Shutdown marks death anniverasries of Molvi and Lone
General shutdown coupled with a huge public rally marked the death anniversaries of Molvi Mohammad Farooq, father of Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Ummer Farooq and Hurriyat founder leader Abdul Gani Lone on Monday.
Molvi Farooq was killed by unknown gunmen on May 21, 1990 at his Nigeen residence in capital Srinagar. Lone too fell to the bullets of gunmen at Srinagar’s I’d Gah during a function held to commemorate the death of Molvi Farooq on 21, 2002.
The moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference had called for the shutdown across the valley, which evoked a near-total response. In capital Srinagar the business centres and commercial hubs remained closed with passenger transport also not plying on roads.
The shutdown brought the functioning in government offices, banks and courts also to a grinding halt. Most of the educational institutions were shut. Reports from other parts of the Valley said that the normal life totally out of gear under the impact of the shutdown.
The Hurriyat amalgam held a massive rally at I’d Gah to pay tribute to two slain leaders. The people were brought to the venue in specially arranged buses and other vehicles from Kupwara, Handwara, Budgam, Pattan and other parts of the valley. Shouting "pro freedom" slogans, many of the participants traveled through main parts of the city to reach I’d Gah venue.
Addressing the rally Mirtwaiz dismissed the notion that the Hurriyat is being wooed to take part in elections. "Election is not our goal. We will not take part in any election which is aimed at taking administrative decisions," Mirwaiz said. He however added that if elections are a part of resolution process "woh doosri baat hai".
Mirwaiz regretted that government of India was not doing much to resolve the issue of Kashmir. "It (Kashmir) is not an administrative issue. It is a political problem and should be resolved politically. If government of India thinks that the issue can be solved by giving concessions like economic aid and relief to orphans and poor, there are then PDP and National Conference for that," he said.
He urged the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to talk to BJP and other opposition parties to evolve consensus to resolve the issue of Kashmir. "The resolution process can succeed only when it has people’s support," Mirwaiz said adding "if they (central government) tread one (towards solution), we will walk down 10 steps".
Mirwaiz also said that "Mujahideen" were inseparable part of the movement and they could not be ignored. "We would like Mujahideen to extend their support to us to resolve the issue," he asked them.
Professor Abdul Gani, former chairman of the amalgam, who also spoke on the occasion said that the Hurriyat Conference fully supported Pakistan President General Parvez Musharaf’s 4-point formula and said that "we want to have a separate Prime Minister, President, constitution, flag and assembly for Kashmir".
Shia clergy Agha Syed Hassan and Bilal Gani Lone also addressed the rally.