Kashmiris observe Indian Republic Day as Black Day
Srinagar, January 26, 2013 (PPI-OT): Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world marked India’s Republic Day, today, as Black Day to convey to the international community that India’s continued denial of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination belied its claim of being a democratic republic.
The day was marked by complete strike in occupied Kashmir, call for which was given by the All Parties Hurriyet Conference, the veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, the JKLF Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, and the High Court Bar Association. All shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices remained closed while traffic was off the road.
Gun-toting Indian troops and police personnel manned every nook and corner of all major cities and towns to ensure that people do not hold protest demonstrations. The occupation authorities had deployed troops and police personnel in strength around the Bakhshi Stadium, the main venue of official function, and other vital installations across the Valley. Mobile phone and Internet services were suspended.
Senior APHC leader, Professor Abdul Ghani Butt, in a media interview in Srinagar urged India to give the Kashmiris an opportunity to decide their future by themselves. The APHC-AJK chapter organised a sit-in protest outside the UN Office in Islamabad. It was led by the Convenor, Mahmood Ahmed Saghar. A memorandum was presented to the UN Office, reminding the World Body of its resolutions for settling the Kashmir dispute.
In Brussels, the Chairman of Kashmir Centre, Barrister Abdul Tramboo, led a big demonstration outside the Indian Embassy in connection with the Black Day. Addressing the participants, Barrister Tramboo urged the world community to impress upon India to grant the people of Kashmir their inalienable right to self-determination.
British Kashmiris staged a sit-in outside the Indian High Commission in London. On the occasion, the Executive Director of Kashmir Centre London, Professor Nazir Ahmad Shawl, submitted a memorandum to the High Commission for Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, calling for release of all illegally detained Kashmiris, repeal of draconian laws, end to human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and demilitarization of Kashmir.
Speaking at a debate in New Delhi, noted rights activists, Arundhati Roy, Nivedita Menon, Kartik Markotla and Parvez Imroz deplored that India had given a free hand to its troops and police to commit human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir.
The debate was organised by Peoples Union for Democratic Rights on a recent report released by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons on human rights violations in the occupied territory.
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