Friday, September 05, 2008


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‘Lal Chowk Chalo stands’

Srinagar, Sep 3: The Coordination Committee - an amalgam of various pro-freedom parties, traders, lawyers and members of the civil society - on Wednesday called for peaceful protests on Friday after the Zuhr prayers and complete shutdown on Saturday.
After more than three hour marathon meeting at Mirwaiz Manzil, Fazl Haq Qureshi, who presided over the meeting, told media persons that the Committee appealed to the people all over the Valley to hold peaceful sit-in protests outside mosques after the prayers. “The protests would remain peaceful. People have been asked to raise slogans seeking freedom and right to self determination during the protests,” Qureshi said.
For rest of the day, Qureshi said, life would continue to be normal, as per the earlier announcements of the Co-ordination Committee. “Business establishments, education institutions and offices would remain open and transport would ply normallys`,” he said.
The meeting, Qureshi said, decided that complete shutdown would be observed in the Valley on Saturday. “But it decided against the shutdown on Sunday. All the shops and offices would remain open on Sunday and transport would ply normally till 4 p.m. as per the program given by the Committee during last meeting,” he said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Qureshi said the “Lal Chowk Chalo” program remained unchanged. However, the Committee would decide on its new date later, he said.
The chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and the chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik, could not attend the meeting because both were under house arrest. The chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, too could not attend due to ill health.
Among others present were: Dr Ghulam Muhammad Hubbi, (Hurriyat-M), Showkat Ahmad Bakshi, Bashir Ahmad Bhat (JKLF), Ghulam Muhammad Bhat (AAC), Khursheed Alam (EJAC), Nahida Akhtar (Dukhtaran-e-Millat), Jan Muhammad Koul (KTMF), Lateef Ahmad (HCBA), Dr Mubeen Shah (KCCI), Shakeel Qalander (FCIK), Ghulam Muhammad Bhat (KMDA), Muhammad Shafi Khan (CCIK), Muhammad Azim Tuman (HBOA), Bashir Ahmad (Fruit Growers Association) and a representative of EJAC (Q).
However no one from the Geelani faction of the Hurriyat Conference participated in the meeting. Asked about their absence, Qureshi said the Committee had earlier decided the venue for the meeting. After the meeting, however, a delegation of the Committee led by Dr Hubi, went to Geelani’s residence and informed him about the decisions taken.
Earlier, the Mirwaiz faction of Hurriyat Conference convened a meeting of its party leadership at the Nigeen residence of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is under house arrest since his release.

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