Kashmir's joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik on Saturday accused the government of turning Kashmir into a "war zone" on the first death anniversary of Hizb commander Burhan Wani.
In a statement here the JRL said, "The paranoia and panic that has gripped the state on the martyrdom anniversary of Burhan Wani is an acknowledgment that even his memories that live in heart of every Kashmiri are a threat to the mighty State despite its huge military control." The JRL decried curfews and restrictions across Kashmir, blanket ban and gags on communication and networks, suspension of rail links, closing of highways, deployment of additional forces at every nook and corner of Kashmir, "arbitrary arrests and detentions, raids on homes and harassment of people."
"All measures to prevent people from paying homage to the martyr and his associates have exposed the oppressor. It also shows that however mighty and resourceful a State may be it can only suppress people struggling for freedom and justice physically, but can never crush their spirit and aspirations, of which it is actually afraid of," the statement said.
"Today while we pay homage to Burhan and his associates we also remember the great sacrifices of 125 civilians, including children, men and women, murdered in cold blood by the government forces last year. Thousands were blinded and maimed by bullets and pellets, which were rained upon them. Tens of thousands were arrested, jailed, tortured and abused," the statement added.
The leadership said that "people are being collectively punished by a mighty regime that has declared Kashmir a war zone where all human rights of its citizens cease to exist, for daring to demand their fundamental political right. So people are being taught a lesson in subservience through use of brute force."
The leadership said that this approach of the State is flawed and "will never succeed in pushing people away from striving for the fulfillment of their political aspirations."
"People's commitment has stood the test of time. People could not get dissuaded from the movement during the past seventy years and the fourth generation of Kashmiri has got itself associated with it more forcefully and emotionally," the statement said.
"Those in power in New Delhi may in their arrogance consider themselves invincible but they need to remember that every pride has a fall and truth and justice finally prevail," the statement added.
"The way to peace is not through might but through doing what is right and that is to stop repression and give people the right to decide their destiny through the democratic right to self determination," it said
The JRL thanked people of Chenab Valley including Bhaderwah, Kishtwar and Banihal for observing a strike on Burhan's anniversary and for expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir.