Gowkadal Massacre’ anniversary: Police impose restrictions in Srinagar, Hurriyat pays homage
Srinagar, Jan 21: Police on Sunday imposed restrictions in various parts of Srinagar to foil Joint Hurriyat Leadership led protest to pay homage to 55 Kashmiris killed by forces on January 21, 1990.
The Joint Hurriyat, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for protest march on the 28th anniversary of “Gaw Kadal Massacre” in which 55 people were killed, who were protesting against the harassment by the government forces during nocturnal house-to-house raids in downtown area.
To foil the protest progamme, government had imposed restrictions in several areas under seven police stations including Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj, Safa Kadal, Maisuma and Kralkhud.
Contingents of Central Reserve Police Force and state police in full riot gear were deployed in areas placed under restrictions and other law and order sensitive places.
Rolls of razor fitted concertina wires were placed at traffic crossings to disallow vehicular movement.
Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik along with various other Hurriyat leaders were put under house arrested or arrested by the police.
However, several leaders, and activists of Hurriyat managed to reach Basant Bagh and held a rally on the call given by the Joint Hurriyat , carrying the banners showing pictures of those killed on this day on 1990,
Eye witnesses said when they tried to proceed to reach the place where the massacre took place, they were intercepted by the police.
Later they assembled at Marriage Hall Basant Bagh, where leaders of JKLF, Hurriyat Conference (G) and Hurriyat Conference (M) paid tributes to the slain.
Meanwhile, the Joint Hurriyat in a statement said that, “India witnessed only one Jalianwala Bagh massacre but Kashmiris have witnessed dozens of such massacres carried out by Indian forces since 1990..”
In the statement, they said that Hurriyat leader paid homage to those who were killed on January 21, 1990 by the forces. “This protest program was held despite unprecedented curfew, restrictions, barricades, spree of arrests and nocturnal raids by police and forces,” the Joint Hurriyat said.
“Whole Sher-e-Khas was also as usual placed under curfew. Even the martyrs’ memorial at Basant Bagh had been sealed off by razor wire and other barricades,” the statement reads.
They claimed that “curfew and restrictions” were such that no one including women, children and sick were allowed to move in or out the area.
“Despite all these ruthless measures, leaders from the Joint Resistance camp along with people from other walks of life managed to gather near the martyrs’ memorial at Basant Bagh and held a peaceful protest program,” they said.
The speakers the statement said that in 1990, the then home minister of India and founder of today’s ruling party PDP Mufti Muhammad Saeed, deployed “fascist governor Jag-Mohan in Jammu Kashmir with a purpose to kill and oppress Kashmiris”.
Terming the “martyrs” as real heroes of the people of Jammu Kashmir, JRL claimed that “so-called rulers at the behest of their masters in Delhi and Nagpur are not allowing any peaceful political activity in Kashmir but are shamelessly claiming to be democrats”.