The business community of Kashmir today said Kashmir is a dispute and it was never a part of India and shall never be so. They also said the slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was their 'child' and the 'darling' of Kashmir.
Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Muhammad Yasin Khan, President of Federation of Commerce and Industry Kashmir (FCIK) Ashraf Mir and the representatives of the Civil Society Kashmir while addressing a press conference in Srinagar said, "Forces killed Burhan as he was leading the Kashmir struggle and honoured the aspirations of the Kashmiri people."
The business community and members of the civil society had earlier faced flak on social media for meeting Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday.
"Through the media we want to send a message to the Government of India who are on a killing spree in Kashmir. The fact is that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of India, it never was and it never will be. Now the forces of India have killed our child who was leading the freedom struggle," said Muhammad Yasin Khan, Chairman KEA.
Khan said, "Burhan was our child and the darling of the people and will remain so till the end of this world. After his martyrdom, people came out on the roads and showed on whose side they were. The people have showed the world that Kashmir is reeling under illegal control."
Khan pointed out that protests take place in other parts of India too but civilians are killed in Kashmir only as the people at the helm order the forces to kill. "Why do such atrocities take place in Kashmir only? Such agitations, maybe worse took place in Haryana, the forces didn't kill civilians. Such agitations took place in Gujarat in shape of the Patel agitation, no civilians were killed there. Why didn't the forces kill children, women and men in those places? This is simply because the people who are at the helm of affairs have ordered them to kill in Kashmir," said Khan.
He also pointed out that people should be allowed a referendum to decide which way they want to go. "For how long will you kill? A referendum should have been held and people would have decided where to go and whom to be with. The younger generation has decided that till this dispute is not resolved they will not keep quiet," Khan said.
Talking about their meeting with CM Mehbooba Mufti on Monday, Khan informed that they told her to step down as she is not in control. "We told her that you are not in control. The control is somewhere else. In 2010 when civilian killings happened, you came out on roads and shouted 'Goli se nahi boli se'. So why is that not happening today? But unfortunately, she is being controlled by the Government of India. So we told her to leave the chair, "said Khan.
'KILL US ALL ONCE FOR ALL':
The business community feels that if the Government of India and the state government want to deal with unarmed protesters with bullets, they should 'carpet bomb us all'. "Monday we met Mehbooba Mufti and we told her categorically that if this is how you want to deal with us then we are a population of around 70 lakh. Gather us in a field and drop a bomb on all of us and the problem will be solved."
Responding to queries that why did the civil society went to meet Mehbooba at the first place, Khan said they have to register their protest somewhere. "We don't recognize them as our leaders and representatives. But Bijli, Paani, Sadak is in their control. We have to register our protest somewhere. Why did we come to you? We want to convey our message again. Whatever we are saying here is what we told the CM in the meeting yesterday," explained Khan.
Justifying their meeting with the CM, Ashraf Mir, President, FCIK, said that they didn't run to her on one call and categorically told Mehbooba to step down if the civilian killings continue.
Khan also said that the Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed grief over the death of the CRPF but didn't utter a word about the civilian killings. "We don't justify any killing but why didn't Rajnath Singh say a word about the murder of our 32 civilians. He is pained by the death of the forces but civilian killings don't matter," said Khan.
"Kashmiris want a plebiscite, they want right to self determination. This is not an integral part of India," said Iqbal Trumboo, Vice Chairman, KEA.