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Sheikh Abdul Aziz (Kashmiri Freedom Fighter)

Sheikh Abdul Aziz (Kashmiri Freedom Fighter)

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Published by KashmirSpeaks
Sheikh Abdul Aziz (1952 – August 11, 2008) was
Chairman Jammu Kashmir Peoples League and a
prominent member of the All Parties Hurriyat
Conference, an alliance of Kashmiri pro-freedom
groups at the forefront of the political struggle against
Indian rule in Indian Administered Kashmir.[1] He was
strong advocate of Right to Self-Determination of
Kashmiri people and believed that an Independent
plebiscite under UN supervision can bring long lasting
peace in South-Asia.[2]
Sheikh Abdul Aziz was assassinated by of Indian
Paramilitary Forces on August 11, 2008 while leading a
peaceful public demonstration against the ‘economic
blockade’ of the Kashmir Valley predominantly having
Muslim population being enforced by Indian Hindu
hardliner groups allegedly with the tacit support of the
Indian government.[3]
Sheikh Abdul Aziz (1952 – August 11, 2008) was
Chairman Jammu Kashmir Peoples League and a
prominent member of the All Parties Hurriyat
Conference, an alliance of Kashmiri pro-freedom
groups at the forefront of the political struggle against
Indian rule in Indian Administered Kashmir.[1] He was
strong advocate of Right to Self-Determination of
Kashmiri people and believed that an Independent
plebiscite under UN supervision can bring long lasting
peace in South-Asia.[2]
Sheikh Abdul Aziz was assassinated by of Indian
Paramilitary Forces on August 11, 2008 while leading a
peaceful public demonstration against the ‘economic
blockade’ of the Kashmir Valley predominantly having
Muslim population being enforced by Indian Hindu
hardliner groups allegedly with the tacit support of the
Indian government.[3]

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Published by: KashmirSpeaks on May 01, 2011
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Sheikh Abdul Aziz1
Sheikh Abdul Aziz
Sheikh Abdul Aziz
(1952
 – 
August 11, 2008) was Chairman JammuKashmir Peoples League and a prominent member of the All PartiesHurriyat Conference
Sheikh Abdul Aziz
(1952
 – 
August 11, 2008) wasChairman Jammu Kashmir Peoples League and aprominent member of the All Parties HurriyatConference, an alliance of Kashmiri pro-freedomgroups at the forefront of the political struggle againstIndian rule in Indian Administered Kashmir.
[1]
He wasstrong advocate of Right to Self-Determination of Kashmiri people and believed that an Independentplebiscite under UN supervision can bring long lastingpeace in South-Asia.
[2]
Sheikh Abdul Aziz was assassinated by of IndianParamilitary Forces on August 11, 2008 while leading apeaceful public demonstration against the
economicblockade
of the Kashmir Valley predominantly havingMuslim population being enforced by Indian Hinduhardliner groups allegedly with the tacit support of theIndian government.
[3]
Sheikh Abdul Aziz was a former militant commanderturned pro-freedom politician. He had been jailed onseveral occasions for demanding accession of Kashmirwith Pakistan. He is the third prominent pro-freedomleader to have been killed after the eruption of thearmed struggle in 1989 against Indian rule in IndianAdministered Kashmir
[1]
and the second chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir People
s League to have been killedby the Indian Paramilitary Forces. Earlier, Abdul Hamid Wani popularly known as S Hamid was killed in a stagedencounter on April 19, 1998 at Ahmad Nagar on the outskirts of Srinagar.With his assassination, Aziz emerged as new
martyr
of Kashmiri Right to Self-Determination in league withMaqbool Bhat and caused a serious blow to the Kashmir conflict, further narrowing down chances of anyrapprochement between the beleaguered Kashmiri nation and the increasingly militant Indian state.
[3]
Early life
Sheikh Abdul Aziz was born in 1952 in Namblabal, district Pampore close to the capital city Srinagar. He receivedbasic education from Government School Pampore and then passed Matriculation from Government High SchoolPampore. Soon after passing his Matriculation examination, Aziz joined agriculture business of his father SheikhAbdul Salam, including growing high yield saffron, for which his hometown is famous throughout the Kashmirvalley.
[4]
Sheikh Abdul Aziz in his early teens watched
moe-e-muqqadus
movement when millions of Kashmiris came out onstreets against the mysterious theft of highly revered holy relic of Prophet Muhammad from the Hazratbal shrine inSrinagar. The agitation soon transformed into pro-freedom public outpouring with millions of Kashmiris demandingfreedom from Indian rule.
 
Sheikh Abdul Aziz2
Polical career
Moe-e-Muqqadas movement renewed decades old Kashmiri demands for freedom, giving inspiration to a newgeneration of Kashmiris including Aziz. Sheikh Aziz got emotionally attached with the liberation movement of Kashmir. He started his political career as a student leader and worked with many students and youth organizationsto pursue the cause of Kashmir's Right to Self-Determination. In 1972 he joined pro-freedom political group YoungMen
s League that called for the Kashmiri right to self-determination according to the UN Resolutions. At that hewas just 20 years old.His peaceful political activities soon came under the scanner of police. His first arrest came at the age of 20 when hewas booked under the infamous and draconian National Security Act. At that time, he was the Block Secretary of theorganisation.In 1973 the Young Man
s League, Students Federation, Islamic Organization and Youth League merged into otherpro-freedom groups forming the Jammu and Kashmir People
s League to which Aziz remained associated with untilhis death.He went underground in 1982
 – 
1983, at that time he was holding the responsibility of District President for Pulwama(Peoples league). In 1986 he became the general secretary of the People
s League, the responsibility he carried on till1990, when amid massive public resentment against the Indian rule; he amicably joined the armed struggle in anendeavour to highlight the Kashmir cause globally and to show the world that Kashmiri people want to live with self respect and dignity and as free people in the comity of nations. He became the chief commander of Al-Jihad, aformidable militant group in early 1990s that was supported by his parent organisation, Jammu and Kashmir People
sLeague.In 1998 he was taken as APHC executive member and there on carried forward his struggle for the unfettered andglobally recognized right of self determination on political front. And had to face tremendous difficulties andobstacles and hardships in this path and had to spend almost 16 years of his life in different prisons and interrogationcenters.
Arrests and Imprisonment
Due to his involvement with the pro-freedom struggle, the arrests and prison sentences became a permanent fixtureof Sheikh Aziz
s political life - he spent more than 16 years in prison under various charges including sedition,seeking to separate Jammu and Kashmir from the Indian control and waging a militant struggle etc. His longest spellof imprisonment came on 21 May, 1993 when he was arrested as the chief commander of now defunct Al-Jihad andlasted till 27 September 2000.Following his release after nearly nine years of gruelling prison life, Aziz re-joined political struggle but was againarrested on 1 August 2001 for nearly three years and released in February 2004 at the peak of India-Pakistan peaceprocess. After his release, he supported the peace process and called for peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue. Helater visited Pakistan to encourage the India-Pakistan peace process and supported the end of hostilities. However, ayear later, he was again arrested on 5 February 2005 and released only last November, 2007. After his release thistime, Aziz joined the
moderate
faction of the Hurriyat Conference, a conglomerate of the pro-freedom Kashmirigroups and once again reiterated his demand for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem.However, as the crisis that was triggered by the illegal transfer of Kashmiri land to a semi-government Hindu body -Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) unfolded, Aziz along with other Kashmiri leaders took a strong stand, keepingin view the strong public sentiment against it, who see the land transfer as a covert Indian plan to seek demographicchanges in the Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Sheikh Abdul Aziz3
Facilitated Unification of Hurriyat
Only days before his assassination, Aziz was instrumental in bringing the two factions of the Hurriyat Conferencetogether, forging a common Kashmiri response to the SASB controversy and therefore was seen unfavourably byboth the local pro-Indian administration and the Indian state.
Death
On 11 August 2008 the
Muzaffarabad chalo
call was given by the Hurriyat Conference and some otherorganisations against the 'economical blockade' of Kashmir valley by Indian Hindu fundamentalists. Processionswere taken out from various areas across the valley. Sheikh Aziz and Shabbir Shah were leading the march fromSopore towards the de facto border with Pakistan, when their rally was stopped by the massive force of police andarmy at Chala, near Boniyar, Baramullah. Indian Paramilitary Forces opened fire at Chahal, 25 km away from theborder town of Uri, to disperse the massive march. Sheikh Abdul Aziz along with many others were injured. All thecritically injured were shifted to Srinagar's SMHS hospital, where Shiekh Abdul Aziz succumbed to injuries. He wasburied in Marty's Graveyard in Eidgah, Srinagar on 12 August 2008.
[5]
 
[6]
References and notes
[1]"Kashmiri separatist leader killed" (http://english.
 
aljazeera.net/news/asia/2008/08/2008811153847828577.
 
html). Al-Jazeera. 12 August2008. . Retrieved 11 August 2009.[2]"Last words of Saheed-e-Azeemat Sheikh Abdul Aziz" (http://www.kashmirwatch.
 
com/showkashmir.
 
php?subaction=showfull&id=1218663599&archive=&start_from=&ucat=17&var1news=value1news). kashmirwatch.com. 13 August 2008. . Retrieved 11 August2009.[3]Murtaza, Shibli (11 August 2008). "Obituary: Sheikh Abdul Aziz (1952-2008)" (http://www.
 
kashmiraffairs.
 
org/sheik_aziz_profile.
 
html).kashmiraffairs.org. . Retrieved 11 August 2009.[4]Shah, Waseem (10 Aug 2009). "Sheikh Aziz: Man with a mission" (http://www.
 
kashmirwatch.
 
com/showexclusives.php?subaction=showfull&id=1249947066&archive=&start_from=&ucat=15&var1news=value1news). [kashmirwatch.org]. . Retrieved 11August 2009.[5]"
Muzaffarabad chalo
march fizzles out" (http://www.
 
tribuneindia.com/2008/20080812/main5.
 
htm). Tribune News Service. Tuesday,August 12, 2008. . Retrieved 12 August 2008.[6]"Troops open fire as 250,000
march to Muzaffarabad
: APHC leader Sheikh Aziz killed" (http://www.
 
dawn.
 
com/2008/08/12/top4.
 
htm).Dawn News. 12 August 2008. . Retrieved 2009-08-12.
External links
Kashmir (http://www.
 
gharib.
 
demon.
 
co.uk)Kashmir Watch - In-depth Coverage on Kashmir Conflict (http://www.
 
kashmirwatch.com)Kashmiri - Canadian Council (http://www.
 
kashmiri-cc.
 
ca/)Kashmir Centre.EU (http://www.
 
kashmircentre.org)Kashmir Affairs (http://www.kashmiraffairs.org)

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