Geelani calls for Valley-wide shutdown on Saturday

Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday called for shutdown in Valley on April 18 tomorrow.

In a statement issued to Kashmir dispatch, Geelani cited various reasons for shutdown. He said the shutdown is against “cold blooded murder” of youth in Tral; “unjustified and inhuman” arrests of Hurriyat Leaders, “continued and repeated raids” on pro-freedom youths.

The last reason cited by Geelani for shutdown is unique. According to Geelani, the shutdown is also against “biased and provoking paid Indian media and their sub-lings here in Kashmir”.

It is perhaps for the first time since the outbreak of armed insurgency that media has been cited one of the reasons for shutdown call.

On Thursday, Hurriyat asked Kashmir journalists working with Indian news channels to “mend their ways” or the amalgam would “expose” them.

Interestingly, the Hurriyat chief limited shutdown to Tral area only when the brother of prominent Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed in army action.

Meanwhile anti-Indian leaders who recently quit Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led Hurriyat conference on Friday supported Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s strike call against civilian killings in Tral and re-detention of Masrat Aalm Bhat.

Jammu Kashmir Salvation Movement Chairman Zaffer Akbar Bhat, National Peoples Party chairman Syed Salim Geelani, Muslim Khawateen Markaz Chairperson Yasmeen Raja, Muslim League Chairman Hakim Abdul Rashid, Kashmir Freedom Front Chairman Syed Bashir Ahmad Indrabi, Gujjar Pahari Republic Front Chairman Choudry Shaheen and Peoples movement Shahid Saleem, in an joint statement annouced their support to strike call of Syed Ali Shah Geelani-Chairman Hurriyat Conference against the Tral killings, detention of Masrat Aalm Bhat and biased approach of Indian media.