Yaseen Khan calls civilian killings 'sheer cowardice"; KCCI seeks end to CASOs in civilian areas

Yaseen Khan calls civilian killings 'sheer cowardice''; KCCI seeks end to CASOs in civilian areas

Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance (K), Muhammad Yaseen Khan, termed the killing of civilians as “sheer cowardice” and an “inhuman act.”

Anguished over civilian killings in southern Kulgam district, the Kashmir Economic Alliance, a conglomeration of various trade and business bodies, alleged on Sunday that it was “a planned massacre by forces” and extended its support to Monday’s shutdown call by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL).

Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance (K), Muhammad Yaseen Khan, termed the killing of civilians as “sheer cowardice” and an “inhuman act.”

“Our youth are being slaughtered like animals as the government of India refuses to give up its policy of repression and acknowledge that people of Kashmir will not yield to submission,” Khan, who also heads the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, said. Kashmir issue can never be resolved through military might, he said, and added that the “systematic killing of Kashmiris needs an immediate end or this preprogrammed genocide will backfire as a never-before agitation, the onus of which would lie on the government and its trigger-happy forces.”

Extending his full support to the JRL’s shutdown call for Monday, Khan said the entire business community is with the people of Kulgam in this hour of grief.

He appealed to international human rights organisations to take cognisance of the “deteriorating and gruesome situation” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Condemning civilian killings, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, an apex business organisation in Kashmir, urged the government to “restrain from launching (anti-militancy) operations in civilian areas which invariably trigger more killings.”

“Killing of innocent people and brutalisation of unarmed civilians at Laroo Kulgam deserve condemnation in strongest possible terms,” read a KCCI statement, adding that the “seemingly endless loss of innocent Kashmiri lives is a matter of pain and anguish for all of us.” President of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (R-faction), Bashir Ahmad Rather, said: “By such killings, New Delhi cannot break the resolve of Kashmiri people.”

“The ongoing repression across Kashmir in the name of CASOs—during which people, irrespective of their age, are harassed, detained, tortured and property worth lakhs vandalised—is worst kind of rights violation,” Rather said. “Kashmir is purely a political and human issue and every effort to muzzle or crush the genuine struggle is destined to fail.”