Pro-freedom camp hails north Kashmir for ‘boycott’

Srinagar: Various pro-freedom groups Wednesday hailed the people of north Kashmir for boycotting the Parliamentary elections.
“Despite heavy military presence, restrictions, and an atmosphere of fear created by the government, the rejection of polls by the brave people of north Kashmir is commendable,” a spokesman of the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat Conference said in a statement.
The spokesman said that elections held under Indian constitution could in no way be a substitute for the right to self determination as pledged by the UN to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Till Kashmiris don’t get their political rights, Hurriyat would continue to espouse the cause of freedom and represent Kashmiris political aspirations and sentiments on local as well as international level,” the spokesman said.
Expressing satisfaction over the “complete boycott of elections by people of north Kashmir,” senior leader of Hurriyat Conference Jammu Kashmir (HCJK) Shabir Ahmad Shah said the day was not far “when Indian oppression will vanish from Kashmir.”
Shah, who is detained at police station Raj Bagh, said the people of Kashmir by “defeating the nefarious designs of National Conference, Congress, PDP and other pro- India parties had sent a clear message to world community that Kashmiris will settle for nothing short of an end to Indian occupation.”
“I salute all those Kashmiris who laid their lives, who are languishing in jails and others for their courage and valor in defeating pro-India elements,” Shah said , according to a statement.
Shah said the boycott of parliamentary elections was a “rehearsal for the upcoming Assembly elections.”
The “exemplary boycott” by people of north Kashmir had shown once again which side the people were on , Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani said.
Rejecting the government figures of voter turnout as concocted , Geelani alleged that the “Indian army had left no stone unturned to force the people of Tangdar, Uri, Gureez and Bandipora to vote in elections, but despite tremendous pressure people showed courage and stayed away from the election drama.”
“Major Ragu of 14-RR today once again came in civics in Bandipora areas and threatened the locals to cast votes, but the bold and brave people resisted him and took out a huge procession and raised anti-India, anti-election, pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans,” he said.
While terming the people from Lolab, Lalpora, Trehgam, Kupwara, Baramulla, Sopore, Bandipora, Pattan, Palhalan, Dooru, Sumbal and Sonawari as the “assets of the freedom movement,” Geelani said by rejecting the “sham election process the people the people had once again shown their commitment to the freedom movement.”
JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik also hailed the people of north Kashmir for “boycotting elections and showing their loyalty to the sacred sacrifices of martyrs and the freedom movement.”
“Despite coercion and a blanket ban on the activities of the pro-freedom camp, the courage and resolve shown by the people of north Kashmir in boycotting the Parliamentary elections is a morale-booster for entire Kashmiri nation,” Malik said.