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  India   All India  08 Feb 2020  Mirwaiz calls for shutdown on February 9 & 11

Mirwaiz calls for shutdown on February 9 & 11

Published : Feb 8, 2020, 2:16 am IST
Updated : Feb 8, 2020, 2:16 am IST

But post August 5 last year, they have been conspicuous by their remaining quiet on the vital issue.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (Photo: PTI)
 Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (Photo: PTI)

SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference faction led by the Valley’s chief Muslim cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday asked people to observe complete shutdown on February 9 and 11 to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack convict Muhammad Afzal Guru and his mentor Muhammad Maqbool Bhat in Delhi’s Tihar jail seven and 36 years ago, respectively.

In its first statement issued since August 5 last year — when Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its special status and split up into two Union Territories — the amalgam of separatist parties urged the people to “remain steadfast in pursuance of our demand for resolution of Kashmir issue in accordance with its people’s will that has priceless sacrifices at its back.” It added that this would be the “best way” to pay tribute to “our martyrs” including Guru and Bhat.  


The separatist parties and their leaders, including the Mirwaiz, chose to maintain a complete silence on the government’s August 5, 2019 moves and related developments. In the past, both he and separatist patriarch Syed Ali Shah Geelani would almost on daily basis make statements on various issues including ‘sanctity’ of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution even when under house arrest.

But post August 5 last year, they have been conspicuous by their remaining quiet on the vital issue.

Prior to Friday’s statement from the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat Conference, the only statement that was issued on his behalf during past six months was to deny media reports that he had signed a bond stating that he would not indulge in any political activity over the issue to secure his release after being detained by the police on the day when Parliament approved the resolution abrogating special status to J&K under Article 370 and a bill for splitting the State into two UTs.


However, his aide Syed-ur-Rehman Shams was quick to deny it and while quoting the politician-cleric, he had said that the Hurriyat Conference faction headed by him (Mirwaiz) “stands firm by its principled stand on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and stands by the people in this unprecedented situation that all are facing”.  

He had claimed that “all the means and avenues to communicate with the people have been snatched” from the Mirwaiz and, therefore, he was unable to communicate with the outside world.  

Nevertheless, the separatist leaders’ maintaining silence flabbergasted their many supporters and even common Kashmiri.


It is an open secret that it are these separatist leaders whose writ would run in the Valley, the reality that was witnessed during the unrests of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016.    

In absence of any guidance from the mainstream as well as separatist parties, the people of the Valley found themselves in a helpless situation.

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