In a goodwill gesture ahead of Diwali,hardline Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday amended its protest calendar by calling off the strike on Friday when the festival of lights will be celebrated.
“There will be no strike on November 5 in view of the Hindu festival of Diwali,” Hurriyat Spokesman Ayaz Akbar said.
He said the decision to amend the protest calendar and exempt coming Friday from the purview of the strike was taken by Geelani following an appeal by members of the Sikh community.
On Saturday,All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina urged Hurriyat to call off the strike on November 5 to enable celebrations of the festival.
“Islam teaches us to honour the religious feelings of other communities. It was in this context that the Hurriyat decided to call off the strike to allow Hindus and Sikhs to observe the festival with religious fervour,” the Hurriyat spokesman said.
As per the earlier protest calendar,Geelani-led Hurriyat,which is spearheading the ongoing agitation in the Valley,has called for a five-day strike beginning November 5 during the visit of US President Barack Obama to India.
Welcoming the Hurriyat’s decision,the APSCC chairman said they have decided to celebrate the festival with simplicity as the Valley has lost more than 100 young innocent lives during the five months of the ongoing turmoil.
“On Deepawali,the Sikh community will express solidarity with the parents and families who have lost their dear ones,” he said.