Srinagar: Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) organised a roundtable conference on the topic ‘need for demilitarization and restoration of civil liberties’ on Saturday.
The conference chaired by KCSDS chairperson Prof. Hameedah Nayeem was participated by cross-section of society including social activists, academia, writers and columnists, lawyers, traders, industrialists, hoteliers and students.
The KCSDS in a statement said that participants deliberated on the issue of the dire need for demilitarization in the state to save precious human lives and to restore all civil liberties that have been impacted by military presence.
The statement added that during the deliberations the civil society members noted that from the past two years situation has taken such a turn that it has posed a serious existential threat to the entire population.
“The arbitrary brutal and savage killings of our young boys on the slightest pretext and mass blinding have become the order of the day.
The Shopian carnage has once again brought the spotlight on the oppressive, unwarranted and un-called heavy military presence in the civilian areas of Kashmir whose only purpose is to keep tabs on citizens and to keep them in line,” the statement said.
“The transformation of the military into an agent of domestic repression, arbitrary killings, extrajudicial killings, fake encounters, arbitrary detentions, torture, rape and sexual abuse constitutes part of the process of militarization besides arbitrary land grab from the citizens to erect camps in the midst of residential areas.
The military is embedded in Kashmir society like cancerous cells in human organism which have suppressed its natural movements, its twists and turns, its daily freedoms and eroded its sense of privacy in the most predatory manner,” statement added.
The KCSDS statement said that participants unanimously resolved that government of India should be told to immediately demilitarize the entire civilian space and initiate criminal proceedings against the forces who have committed crimes including those involved in Shopian civilian killings.
The participants also asked the Government to immediately withdraw the draconian laws like AFSPA which provide immunity to the trigger-happy forces and put them beyond the purview of law.
The KCSDS statement said participants demanded the restoration of all civil liberties including the right to protest against government forces high handedness and its anti-people policies.
It also urged the government to initiate a time-bound, result-oriented process of negotiations with Pak and Kashmiri leadership on Kashmir issue.
KCSDS impressed on the government to substitute its militarized, anti-human mindset with a human and humane attitude and fascist and authoritarian political posturing with moral vision and ethical mindset, to let a people live their lives according to their own thinking without having perpetual surveillance over them.
The conference among others was also attended by Prof. Gul Wani, Prof. Noor Baba, Dr. Bilal, Abdul Majid Zargar, Shakeel Qalander, Z. G Mohammad, Anwar Ashai, senior journalists Riyaz Masroor, Mehmood ur Rashid, Hilal Saqi, Parvez Bukhari, Peerzadah Ashiq, Waseem Khalid, President CCIK Zahoor Tramboo, FCIK President Er. Mukhtar Yousuf, former President Meraj Qureshi, KTMF President Bashir Ahmad Rather, KHARA representative Mohammad Afzal Parray, industrialists Syed Fazal Illahi, Dr. Zain ul Abideen, Zubair Bhat, and others.