Jammu and Kashmir, perhaps Delhi as well, is waiting with bated breath to see what happens on Monday. And security agencies are bracing for what they have come to call a “moment of truth”.
On Monday, for the first time since April 1993, protestors in the Valley will march to the UN Military Observer’s Office in Sonawar.
Fifteen years ago, the summer capital was witness to police mutineers brandishing service weapons and marching to the UN office in Srinagar demanding an “end to state terrorism” in the Valley, Jail bharo in Jammu
Around the same time in Jammu, the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti, leading the agitation for the past 47 days, will start its jail bharo plan.
“From tomorrow, we are going to fill jails — Monday it will be men, Tuesday women and Wednesday children,” announced Brig (retd) Suchjet Singh.
All precaution in Kashmir
In Srinagar, both factions of the Hurriyat Conference have given a call for the march to the UN office. Authorities have asked them to keep marchers at a distance from the international body's headquarter as it is a sensitive area.
The deputy commissioner of Srinagar, SSP Srinagar and SSP Budgam met Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani at his Hyderpora residence and asked him to maintain peace during the march.
The Hurriyat has agreed to the proposition and called supporters to assemble at the Tourist Reception Centre Ground. It is believed to have formed a team that would visit the headquarters and submit a memorandum.
“The march is aimed at inviting the attention of the international community. We want the world bodies to step in and prevail upon New Delhi to resolve the issue of Kashmir,” said Geelani.
Going by the numbers that responded to the “Muzaffarabad Chalo” call on August 11 and “Pampore Chalo” on Saturday, authorities know what to expect but are apprehensive. “We will not allow any violence and our response will be calibrated,” said IGP, Kashmir zone, S.M. Sahai.
With tension mounting, Governor N.N. Vohra invited the Samiti for talks. But the Samiti wants to know about the specific proposal on the return of land to the Amarnath board.
“We are willing to talk, but there is a need for a specific proposal. That is what we conveyed to the governor on July 31 and the Union home minister on August 9. That issue remains untouched,” said Suchet Singh. Vohra is also in touch with the Centre and Kashmir leadership.