Anger brews against lifers

Police Foils JKLF Protest Rally; Malik Detained; Demos In Srinagar Areas

ZAHID MAQBOOL

Srinagar, Dec 7: Police Friday detained the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Muhammad Yasin Malik and other separatist leaders when they were leading a protest march at Maisuma here against the recent death sentences awarded to two Srinagar youth.
Reports said that hundreds of people led by Malik and other separatist leaders took out a rally from Maisuma after Friday prayers and started marching towards Lal Chowk. However police personnel deployed in strength intercepted the rally at Budshah Chowk.
The protesters turned back and tried to reach Lal Chowk via Red Cross Road. When the protest march reached the Red Cross Road, police and CRPF personnel cane-charged the protestors and resorted to teargas shelling. Yasin Malik, Javed Ahmed Mir, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, Shabir Ahmed Dar and around a dozen activists of the Front were detained.
After the arrest of the leaders, angry youth pelted stones on police and the ding-dong battles between police and protestors continued for more than half an hour.
SHO Kothibagh Zafar Ahmed told Greater Kashmir on phone, “We detained them after they tried to march towards Lal Chowk. We will release them in the evening.”
In a press statement, JKLF said its three members- Ghulam Rasool Hazari, Muhammad Ayub Naik and Abdul Satar - were injured in the police action.
S. N. Khanna, a dentist in Maisuma market, accused police of breaking the windowpanes of his clinic. “After chasing the protestors, five police personnel started pelting stones at my clinic, breaking all the windowpanes. As I requested them to stop pelting stones, one of the stones hit me,” Khanna told Greater Kashmir. “I have lived in Kashmir through all the years of turmoil, but Kashmiris never harmed me. I expect police to protect us, not to go on rampage.”
Another protest demonstration was organized by JKLF leader Showkat Ahmed Bakshi and others at Batamaloo here. Reports said the two-hour sit-in protest was also organized in Nishat by the family members of incarcerated Showkat Ahmed Khan which was joined by hundreds of people from the area including children and women.
Earlier, addressing media before leading the protest march, Yasin Malik accused New Delhi of starting ‘unilateral State-sponsored violence against Kashmiris.’ “Twenty two year old cases are being opened afresh and during last two years dozens of Kashmiris have been sentenced for life imprisonment. I want to ask New Delhi why they are trying to push Kashmiris to the wall,” Malik said.
Condemning the life sentences against two Kashmiris by a TADA court, Malik said, “The Government of India can’t crush the freedom struggle by such tactics.”
JKLF chief said it seems that New Delhi has adopted a new strategy to crush the struggle. “I want to ask the Government why these Kashmiris were denied trial for 22 years?” the JKLF chief questioned.
He said, “After the hanging of Maqbool Bhat in 1984, thousands of youth took to gun.”
Malik said the recent life sentences to two youth of Srinagar have put a question mark on the credibility of civil society in India. “In 1990s they used to say that if Kashmiris give up violent struggle, we will be allowed to live peacefully. The civil society of India should come clean over the new policy of New Delhi. Otherwise, we would not hesitate to call them a tool used to douse the flames of 1990 in Kashmir.”
Malik also questioned the ‘silence’ of international community over the issue. “The international community played an important role in persuading Kashmiris for a non-violent struggle. Their credibility is also at stake now,” he said.
Threatening to launch a jail bharo movement if sentences of life imprisonment continue, Malik said, “We will not hesitate to fill all prisons across J&K if courts don’t stop announcing life sentences against Kashmiri people.”
Yasin Malik thanked chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other leaders for supporting the protest programs announced against these court verdicts.
Pertinently, after 22 years of investigation and trial, a TADA court recently convicted two JKLF men and awarded lifers to them for allegedly killing a BSF Inspector in 1990.
Presiding Officer TADA court, Sanjeev Gupta, sentenced Nazir Ahmed Sheikh alias Gul Danter and Showkat Ahmed Khan alias Pup Waza to life imprisonment.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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