Stop Sentencing Kashmiris To Life Or face Jail Bharo Tehreek: Malik
SRINAGAR (KNS) - Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Monday warned New Delhi of Jail Bharo Tehreek if it did not immediately halt its “dangerous plan” to persecute the Kashmiri people by sentencing the pro-freedom activists to life imprisonment. He called for Kashmiri Bandh on both sides of the Line of Control on December 10 coinciding with the International Human Rights Day to protest the “sinister plan.”
Addressing a press conference in a hotel, Front chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, warned of return of a situation like early ’90s for which New Delhi would be squarely responsible. The news conference was called immediately after two JKLF leaders, Nazir Ahmad Sheikh and Showkat Ahmad Khan, were awarded life sentence by a TADA court in Jammu.
Malik said a peaceful rally up to Lal Chowk would be taken out after Friday prayers on December 7 against New Delhi’s latest policy of sentencing Kashmiri activists to life imprisonment and to express solidarity with them.
On December 10, he said, a complete bandh would be observed in both parts of Jammu and Kashmir, including Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Rawlakot, and at Press Club Islamabad (Pakistan) with resistance leaders and activists staging peaceful demonstrations against the new Indian policy. A symbolic hunger strike would be observed at Srinagar as also in Islamabad while in the evening the activists of the Front and other pro-freedom parties would take out a peaceful candlelight rally in Lal Chowk area.
“People of Kashmir had begun a completely nonviolent and democratic struggle but now India wants to punish those who started this moment. I fail to understand what message New Delhi wants to convey. Do they think that these punishments will stop future generations of Kashmir from continuing with the freedom movement?” he asked.
“Over the past one and a half years, Indian judiciary has awarded life imprisonment to several leaders of Kashmir that too after they had been under trial and languishing in jails for several years,” he said.
Malik said the J&K courts had awarded life imprisonment to nine people, Tees Hazari courts to 12, Lukhnow and Ajmer courts to two people. He said Dr Muhammad Qasim Faktoo, Muhammad Ayub Dar, Ghulam Qadir Bhat, Muhammad Shafi Khan, Rajdin Khan, Shabir Ahmad Malik, Muhammad Amin Dar, Javaid Ahmad Wani, Shabir Ahmad Wani, Gulzar Ahmad Wani were among those who have been sentenced to life imprisonment even after having served long jail terms.
Appealing to people to support the cause, Front chairman said, “We’re one and our cause is one. All of us should come forward to express our concern on 10th of December.”
Malik expressed dismay at what he termed as the “criminal silence” of the international community and the Indian civil society towards the festering Kashmir dispute. Voicing his concern over the life imprisonments being awarded, he said India was pushing Kashmir back to 1990 situation. “It was peace all around when Maqbool Bhat was hanged and his hanging produced thousands of Maqbool Bhats in every street of Kashmir”, he said. “I fail to understand what message India wants to convey by awarding these punishments Such awards will produce more youth to come forward and join the movement”, he added.