Occupied Kashmir observes strike to mark execution anniversary of Afzal Guru

Published February 9, 2020
An Indian paramilitary trooper talks to a man at a checkpoint during a one-day strike called by Jammu and Kashmir Libration Front (JKLF) to demand the return of the remains of Afzal Guru, who was executed in 2013 over the Indian parliament attack in 2001, in downtown  Srinagar in occupied Kashmir on February 9. — AFP
An Indian paramilitary trooper talks to a man at a checkpoint during a one-day strike called by Jammu and Kashmir Libration Front (JKLF) to demand the return of the remains of Afzal Guru, who was executed in 2013 over the Indian parliament attack in 2001, in downtown Srinagar in occupied Kashmir on February 9. — AFP

Shops and businesses were shut in occupied Kashmir on Sunday and authorities imposed a lockdown in some parts of the region's main city after Kashmiri fighters called for a strike to mark the execution anniversary of a Kashmiri fruit vendor, Mohammed Afzal Guru, who was convicted for an attack on the Indian parliament in Delhi.

Hundreds of police and paramilitary soldiers patrolled largely deserted streets in Srinagar. Authorities put old parts of the city under lockdown, with major roads blocked by razor wire and barricades in anticipation of anti-India protests and possible violence. Public transport was largely off the roads.

Most Kashmiris were incensed when in 2013, Guru was secretly hanged in a New Delhi jail on charges of being involved in the December 2001 parliament attack that killed 14 people, including five gunmen.

Guru was on death row for 11 years. His family received a letter informing them of his imminent hanging two days after he was dead, but the letter, dated Feb 6, 2013, was mailed on Feb 8, a day before Guru's execution.

Most people in occupied Kashmir believe Guru was not given a fair trial, and the covert execution led to days of deadly anti-India protests in the Muslim-majority region, where anti-India sentiment runs deep.

Kashmiri fighters have also called for a strike on February 11 to mark the day in 1984 when pro-independence leader Mohammed Maqbool Butt was hanged in the same New Delhi jail after being convicted of killing an intelligence officer.

Kashmiri fighters demand that the two men's remains, buried within the jail compound, be returned to the region.

Meanwhile, police on Saturday summoned two journalists for questioning in Srinagar for reporting about the strike call given by the Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front.

The Kashmir Press Club called it harassment.

"It has become a routine with police to summon journalists for their stories," said Ishfaq Tantray, the club's general-secretary. "It is an attempt by the law enforcement agencies to define new terms of journalism in Kashmir. They're trying to define to us what we should report and how we should report."

Police in a statement said they registered a case against the Kashmiri fighters' group for "attempts to incite violence and disturb law and order situation".

Opinion

Editorial

The establishment pivot
18 Jan, 2022

The establishment pivot

It is a sad reality that the power matrix continues to revolve around the establishment.
18 Jan, 2022

Remittances growth

THE hefty growth in remittances from Pakistanis living abroad continues to defy forecasts to the contrary. New State...
18 Jan, 2022

China-Iran deal

THE China-Iran strategic deal that has recently taken effect is more than just a long-term bilateral agreement...
Security policy unveiled
Updated 17 Jan, 2022

Security policy unveiled

PAKISTAN’S freshly unveiled National Security Policy has broadened the traditional concept and included economic...
Bold decisions
Updated 17 Jan, 2022

Bold decisions

IT is a double blow within a matter of days. The Islamabad High Court’s order last week to demolish a navy golf...
17 Jan, 2022

Rohingya camp blaze

A HUGE blaze in a refugee camp housing members of the Rohingya community in Bangladesh last week has left up to ...