Troops treat Kashmiris like animals: Yasin Malik

Srinagar, Dec 9: The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik began his two-day hunger strike on the eve of International Human Rights Day on Sunday against “growing...

Srinagar, Dec 9: The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik began his two-day hunger strike on the eve of International Human Rights Day on Sunday against "growing human rights abuses by the Indian troops in the state."
 Malik, joined by dozens of his party colleagues, members of the High Court Bar Association, many families of disappeared persons, intellectuals, academicians, and traders gathered in the morning outside the JKLF headquarters at Maisuma here.
 "International laws pertaining to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to safeguard the rights of the people even in conflict zones are being violated by India and its troops in Kashmir," Malik told reporters. "Kashmir's younger generation is slowly being pushed towards extinction by the Indian troops. The world community should react to the situation and save our nation."
 "As a nation," Malik said, "Kashmiri people are treated worse than animals by the Indian troops, and nobody bothers. I want to make world aware about the inhuman treatment meted out to the Kashmiri people by troops."
 "Until we don't sit on hunger strike and convey the pain of our people to outside world, nobody would even bother to know what is happening in Kashmir," the JKLF chairman added.
 Reminding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of his promise of "zero tolerance" to human rights abuses in Kashmir, Malik said, "See what is happening; 44 custodial killings have taken place in the Valley since December 2006. Can anybody contradict these statistics? These were the people picked by troops and other agencies in front of their relatives. They're later killed in cold-blood."
 The JKLF chief alleged that there was no let up in atrocities like harassment, molestation, tortures, and illegal detentions of Kashmiris. Fear psychosis is still prevalent among villagers. Even the economy of Kashmir, according to Malik, was being hit in the name of security. "Kashmiri businessmen trading outside the state are picked and detained under fake cases, and nowadays Kashmiri traders are not allowed to participate in exhibitions outside the state," he said.
 About the recent incident at MA Road here where CRPF troopers were abused and kicked by people for brutally thrashing a motorist, Malik said, "Kashmiri nation is collectively worried about the human rights abuses and have now started to openly challenge the occupation and suppression by Indian troops. It is a message to the world community that India's occupation of Kashmir has failed to suppress Kashmiris."   
 Among others who sympathized with Malik during his hunger strike included noted social activist Zarief Ahmad Zarief, Bar Association president  Nazir Ahmad Ronga, senior attorney Zaffar Shah, Prof Abdul Rehman Rahi, veteran trade union leader Sampanth Prakash, chairman Kashmir Traders Federation Jan Muhammad Koul, and noted academician Prof Aga Ashraf Ali.   
 Later in the evening, Malik and his colleagues took a torch procession from Bohri Kadal in Sher-e-Khas to Lal Chowk.

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