The Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani Thursday strongly condemned the ban on movement of civilian vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar highway for two days in a week from 4am to 5pm and allowing movement of convoys only for these days.
In a statement, Geelani said that a response in the form of a “joint line of action” will be worked out very soon after consultations and discussions with all forums concerned.
“After creating graveyards in the state, the rulers in Delhi very brazenly are trying to strangulate the common people which can have catastrophic ramifications,” he said.
The statement said: “The Indian ruling class should bear in mind that Jammu and Kashmir is not their property and its people are not their slaves and whenever and whatever they want, they will be free to do so”.
“The roads are a means of connectivity and are of prime importance in some desperate and emergency situations. Curtailing and banning such a basic and fundamental lifeline is tantamount to gross and unforgivable crime against hapless population,” the statement read.
“It is better that they close down all educational institutions, healthcare system, offices, universities and seal the residences so that only their armed forces can roam around. The world’s worst dictators may also not have done such inhuman actions,” the statement read.
“It is unfortunate and ironic that permanent residents of this state need to take permission from outsiders to use their own land. Caging the entire population in their houses to facilitate the smooth and uninterrupted forces’ movement is not only shameful but a gross violation of one’s basic and fundamental rights,” the statement said.
“We appeal to human rights bodies, peace-loving people, particularly Indian intelligentsia and conscious citizens, to come forward and rescue this caged and brutalised nation and help them to ease the strangulating grip of the forced control (sic),” the statement read.
ANOTHER PLOY TO HARASS KASHMIRIS: HCBA
The Kashmir high court bar association (HCBA) Thursday strongly condemned banning of civilian traffic for two days a week on the Srinagar-Jammu highway for smooth movement of forces’ convoys, terming the move as “another ploy of teasing and harassing the people of Kashmir and invading into their right to life and liberty.”
The right to liberty, a spokesman of the HCBA said in a statement, “encompasses within its fold, the right to move and travel to any destination and to carry on any trade or business to earn livelihood”.
“The right to move and travel are part of personal liberty and consist in the power of locomotion, of changing direction or moving one’s person to whatever place, one’s own inclination may desire (sic),” the HCBA statement read. “Restrictions on movement on roads leading to courts, educational institutions, hospitals etc.
which cause serious hardships and inconvenience to students, lawyers, litigants and people from all walks of life, have been held to be unreasonable and irrational and have been struck down by the courts in the past.
And applying the same test to the notification issued by the state government banning civilian traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway, for two days in a week, it is also liable to be struck down”.
The HCBA reiterates that the freedom of movement and travel at home and abroad is not only important for securing employment in any part of the world but is also essential for education, trade and also for cultural, political and social activities, the statement read, adding: “In an interdependent world, requiring for its future peace and progress and an overgrowing international understanding, it is but desirable to facilitate individual contacts between people and remove all unjustifiable restrictions on their movement and travel, which may hamper such contacts”.
“However, by issuing the notification of banning civilian traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway, for two days in a week, all the aforesaid rights and guarantees are bound to get defeated, which in a democratic world of today, is not permissible,” the statement read.
DICTATORIAL MOVE: MIRWAIZ
The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq asked the government of Jammu and Kashmir to withdraw the order of closing down the Kashmir highway for two days in a week.
“Another anti-people dictatorial move of the government to close the highway for two days which will cause great distress to people. Government should withdraw this diktat and stop punishing people of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said in a tweet.