Srinagar: The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) led by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on Thursday called for Kashmir-wide protests after Friday congregational prayers against the killing of civilians, indiscriminate use of pellets, vandalising of properties, the deaths of two women who left behind two infants and the blinding of innocent youth.
Appealing the international community for their cognizance of the “appalling state-sponsored terrorism”, the JRL impressed upon their global hearers “the need to raise their voice and come to the rescue of subjugated people in Kashmir”.
“The growing Indian aggression against unarmed and peaceful people in the state has touched the alarm line and turned this beautiful place into a battlefield,” the statement by the joint resistance leadership said. “Under a well-thought-out plan, the Indian authorities, forces and their henchmen are carrying out genocide.”
Commenting on the “killing spree”, the JRL said, “even infants and innocent babies are deprived of their caring mothers for Kashmir has been turned into a killing field where the lives of men, women and even children are not safe.”
Referring to the recent killings of two innocent women in Handwara and Shopian and of an unarmed youth, the JRL said, “the authorities are desperate to cover their gruesome and inhuman acts and are shielding criminals under the garb of ‘mistaken identity’.”
“They have declared war on civilians,” they said while strongly condemning the indiscriminate use of pellets against civilians. “Hundreds of youth are victims of a deadly weapon used nowhere else in the world. The fact remains unchanged, Kashmir is the only place in the world where these weapons are used against human beings.”
The JRL expressed their deep anguish over the continued silence of the international community and said that though several resolutions had been accepted in the United Nations to resolve this long-pending issue, no steps had, however, been initiated.
“To make an end to hostilities in the subcontinent, the international community should take concrete political steps to resolve the longstanding Kashmir dispute,” the JRL urged.
“For the last seven decades, there have been hundreds of thousands of people killed, the resistance leadership and youth caged, hundreds blinded and maimed, properties worth billions destroyed, more than ten thousand disappeared in forces custody, and still there is no let-up in killing and atrocities,” they said.
Lamenting that Delhi had groomed “henchmen for their rhetoric about so-called” democracy and freedom of speech, the JRL said, “their tall claims about freedom of expression and democracy stand exposed as they didn’t dare to face the pro-freedom leadership and resorted to vandalism, arresting key leadership members, imposing restrictions, bullying and denying the leadership political space.”
The JRL ridiculed the authorities for “turning the entire state into a battlefield”, saying that killing innocents, coining ‘mistaken identity’-like terms and caging people and the leadership simply “exposed the government’s tall claims about transparency, and their rhetoric regarding democracy was deflated”.
The JRL appealed the Amnesty International, Asia Watch and other international human rights organisations to break their silence and take cognizance of the “plight of the suppressed and oppressed people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and urged them to fulfil their obligations in accordance with human rights specified for the world community”.
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik asked people in Jammu, including in the Chenab valley, Baderwah and Kishtwar to join and protest against the “highhandedness of the authorities and the atrocities perpetrated” upon people in the state and also asked Aiema Masajid and religious clerics to make people aware about the prevailing situations and to lead protest demonstrations throughout the state.
“We are all obliged to raise our voice and express our solidarity with those suffering at the hands of authorities and forces,” they said.