Srinagar: Terming holding of elections in Jammu and Kashmir as a “military exercise,” the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) on Monday said the “violent and enforced” electoral process is continuing with increased arrests, “brutalization and siege.”
“In last few weeks around 2000 people have been arrested, mostly youth. Leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmed Shah and scores of other political leaders and activists have been detained. Besides these political persons a very huge number of young people who are mostly students have been arrested, tortured and humiliated,” a spokesman for the civil rights watchdog said in a statement here.
The spokesman said that “frustrated by the success of boycott campaign in south Kashmir, the armed forces on the instructions of the Indian Home Ministry have intensified the arrest spree.”
“This climate of arrests and oppression also led to the killing of Bashir Ahmed Bhat at Nawa Kadal, Srinagar. Dr. Ghulam Qadir Lone, an eminent scholar of Sufism who is not affiliated to any political party has also been arrested. Dr. Lone has been arrested for having an opinion against the state,” the spokesman said.
He said that by arrests and intimidation the Indian state has violated their own laws and the international laws. He said that it was part of the civil and political right of an individual to boycott elections and also carry out a campaign against elections.
“Military regimes from around the world have carried out sham elections to legitimize their oppressive rule. The elections in Jammu and Kashmir are being used by Indian state as a legitimacy for their military presence therefore campaign for boycotting elections has been treated as a military challenge and thus choked,” the spokesman added.