SRINAGAR: The leaders and activists of the joint resistance leadership (JRL) on Saturday marched from Abi Guzar to press enclave here and held a peaceful protest sit-in, demanding immediate release of all political prisoners lodged in various jails within and outside the state.
The protesters were carrying banners reading ‘release political prisoners languishing in jails’, ‘shifting of political prisoners outside state political vendetta’ and ‘putting thousands into prison is no democracy’.
Jammu Kashmir Liberation front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik also joined and addressed the sit-in.
Malik termed the National Investigating Agency (NIA) arrests as “kidnapping” aimed at “frightening” the pro-freedom leadership.
“After Burhan Sahab’s killing and the subsequent protests, NIA was brought to frighten the leadership but we want to convey to the government of India that the freedom fighters and the sentiment cannot be crushed down by abductions, bullets, state-terrorism and police hooliganism,” Malik said. “Had freedom fighters been frightened, then India would not have achieved independence.”
He demanded release of Shabir Ahmad Shah, Masarat Alam, Dr Qasim Faktoo, Aasiya Andrabi and others before Eid-ul-Fitr.
Malik said that India being a signatory to the Geneva Convention on political prisoners has an obligation to respect the rights of prisoners but as with other human rights, New Delhi has trampled this right too and is crushing these inmates with impunity.
JKLF chief also condemned the use of force at Jamia Masjid Srinagar. He referred to the pictures where the police could be seen as pointing the pellet guns inside the mosque.
Castigating the government for “framing and falsely inducting” 18 youth from downtown Srinagar in DSP lynching case, Malik said, “Those boys were associated peacefully with the pro-freedom activities, that is why they were targeted and implicated in a false case so they could languish in jails for years.”
Alleging “harassment” and “rights violation” at Central Jail Srinagar, JKLF chief said the prison has been turned into an interrogation centre.
He demanded implementation of international jail manual rights for political prisoners.