Gee­lani raps use of force in Kup­wara

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR - AND OTH­ERS

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

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