Pro-freedom groups, HCBA condemn ‘police crackdown’

Srinagar: Pro-freedom groups Tuesday said the “police crackdown” on youth and pro-freedom leaders ahead of the Parliamentary elections for Srinagar constituency had vindicated their stand that the election process in Jammu and Kashmir was a mere “military operation.”
In a statement, Chairman Hurriyat Conference(G) Syed Ali Geelani said the “drama” of Parliamentary elections being “staged on April 30 and 7th May in central and north Kashmir is nothing more than a military operation in the presence of seven lakh Indian forces and police.”
“These so-called elections have no moral, democratic or legal justification. More than two thousand pro-freedom leaders, activists and youths especially students have been detained in different police stations and jails. What kind of democracy is it when people are not allowed to present their viewpoint?” Geelani said.
Paying tributes to militants killed in an encounter in Shopian recently , Geelani said “such precious sacrifices demand that we completely boycott this election drama and send a clear message to India and its agents in Kashmir that Cashmeres will not abandon their just freedom struggle for anything,” he said.
Geelani said the Indian government and its “puppet administration in Kashmir” had been rattled by the “success of election boycott in South Kashmir.”
“ A war- like situation has been created and Kashmir has been turned into a garrison, which confirms our stand that India is holding a military operation in Kashmir in the name of elections,” Geelani said.
“To get rid of this military operation and forced occupation we should completely boycott elections,” Geelani said, appealing people to pay “tributes to martyrs by staying home on April 30 and May 7.”
“We should adopt the path of Hazrat Husain (RA) and reject Yazeed by boycotting the election drama,” Geelani said.
The parallel Hurriyat faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also condemned the” wanton arrest of resistance leaders, activists and youth ,” accusing the state government of declaring an “open war against the people especially youth under the pretext of the so -called elections.”
The amalgam also reiterated its call for election boycott.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front(JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who continues to be in police custody along with several aides, alleged that police had launched a crackdown against his party and arrested many leaders and activists since last night.
Malik alleged that while pro- India parties were being provided security and other facilities to hold rallies, on the other side the government had “choked every little space for peaceful election boycott campaign.”
Meanwhile, the J&K High Court Bas Association (HCBA) on while reiterating its election boycott appeal on Tuesday condemned the arrest and detention of pro-freedom leaders, their supporters including more than 500 youth, who have been arrested over the past few days.
“The Bar Association feels that though Director General of Police and others had assured the people that no one will be arrested for propagating election boycott, on ground, hundreds of youth, old, infirm and sick have been arrested from their homes and elsewhere, in the name of maintaining law and order and detained in police stations unlawfully,” a KHCBA spokesperson said in a statement here.
“The police has not even spared an imam namely Bilal Ahmad Bhat who had been leading prayers in a local masjid at Tangmarg for eight years. A bank employee namely Aijaz Ahmad of Hajin was called to police station and detained on a flimsy ground of being involved in pelting of stones. Though there have been protests all over the Valley against these arrests and detentions, instead of releasing those who have been arrested, the police is arresting more and more people to muzzle their voice and stop them from carrying on the anti-election campaign to make the farcical election drama a success.”
“The Bar Association requests the international community to take serious notice of the happenings in Kashmir and come to the rescue of people of Kashmir and save them from the onslaught of Indian occupational forces and their puppets in Kashmir,” the statement said.
The Bar Association also condemned the verdict of an Egyptian court which has sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood chief, 70-year-old Mohammad Badie and his 682 supporters to death on the false accusation of being involved in killing and murdering of a policeman in southern Minya province on August 14, 2013.
“The court should have proceeded against those who killed innocent civilians, but instead of doing so, it has sentenced to death the supporters of Muslim brotherhood to suppress their voice,” the statement said.