In a major setback to the separatist camps, markets near pro-Pakistan hawk Syed Ali Geelani’s residence here on Saturday defied the hartal call given by the so called Joint Resistance Leadership or JRL and greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi with open marketplaces in the area.
The markets on the high security Airport Road in Geelani’s native Hyderpora and adjoining Pirbagh were open on the day when the separatist leader had asked the people of Kashmir to “greet Modi with protests.”
It’s for the first time in the recent past that the markets were working as normal in the area, which is otherwise seen as Geelani’s bastion.
On Saturday morning, life was just normal in the markets along the Srinagar International Airport though in the past these localities used to be among the first to observe hartals.
Officials said the people of Kashmir are fed up of the politics of Geelani and other leaders in the so called JRL. “People are now fed up of the separatist politics and today’s normalcy in Geelani’s bastion was a clear-cut indication that the people want change,” said an official.
A resident of Hyderpora said the people of Kashmir know it that the separatists end up cashing strike calls for their personal benefits.
“In 2016 the longest ever hartals ended with Geelani’s grandson getting absorbed in government job through backdoor. People of Kashmir can no more be made fool of by these traitors,” he said.
The people of Kashmir have already been showing cold response to the separatists for quite some time.
A senior official said the Hurriyat had been showing its power only through imposition of strikes. “But today the people of Geelani’s so called bastion have made it clear that the Hurriyat has lost its relevance,” the official said.
It was reliably learnt that the police is surprised at the public response to strike call. “We never expected the shops be open today in this area. But then the change for good has taken place,” said a police official on the condition of anonymity.
Some months ago the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party also started its office from near Geelani’s residence. “The winds of chance of visible now. People have said no to hartal call when Modi Ji was in the state,” said a BJP leader. The Prime Minister was on the daylong visit of the state and visited Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.