Assembly debates about the Kashmir unrest

Undeterred by the counteroffensive of the government to foil his programme, the hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Tuesday issued a fresh protest calendar.

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly began a discussion on the unrest in the valley. Many members said the Geelani factor could not be ignored, while others blamed both separatists and the Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) for the crisis. The PDP boycotted the Assembly.

A Hurriyat spokesman said that the conglomerate had appealed the people to observe complete strike on October 7.

“The day will be observed as solidarity with detained Kashmiri youth and pro-freedom leadership,” he said. On October 8, he said, there will be no strike.

Again there will be complete strike on October 9 and 10. “People are asked to observe complete strike on October 12 and 13,” he said. There will be no strike on October 14, while October 15 will see a complete shutdown. On October 16, people can resume work.

The Hurriyat has exempted vehicular traffic from the strike on October 6 to enable people to pay obeisance at the shrine of Sufi saint Sheikh Nooruddin Wali at Charar-e-Sharief.

MLAs' plea

In the Assembly, there were forceful speeches about the prevailing situation and the tragic loss of life, with members asking the people to help restore normality, and the Centre to take concrete steps for a meaningful political process to end the stalemate.

Senior National Conference leader Chowdary Mohammad Ramzan stressed on finding the reasons that snowballed into the unrest despite a “credible” election. He said the Geelani factor was important at this juncture of Kashmir's political future, and that the government had to talk to him and leaders of the militant struggle.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary and MLA Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami said a credible structural mechanism in the shape of a Parliamentary Committee was the need of the hour to engage varied shades of political opinion and voices of dissent for sorting out the Kashmir issue.

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