SRINAGAR: Chairman of his faction of the Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said it is the moral duty of the international community to intervene and play its role to put an end to the “various forms of human rights violations committed by forces and other state agencies” in Kashmir. He said the forces are on the path of “eliminating” Kashmiris by “systematically killing and maiming the young lot first”.
Addressing the faithful at the historic Jamia Masjid in old city Srinagar, following his release from a two-week house detention, Mirwaiz said the international community needs to persuade New Delhi to accept the ground reality in Kashmir and the ensuing conflict and to start a meaningful exercise to resolve the long-pending dispute as per the wishes and aspirations of the people of the land, so that peace prevails in South Asia and “we can get out of this situation”.
“In the given circumstances, where all peaceful means of registering protest and resistance stand choked and all forms of expressing our feelings of grief and anger banned, observing complete strike against the gruesome civilian killings and other atrocities is one way left to us to register our protest and anger over it,” he said.
He urged people to observe a complete shutdown on Saturday, January 13, against the unabated civilian killings by the “trigger-happy” forces. He also appealed to people to remain steadfast towards the ongoing movement “which has priceless sacrifices at its back”.
The Hurriyat (M) chairman termed the present situation in Kashmir as “gravely disturbing and worrisome” and said the killing of civilians, especially youth, continued unabated and there is no let-up in the use of “brute” force. “Since forces enjoy unbridled powers and impunity under draconian law AFSPA, killing unarmed civilians is a routine affair and no one is held accountable,” he said.
“In such severe cold weather, forces continue with CASO operations in villages across south, north and central Kashmir, causing great hardships for the residents of these places,” he said.
Mirwaiz said that on the one hand, the government announces some sort of “amnesty” to “stone pelters”, and on the other side, killing, blinding, torture and arrest of youth continues.
He said people are “badly caught up in this vicious circle of oppression and there is no let up to it”.
“All spaces for resistance stand choked; the resistance leadership is regularly placed under house arrest or lodged in jails,” the Mirwaiz said. “The situation has reached a point where even peaceful seminars held indoors or simple meetings with people are a threat to them (the authorities). Even addressing religious gatherings is disallowed.”