Separatists call for shutdown in Valley next week



Srinagar: Several separatist groups on Sunday gave a call for a shutdown in Kashmir Valley on March 23 in support of their demand for handing over mortal remains of Mohammad Azal Guru and Maqbool Bhat to their families.

"A complete strike will be observed on Saturday to demand the return of mortal remains of Guru and Bhat and to protest the house arrest of leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq," Majlis Mashawarat, an amalgamation of several separatist groups, said.

Geelani is the chairman of the hardline Hurriyat Conference while Farooq is the head of the moderate faction.

In a statement here, the Majlis asked college students to stage protests on Tuesday at their respective institutions.

It said civil society and human right activists would stage a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday in support of the demand for handing over mortal remains of Guru and Bhat to their families.

The Majlis asked the people in the Valley to observe a complete black out on Thursday evening. Lights should be switched off in homes, business establishments and mosques on that day, it added.

Both factions of the Hurriyat Conference, JKLF, Kashmir Bar Association and Dukhtaran-e-Millat are constituents of the Majlis which was formed in the wake of Parliament attack convict Guru's execution inside Tihar Jail on February 9.

Bhat was hanged and buried inside Tihar Jail on February 11, 1984 after he was convicted for murdering a police officer.

PTI