Geelani raps use of force in Kupwara
10 HE controversy surrounding the setting up of separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits in the valley is far from over. The discourse on the return of Pandits to their homeland has been marked by cynicism and apprehensions, thanks to the politicization of the issue.
While the separatist leadership and civil society in Kashmir have made it clear that they are not averse to return of Kashmiri Pandits to their home and hearth with dignity, the controversial plan to settle them in separate colonies has raised hackles in the valley. At the same time some representative organizations of Kashmiri Pandits have been blaming the majority community of putting roadblocks in the process of their return.
With the controversy refusing to die down, Rising Kashmir spoke to prominent people from different walks to life to contextualize the issue, which has been clouded by political rhetoric:
Altaf Hussain, Senior Journalist: The fact remains that attractive packages offered by the government have not encouraged the migrants to return permanently, except for a handful. Now, the BJP led Central government is planning to settle them in ghettos in different towns across Kashmir. The government’s argument is that the Pandits still have threat from militants. But, if indeed such a threat exists, how will government protect them outside the ghettos? A few killings, and there can be a new migration.
Even otherwise if the Pandits choose to live in exclusive colonies they will face scornful glances of Muslims who otherwise show them lot of love whenever they meet, like on occasion of Mela Kheer Bhawani. I do not think Pandits are desperate to come back. They have got used to the hot weather of Jammu and and other cities. Perhaps, even the Hindus of Jammu have got used to the presence of Pandits. BJP seems to be in a hurry to bring them back, but despite BJP’s ideology it has no love for Pandits. The BJP leaders called on the then Governor in 1990 to protest against an apartment building being built for the migrants in Jammu. The BJP publicly opposed
TSRINAGAR—Condemning the use of ‘force’ by Army and police against people in Kupwara, alleged vandalization of houses, breaking of window panes, arrest of youth and mortar shelling on the houses and the courtyard of mosque, Chairman Hurriyat (G) Syed Ali Geelani Sunday termed it as the ‘worst kind of state terrorism.’
He said the people of the area were peacefully protesting the killing of militants but police and CRPF in ‘frustration used force against the people and injured many of them.’
Expressing dismay over fresh arrest spree in Sopore, Anantnag and other parts of Valley by police, Geelani said it is ‘extreme of lawlessness and it should stop forthwith.’
He said Kashmiri people have very deep attachment with the militants and they know these brave hearts are sacrificing their present for the future of their nation and that is why when any militant is ‘martyred these people come out on roads to protest but the police and army feel scared by this resolve of the people and in frustration they lose their senses and use excessive and brutal force against the unarmed people.’
Geelani said India and its armed forces should remember that Kashmiris will never surrender before the military might of India and they will continue their struggle.
He also condemned the arrest of Mehboob Hamid son of deputy superintendent Abdul Hameed Magray by police and demanded his immediate release.
Geelani said police in Kupwara doesn’t allow any pro-Kashmir activity in the district and often uses ‘force against the people of the area.’
He also condemned the ‘continuous illegal’ detention of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader and district president Anantnag, Mir Hafizullah even after his PSA has been quashed by the high court and demanded his immediate release.
He said Mir Hafizullah is being subjected to ‘political vengeance since very long and the local mainstream politicians are creating hurdles in his release.’
In a statement issued here Geelani said the PSA on Mir Hafizullah was quashed 35 days ago and he was bailed out of all his cases. It was expected that he will be released now but since last 35 days he is being moved from one police station to another.
Hafizullah is presently lodged in police station Sadar Anantnag without any case and it is ‘worst kind of State terrorism and has no justification.’
Geelani appealed the human rights organizations to take serious notice of the ‘illegal’ detention of hundreds of Kashmiri prisoners like Mir Hafizullah.
Meanwhile Geelani also condemned the continuous detention of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Nazm-i-Tehsil Pattan Mushtaq Ahmad Hurrah and arrest of Ghulam Mouhideen Pandit alias Lala of Hamray Pattan and demanded their immediate release.—RK