Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday renewed his demand for demilitarization of Kashmir and said the process should begin from immediate withdrawal of army from Tosmaidan meadow in Budgam.
Addressing a Friday congregation at historic Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz expressed his grief over the recent death of a 9-year old girl and crippling injuries to her brother due to explosion of a littered shell. He said that during military exercises several shells remain unexploded which later become the cause of death and injuries. He demanded that the process of demilitarization should be started from Tosmaidan itself.
Mirwaiz also demanded an immediate ban on the use of pellet guns in Kashmir. He said the position of the state authorities that pellet guns are a ‘non-lethal’ weapon is a “blatant lie”. He said that till date around hundred persons have lost their eyes while scores have become handicapped.
He said it is highly unfortunate and condemnable that the police and paramilitary forces are “deliberately” firing pellets into the eyes of people to inflict maximum damage.
Even as the Hurriyat is involved in a legal process to push for the ban on pellet guns, Mirwaiz appealed to the international human rights organizations to come forward on this issue and play their part.
“It is regrettable that the only standard response to people’s aspirations and sentiments is repression, force and curbs by the government. Time and again, through the exhibition of power, the state betrays the fundamental principles of democracy, which it claims to represent and uphold.
“The government needs to understand that the people of Kashmir have internationalized the sacrifices rendered by the martyrs and their memory remains etched in the collective consciousness of this nation and no amount of force can alter that,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz later visited SMHS Hospital to see the condition of Suhail Ahmad and Ghulam Rasool, who recently received injuries in their eyes by pellets. Later, he visited the house of a small boy Faheem Asghar, whose body was recovered from the Wullar, at Nowpora. While condoling with the family, he stated that an impartial probe should be held to know the cause of his actual death.