Shutdown in Lal Chowk, adjoining areas; JKLF, TeH take out rallies


Srinagar, Jan 21: A complete shutdown was observed in Lal Chowk here and its adjoining areas on Wednesday to mark the 25th anniversary of Gaw Kadal massacre in which 51 civilians were killed by paramilitary CRPF personnel.
On the call of various separatists groups, shops and commercial establishments remained closed in Maisuma, Abiguzar, Budshah Chowk, Lal Chowk, Koker Bazar, Court Road and Residency Road.
Leaders of Hurriyat (M), Zaffer Akbar Bhat and Javed Ahmad Mir, led a protest rally from Lal Chowk to Gaw Kadal. On the occasion, Bhat and Mir paid tributes to martyrs of Gaw kadal, Handwara and Sopore.  “Despite passing of 25 years, the accused are yet to be punished. Sacrifices of Kashmiris are priceless asset of the ongoing struggle. We urge the international community to respect the aspirations of Kashmiris by playing their role in solving Kashmir issue either by implementing UN resolutions or though tripartite dialogue,” they said.
They also urged the separatist leaders to forge unity. “We appeal all pro-freedom leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Ahmad Shah to forge unity for resisting the anti-Kashmir agenda of India,” they said.
Chairman of People’s Political Party, Hilal Ahmed War, also paid tributes to the Gaw Kadal martyrs, “On January 20, 1990, then Governor Jagmohan’s first television address stunned everyone as it was a direct threat that ‘if  anybody creates law and order problem, the cards of peace will slip away from my hands’. And in less than 24 hours, the people were massacred at Gaw Kadal on his orders,” War said.
Meanwhile, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat organized special prayers in Srinagar and took out a rally in Gaw kadal area. “We reiterate the appeal of TeH Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani for impartial investigation into all the massacres of Kashmir including the Gaw Kadal massacre, An FIR should immediately be registered against the CRPF officers and personnel and the then Governor Jagmohan who were involved in the bloodshed of innocent people of Gaw Kadal,” a spokesperson of TeH said in a statement.