Jammu, Feb 15: Normal life across Chenab valley remained disrupted Friday as all the major towns across the region observed shutdown to protest hanging of Muhammad Afzal Guru.
While Chenab region observed bandh and witnessed protests, large number of people offered prayers in absentia for Afzal Guru at various places in twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri. At Rajouri, large number of people while condemning hanging of Guru passed a resolution demanding return of his body to the family.
Reports reaching here revealed that amid complete shutdown in all major towns including Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Banihal and other places, people in large numbers staged strong protest demonstrations after Friday prayers condemning “secret” hanging of Afzal Guru maintaining that his trial was not fair as he was not given a chance to defend himself.
All the shops and other business establishments remained closed in all the major townships of Chenab region. The traffic movement on the roads was also affected.
Bandh call was given by separatist leaders from local mosques following which people from all walks of life gathered at specified places and took out protest demonstrations raising pro-freedom and pro-Guru.
The district administration had made elaborate security arrangements and huge deployment of security forces was made across the Chenab valley region in view of the bandh call.
At Bhaderwah, Banihal and Kishtwar towns, people held demonstrations and raised slogans against the government.
Speakers while condemning “secret” execution of Guru said that the victim was not given any chance to defend himself. They also said that he was innocent and had nothing to do with the attack on Indian Parliament. They said “it was a shame on the so-called democracy as victim was not allowed to defend himself.”
Further more, the speakers also said that such atrocities on the innocent Kashmiris would further escalate tension in South East Asia. They appealed the international community to intervene and demanded an inquiry into the “secret execution” of Afzal Guru by an independent agency like Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch.
At Poonch, large number of people performed prayers in absentia for Afzal Guru at various places amid tight security.
Large number of people assembled at Parade Park after Friday prayers and offered Namaz-e-Jinazah (funeral prayers in absentia) for Afzal Guru.
In Mandi area thousands of people offered prayers in absentia for Guru. After offering prayers people said that Afzal did not get proper justice and his hanging was selective and politically motivated.
Sensing gravity of the situation, the district administration had earlier organized a meeting of prominent citizens of Poonch and sought their help in maintaining law and order. People belonging to different communities also assured full support in maintaining peace and prosperity in the district.
Meanwhile, people at Thanamandi passed a resolution terming Afzal Guru’s hanging as undemocratic and demanded that his body should be handed back to his family. The resolution was later handed over to the higher authorities.

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