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Thousands march to U.N. office

Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Tens of thousands of people from across the Kashmir valley arrived here on Monday to take part in the march organised by the Hurriyat-sponsored Coordination Committee to submit a memorandum to the United Nations office here, seeking its intervention in the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

The programme, in which women and children too participated, was peaceful, with police and the CRPF observing the maximum restraint.

People started reaching Srinagar from early morning in buses, cars, jeeps, trucks, tractors and two-wheelers to march to the Tourist Reception Centre ground near the office of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan. Enthusiastic crowds spread over several kilometres raised slogans against the security forces. The processionists, bands tied to their heads and holding black and green flags, asserted that they would not compromise on the basic demand for resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Though the atmosphere was highly surcharged, police and the CRPF exhibited utmost restraint and did not stop anybody. A police official said that 450 to 500 memoranda were submitted.

The resolution was earlier read out by moderate faction leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in the presence of JKLF leader Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah. Mirwaiz also addressed the gathering. He said the right to self-determination was an inalienable right of the Kashmiri people.

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