SRINAGAR: Complete shutdown was observed in Gaw Kadal and its adjoining areas of Srinagar, today, on the completion of 28 years of the horrible Gaw Kadal massacre.
Call for the strike was given by the joint resistance leadership (JRL). All shops and business establishments remained closed while the traffic was off the road in the city.
The authorities had imposed restrictions particularly in Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Maharaj Gunj, Safa Kadal, Maisuma and Kralkhud areas of the city to prevent people from staging demonstrations against the massacre. Rolls of razor-fitted concertina wire had been placed at entry points to disallow vehicular and pedestrian movement.
However, defying restrictions resistance Hurriyat leaders and activists organized a rally at Basant Bagh to memorize the martyrs of the 1990 massacre. Hurriyat leaders, activists visited the site of Gawkadal massacre to pay tributes to more than 50 innocent people, who were martyred in indiscriminate firing by Indian troops on peaceful protestors on this day in 1990 in the area. The victims were protesting against the molestation of several women by troops, the previous night. The massacre was carried out just a day after New Delhi appointed Jagmohan as the Governor in a bid to control the Kashmiris’ movement for right to self-determination.
The authorities continued to put Hurriyet leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik under house arrest or in custody to stop them from leading the demonstrations.
Meanwhile, the Indian authorities have decided to continue to put stringent measures in place in Kashmir in the name of security till January 26 to ensure smooth conduct of the India’s Republican Day celebrations. Indian forces barged into the houses of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district and thrashed inmates including women. The personnel of Rashtriya Rifles and police participated in the operation.
A survey conducted by a New Delhi-based media watchdog website, The Hoot, says that occupied Jammu and Kashmir is at top among the worst states in terms of free speech and media freedom record during 2017. The survey says that at least 57 cases of the worst free speech and media freedom were reported in the past year.