The hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday made a U-turn within hours of dropping plans to stage protest marches to camps of the Army and other security forces in Srinagar on September 21 saying “there was no change in the plans“.
“There is no change in the protest calendar so far. The programme given for September 21 stands as of now,” Mr. Geelani told PTI here.
Earlier, spokesman of the hardline faction Ayaz Akbar said the amalgam has decided to drop the planned marches to army and other security forces camps.
However, Mr. Geelani said decisions of this kind cannot be taken individually. “The Majlis-e-shoura (advisory council) has to meet in case any changes are to be made.”
Asked when the advisory council is expected to meet, he said it will be announced in the due course of time.
“There was a communication gap which led to the error. We regret the inconvenience,” Mr. Akbar said after Mr. Geelani’s clarification.
Mr. Akbar had said the decision to drop the protest march was taken as there was “genuine apprehension” that authorities will take strong action against the protesters.
Mr. Geelani had on Thursday said the proposed protest march would be peaceful and there were no plans to attack the security forces’ camps.
“We only want to tell the forces that they will have to leave this land one day. The elders of the respective areas will lead the marches and hand over memoranda to the army personnel in this regard,” he said.
Taking strong note of the Mr. Geelani’s protest programme, the Army had asked people to ignore the call given by him.
“The Army makes a sincere appeal to people to avoid being misled by the Hurriyat leaders and avoid confronting army garrisons or vehicles,” Defence spokesman Lt. Colonel J.S. Brar said on Thursday.
The Army had also asked the Hurriyat Conference to withdraw the protest to prevent loss of life and property.
The Army’s appeal came a day after top security and civil officials met here to devise a strategy to tackle the separatist programme for September 21.
As part of the strategy, Army personnel have been deployed in several areas around their camps to act as buffers between any mobs and the installations.
Two killed, 16 injured in fresh protests
Two persons were killed and 16 others injured as security forces allegedly opened fire to quell stone-pelting mobs at four places in Budgam and Baramulla districts of central Kashmir on Friday.
The fresh protests came even as curfew remained in force in Srinagar and other major towns of the Kashmir Valley for the fifth successive day on Friday.
Five persons were injured when security forces allegedly opened fire to disperse hundreds of people who defied curfew and indulged in stone-pelting at Churpora village of Beerwah, 32 km from here, in Budgam district, official sources said.
One of the critically injured identified as Fayaz Ahmad Dar was rushed to SKIMS Medical College Hospital at Bemina where he was declared brought dead by the doctors, they said.
Another youth Ghulam Rasool Bhat was killed and eight others injured when security forces allegedly opened fire and used pump action gun to chase away curfew-defying mob at Tapper Payeen in Pattan area of Baramulla district, the sources said.
Bhat was taken to Sumbal sub-district hospital where he succumbed to injuries, they said.
With the fresh killings, the toll in the ongoing unrest, since June 11, in the Kashmir Valley has risen to 93.
Three more persons were injured in clashes between security forces and protestors at Sangrama in Baramulla district, the sources said, adding security forces allegedly opened fire in an attempt to bring the situation under control.
Another person identified as Mohammad Shafi was hit by a bullet in the leg when security forces allegedly opened fire after being attacked by a stone-pelting mob at Chichloora-Magam, 25 km from here, on Srinagar-Gulmarg road, the sources said.
They said the situation in the areas, hit by fresh violence, was tense as hundreds of people have gathered on the roads to protest against the security forces firing.
Curfew was imposed in Sriangar on Sunday and was extended to entire Kashmir Valley the next day following large scale violence and massive protests