Srinagar, July 18: The nine-day protest program announced by the separatist Hurriyat Conference in Jammu and Kashmir has upset locals.
After more than three weeks of curfews and shutdowns, life was returning to normalcy in the valley but the protest program, called in connection with the Hurriyat Conference's 'Quit Kashmir Campaign' on Friday, Jul 17 has again engulfed Kashmir Valley.
The programme includes a complete shutdown on Sunday, Jul 18. It also calls for protests by government employees on Monday, Jul 19 and sit-ins to be observed by locals across Jammu and Kashmir on Jul 21 and 22.
The locals are displeased with the shutdown call, as it would again disrupt everyday life.
"I am really very upset that there is going to be a shutdown again from tomorrow. I had some work but I couldn't complete it. I was thinking that if I can manage even an hour tomorrow for the work. There must be many people like me," said Arshid Ahmad, a student.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat Conference Spokesperson Peer Saifullah issued a statement in Srinagar on Saturday, Jul 17 that the complete shutdown would begin on Sunday, Jul 18 against the 'atrocities being committed on Kashmiris by the troops', and that after each prayer, locals should raise pro-liberation slogans.
The locals here are, however, criticizing the separatist leadership for not thinking of the problems faced by the common man, as the unrest affects both the government and private sector workers.
"What about those people who buy their bread and butter with their day's earning? Now, they won't have any thing in their hands. These shutdowns, like the past 20 days, affect life massively," said Shiraz Ahmad, local.
Peer asked the people to observe Jul 20, as 'Day of Solidarity'.
He appealed to locals to come out on the roads on Jul 21 and 22 and hold peaceful sit-ins.
He also urged the Kashmiri people to hold peaceful protests outside mosques on Jul 23 after Friday prayers and asked them to march towards Khanqah-e-Mualla in Srinagar.
Meanwhile, Aasiya Andrabi, the chairperson of the Dukhtaran-e-Millat, in a statement made in Srinagar, endorsed the programme announced by Hurriyat and has called upon the masses to make the protest a success.