JKCCS honours Dr K Balagopal with Robert Thorp award

Publish Date: Nov 27 2013 12:00PM

Srinagar, Nov 26:  The J&K Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) Tuesday honored Dr K Balagopal, a human rights activist and lawyer from South India, with Robert Thorp Award-2013, posthumously, for his contribution in highlighting the human rights issues in Jammu and Kashmir.
 The JKCCS every year confers Robert Thorp Award to persons who have shown exemplary courage and contributed to the achievement of civil society political rights of the people of J&K.
 The people who have been conferred with this ward so far include Aasia Jeelani, Jaleel Andrabi, Patricia Gossman and Akhter Mohi-ud-din.
 The award is given in the memory of Robert Thorp, a young British Army officer, who arrived in Kashmir in 1865 and was killed by forces of Maharaja Gulab Singh, a feudal ruler of Kashmir, for highlighting the miseries of Kashmiris in international media.
 “Both Robert Thorp and Dr Balagopal had conviction to write about Kashmir. The writings of both these people are still valid and carry life of its own,” said human rights activist, Gautam Navlakha, while speaking at a seminar organized by the JKCSS here. The seminar was titled: Jammu and Kashmir and Role of Indian Civil Society.
 He said Indian civil society was doing lot of things but they remain silent when it comes to the issue of right to self determination for people of J&K.
 Pervaz Imroz, President JKCCS, said people who have been part of oppression in Kashmir were rewarded and honored by government.
 "We have started conferring the Robert Thorp Award so as to remember the real heroes and their contribution to the Kashmiri society,” said Imroz.
 He said Dr Balagopal had deep association with J&K and has been the member of human rights fact finding or election monitoring teams and was central to the production of several ground breaking human rights reports.
 Dr Babaya, a human rights activist, while receiving award on behalf of Dr Balagopal said understanding Kashmir issue was crucial to understanding Indian politics.
 V.S Sreedhar, member of People’s Democratic Forum said it was difficult to understand and live with Balagopal, who was a complex man and lived simple life.

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