‘Party ruling India doesn’t understand freedom struggle because it never was part of one’
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Mohammad Yasin Malik on Saturday once again called the Government of India as “Gabbar Singh”, and said that “Lovers of freedom don’t fear jails and threats.”
On Friday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued a notice to Malik in a case dating back to 2001. Malik said on Saturday that he was yet to receive the notice. “I have come to know about this through the media,” he said.
Explaining the history of the case in which the ED has issued notice to him, Malik said that soon after landing in Delhi from the United States in the year 2001, he received a call from a BBC reporter. “I received a call from BBC that one Mushtaq Ahmad Dar has been arrested with one lakh dollars. I was told that Dar had received the money from JKLF’s then Pakistan-based spokesperson Altaf Qadri, who had handed him the money in Nepal,” Malik said at a presser held at a hotel here.
“Next day, I flew to Srinagar and then I drove to the APHC headquarters to address the media, but the Task Force (JK Police’s special wing) and police reached the spot and arrested me. I was not allowed to hold the presser. I was taken to the Jammu Channi interrogation centre where the infamous Task Force cop, who killed many people, Manohar Singh, was present. I was severely tortured by him due to which, to this day, I am unable to hear through my right ear,” Malik said at today’s presser.
Then, he said, a case under POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) was registered against him and trial started in the Jammu court of POTA. “I told the judge that if Altaf Qadri ever came to Nepal in the last six-seven years, I would accept the charges… please check the immigration (records) of Nepal,” Malik said.
“Kuldeep Khoda was the ADG CID (Additional Director General of Criminal Investigation Department) then,” Malik narrated. “I said if he can prove the charges, I will accept the offences. Within three months, the judge had given me bail. But the trial continues for the past 16 years and only half of the witnesses have appeared in the case.”
Malik said that when the case is being heard by the POTA court, “What is the ED doing? What is this new trial about?”
“It is the decision of GoI (Government of India) that they will beat Kashmiris to a point… all of them… pellets are used, youth blinded, more than 100 people killed… but they could not suppress the freedom movement. Then they decided to target the resistance leadership and their families and relatives,” Malik said.
“Following this, two sons and relatives of Syed Ali Geelani were called to Delhi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Similarly, the uncle of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was called by the NIA. My friends were also called by the NIA in the past three months,” Malik said.
“Recently, the son of Salahuddin sahab was arrested and then suspended by the J&K government just because he is the son of Syed Salahuddin – the Hizbul Mujahideen chief,” Malik said.
He dismissed the “interlocutor” appointed by the Indian government to hold a dialogue in Kashmir. “GoI has appointed an interlocutor, but the statements of the Indian PM and the interlocutor himself… (show that) the GoI wants Kashmiris to surrender after suppressing them through threats, harassment, intimidation.”
“The doors of jails have been opened and the NIA and ED used like never before against Kashmiris,” he said. “Does the GoI think that Kashmiris will surrender? Does this mean that if Kashmiris won’t talk to the GoI’s interlocutor, then they will have to go to jail?”
He said the GoI was playing the role of “Gabbar Singh” as in the movie Sholay. “They are proving it day by day… they are putting a pistol on the head of a person and asking him to meet their interlocutor; else they will jail him in Tihar.”
“I am the second Kashmiri after Shaheed Mohammad Maqbool Bhat to spend many months in the death cell of Tihar Jail, from where I was taken to Agra mental centre… I have also seen the Jodhpur jail,” Malik said. “The party that is ruling India at this time cannot understand this because they worked as collaborators of British imperialism during India’s freedom struggle… They have no role in their own freedom struggle; how can they understand that freedom lovers are not scared of jails?”
The JKLF chief said that history bears witness that every nation has had to fight for its freedom. “I want to tell GoI that these notices, threats won’t cow us down. Instead, our resolve is strengthened (by these),” he said.
“I am impatient to enter your death cell. Maqbool Bhat has taught us to stand proud before the gallows. For a freedom fighter, freedom is his love. Lovers cannot be threatened and sacred. No fear can be created in their heart,” Malik said. “GoI’s Home Minister said that there will be no freedom movement in 2022 in Kashmir… we will see.”
Malik also blasted the Indian media, saying they were doing PR for the Indian Army. “They should wear the uniform of soldiers when they are in newsroom,” he said. “They have been resorting to mud-slinging for the past 18 months.”
Malik said, “This Tehreek (movement) is not trade for us but our love. Money has no value for us. We have shouldered coffins of our friends for this movement.”
He lambasted the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying that when they were out of power, they would reach the funerals of militants and express sympathies. “Statements against this particular POTA case were issued by the (late) Mufti sahab and Mehbooba ji… They promised a “healing touch” but they turned every police station into a Task Force station. There is no one left in Kashmir who has not seen zulm (tyranny) from this party,” he said. “I cannot expect anything from this party.”