Huge crowd march for assasinated Kashmiri leaders
Huge crowd march for assasinated Kashmiri leaders
Thursday, May 21,2009 14:58
Tens of thousands of people shouting "we want freedom" gathered in Indian Kashmir"s biggest city on Thursday to mark the anniversaries of the assassinations of their leader and a Muslim cleric.

Thursday"s rally was the biggest this year in Kashmir, which was hit by massive anti-India protests in 2008, said Reuters.

Kasmiri media said that call for the March was given by the All Parties Hurriyet (Freedom) Conference and it was also intended to demonstrate peoples" rejection of India"s periodical "polls drama" in the occupied territory. Complete strike was observed on the occasion.

Shops, businesses and schools were closed in much of the scenic valley in response to a strike called by the region"s main separatist alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference.

India deployed hundreds of troops across the streets in Srinagar, Kashmir"s summer capital.


Hurriyat, an alliance of pro-independent political groups, called the strike to mark the anniversaries of the deaths of Moulana Mohammad Farooq, the chief cleric of Kashmir, and Abdul Gani Lone, an important leader.

Kashmiris said that Indian forces killed Farooq at his home in 1990, while soldiers shot dead Lone during a public meeting in 2002.

More than 50,000 people, led by Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, marched towards the "Mazar-e-Shuhada" (Martyrs" Cemetery), where many of those killed in the nearly two-decade-old revolt against New Delhi"s rule, including Lone and Farooq, are buried.

Raising barricades at different entry points, Indian troops did not allow people to enter the city of Srinagar to prevent their participation in the gathering, said Kashmiri Media Service, Indian troops subjected many processions to brute force.

The Himalayan region is at the heart of a decades-long dispute between India and Pakistan, who have fought two of their three wars over the issue since they won freedom from British rule in 1947.

Overall violence has fallen significantly across Kashmir since India and Pakistan began peace talks in 2004, although New Delhi has imposed a "pause" in that dialogue since the Mumbai attack in November last year.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed since simmering discontent against Indian rule turned into a full-blown rebellion in 1989.

In 1948, the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a referendum for Kashmir to determine whether the Himalayan region should be part of India and Pakistan. But India has rejected to hold rferendum in Kashmiri territory.

Kashmiris sees India as an "occupier state" and boycotted India-hold local elections.

The Source