Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir RTI Movement today launched a signature campaign here to press for revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state. The campaign was started at Press Enclave near Lal Chowk in the heart of the city with organisers expressing determination to collect 10 lakh signatures from across the Valley and pass it on to the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Justice.
Eminent poet and writer Zareef Ahmad Zareef and some members of Youth Democratic Federation were also present at the launch to extend their support.
The campaigners, carrying banners, placards, and shouting slogans in support of their demand, were not allowed by police to march towards the city centre.
“If you are against the AFPSA, please sign here,” Chairman of J&K RTI movement Sheikh Ghulam Rasool said pointing towards the white banner, which already carried several signatures.
He said revocation of AFSPA is a must to stop “innocent killings and other atrocities”.
“After every killing during the past 26 years, time bound inquiries are ordered but their reports have never been made public and no action initiated against the culprits,” he alleged.
He said the RTI Movement wants to remind Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who while in Opposition campaigned for the revocation of AFPSA during 2010 agitation, to take necessary measures to fulfil the demand of the people.
“It is unfortunate that the politicians are seeking votes from the people on the promise of revocation of the draconian law but take no concrete step when they come to power,” he said. He said as long as AFPSA is in force, there will be no justice. “The people of Kashmir want justice. We are making the demand in a democratic way and we want restoration of democracy in true sense,” Rasool said.
He warned of a “2010-type agitation” if the demand for revocation of AFSPA was not met. “We will mobilise public support in every nook and corner of the Valley for the revocation of the draconian law. If the AFSPA is not revoked, people will be forced to take to streets and it will be a repeat of 2010 like agitation,” he said. He said development measures mean nothing till draconian laws are in force. “We demand our right to life,” he said.