Sit-in Protest Against 'Illegal' Detentions
File photo of protest against the Public Safety Act
SRINAGAR: A sit-in protest was held by the Hurriyat in Srinagar city of Jammu and Kashmir against the spree of "illegal" detentions by security forces to curb anti-government protests.
The activists of half dozen separatist groups including Kashmir Mass Movement, Muslim Democratic League and Peoples Freedom League, which are affiliated with Syed Ali Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, staged the protest in Srinagar's Press Enclave.
Carrying banners, the activists appealed the international community to take notice of the brazen human rights violations perpetrated in the Valley where thousands of people have been detained over the last six years to prevent a repeat of the 2010 civilian unrest, according to the Hurriyat.
"India has turned Kashmir into a prison. Space of Kashmiris for dissent has been squeezed which will have dangerous repercussions on the region. I fervently appeal the international human rights groups to take note of the plight of the Kashmiri detainees and ensure their release," Geelani told The Citizen.
According to Geelani, 14,000 youth and political activists have been arrested from 2009 to 2015 in Kashmir for participating in anti-India and pro-freedom protests. “72 political leaders and youths have been detained under the draconian Public Safety Act this year alone,” he said.
Hitting out at the state government, Geelani said the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had promised space for separatists to propound their political ideologies vis-a-vis "Battle of Ideas". "However after assuming power, the government is using Army, police and other forces to muzzle the voice of Kashmiris. ," he said
"For the first time, we were not allowed to commemorate foundation day of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat on August 23. Is this the Battle of Ideas?" he added.
Earlier, the state government also foiled a religious seminar called by Geelani at his Hyderpora residence here against the backdrop of attacks in Paris. The J&K Police said no permission was sought for organising the seminar while as the Hurriyat said such permission is not required for behind-the-walls functions.
To a question on the fresh offer of talks by New Delhi, Geelani said unless India accepts the disputed nature of Kashmir, all talks are futile. "Thousands of youths have sacrificed their lives for Kashmir cause and. If there has to be a settlement, it will come by giving right to self-determination to the people of J&K as promised in UN resolutions," he said.