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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Amid rain, Valley resumes work after three days

Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, February 23, 2013
First Published: 20:20 IST(23/2/2013) | Last Updated: 20:21 IST(23/2/2013)

The normal life resumed in Kashmir on Saturday, just the third working day in the fortnight since the execution and burial of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru in Tihar jail on February 9.

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The Valley has been on the edge since the hanging as government imposed strict curfew restrictions, blocked Internet and disrupted news dissemination for a week to "prevent protests and rumour mongering". The restrictions were imposed again on Friday coinciding with a shutdown.

Shops and business establishments opened after three days, but the hustle and bustle was missing due to rain.

The curbs were flayed by the Opposition. "Government has converted Kashmir into a pressure cooker without a safety valve. Its anger management exercise has reached a new and more atrocious level with people being denied even the basic liberties of expression," People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti was quoted saying by a spokesman on Saturday.

The curfew was followed by five days of strike called by hardline Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, who are demanding that the mortal remains of Guru be handed over to his family. Mainstream parties have also expressed support to the family of Guru for return of his body from the Centre.

"The only sane option to reduce the pain of (Guru) family and assuage the hurt sentiments of people at large is that the government of India should not sit on prestige in a genuine and emotional issue like this, which can have unpredictable consequences," Mufti said.

The Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani, who is under house arrest in New Delhi, has asked people to wait for future protest programme to be announced next Monday evening.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, whose chairman Yasin Malik is in Pakistan, has already given a protest call for next Friday. In a statement, Malik termed the execution a "judicial and political murder" saying it was "actually the murder of collective conscience of Kashmiris".

Malik said the demand for the mortal remains of Guru was legal, humane and moral. "The civilised world, human rights organisations, civil society and peace seekers must rise to the occasion and persuade Indian leadership to refrain from its tyrant inhuman approach. If they fail to do so the world, especially the subcontinent, may become a much worst place to live in," he said.


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