Thousands join united Hurriyat rally in Srinagar


Srinagar: Leaders of the hardline and moderate factions of the Hurriyat Conference shared the stage here Sunday, as they led a massive procession to remember the martyrs of 1931.

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The procession culminated in the afternoon at the martyrs’ graveyard where protesters in the morning had disrupted a rally of the National Conference and forced the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti to flee barefoot for safety along with other leaders.

Hard line Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani led a procession from Habakadal locality of this summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir while Mirwaiz Umar led another procession which started from Jamia Mosque area in the old city.

Both processions reached Khanyar from where they marched towards the martyrs’ graveyard at Khwaja Bazzar in old city. The separatist leaders laid wreaths at the graveyard and later addressed a huge rally.

“Kashmiris have not forgotten the martyrs of 1931 who laid down their lives for a cause. We will take the ongoing freedom struggle to its logical conclusion,” Mirwaiz Umar said.

Addressing the rally, Geelani called for a complete poll boycott. “The struggle will continue till the goal of freedom is achieved,” he said.

This was the first time that Mirwaiz Umar and Geelani shared the stage after the unity moves, following the recent agitation against the allotment of land to the Amarnath shrine board.

Masked youth were seen carrying the flags of the guerrilla outfit “Al-Umar Mujaheedin” during the rally.

The rallyists repeatedly shouted pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans.

As the rally was dispersing, violent mobs attacked the house of a woman councillor of National Conference in Khawaja Bazzar, forcing police to use tear smoke and batons.

Kashmiris observe July 13 as Martyrs Day to pay tributes to those killed in police firing outside the central jail here in 1931 when a mob stormed the jail triggering an uprising against the erstwhile Dogra rulers.