Indian occupying forces martyred two more Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) on the occasion of India's Republic Day on Saturday. The youth were martyred during a cordon and search operation.
The Indian authorities deployed police personnel and troops in occupied Srinagar and other towns in IoK to prevent people from staging anti-India demonstrations. Hurriyat leaders have also been arrested. Meanwhile, Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world observed Indian Republic Day (26th-Jan-2019), as Black Day to remind the world that India's continued denial of right to self-determination to the Kashmiris is contrary to its claim of being a democratic republic.
Call for the observance of the Black Day was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik and supported by the Kashmir High Court Bar Association.
The day was marked by a complete strike in the Occupied Kashmir. The occupation authorities deployed Indian troops and police personnel in strength in Srinagar and other towns to prevent people from staging anti-India demonstrations. The authorities also placed Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Hilal Ahmed War, Javaid Ahmed Mir, Zafar Akbar Butt, Abdul Ahad Parra, Molvi Bashir Irfani and Parray Hassan Firdosi under house arrest or in custody to prevent them from leading the demonstrations. All roads leading to a cricket stadium in Sonawar area of Srinagar, the main venue of official function in Srinagar, were sealed. The authorities suspended mobile internet and rail services in the occupied territory and stopped senior journalists from covering the function of Indian Republic Day in Srinagar.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, launched a social media campaign, highlighting the miserable plight of the Kashmiri detainees lodged in different jails.
On the other hand, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir chapter held a protest demonstration in front of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to mark India's Republic Day as Black Day. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, main function of the day was held in Muzaffarabad where Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan was chief guest. Cabinet members, Members of the Legislative Assembly, Hurriyat leaders and people belonging to all walks of life participated in the protest gathering. In his speech, Raja Farooq Haider reiterated his resolve to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris in their just struggle to right to self-determination. He said Indian army backed by infamous Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act is meant to suppress the political aspirations of the people of Occupied Kashmir and their just struggle, but India will never be able to succeed in its nefarious designs and ill motives. He said Kashmiris will continue struggle until they are granted their inherent right to self-determination in line with UN Security Council resolutions and their own aspirations.
The speakers paid glowing tributes to the martyrs of Kashmir struggle and said it is the blood of Kashmiris that has kept the Kashmir issue alive. The speakers appealed UN, other human rights watchdogs and international community to take a serious notice of Indian human rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir and stop India from further bloodshed of the innocent Kashmiris.
Later, participants of the gathering having placards in their hands marched towards Burhan Muzaffar Wani Chowk amid anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Protest rallies and demonstrations were also held at all the Districts and Tehsils' headquarters in connection with Black Day.
In Occupied Kashmir, the authorities have also suspended mobile internet services. On the other hand, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir chapter held a protest demonstration in front of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to mark India's Republic Day as Black Day. A rally was held in Muzaffarabad under the aegis of Pasban-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir to denounce the Indian brutalities in occupied Kashmir.
In Brussels, Kashmir Council Europe also staged a demonstration outside the Indian Embassy on the occasion of Black Day. The demonstrators led by the Council's Chairman, Ali Raza Syed, urged New Delhi to allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir exercise their right to self-determination to decide their future by themselves.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said Pakistan will continue to raise the plight of oppressed Kashmiri people at every regional and international forum. In his message on the Black Day being observed by Kashmiri people, he stressed the need for implementation of the United Nations Security Council's resolutions on Kashmir dispute. Referring to the Indian gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, the Foreign Minister said the Indian forces are bluntly victimising the Kashmiri people in the held valley and New Delhi has broken all records of atrocities. He said India has no justification to observe the Republic Day when it has snatched the right of self-determination from Kashmiri people and its hand are soaked in the blood of innocent people. The Foreign Minister said the sacrifices of Kashmir will not go waste.