Protests in Pune demand lifting of communication blockade in J &K

Chandan Haygunde. Dated: 9/17/2019 11:46:54 AM

PUNE, Sep 16: A group of residents on Sunday held a demonstration near the Dr B R Ambedkar statue opposite the B J Medical Gents Hostel, demanding that the central government “lift the communication blockade, reinstate human rights and initiate democratic dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)”.
Holding banners like “Pune Stands With Kashmir,” “Kashmir Can’t Be Abused In The Name Of Development,” “Serving Peace At Gun Point,” “We Want Real Democracy” and shouting slogans of “Azadi,” the group demonstrated and appealed residents to support their cause.
Sanika Athavale, co-ordinator of the “Pune Kashmir Solidarity Demonstration”, said they have gathered mainly to speak about the enforced communication blockade and violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. “We are worried about the situation in J&K. A message was spread on social media and like-minded people came together today. We took police permission to stage the protest,” said Athavale.
Asked about the demonstrators’ demand on Article 370, Athavale said, “We chose not to speak about Article 370 and politicians because that could have become dangerous for our participants…”
While most of the participants in the demonstration were local residents, the group also comprised of one Wafa Haji, who is from Jammu and Kashmir.
“I am from J&K but based in Pune for the last 15 years. Several friends decided to demonstrate and extend support to the people of Kashmir. We put forth our demands in democratic manner through demonstrations,” said Haji.
Amar Dipankar, an activist of the Samata Sainik Dal, said, “I saw the demonstration. It was for a good cause so I joined it.”



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