National Conference Peace Rally To Protest Stone-pelting In Kashmir2 May 2010
Srinagar: The ruling National Conference today took out a peace march here, asking separatists to refrain from strikes, in the wake of the death of a government employee in stone-pelting during Hurriyat-sponsored violent protests here last week. 'The march is a clear message to separatists and other forces inimical to peace to shun the politics of strikes and stone-peltng... the people are fed up with violence and want return of peace,' minister of state for tourism Nasir Aslam Wani said. Shafiq Ahmad Sheikh (40), an employee of education department, was killed on Friday when a group of youths hurled stones at a mini-bus during a separatist-sponsored march here. The rally, taken out from party headquarters at Nawai Subah complex amid tight security arrangements, concluded peacefully at Regal chowk after covering nearly one-km distance even after some youths made attempts to disturb it. A group of youth busy in a game of cricket at Polo ground shouted 'pro-freedom' slogans and hurled stones at the rally, but were chased away, police said, adding, no one was injured. Wanni criticised the separatists, especially the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for calling frequent strikes and protests. 'Those enforcing shutdowns by stone-pelting should come forward, give up rigidity and work for the welfare of the people' he said. Former minister and uncle of chief minister Omar Abdullah Mustafa Kamal accused Hurriyat Conference of creating law and order problems and asked them to shun 'negative politics'. 'I appeal to Geelani and other separatists to honour the aspirations of the people. By calling protests on Fridays, they are violating the sanctity of the day,' he said. The police today said two persons involved in Sheikh's death have been identified. 'Government has made it clear that the human rights violations will not be tolerated,' Wanni said.