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GOWHAR GEELANI | 2 NOVEMBER, 2015

E-Curfew in JK to Thwart Hurriyats ‘Million March’

All united in the Million March


SRINAGAR: Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s visit to Srinagar on 7 November, the cyber cell of Jammu & Kashmir Police is scrutinising social networking sites to “remove pages promoting Hurriyat’s proposed Million March” to be held on the same day.

Many Kashmiri youngsters have been promoting Facebook pages and groups to lend support to ‘Million March’, urging people to attend in numbers.

Facebook pages named ‘Srinagar Million March’, ‘Million March TRC Chalo’ and ‘Million March to TRC Srinagar, Kashmir’ are trending on the internet while an independent candidate Sajad Sheikh, who unsuccessfully fought the last assembly elections from Sopore, has signed the petition on Change.org in support of Syed Ali Geelani’s ‘Million March’.

A senior police officer told The Citizen that “the cyber cell was keeping a close eye on netizens to thwart all attempts to disrupt Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally.” He further said that all pages on Facebook supporting Hurriyat’s ‘Million March’ “will be blocked”.

PM Modi is expected to address a public rally at Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, the lone international cricket ground in Srinagar.

On the other hand, Jammu & Kashmir’s Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has been intensely justifying his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and pinning “great expectations” on Mr. Modi’s visit.

“I have no personal agenda and don't enter into any deals. History has given me an opportunity to change the course of the state and I have taken up this challenge with both hands,” Mr. Sayeed said while addressing a recent public gathering in South Kashmir’s district Shopian.

New Delhi is worried that despite a crackdown on the leaders, the youth and others might defy the prohibitory orders and try and take out the march that could lead to clashes on a day when the Prime Minister is in the Valley. More so as the Million March call has unified the different separatist factions who have welcomed it, and urged their supporters to join in large numbers.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by octogenarian Syed Ali Geelani, who has planned ‘Million March’ to challenge Mr. Modi’s Srinagar rally, said that “the massive crackdown on resistance camp ahead of Modi’s visit to Srinagar manifests frustration of the PDP-BJP government.”

“The use of brute force by the present cruel regime means that it has accepted the defeat,” Geelani said.

He has been placed under house arrest.

Kashmir’s head priest and chairman of a faction of APHC, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Mohammad Yasin Malik, and Asiya Andrabi, chairperson of ‘Dukhtaran-e-Millat’ (Daughters of Faith), have extended their full support to Geelani’s ‘Million March’.

The Mirwaiz confirmed receiving Geelani’s invitation for ‘Million March’ on 7 November. “It [Million March] is a welcome step. We appeal people of Kashmir to join and support the Million March at Tourist Reception Centre,” he said.

JKLF chief Yasin Malik told The Citizen that “Kashmiris were witnessing an Indian version of ‘democracy’ and Mufti’s version of ‘battle of ideas’, which only believes in choking democratic spaces and putting people behind bars.”

Malik is presently lodged in the Kothibagh police station. Many JKLF leaders and office bearers have either been detained or taken into preventive custody.

The incarcerated leader castigated the PDP-BJP government for “cracking down on JKLF leaders”. “The arrests are a glaring example of frustration of rulers and their masters in New Delhi,” he said.

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