Calling for an alternative form of protest, a group of youth has said that shutdowns and incidents of stone throwing in Kashmir have not yielded any results and prove useless for the Kashmiri people.
Kashmir Reform Group (KRG), an NGO spreading awareness about socio-economic reforms, held placards and scores of youth marched towards the city centre urging for alternative and effective ways to protest for the rights of the people.
Khurram Wani, President of Kashmir Reform Group, said that strikes and stone throwing have negatively affected the economy of Kashmir and have not been fruitful to any extent.
According to the group, they have realised that such means of protests have not met the political aspirations of people in the Valley. One of the members of the group alleged that the Valley is stuck in a political muddle and people at the helm of affairs are struck in a logjam.
Wani said that Muslims throughout the world are passing through a difficult time. He said even in Kashmir, people are being manipulated to any misdirection.
The group however maintained that they are not against the ‘sentiments’ or other means of protest but alleged that those means of protest have confused people whether strikes and stone throwing are justified means to express anger.
The group advocated holding debates and discussion about the region’s history and engage in a peaceful dialogue with each stake holder in the dispute and reach towards a resolution.
In a statement, the group suggested that in any case of any human rights violation, people can ‘wave black flags’ outside every shop and on every car to mark their protest.
Requesting the government of India to show love and respect and allow the people of Kashmir to live peacefully and with dignity, the group said that Armed Forces Special Powers Act is an impediment in achieving peace and stability in the region.
The awareness group also said that Pakistan has resulted in ‘waste of time and precious lives’, and urged the India’s neighbor to work on its own internal affairs with ‘justice’.
This is the first time in the Valley when any group has come forward and criticsed the politics of strikes and has given alternative means of protest to express their dissent against the state.