Separatists scale down Kashmir shutdown, hint at calling off six-month long strike

Kashmiri separatists leaders today decided to trim their week-long protest shutdown to two days a week, saying they would instead focus on long-term plan of programmes and initiatives.
Separatists, Kashmir shutdown, strike, Kashmir Source: REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE
India TV News Desk Srinagar December 15, 2016 0:04 IST

 Hinting a change in tactics, Kashmiri separatists leaders today decided to trim their week-long protest shutdown to two days a week, saying they would instead focus on long-term plan of programmes and initiatives.

In a joint statement, hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, chief of moderate faction of Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLJ chief Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a statement that they are working on a plan for transition from weekly protest calendars to a long term-plan of programmes and initiatives. 

The new “protest calendar” brings the curtain down on a bloody agitation they spearheaded for nearly six months in the Kashmir Valley which claimed some 100 lives.

The unrest -- the deadliest in six years -- has also left over 12,000 persons, including security men, injured.

Around 150 people injured by pellets fired from pump action guns by the security forces face the prospect of permanent blindness.

Indicating that the separatists have realised that protests and shutdowns cannot be carried on endlessly, the statement said the "way forward" now lay in "a long term sustainable strategy" that has "minimum costs for the people".

It said the leaders were trying to reach out to all sections of the society to "discuss the idea, seek their suggestions and their assurance of participation and support to the year-long plan".

The troika has been spearheading the valley-wide protest shutdown since July 9, a day after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed by security forces.

Initially, the separatists issued weekly protest calendars asking people to resume activities for barely a few hours in a week. This was later modified to a day's relaxation.

Separatist leaders said the announcement of the "transition plan" may take some more time as "most of the leadership has been caged and all kinds of hurdles put in place to thwart and sabotage our every move by force". 

They stated this while issuing a fresh protest calendar for the next two weeks, during which the number of strike days has been scaled down. 

While people have been asked to observe complete shutdown on Fridays and Saturdays, there will be no strike on rest of the five days of the week till December 31, as per their call. 

The change of strategy comes amid unease and fatigue displayed over the prolonged shutdown by the people who are increasingly defying the call and going about their work for livelihood and other aspects of normal life. 

Related Tags: KashmirKashmir Unrest
 
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