SRINAGAR: The joint resistance leadership has called for a complete shutdown on Monday to protest and condemn the “revengeful, arbitrary and illegal arrests” of Hurriyat leaders.
Seven Hurriyat leaders Altaf Ahmed Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Peer Saifullah were arrested by NIA on Monday. However, the leadership skipped names of Nayeem Khan and Bitta Karate.
NIA on Monday arrested seven people in connection with its probe into the “funding of terror and subversive activities” in the Valley.
In a statement issued here, the leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik expressed serious concern about the safety of the arrested persons saying nobody knows their whereabouts.
“All these pro-movement political activists and leaders have been at the forefront of the people’s movement (and) have tirelessly supported the leadership and worked for people’s cause. (They) are being persecuted and targeted for their political ideology and principles,” the leadership said.
They said government enacted a “drama” through NIA by first raiding, then questioning and now arresting these people, giving an impression that law and procedures had been followed. “The sensationalising, propagandist, (and) anti-Kashmir electronic media of India was also brought into play to aid and abet this drama and deceit,” they said.
The leadership said no evidence was found against the arrested leaders in connection with any “so-called funding” and they have been arrested “as per the plan of the government”.
“NIA officials had repeatedly told them that sooner or later, they will be arrested as the government had made up its mind to do so,” they said.
Geelani, Mirwaiz, and Malik said as international pressure is building up on New Delhi with regard to the resolution of Kashmir dispute and human rights situation here, New Delhi is constantly refusing to acknowledge the dispute and working hard to ward off this pressure by projecting the people’s political struggle in Kashmir as “Islamic terrorism” aided by Pakistan so that it does not have to engage with the political sentiments and aspirations of Kashmiris.
“Implicating Hurriyat in alleged funding is part of that plan and is also aimed at misleading the people of India,” it said.
The leadership said the political movement in Kashmir is a people’s movement based on the universal principles of justice and sovereignty of people and “as long as people of Kashmir believe in it and support it, no power and propaganda on earth can alter that reality however much the oppressor may try”.
“These intimidating and pressure tactics will neither weaken the movement nor the resolve of the leadership in pursuing the just cause. Hardships, trials, and persecution are given in this path as history of freedom struggles world over have witnessed.”