APHC leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Tehreek-e-Muzahamat, Bilal Siddiqui, along with a party delegation, today, visited Astanpora Siobug area of Badgam and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family of 55-year-old mentally-challenged civilian, Syed Habibullah, who was shot dead by Indian troops the other day.
According to media sources, addressing mourners on the occasion, Bilal Siddiqui said that killing the innocent Kashmiris had become a hobby for trigger-happy and blood-thirsty Indian troops and they were enjoying it under the special powers given to them by their political bosses in New Delhi.
He said, such kind of cold-blooded murders every now and then are part of same coercive policy which is being continuously executed by the Indian rulers since 1947 to compel the freedom-loving people of occupied Kashmir to shun their resistance to India’s illegal occupation of their homeland. “But history bears testimony to the fact that these brutal means and methods have failed in the past and will not be successful in future, he added.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat leaders including Shabbir Ahmed Dar, Muhammad Iqbal Mir and Muhammad Ahsan Untoo and the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Freedom League in their statements strongly condemned the killing of Syed Habibullah.
Shabbir Ahmed Dar, Muhammad Iqbal Mir, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Imtiaz Ahmed Reshi, and Ghulam Nabi War also castigated India for not bringing to book the beastly troops involved in mass rape of women in Kunanposhpora area of Kupwara district on the intervening night of February 22 and 23 in 1991. The troops had raped around a hundred women of eight to eighty years of ages on the fateful night during a siege and search operation.
Hurriyat leaders and organizations including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Hurriyat forum led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front have condemned the killing of a mentally-challenged elderly man, Syed Habibullah of Soibugh in Badgam, by Indian troops.
According to media sources, the APHC in a statement issued in Srinagar said that the Indian forces’ personnel enjoying unbridled powers under draconian laws were feeling no shame to spill the blood of innocent people in the occupied territory.
The Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat forum in its statement said that killing of a mentally-challenged man had exposed the brutal face of the Indian forces.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, termed the killing as naked barbarism by the Indian forces. He expressed condolence with the family members of the elderly man.
Other leaders and organizations including Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Salvation Movement, Mass Movement, Voice of Victims and Paervaan-e-Vilayat in their separate statements also condemned the killing of Syed Habibullah by the Indian troops.
Hurriyat forum at its executive council meeting in Srinagar urged concrete steps to resolve the Kashmir dispute through a sustained and meaningful dialogue with active participation of all the stakeholders to avoid confrontation in the South Asian region.
According to media sources, the meeting was presided over by Hurriyat forum Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, at its Rajbagh office in Srinagar.
Expressing concern over the prevailing tension between Pakistan and India, the participants said that to protect the human values and dignity of humankind, the resolution of the Kashmir dispute was imperative to end the sufferings, pain of people and political uncertainty in the region.
Hurriyat forum spokesman in a statement issued in Srinagar said the participants discussed the present political situation in Jammu and Kashmir and took stock of the organisational structure besides the issues confronting the resistance movement. They castigated the puppet authorities for frequently caging the Mirwaiz at his residence and barring him from carrying out his political, religious and social activities, terming it as autocratic mindset of the ruling regime.
“The meeting expressed serious concern over the unending bloodshed, killing of innocents, harassment of youth, frequent searches in every nook and corner of the Kashmir Valley and the reign of terror unleashed by Indian forces under the patronage of ruling regime,” the statement said. “History is witness that no genuine struggle can be crushed through military might. Such repressive measures can neither break the resolve of resistance leadership nor the people of Kashmir,” it added.
Later, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a media interview said that many decisions were taken in the meeting. “I have directed all the constituents to report to office regularly. Committees will be constituted for effective public contact programme soon,” he said, adding, “A joint meeting of executive and general councils will be held soon to set the ball rolling.”
In occupied Kashmir, Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has armoured itself with the French-made Renault Sherpa Light Scout Armoured Personnel Carrier in the wake of increasing attacks on its camps in the territory.
According to media sources, manufactured by Renault Trucks Defense, the Sherpa light vehicle – equipped with protection systems against bullets and improvised explosive devices – was used by the paramilitary force for the first time in occupied Kashmir during the recent attack near a CRPF camp in Karan Nagar area of Srinagar.
An official said that the Sherpa vehicle is bullet-proof and fitted with cameras. There is a screen fitted next to the driver’s seat where CCTV footage is displayed and personnel inside can know what is happening outside and how to react to the situation, he added.
Inspector General of CRPF, Ravideep Singh Sahi, in an interview said that the vehicle had been hired from the National Security Guard. “It is a slightly advanced bulletproof vehicle…. It is more comfortable and manoeuvrable. The shape is different and size is small,” he said.
Another official said, the vehicle can accommodate at six to seven persons, including the driver, who can fire from inside to their target with accuracy without facing any threat of receiving bullets from the other side. He said the vehicle was suited for reconnaissance, patrol, surveillance and surprise operations.
Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani, has warned the puppet administration of serious consequences if political prisoners lodged at Srinagar Central Jail were shifted to jails in Jammu.
According to media sources, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar said that the APHC would not remain silent over this unjustified and unnecessary step. “23 detainees have been shifted since February 1,” he said, adding that a list of more detainees has been prepared and they have been asked without any justification to be ready for the shifting.
The APHC Chairman said, those who have been shifted include Khursheed Ahmed Lone, Irfan Ahmed Khan, Gowher Ahmed Sheikh, Riyaz Ahmed Mir, Umar Rashid Want, Nisar Ahmed Lone, Mushtaq Ahmed Malla, Meraj-ud-Din Nanda, Suhail Ahmed Sheikh, Shabbir Ahmed Mir, Seerat-ul-Hassan, Mufti Abdul Ahad and Feroz Ahmed Dar to Kathua, Hiranagar and Udhampur jails.
Syed Ali Gilani said that the detainees were being shifted primarily due to political vendetta. The main motive behind this move is to subject them to physical and mental agony so that they will relinquish their mission, he said, adding that the decision is unconstitutional as according to a ruling by Indian Supreme Court, detainees should be lodged in places where their relatives can meet them with ease and without much wastage of time.
The APHC Chairman expressed deep anguish and concern over the miserable plight of the illegally detained Kashmiris lodged in different jails saying that they are being ill-treated and subjected to mental and physical torture. He said the prisoners are deprived of medical treatment. “We have reports that youth belonging to the Kashmir Valley are being targeted and subjected to the worst treatment. The unavailability of medicines and medical care and substandard quality of food is taking a toll on their health,” he pointed out.
Syed Ali Gilani termed as state terrorism the slapping of draconian law, Public Safety Act (PSA), for the 5th consecutive time on Hurriyat leader, Muhammad Assadullah Parray, saying that it is highly condemnable.
The APHC Chairman hailing the sacrifices of the prisoners said all Kashmiri detainees are living legends and icons for the resistance movement. “The sacrifices rendered by Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Dr Shafi Shariati, Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo, Ghulam Qadir Butt, Ayaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Peer Saifullah, Raja Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Muhammad Yousuf Mir, Ameer Hamza, Kamran Yousuf, Shahid Yousuf, Javaid Ahmed Butt, Dr Ghulam Muhammad Butt, Muzaffar Ahmed Dar, Mansoor Ahmed, Tariq Ahmed, Muhammad Ramzan Khan, Abdul Ahad Parra, Muhammad Rafiq Ganai, Muhammad Yousaf Falahi, Mir Hafeezullah, Shakeel Ahmed, Farooq Tawheedi, Raies Ahmed, Abdul Samad Inqilabi and Maulana Sarjan Barkati are praiseworthy,” he said. “We are proud of these warriors for their commitment and dedication. They are role models and icons for Kashmiris and beacon light for the ongoing freedom movement,” he added.
Syed Ali Gilani appealed to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), Asia Watch, Amnesty International and other world human rights organisations to come to the rescue of these detainees, take notice of this lawlessness, and raise voice against the unabated use of PSA by the Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir. He also asked the Kashmiri people to provide every possible support to the families of the illegally detained Hurriyat leaders and activists.
In occupied Kashmir, pellet victims have said that in absence of a comprehensive plan for their rehabilitation, many of them have been driven to desperation.
According to media sources, a group of pellet victims protesting under the banner of Jammu and Kashmir Pellet Victims Association made this statement at the Press Enclave in Srinagar. They said some NGOs have been pocketing money that they collect from people for the welfare of pellet victims.
They urged the people to come forward and help them directly to stop misuse of donations.
“There are many people and some NGOs that are minting money in our name,” said Muhammad Ashraf Wani, a pellet victim.
“People also stopped helping us since there is a notion among masses that we got compensation and jobs from the government which is not true,” he added.
In occupied Kashmir, two business chambers the territory have condemned the recent public rallies held by an alliance of Hindu extremist groups in Kathua in support of the SPO and other criminals involved in rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl.
According to media sources, the business chambers in their separate statements issued in Srinagar demanded an enquiry into the case.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCIC) in its statement said, “The chamber is grieved by the protests asking for release of the arrested persons involved in rape, abduction and killing of the minor girl, Aasifa, in Kathua. It is also reprehensible that the protests have been led by politicians. We as a trade body and being on the forefront of not only trade issues but issues confronting us as a society want the law to take its course.”
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Kashmir (CCIK) said it was shocked over a procession taken out recently by anti-social elements, with Indian flags in their hands, in support of the culprits. This act has sent shockwaves in the hearts and minds of the Muslim community which is a minority in the Jammu region, it added.