Despite growing defiance by the public, separatist groups, which have been spearheading the ongoing 103-day-old agitation in Kashmir, today extended the strike till October 27. In a statement, the separatist camp called for protests for three days outside the residences of legislators on Friday and separate rallies to various places on Monday and Tuesday. The separatists accused the legislators of justifying participation in elections in the name of 'sadak-pani-bijli' (road, water and electricity) and motivating people to vote. The separatist camp, comprising both factions of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF led by Mohammad Yasin Malik, also announced 17-hour relaxation from 5 PM from October 22 to October 25, while asking people to observe complete strike during the rest of the days. The extension of the agitation came even though more and more people are defying the separatist strike call by resuming their day-to-day activities in the valley. Many shops and business establishments are remaining open in civil lines areas of Sanat Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh and Bishembar Nagar and in the outskirts of the city, a police official said. He said a large number of roadside vendors set up their stalls on the TRC crossing-Batamaloo axis passing through Lal Chowk, while there was increased movement of private vehicles and auto-rickshaws in the city.
Separatists extend agitation till Oct 27 despite defiance
Press Trust of India |