Yasin Malik warns of ‘major agitation’

Iqbal Kirmani

Srinagar: Government of India’s proposal to settle West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) in J&K will have dangerous consequences, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said Friday.
“Blood will spill if they try to go ahead with the proposal,” Malik told reporters here before he and his associates were detained during a protest over the WPRs settlement.
“Do not force Kashmiris to come on the roads,” Malik said, urging the Modi government “not to not play into the hands of communal forces” who want to polarize the state along religious lines.
Malik said that JKLF will launch an awareness program to make people understand the dangerous consequences of the WPRs settlement. “Settle them in Punjab or Delhi, but not in this state; we let not this happen,” he added.
The JKLF chairman said the settlement of WPRs in state “will also affect ecology of the state. This land is full of forests and water bodies which need to be protected.”
He said the state subject law is not unique to J&K. “Many Indian hilly sates like Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram are also having similar kind of laws to safeguard their ecology and environment,” Malik said.
Earlier, Malik and his dozen of supporters marched towards the city center Lal Chowk soon after the Friday prayers. Chairperson of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Parveena Ahangar also participated in the march.
Police, however, intercepted the protesters. Raising anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, Malik and his supporters refused to retrieve. Police fired tear gas canisters and cane charged the protestors, injuring many people including JKLF activist Abdul Hamid who was hit by a shell in his head.
The APDP chairperson fainted when police fired tear gas shells to quell the protests. She was removed to hospital.
Later, Malik and many of his associates were detained and shifted to Kothi Bagh police station.
Situation in Lal Chowk and its adjoining commercial hubs remained tense and clashes continued till late evening.