SRINAGAR: The Kashmir University campus on Tuesday was filled with posters carrying anti-India and pro-freedom slogans as a large number of students took out a protest rally that marched all through the university campus. The rally began from the Islamic Studies department and culminated in the lawns of the central Iqbal Library where students raised slogans in favour of Pakistan and freedom of Kashmir.
Condemning the alleged killing of civilians and atrocities by government troops, the students accused the government of stifling voices of dissent. “The government has gone to every extent to crush peaceful demonstrations. We are being brutally assaulted by ruthless force. In such a terrified atmosphere, a Kashmiri youth finds the gun as the only solution,” the speakers said at the rally.
The proposals to observe Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday as official holiday was cited as an example of the government’s hostility towards Kashmiri aspirations. Arrests under draconian laws were another grievance. Speakers said that the government had openly adopted a policy of confrontation with Kashmiris and was forcing them to pick up arms.
Hailing the contribution of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat — both of whom were hanged inside Tihar Jail in Delhi — the students said that by denying fair trial and justice to them, it had been proven that Kashmir’s future was not safe with India.
“Even after such killings, Kashmiris have not given up their resistance. The new generation will instill new blood in the freedom struggle and will continue to fight for the end of India’s occupation of Kashmir,” a speaker who addressed the gathering said.
The students lashed out at the government for portraying “fake normalcy” in Kashmir. “We don’t need job packages. Development is secondary for us. What kind of a development can come when our homes are being ravaged by the so-called security forces,” speakers said. “Only a permanent solution to Kashmir will stop the bloodbath in the Valley.”
Vowing to support the resistance movement by every means, the students later dispersed peacefully.