November 2016 News

Separatists To Continue Strike, Hint At Relaxation

8 November 2016
The Indian Express
Bashaarat Masood and Sofi Ahsan

Srinagar: The separatist leadership on Tuesday decided to continue with its shutdown call and protest calendars, but hinted at 'addressing the concerns' of some sections of society who have been hit by the strike. The decision was taken following a meeting of the separatist leaders with various 'stakeholders', including traders, transporters and civil society members. 'Everyone (participants in the meeting) said that the leadership should continue the struggle. They have decided to continue it,' separatist leader Yasin Malik said. 'The (protest) programme will happen again. This is a people's movement and as long as they want it, it will continue.' The meeting convened by the joint separatist leadership - comprising Hurriyat chairmen Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik - started at 10.30 am and continued till 5 pm. Sources said while some participants in the meeting sought more relaxation in the protest calendars, they asked the leadership to 'continue the struggle'. 'They gave some suggestions Keeping in view the issues of those sections, a comprehensive (protest) programme will come,' Mirwaiz said. Some participants said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's statement in Jammu that 'good news would come soon' should be taken into account. 'She perhaps thought that a situation would arise in which the struggle would be damaged. Or that a wrong step would be taken regarding our struggle,' Geelani said after the meeting. 'All of them (participants) expressed their confidence in the leadership.'