Hurriyat leaders call for bandh in State ahead of PM’s visit

“Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi must pick up the threads of former PM (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee's peace process where he spoke of insaniyat,” said Hurriyat (M) leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in an interview to The Hindu on Thursday.

The Hurriyat (M), along with the Hurriyat (G) led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other separatist leaders, have issued a call for a bandh on Friday when Mr. Modi arrives in Jammu and Kashmir for his first visit. Following the bandh call, Hurriyat leaders are likely to be placed under house arrest and Srinagar will see a heavy police presence, although much lower security than in the past.

However, Mr. Farooq said the bandh was not aimed at Mr. Modi or the BJP. “This bandh is a message to the people in New Delhi that it's time they looked at Kashmir from a political basis. Right now everyone talks about normalcy, tourism and trade, but there is still a lot of pressure on the common Kashmiri. There are still black laws, there are still detentions and house arrests of leaders of the Hurriyat.”

A joint statement of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference said the strike was being called to demand a resumption of the peace process in Kashmir.