Separatists take out rally in valley | india | Hindustan Times
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Separatists take out rally in valley

india Updated: Aug 16, 2008 18:49 IST

In a throwback to the days of early 90s, Kashmiri separatist groups on Monday took out a massive procession in Pampore with leaders demanding opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot roads and an end to the "economic blockade" of the valley.

Life in Srinagar, about 13 kms from here, and other parts of the valley remained disrupted in view of the shutdown called by the separatist groups coinciding with the fourth day rituals for the slain Hurriyat Conference leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz.

Shouting pro-independence slogans and condemning the killing of Aziz and 21 others in various places in Kashmir during the protests against the "blockade" of the valley on the Amarnath land issue, the protesters marched to the Idgah in Pampore carrying black flags and the green flag of the separatist coordination committee.

All roads seem to end at the Idgah to which people came by all modes of transport as the administration virtually adopted a 'hands off' policy with police and CRPF off the roads for the peaceful rally.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved by elections and they would continue their struggle till they achieve their right to self determination.

Demanding reopening of the two roads for the trade, Farooq said the separatist coordination committee will meet tomorrow to decide on the future course of action. He also called for the revocation of the Disturbed Areas Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The coordination committee is an amalgam of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, the JKLF, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, Traders Federation and Employees Union.