Kashmir: Shutdown, protests marked the 23rd anniversary of Gawkadal Massacre
Kashmir valley’s business centre -- Lal Chowk and adjoin areas of Srinagar city, Tuesday observed a complete shutdown to to remember the victims of a Gawkadal massacre that took place on this day in 1990.
Shops and other business establishments remained closed in Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Gaw Kadal, Hari Singh High Street and Maharaja Bazar areas of Srinagar following a shutdown called by the key resistance leaders including Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah, to protest the killings of 51 protestors in firing by Indian forces in Gaw Kadal this day in 1990.
Life was, however, normal in other areas of the city and all other towns of Kashmir Valley.
Authorities have deployed Police and paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in the city; however clashes broke out between protesters and Indian forces in Maisuma area of City. Protesters who had gathered in the area to remember the martyrs of massacre were dispersed by Indian forces by tear smoke shells.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Muhammad Yasin Malik lead a protest demonstration in the same area of city and addressed a huge gathering of his supports and followers along with other party leaders.
Yasin Malik addressing the gathering remembered martyrs and paid glowing tributes to them and 21st January as an important day in Kashmir history. “21st January is an important day of our 5000 year old Kashmir history. On this day thousands of unarmed people came out of their houses to demand freedom. These peaceful people were showered with bullets by Indian forces. Same kind of massacres continued at Handwara, Sopore, Sailan Poonch, Zakura, bypass Batamaloo, Magarmal Bagh, Baderwah, Marmat Doda, and Bijebihara etc. the sole aim of India was to terrorize people of Kashmir through these brutal massacres and put an end on their march towards freedom but India failed in doing so as despite all these killings and oppressive measures, people of Jammu Kashmir have continued their revolution and march towards freedom.”
Yasin Malik said, that today India and Pakistan is showing lot of Warmth and has started a fresh process of daioulouge. “kashmiri’s are not against dialogue as we are of the opinion that it is only the dialogue through which issues and problems can be resolved But it is equally true that in dialogue priority must be given to those issues-concerned with sufferings of humans and trade and commerce follow. It is ironical that in our case trade and commerce are superseding the human sufferings and tragedies.
Jammu and Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah-a mainstream politican with Indian ideology also has termed the day as black day in Kashmir history. He has expressed his views through his twitter handle @Abdullah_Omar today.
Other separatists leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan and Zaffer Akbar Bhat has also paid tributes to Gawkadal martyrs.