February 20, 2017 5:43:36 pm
Separatists today called off the general strike on Friday in view of Mahashivratri, the Hindu festival, saying the decision was taken following requests from Kashmiri Pandit community to this effect. “The strike on Friday has been called off as our Kashmiri Pandit brethren will be observing Mahashivratri on that day,” Ayaz Akbar, a spokesman for the Hurriyat faction led by Syed Ali SHah Geelani, told PTI.
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Akbar said the decision was taken after many Kashmiri Pandits had requested the separatist leadership to reconsider the strike call in view of the festival on February 24.
“There are many Kashmiri Pandits who are in constant touch with us. They are part of us and keeping in consideration their sentiments, we have called off the strike. People are appealed to follow the rest of the protest schedule as announced earlier,” he added.
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The separatist leaders — Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik — have been issuing weekly protest calendars since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in July last year.
The calls for general strikes have been whittled down to one day per week — Friday — from five days a week in October last year.
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