Srinagar: Separatists in the Kashmir Valley have come together to oppose the setting up of “exclusive colonies” for Pandits (or Hindus) and retired military personnel.
It is for the first time since 2008 that the Kashmiri separatists, who are ideologically and politically divided, have joined hands. Back then, they had united during the violent Amarnath land agitation.
The Hindustan Times reported that separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik held a meeting on Monday and strategise against the PDP-BJP government's “plans” to establish colonies for displaced Pandits and ex-servicemen of the state.
The meeting was held at Geelani’s residence in Srinagar's Hyderpora and went on for some 90 minutes.
Ayaz Akbar, a spokesperson of the hardline Hurriyat Conference, told the newspaper that it was for the first time since 2008 that all three leaders have come together to discuss any grave issue.
The months-long 2008 agitation was centred around the then PDP-Congress government's move to transfer a piece of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, which manages the annual Hindu pilgrimage of Amarnath Yatra.
At the meeting on Monday, the trio decided on enforcing a complete shutdown on Thursday and “peaceful protests” on Friday.
The trio have come together against proposed plans for “creation of the separate clusters for the Pandits, establishing of Sainik colonies, harassment of the Jammu Muslims, BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh’s warning to the Jammu Muslims of repeating 1947 carnage and induction of new anti-Kashmir industrial policy”.
They further said in a joint statement that it was time for the people to “rise to defend their existence, individuality, their Muslim identity and the disputed status of the Kashmir and to start an effective struggle against the dangerous plans of RSS in Kashmir”.