Release youth or face agitation: Geelani to Govt
Srinagar, June 18: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani, on Friday charged National Conference activists with spying and getting the Valley youth arrested following massive protests over the killing of teenaged Tufail Ahmad Matoo in an alleged police action in Rajouri Kadal last week. The veteran leader demanded immediate release of all the youth by Tuesday next, “failing which the party would launch the Valley-wide agitation.”
“The activists of National Conference throng police stations and give the cops the names of youth involved in peaceful protests. This is how the police arrest the
youth. After arresting them, hefty sums of money are sought from the families of the youth for their release. I appeal the parents of these youth to desist from bribing police as we will protest their detention and get them released,” Geelani said, addressing people during an hour-long sit-in demonstration at Magarmal Bagh here.
Geelani had called for a sit-in to protest the killing of Tufail Ahmad Matoo, Machil fake encounter and the “mounting” human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir “by the men in uniform.”
“The youth arrested for protesting against the killing of Tufail Ahmad Matoo should be released by Tuesday next. We are giving this ultimatum to police and urging them to release hundreds of youth arrested following Tufail’s killing. If they fail to meet the deadline, we will call the meeting of Majlis-e-e-Shoora and decide the agitation plan against the arrests,” Geelani said.
The youth, he said, were arrested because they demanded withdrawal of troops “who are killing their brothers.”
Geelani urged the government to restrict the Amarnath Yatra to 15 days on the pattern of Uttaranchal. “We are not against the Yatra, but we want it to be limited. If it can be done in Gangotri (Uttaranchal) where you have a limit of 150 pilgrims per day, why can’t it be done here? It seems destroying Kashmir’s environment and the culture serves India’s interest,” he said.
People, Geelani said, should completely boycott the upcoming Panchayat elections in the state. “I appeal the people to completely boycott the polls being held in October this year. Such elections are just a tool to exploit the freedom sentiment of Kashmiris at the international level,” he said.
Geelani reiterated that enumeration of non-locals in the ongoing Census was a “big conspiracy.” “This is done to change the demography of the state. If it is necessary to enumerate them, they should be counted separately along with their native address and the records should be kept separate from those of the state-subjects,” he said.
Regarding killing of teens in the Valley, he said people must continue to protest against such “heinous war crimes.” “We demand an immediate end to the state sponsored terrorism proven by the killing of Tufail, Wamiq, Inayat, Zahid, and the Machil Fake encounter,” he said.
Reacting to the statement of Army’s Northern Command chief, Lt Gen BS Jaswal that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act was a “holy book for Army”, Geelani said the statement added insult to the injury of Kashmiris “AFSPA is not any holy book but a certificate to kill Kashmiris. Army will never want to lose this certificate.”
He said AFSPA was “a shield” for troops “who commit war crimes for rewards and promotions.” “Such an unrealistic approach hampers restoration of peace in the sub-continent. India stands blinded by power which is established by the statements by its leaders and the army officers,” he said.
Geelani also castigated the Indian Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao for her statement of making the borders irrelevant. “Her statement is misleading. Her point is not a new development but status quo and the creative solutions is a new name given to it,” Geelani said. “Realistic and creative approach is to give the right of self determination to the people of valley,” he said.
Geelani also demanded immediate cancellation of 8 percent Reservation Bill for Scheduled Castes in Valley districts.
Meanwhile, scores of cops were wounded in clashes in south Kashmir’s Islamabad town on Friday and elsewhere in valley as people staged peaceful protests on the call of Hurriyat (G).
Scores of youth took to streets in Lal Chowk Islamabad after Friday prayers. The cops and paramilitary CRPF troopers deployed in strength chased away them by resorting to cane–charging, but they offered stiff resistance and clashed with cops in which several policemen were wounded.
Reports pouring from other districts said that Hurriyat (G) activists also staged peaceful protests in Varmul, Sopur, Pulwama and Budgam areas.
The residents of Saida Kadal Srinagar also staged protests against the arrests of youth, after Friday prayers.
“The police have unleashed reign of terror in area by implicating innocent youth after killing Tufail Ahmed Matto. The guilty police personnel involved in his killing should be punished,” they said.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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