In a rare show of discipline by the supporters of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), no provocative anti-India or pro-Lashkar slogans rented the air this time. On the appeal of the Mirwaiz, the supporters ensured nobody hurls stones at security pickets or resort to hooliganism.
Hundreds of young supporters masked with green flags and carrying sticks ensured nobody raises provocative anti-India slogans as was the norm in the past. In one of the rallies, the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba flags were unfurled in a rally by masked men.
The slogans like Bharat Kay Aiywanoo mein aag lagaa dou (Burn down the constitution of India), Lashkar kay mujahidoo, hum tumharae saath hai (Fighters of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba we are with you), Bharat teri moath ayi, Laskar ayi, Lashkar ayi (Death is around, India, as Laskhar is on its way).
At the end of his speech, the Mirwaiz sought attention of the audience of hundreds of youths and women. “I think on this day we need to show discipline. We need to respect call of Hurriyat leaders. When they ask you to come on roads, do that. But not unnecessarily. So no stone pelting today,” the Mirwaiz asked the supports who replied with “zaroor (definitely)”.
Thousands of supporters shouting "We want freedom" and "Long live Islam" waved green Islamic flags, as hundreds of police and paramilitary forces looked on.
"We will take this struggle to its logical conclusion and will not allow the blood of Kashmiris to go waste," he told supporters, while calming them down.
It’s for the first time that there was restraint in provocative anti-India slogans. “We need to tell those who think we don’t have discipline that we are a mature nation. Our two generations in the last 20 years have fought the occupation. That shows our spirit and dedication,” said the Mirwaiz.
A complete peaceful shutdown was observed across Kashmir to commemorate the killings of Mirwaiz’s father Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq in 1990 and People’s Conference chief Abdul Ghani Lone in 2002.
In response to strike called by the Mirwaiz, shops, schools, government and private offices remained shut. A very thin presence of public transport was observed on the streets.
However, violent protests erupted in Baramulla, 80 km north of Srinagar, when devotees after Friday prayers hurled stones at policemen. Two dozen protesters were injured in police action later. Tear-gas smoke shells and batons were used by the police to control the situation.