Tributes paid to Maqbool Butt
Strike throws life out of gear in valley

SRINAGAR, Feb 11 : As the JKLF sponsored general strike on the 21st death anniversary of its founder chairman Mohammad Maqbool paralysed normal life across Kashmir, Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) president Shabir Ahmad Shah today formally sought UN intervention for handing over the mortal remains of Butt at Tihar jail premises to Kashmiris.
The JKLF founder chairman was hanged to death in Tihar jail on February 11, 1984. His body was buried inside the jail premises.
JKLF dedicated the day to the Kashmiri women , who were dishonored by security forces over the years. Party chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik addressed through telephone a public meeting at Mirpur in Pakistan administered Kashmir.
Amid a total shut down and rains, Shabir Shah along with his supporters reached the UN military observers office at Sonawar here in a procession. He handed over a memorandum to an official there which has to be forwarded to UN secretary general Kofi Anan. The memorandum urged Anan to pressurise government of India to hand over the mortal remains of JKLF founder chairman to Kashmiris. Similar memoranda are being sent to president European Union, prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Pakistan president Gen Parvez Musharaf, US president George Walker Bush, and UK prime minister Tony Blair.
Earlier, addressing a party meeting the DFP president paid rich tributes to Butt and resolved to take the ongoing movement to its logical conclusion. He alleged that government of India has detained the body of hero of Kashmiris into the jail premises.
The call for the general strike was given by JKLF and supported by a number of organisations including Hizbul Mujahideen.
All the shops, other business establishments, government and semi government offices remained closed. Transport was also off the roads.
The city wore a deserted look with people preferring to remain indoors. Additional deployment of police and paramilitary personnel was made in sensitive areas.
Reports of general strike were also received from all other towns including Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam, Kokernag, Tral, Pampore, Awantipora, Budgam, Chadoora, Beerwah, Charar-e-Sharief, Patta, Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara, and Bandipora.
Liberation Forum chairman Javid Ahmad Mir was arrested near Regal Chowk while leading a procession. Tributes were also paid to Butt by Awami Action Committee and Hurriyat Conference (G).
A JKLF spokesman has thanked the people for observing general strike. He said the people observed peaceful protests by remaining at their respective homes to remember Maqbool Butt and to lodge protests against the attacks on women.
The spokesman added that demonstrations were held at Naidkadal, Bohrikadal, Soura, Nowshehra, Channapora, and Rambagh. At Naidkadal, police opened fire on demonstrators.
According to him, programmes were also held in different parts of the world to pay tributes to the founder chairman of JKLF. These included Muzaffarabad and Mirpur.
Local JKLF leaders Dr Farooq Haider, Khawaja Parvez Iqbal, Sabir Ansari, Raja Latief Tahir and Ghulam Bhat addressed the Mirpur public meeting. Pakistan information minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, also a Kashmiri, was present as a chief guest. Malik addressed the public meeting on telephone.
JKLF spokesman added that a candle light procession was taken out by the women's wing of his party at Islamabad-Pakistan. People raised slogans against human rights violations in Kashmir.
He added that demonstrations were held outside Indian embassy in London. Similar demonstrations were held in America and Canada also.
Reports said Democratic Liberation Party chairman Hashim Quereshi also led a pro-Butt procession upto UN military observers office here.