In occupied Kashmir, normal life remained crippled due to complete shutdown, Saturday, on the occasion of the sixth martyrdom anniversary of Kashmiri leader, Muhammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged by the Indian authorities in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on this day in 2013.
Call for the shutdown was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik to commemorate the anniversary and also press the demand for the return of the mortal remains of Muhammad Afzal Guru and renowned Kashmiri liberation leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt, from New Delhi’s Tihar Jail to occupied Kashmir for proper burial.
All shops and other business establishments remained shut while transport was off the road, Saturday. The JRL has also called for shutdown in the territory and a march towards Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Monday on the martyrdom anniversary of Muhammad Maqbool Butt.
India had sent Muhammad Afzal Guru to gallows in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on 9th February, 2013 and hanged Muhammad Maqbool Butt in the same jail on 11th of February in 1984 for their role in Kashmir freedom movement. Their bodies remain buried in the premises of the jail.
The occupation authorities imposed restrictions in Sopore, Baramulla and Srinagar, by deploying Indian troops and police personnel to prevent people from visiting the family members of Muhammad Afzal Guru and expressing solidarity with them. The authorities put Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza and others under house arrest to prevent them from leading anti-India demonstrations. The authorities also suspended train service in the occupied territory.
Despite restrictions, a large number of people including Hurriyat leaders and activists visited Tarzoo, Sopore and participated in a condolence gathering organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party. Speakers on the occasion while paying glowing tributes to Muhammad Afzal Guru and other Kashmiri martyrs said that their sacrifices would not be allowed to go waste.
Meanwhile, senior APHC leader and the Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, in a statement strongly reacted to India’s move of granting Ladakh the status of a separate administrative and revenue division. He said that New Delhi was hell bent to harm the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir by dividing it on cultural and religious lines.
The All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir chapter held a prayers session in Islamabad, today, in the memory of Muhammad Afzal Guru on his martyrdom anniversary.