The Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik has strongly condemned government forces for the "brute killing" of three civilians— a teenaged girl Andleeb Jan, Irshad Ahmed Lone and Shakir Ahmed Khanday— in Redwani, Kulgam, and injuring dozens of people, many of them critically.
"The JRL said that firing live bullets into civilians in order to kill them reflects the policy of Government of India to crush all dissent with use of absolute force and might. It becomes clear that green signal has been given to Indian armed forces to wipe off all Kashmiris without any distinction of being armed or unarmed," a statement issued by the JRL said.
"All those raising voice against the occupation or protesting will be dealt firmly by eliminating them with absolute impunity is the message that is being given to the people of Kashmir by such barbaric killings. The idea is to instill fear in the hearts of Kashmiris and show them the ruthlessness with which they will be dealt," the statement reads.
The JRL said killing Kashmiris "will not stop them from demanding their basic right to self-determination, nor will incarceration torture and harassment".
They said the Government of India should stop treating Kashmir as a "colony whose territory it wants to hold on to at all cost", doing with it as it wills irrespective of the consequences on the people of Kashmir who are being made to suffer.
The leaders said the people of Kashmir have shown that they will never give in to fear and repression nor will they be cowed down by "India's militaristic might".
Calling Kashmiris peaceful who want peaceful resolution of the dispute as per internationally accepted norms of conflict resolution, the leaders said the GoI in its "arrogance has to understand that it cannot hold on to Kashmir or force Kashmiris into submission by use of absolute force for ever without grave consequences for the region and itself".
The leadership said the shutdown on Sunday would also be observed as a 'Black Day' against Kulgam killings. They urged the people to offer funeral prayers in absentia for those killed in Kulgam and to switch off lights in their homes after 8pm on Sunday against "this continued bloodbath".
Terming the current political situation in Kashmir as catastrophic, the leaders urged the international community to take note of the worst human rights violations and ultimate oppression being perpetrated here . The leadership also strongly denounced the fresh wave of search operations across southern Kashmir.
"Harassment, arrest and torture of youth and people of all ages, vandalizing property worth lakhs are nothing but a political vendetta aimed at breaking the resolve of people," the statement said.