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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Solidarity for Kashmir at Eid meet

On August 4, the government had snapped internet, telephone, and television services before the Centre effectively scrapped Article 370 and reorganised the state into two union territories.

delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2019 04:26 IST
Kainat Sarfaraz
Kainat Sarfaraz
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A Kashmiri students breaks down during an event to observe Eid al-Adha at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi.
A Kashmiri students breaks down during an event to observe Eid al-Adha at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi.(Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)
         

“This is the first time I am away from home on Eid,” said Zubair Rashid, a civil services aspirant who came to Delhi from Baramulla in April. “It is disheartening to not hear from my family in over a week. No human can live like this.”

On August 4, the government had snapped internet, telephone, and television services before the Centre effectively scrapped Article 370 and reorganised the state into two union territories.

On Monday, over 200 people reached Jantar Mantar to mark Eid-al-Adha amid poetry, songs, memories, and tears. Organised by a group of students, the event “Eid Away From Home” had extended invitation to people from all walks of life.

“In a conflict zone, festivals are like a blessing in disguise. Eid is like oxygen for us in Kashmir. The celebrations go on for three days,” Rashid said. It was echoed by several attendees who said that while curfews were common in Kashmir, the communication blackout, on Eid, was unprecedented.

“It is odd to be unable to greet my parents on Eid. I had expected the government would resume landline services,” said Seerat Zehra, a resident of Jangpura who hails from Srinagar.

“We cook sumptuous meals on Eid back home. I didn’t cook today as a mark of protest. I don’t even know what my family would have eaten,” said a humanitarian worker from Kashmir, requesting anonymity.

People brought food items like biryani, kebabs, qorma, fruit, sweets, kheer and sewai to share at the event. “A lot of food and love was shared but the message remains the same,” said Faiq Faizan, an organiser. The gathering was attended by several writers, professors, activists including Arundhati Roy, Harsh Mander, Apoorvanand, Shabnam Hashmi, among others.

Meanwhile, a group of students from Jamia Millia Islamia issued a statement Monday refusing a lunch invite with a liaison officer appointed by the Centre on August 14. This comes after students from Aligarh Muslim University and University of Hyderabad refused similar events to be organised as part of “Eid festivites” for Kashmiri students outside the state. Last week, J-K governor had sanctioned ₹1 lakh for the event. “We not only reject this supposed lunch offer in toto but also refuse to be part of any such state sponsored gatherings in the future as well,” the students said.

First Published: Aug 13, 2019 04:26 IST

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