Separatists to go ahead with Monday’s Srinagar march (Lead)

August 17th, 2008 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 17 (IANS) The separatist Hurriyat group’s both major groups have decided to go ahead with Monday’s proposed march to the office of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) here despite requests by the administration to call off the mass rally. In a significant development here, the Srinagar district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police called on both hardline Syed Ali Geelani and moderate Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, requesting them to “call off the proposed people’s march tomorrow to the UNMOGIP”.

Sources here said the two senior separatist leaders were requested to call off the march “as there were some highly sensitive offices and installations in the vicinity of the UNMOGIP headquarters” in the uptown Sonawar area of the city.

Sources also said the administration told the two separatist leaders they could go to the UNMOGIP headquarters in a small group instead of the mass rally they have planned.

“The two leaders told the representatives of the administration their request would be deliberated upon during the joint co-ordination committee’s meeting today,” a source in the Hurriyat told IANS.

But, after a three-hour long session of the joint co-ordination committee, the Hurriyat leaders said Sunday evening they would go ahead with the public rally.

“We shall go ahead with our proposed public rally to the UNMOGIP office tomorrow,” the source said.

“We have also appealed to the people to call off the ongoing shutdown from Tuesday for three days after which the people will march to Eidgah Grounds on Thursday and offer the Friday prayers there.”

“Further programme of the joint co-ordination committee would be announced at Eidgah Grounds on Friday.

“But, for the three days beginning Tuesday, people have been asked to resume normal activities of life.”

“All vehicles, private or public would move during these three days displaying black flags. Shops would remain open and go about their businesses as usual, but each shop would display a black flag and office goers must wear black bands around their arms during duty hours,” Nayeem Khan, the provincial president of the moderate Mirwaiz Hurriyat group, told IANS here.

Khan is also a member of the joint co-ordination committee constituted by both Hurriyat groups.

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