World Bulletin / News Desk
The Kashmiri resistance groups called for a complete shutdown on Friday to protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the Indian-held-Kashmir.
Senior Kashmiri resistance leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani urged the Kashmiri people Wednesday to observe a complete shutdown against Modi’s visit to show that Kashmir is a disputed land and not a part of India.
Friday's visit will be Modi’s first to the Indian-held-Kashmir as the Indian PM did not set foot in the disputed region even during his election campaign, coming only as far as the Hindu majority Jammu division.
"I appeal to the people to observe a general strike on the day the Indian prime minister arrives here. The strike will be observed to remind the government of India and the world that Kashmir remains a dispute waiting for resolution," Geelani said.
Modi will visit Jammu first on Friday to inaugurate the Katra-Udhampur railway line, which will connect Katra, base town of the Mata Vaishno Devi Hindu shrine, with the rest of India.
On the same day, he will visit Indian-held-Kashmir's capital city, Srinagar, to chair a security review meeting at the Indian army's strategic 15 corps headquarters. He will also fly to northern Kashmir to inaugurate a hydroelectric power project.
The Indian Armed Forces have established checkpoints at many places in the city and have increased the deployment of armed personnel in the valley to prevent any militant act during Modi’s visit.
"Narendra Modi's visit might have certain economic perspectives but we want to make it clear to him that the issue of Kashmir is not an economic issue. It is a political issue, a humanitarian issue," Mirwaiz Umar, chairman of the Hurriyat Conference -- a political front comprising of 26 separatist groups -- told the Anadolu Agency.
"Until the dispute is solved in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, no economic process will work," he added.
Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik, also endorsed the call and said that Modi represented the Indian state and hence he is responsible for all that happens in the region.
"He is responsible for all oppressive acts, tyrannical behaviors, curbs on political and democratic freedom struggle, and for denying Kashmiris their birth right of freedom," Malik said in a press statement.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Since 1989, resistance groups in Indian Held-Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict so far.Last Mod: 03 Temmuz 2014, 17:11