Srinagar: The government’s decision to withdraw cases against the first-time stone pelters has not impressed the separatist groups here with the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference asking the government to release all political prisoners to show its ‘sincerity’.
“The announcement to withdraw FIR’s against first time stone pelters appears a mere cosmetic effort. If government is serious and sincere and there is really a change of heart and approach then all political prisoners should be immediately released,” Chairman of moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq told a Friday congregation at the historic Jamia Masjid today.
Mirwaiz who is also the Jamia Masjid’s head cleric, termed the government announcement as ‘formality’.
“We believe that the government announcement to give amnesty to the youth involved in stone pelting for the first-time in 2016 is a good cosmetic effort and a formality,” he said.
He said that the announcement at a time when the youth from Anantnag was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) and was shifted to the Jammu jail indicates the ‘seriousness’ of the government.
“If government is serious and sincere and there is really a change of heart and approach then all the political prisoners who are languishing in different jails under draconian laws should be immediately released,” he said, adding that their freedom should be restored and the black laws like AFSPA, PSA should also be revoked.
He also said that the false cases lodged against the prisoners should be withdrawn and the ‘lawless’ laws should be revoked.
He said that thousands of youth are languishing in different jails from past several years while the Courts have also quashed their detentions but unfortunately they are yet to be released. “Such announcement is only a deception,” he added.
He said that the youth and teenagers hitting the streets is a reaction that emanates from the lingering Kashmir conflict and until the Kashmir issue will be resolved as per the aspirations of the people, these cosmetic decisions won’t yield any result.
“If Government of India is sincere then they should change their policy to resolve the Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of people. We have seen such kind of happenings in the past as well. Several announcements including jobs and other things were made earlier but all such things didn’t prove fruitful,” he said.
He said that the government is also claiming to connect the youth in the mainstream. “We want to tell the government that mainstream for the Kashmiri youth is only pro-freedom groups and people,” he added.