Kashmiri separatist leaders have called a meeting of all “stakeholders” on Tuesday to decide the course of the agitation in the Valley, with sources saying they give relief to education and trade in the next protest calendar.
The Valley has been in the grip of violent street protests -- the spread and the intensity has gone down in recent weeks -- for four months, throwing normal life out of gear. As many as 90 people, most of them civilians, have been killed and thousands injured.
The violence broke out after a militant was killed in a gunfight with security forces on July 8. Rolling curfew, which was lifted, and shutdown calls by the separatists have hit businesses and schools. Vehicles, too, have remained off roads.
The Hurriyat Conference leaders will meet at the house of Syed Ali Geelani, the leader of a hardline faction of the separatist conglomerate. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who heads a moderate faction, and Yasin Malik met Geelani on Sunday.
Traders, educationists, transporters, civil society members, religious, social and political organisations, bar association and people from other walks of life were called for Tuesday’s meeting, a statement issued by the three leaders said.
Separatists have been issuing a weekly shutdown calendar but there are growing calls to look for alternative ways of protest.
Though schools have remained shut for most of the four months, Class 10 and 12 board examinations begin on November 14. The students have been given the option to sit the examination next week and be tested for half the syllabus or complete the course and take the exams in March.
Condemning the state education board for relaxing syllabus norms, the leaders said the “bumper sale” would tell upon the educational standards and potential of the students and such “shameful acts can only be termed as intellectual bankruptcy of the so-called educationists”.
(with agency inputs)