Shiv Sena seeks ban on 'safar-e-azadi'

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Jammu, Nov 3 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir unit of Shiv Sena today demanded that Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik's 'safar-e-azadi' journey be banned.

The second phase of Mr Malik's journey will start in the Jammu region on Monday. It is a sequel to the 'safar-e-azadi' that the party had launched in the Kashmir valley this summer.

Shiv Sena state president Rajesh Gupta, in a letter to J and K police chief Kuldeep Khoda, expressed concern over Mr Malik's movement and demanded to ban the journey.

''It is disturbing to note that a separatist activist, Yasin Malik, has announced to conduct a series of rallies in the Jammu region aimed to promote separatism under the banner 'safar-e-azadi','' Mr Gupta added.

The Shiv Sena leader said ''in a bid to avert such clashes, and stop the promotion of secessionism in Jammu, this campaign against unity and sovereignty of India is required to be stopped and promoters of this campaign dealt under law.'' Meanwhile, Mr Malik said, ''We will start the next phase of the journey from Doda in the Jammu region on Monday.'' ''This (journey) is aimed at (to seek) Kashmir's solution as per the aspirations of the people of the state, and stability and peace in South Asia,'' he added.

The JKLF was the first group to launch the violent secessionist movement in Kashmir but disbanded its military wing in 1994.

''We have realised that tools of peace - courting arrests, sit-ins and rallies and marches - are more fruitful than bloodshed,'' Mr Yasin added.


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