Valley prepares for show of strength
Kashmir is bracing up for another march to Idgah today- the fourth in less than two weeks, even as an unending cycle of agitations and counter-agitations mark the mood in the Valley and Jammu, reports A Joshi.india Updated: Aug 22, 2008 10:41 IST
Kashmir is bracing up for another march to Idgah on Friday - the fourth in less than two weeks.
Meanwhile, efforts are on to find an amicable solution to the crisis, resulting from the state government's decision to revoke an order to transfer land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.
The outcome of the Idgah rally on Friday and Jammu's reaction to it - a seemingly unending cycle of agitations and counter-agitations - will mark the mood in the Valley and Jammu for some days to come.
The focus in Jammu will be more on the Idgah rally than on talks between Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti and the Governor's panel. Samiti convenor Leela Karan Sharma does not expect much out of it. "We are sending a team to the talk, as we don't want to be accused of shying away from resolving the issue," Sharma said.
National Security Advisor MK Narayanan, during his discussions with Governor N.N. Vohra and officials on Wednesday, devoted more than half his time to the Idgah march. He did not want a repeat of 1990 in the Valley.
The popular wisdom is: if the Jammu agitation subsides, the pro-freedom marches in Kashmir will also cool off. The popular belief is: it was the alleged "economic blockade" that had re-triggered protests and marches in the Valley.
The second phase of protests began with the "Muzaffarabad Chalo" march on August 11, in which five, including senior Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz, were killed. The next two days saw 18 more dead.
For separatists, the issue of the piece of land at Baltal, which brought them back to limelight in June, is not in the picture now. Hard-line leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani is saying, "It is needless to talk about the land now. There are larger issues at stake."
Meanwhile, the mood on Jammu’s streets is defined by volatile crowds, who are running the ‘Jail Bharo’ show. In Srinagar too, the piece looks fragile on the eve of another Idgah march.
"There is no guarantee of peace, when mobs are huge. Our response will be calibrated," said police chief SM Sahai. Kashmir is on edge again.