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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Upheavals in Syria reverberates in Srinagar

Peerzada Ashiq , PTI  Srinagar, August 23, 2013
First Published: 20:27 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 20:28 IST(23/8/2013)

The footage of alleged gassing of civilians in Syria, beamed across the globe since Thursday, sparked protests in the Kashmir Valley on Friday.

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A group of students from Kashmir University assembled after the Friday prayers. Holding banners and raising slogans, students described the Syrian government's alleged use of poisonous gas against civilians in several towns as the 'day of rage'.

"Watching kids twisting and turning in pain, woman grappling to have eye sight back and youth lying on hospital floor crying for help made my blood boil. This is genocide and it is unacceptable," said Mehraj Ahmad, a protesting student. "It should stop immediately. The international community should intervene," he added.

Protesters raised slogans against Syrian president Bashar Al Assad.

A video on Thursday showed civilians, including kids, in a Syrian hospital calling for medical help after inhaling alleged poisonous substance used by the government, which is facing a Sunni rebellion for months now.

The anger against the western countries was obvious. "From America to Asaad to Sissi (Egyptian military chief), all are same," read a banner.

Later, a funeral prayer in absentee was offered by the students for those killed in Syria and Egypt. A funeral prayer for those dead in the fresh Egyptian upheaval was offered by separatist leaders on the call of hardline Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who remained under house arrest on Friday.
The events of Syria and Egypt figured in the Friday sermon of moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. "The unfortunate events of killing of civilians and protesters in these countries are condemnable. The use of gas against civilians should be denounced by one and all," he said.

The Mirwaiz called upon the Organisation of Islamic Conference "to intervene and stop the killing of civilians in these countries".

"The desecration of religious places is unacceptable to Muslims," the Mirwaiz said while making apparent reference to damage being done to mosques in Syria and Iraq by the fresh wave of violence.
The separatist leader announced that August 25 would be observed as 'Youm-i-Taqadus'. "All religious heads and mosque imams should condemn the use of gas against civilians and killing of unarmed civilian protesters on this day," the Mirwaiz said.

Traditionally, Kashmir has responded to the happenings in the world, whether it is the Palestine issue or Afghanistan or Iraq invasions. The Valley has erupted several times in the past in response to events across the Muslim world.


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