Separatist Leaders Not To Call For Strike On Martyrs' Day

12 July 2015

Srinagar: For the first time in 25 years since the start of militancy in Kashmir, the separatists have not called for a general strike on Martyrs' Day on Monday in view of the fasting month of Ramzan. The legacy of July 13 Martyrs incident, in which 21 protestors were killed in firing by Dogra Army outside Srinagar Central Jail in 1931, is claimed by both the mainstream political parties of the Valley and the separatist groups. While the day is observed as an official holiday every year, the separatists have been calling for a general strike on this day since 1990 to commemorate the sacrifices. Hurriyat Conference factions, headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and pro-independence JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, jointly decided not to call for a strike this year. On record, all three groups maintained that the decision was taken in view of ongoing fasting month of Ramzan. The spokespersons of hardline and moderate Hurriyat, Ayaz Akbar and Shahidul Islam, said that 'the decision has been taken jointly by the leadership in view of Ramzan.' Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik, along with many second-rung separatist leaders and sympathisers, broke fast together at the hardline leader's Hyderpora residence last evening. A resolution was passed at Geelani's iftar party to restate the separatists' position on Kashmir issue.