Srinagar: To foil the “Shopian Chalo” march called by the Joint Resistance Leadership on Wednesday, Syed Ali Geelani was detained at his home and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was arrested and detained at the office of Superintendent of Police Hazratbal. Early in the morning, additional contingents of police were deployed around the residences of both Geelani and Mirwaiz. A spokesperson of Hurriyat Conference (G) said that Geelani tried to march towards Shopian at noon but he was not allowed to step out of his house.
The spokesperson said that police locked the gates of Geelani’s house from the outside and did not allow anyone to enter or leave the premises. “Although we made several attempts to open the main gate, but we failed,” the spokesperson said.
He said that Geelani made several requests to the police to open the gate but was denied.
The spokesperson said that Geelani told the policemen outside his house: “Tumhari jamhooriyat ka janaza nikal raha hai (The funeral procession of your democracy is being taken out). Tell me why I am being barred from moving out. You cried to the world that I am free… Darwaza kholo, hum udh kar nahi jayenge (Open the gate, we cannot go flying).”
The spokesperson quoted Geelani as saying, “Repeated curbs, restrictions, arrests and detentions is a classic case of colonial attitude. People of Jammu and Kashmir have never accepted the forcible occupation of India and are resisting since past seven decades. We have decided to resist this illegal occupation till the Kashmir issue is resolved through right to self-determination.”
Hurriyat (M) chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was arrested as soon as he defied house arrest at 11:30am to go to Shopian. He was released at 2pm and placed under house arrest once again.
Before his arrest, Mirwaiz addressed the people and media outside his residence. He said it was a sad but telling reality that not even a whimper of concern or protest had been expressed at the brutal killing of Kashmiris by any among India’s humanists, rights activists, civil society members or writers. “They have closed their eyes and ears to the injustices and atrocities being committed here and no one among them wants to question it,” he said.
Mirwaiz said that the youths killed in the past few days were “the future of this land.”
“It is extremely painful that these bright kids leave their studies and dreams as they see oppression and injustice being perpetuated to maintain the status quo over the Kashmir dispute. What they see since childhood is Kashmir having been converted into a large military garrison and a battleground. They see every form of dissent being choked by might and repression,” Mirwaiz said.
He said that New Delhi repeatedly calls Kashmir its integral part because “it is the land of Kashmir they want to grab, but the people of Kashmir are the impediment to that.”
“Let me tell them that Kashmir is no one’s integral part; it belongs to the people of Kashmir and it is our fundamental right to decide our future and destiny. The people of Kashmir are giving the supreme sacrifice for this cause. No amount of might will break our resolve. Nor will propaganda, lies and fake narratives. Kashmir was and is a dispute that has to be resolved through the Right to Self-Determination.”
JKLF chief Yasin Malik was arrested by police on Monday and sent to Central Jail Srinagar on a three-day judicial remand.