In occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown was being observed on 9th February, to mark the 7th martyrdom anniversary of Kashmiri leader, Muhammad Afzal Guru.
Afzal Guru was a Kashmiri freedom fighter who was caught by the Indian government and was convicted to have participated in the attack on the Indian Parliament back in 2001. He was charged by the Indian Supreme Court under several sections of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), 2002 and was finally executed on 9th February 2013 following the rejection of his petition for mercy by the Indian President.
The Indian Supreme court declared him a terrorist and a member of the Jaish e Muhammad- a group fighting in Kashmir for the liberation of the Kashmiri people. The group had been accused of attacking the Indian Parliament in 2001. The body of Afzal Guru is buried in the vicinity of the Tihar jail.
Syed Ali Geelani calls for shutdown on Shaheed Maqbool Bhat and Shaheed Afzal Guru’s Martyrdom anniversary. Demanded return of mortal remains for burying in martyrs homeland. pic.twitter.com/PNMjSLaiWK
— AbdullahGilani (@SAbdullahGilani) February 7, 2020
Call for the shutdown has been given by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat forum, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and other pro-freedom leaders and organizations.
Stringent measures have been taken in the name of security to prevent anti-India protests. A large number of personnel of the Indian army, police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in all important places. All shops and business establishments are closed in Srinagar and other parts of the territory while traffic is off the road.
The leaders and organizations have also called for complete shutdown on Tuesday on the occasion of the martyrdom anniversary of another prominent liberation leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt.
Maqbool Butt was a Kashmiri separatist and freedom fighter, a founder of the organisation of National Liberation Front which fought for the rights of the Kashmiri people.
He was accused of the hijacking of an Indian airliner to Lahore, Pakistan back in 1971. He was considered to be the mastermind behind the whole incident. Under the Charges of hijacking and risking the lives of some 80 passengers aboard on that plane he was awarded a death sentence.
He appealed to the president of India for mercy on the basis of many legal flaws in the judgment, but before his petition could be signed by the president, he was executed. His execution created a great hype in India and the decision was questioned by many Indians on the basis that it should have been delayed till the president’s decision over his petition.
Maqbool Butt had also founded a militant organization Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). The members of JKLF observe his death anniversary every year on 11 February since his execution in 1984.
The judge Neelkanth Ganjoo,who had awarded death sentence to Butt was murdered by JKLF activists in 1989.
India had hanged Muhammad Afzal Guru in New Delhiís Tihar Jail on 9th February, 2013 and Muhammad Maqbool Butt in the same jail on 11th February 1984, for their role in Kashmir freedom movement. Their bodies remain buried in the premises of the jail.
Meanwhile, normal life continues to remain affected in the Kashmir Valley due to the military lockdown and gag on broadband and high-speed mobile internet on 189th consecutive day, today.
GVS Desk with input from Agencies & TV News