BJP, Separatists Set For Showdown On 'Accession Day'

25 October 2015
The Hindu
Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar: The ruling BJP and the separatists are all set for a showdown on the 68th anniversary of India sending troops to Kashmir. While the BJP will celebrate 'Accession Day' in Jammu, the separatists are sponsoring a shutdown in the Kashmir valley. BJP State general secretary Ashok Kaul directed party workers to chalk out an elaborate programme to commemorate October 26, when the Instrument of Accession was signed between the then Maharaja and Indian authorities, as 'Accession Day.' 'The day should be celebrated like other festivals,' said Mr. Kaul in Jammu during a media interaction after chairing a meeting of party workers. In the Valley, separatist leaders - Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik - have called for a shutdown on October 27, the day Indian troops landed in the State for the first time in 1947. The separatists have asked people to hoist black flags. 'Sixty-eight years ago India without any constitutional and moral justifications occupied Jammu & Kashmir. People were not asked for their views then. The wishes and aspirations of people are not being respected today,' said Mr. Geelani. JKLF chief Yasin Malik said: 'October 27 is the blackest day in the history of J&K. People of Kashmir will observe a complete shutdown as a mark of protest against illegal and forceful occupation.' Hurriyat faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq asked people to observe a bandh 'to send a clear message that the peaceful struggle for the achievement of right to self-determination will continue till the Kashmir issue is not resolved in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.' The Congress will hold a peaceful sit-in on Monday 'against the factors and groups hell-bent on harming the integrity, age-old tradition of brotherhood and communal harmony of the State.'