NEW DELHI (Online) - Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has announced a two-day complete shutdown in Indian-Occupied Kashmir to demand the handover of the martyr Guru's body from India.
Geelani, in a statement issued from New Delhi, said Afzal Guru's sacrifice was a ‘favour’ to the Kashmiris and needeed to be returned by seeking his body back, so that he could be buried as per Islamic rites.
The veteran leader condemned the Indian government and occupation authorities' attitude on the Afzal issue‚ KMS reported.
"He was hanged without having a last meeting with his family. He did not get a fair trial. His family was not informed about his hanging‚" he said terming it a “grave injustice and height of human rights violations". "We can't tolerate incidents like Guru's hanging. In present circumstances‚ we have no alternative other than to call for strikes‚" he added.
"On the evening of February 20‚ the people should hold torch procession after Maghrib (evening) prayers, and on February 21 evening‚ people should offer special prayers‚ recite the holy Quran and pray for Mohammad Afzal Guru‚" Geelani said, adding people should stick to one-point agenda during the protests ‘return Guru's body”.
Geelani appreciated the efforts of the High Court Bar Association of held-Kashmir for seeking Guru's body from Tihar Jail. The statement also stated Delhi Police sleuths had seized the mobiles of the veteran leader and his wife. It termed it as "a grave human rights violation".
The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front meanwhile‚ in a meeting presided over by acting Chairman Advocate Bashir Ahmad Butt, called for a strike on Friday against the judicial murder of Guru and denial of his body to the Kashmiris.
The Indian government meanwhile asked internet service providers to block 55 Facebook pages related to Afzal Guru since he has become an icon of Kashmir freedom after his execution.
The notice by the Department of Telecom (DoT) was issued a day before internet services were restored in occupied-Valley after remaining suspended for a week following Afzal's hanging.
It was on the same day that the notice ordering ISPs to block 73 web pages with content relating to a private management college, Indian Institute of Planning and Management, was issued.
Afzal Guru, convicted for his alleged role in the December 2001 Parliament attack, was hanged earlier this month. His hanging set off a spate of protests in Kashmir despite a week-long curfew in occupied Valley.
The list of 55 Facebook pages includes several support groups and fan pages for Afzal Guru in addition to a profile page of a Bahraini journalist and the Facebook page of a Kashmiri news portal.
Indian DoT spokesperson could not say who had requested for these pages to be blocked. Group coordinator on cyber laws, Gulshan Rai, who is authorised to send out block notices to ISPs could not be reached for comment.
The notice was not made public by the DoT. The IT Rules introduced in 2009 prohibit disclosure about processes involved in blocking of internet sites.
Delhi-based lawyer Apar Gupta said the move seemed to be "calculated" since it came just before restoration of internet services in the Valley. "Legally speaking, some of the pages for which the block has been called speak of avenging Guru's death. However, the notice does not specify the reasons why the block has been ordered.
It gives an impression that the Indian government has something to hide," said Gupta. "The government seems to be growing reliant on blocking as a mode of governance, which is worrying, said cyber lawyer Pavan Duggal.
The ease with which sites or webpages are being blocked is a clear indication of how prone to misinterpretation the law in this case is. The fact that even a public notice by the University Grants Commission could be blocked should come as an alarm signal not just to all those concerned about freedom of expression, but the government itself.