Afzal Guru and MaqboolBhat who were executed on these days respectively.
While reiterating his demand for the return of the mortal remains of Bhat and Guru who were buried in the Tihar Jail premises, Geelani said: "Although it is purely a human issue, India is very reluctant to this demand thereby violating all the principles of morality and constitution and in this way its claim of 'largest democracy in the world' is getting badly exposed."
Calling Bhat and Guru as the heroes of the Kashmiri nation, Geelani said: "We are proud of them. Kashmiri nation is resisting the forced and illegal occupation of India from last 69 years and during this period thousands of our valiant and bold people have sacrificed their precious lives for this cause but the Shaheed Muhammad MaqboolBhat and Shaheed Muhammad Afzal Guru are two separate cases among these who were detained, executed and buried in the same jail and in same month."
Geelani said Bhat has a special status in the freedom struggle of Kashmir and if he can be termed as the first solider of the struggle then Guru's 'last letter' became a new milestone of the freedom struggle by setting a new trend.
"His last letter clearly depicts that he was an ideological person and his emotions were having the backing of faith, intellect and conscience," said Geelani.
The best way of paying tributes to Bhat and Guru, he said, is that the nation should not forget these brave sons of the soil who had sacrificed their "present" for the future of the nation.
While appealing for complete shutdown on 9 and 11 February and organizing of special prayers, Geelani said that until the mortal remains of both the martyrs aren't returned to their families, the whole nation will not budge on this demand.
Paying glowing tributes to Muhammad MaqboolBhat and Muhammad Afzal Guru, the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Tuesday said people need to safeguard the sacrifices of Bhat, Guru and thousands of other martyrs by remaining steadfast to the freedom movement and by pursuing the mission of the martyrs.
Appealing people to observe complete shutdown on February 9 and February 11, a spokesman of Hurriyat (M) said people of Kashmir and its leadership have sacrificed their lives and property for the greater cause of Kashmir which had attracted international attention and generated an opinion that the resolution of Kashmir issue was essential for lasting peace in South Asia.
The conglomerate said it was due to these sacrifices that the "international community is now using its influence to persuade India and Pakistan to resolve this issue as per the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir."
The spokesman said the changing political situation in Indo-Pak subcontinent and in entire South Asia requires finding a lasting solution to Kashmir issue.
He demanded the return of mortal remains of Bhat and Guru, who are buried at Tihar Jail in New Delhi after being hanged there.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik has called for a shutdown on the anniversaries of Muhammad Afzal Guru and Muhammad Maqbool Butt on February 9 and February 11 respectively.
"The legend of Shaheed Baba-I-Qoum, Muhammad Maqbool Butt, is a glorious chapter of our history. His struggle, passion and sacrifices will always serve as a beacon-light for the Kashmiri nation," Malik said in a statement here.
He said: "Maqbool Butt started his fight alone against the illegal occupation and oppression but his struggle and sacrifices soon motivated the entire Kashmiri nation and brought a historic people's revolution," he said, addressing a meeting of JKLF leaders and members here.
"Following his footprints, another son of Kashmir Shaheed Muhammad Afzal Guru kissed gallows for the sacred cause. Kashmiri nation cannot forget these sacrifices; so complete shutdown will be observed on 9th and 11th February to commemorate their martyrdom anniversary," Malik said.
A JKLF spokesman said a peaceful protest march will be held at LalChowk here on February 10 to demand the mortal remains of Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru.
"A memorial program will be held at TrehgamKupwara on 11th February in connection with the 32nd martyrdom anniversary of Muhammad Maqbool Butt. Programs will also be held across the world in this connection," he said.
"The way Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru were hanged by India and the way their bodies and mortal remains are still being held in a prison—and the way these martyrs are being denied a proper burial—are glaring examples of Indian oppression and tyrannical attitude. Kashmiris will never shun their demand for the mortal remains of these martyrs," Malik said.
Malik said on 11th February, protest marches and sit-ins will be held in Islamabad (Pakistan), Lahore, and Karachi.
Protest programs will also be held in USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Europe, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East, he said. "JKLF London Branch will hold a protest rally in London on the occasion. JKLF will also hold demonstrations across Pakistan administered Kashmir on February 11," he said.
Protest marches and sit-in will be held in cities like Muzafarbad, Kotli, Mirpur, Rawalakot, Bagh and Gilgit in which the vision and sacrifices of Shaheed Muhammad Maqbool Butt will be highlighted, he said.