For the first time after the scrapping of special status of J&K on August 5 last year, a separatist outfit, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat Conference, has called for a complete shutdown of J&K on February 9 and 11 to observe the death anniversaries of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, respectively. Both Bhat and Guru were hanged in Delhi’s Tihar jail.
All separatist groups had maintained complete silence since August 5. Perhaps that was the reason why the government avoided arresting or detaining the separatists, even though dozens of mainstream politicians and trade unionists were detained to prevent any law and order situation.
In a statement issued on Friday, a Hurriyat spokesman paid rich tributes to Bhat on his 36th anniversary and to Guru on his 7th anniversary.
The spokesman said, “Their (Bhat and Guru’s) great sacrifices have got etched in the collective conscience as the nation is striving for resolution of the Kashmir dispute. They are a constant reminder of the great sacrifices made during our 72-year-long struggle.”
He further said: “The best way to pay tributes to the martyrs of Kashmir, including Bhat and Guru, is that we remain steadfast in pursuance of our demand for resolution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the will of people.”
The spokesman urged the international community to take note of the happenings in J&K and the clampdown unleashed by the government of India.
He urged the world bodies, especially human rights organizations, to play their role by asking New Delhi to return the mortal remains of Bhat and Guru buried in Tihar to their families for burial in their own land in Kashmir.


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