Demanding the closure of the cases against all the pro-freedom activists registered up to 1994, JKLF chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Wednesday announced a protest calendar against ‘the use of judiciary to curb the Kashmiris’.
“There is no justification of trial of the cases registered up to 1994 when we had a transition from violence to non-violence mode,” Malik said, referring to the announcement of his ceasefire by his group in 1994.
Malik accused the Indian civil society of deceiving Kashmiris by denying them political space even when they had shunned violence and adopted a non-violent way to achieve their goals.
“Indian civil society works as fire fighters. When fire engulfs Kashmir, its members come and release statements in favor of Kashmir movement only to control the fire. But when fire disappears, they never see back,” Malik said in a press conference, two days after he was released from 10-day detention. He alleged that India was using its judiciary against Kashmiris to stop their democratic activities.
Malik said he would stage a peaceful sit-in in New Delhi as part of the JKLF campaign against life imprisonment and death sentences to people engaged in the pro-freedom struggle.
The JKLF chairman also announced that a sit-in and a candlelight protest will be observed on every month to protest against the ‘use of judiciary against Kashmiris’. Malik vowed that if these activities don’t work, he would start an indefinite hunger strike.
Malik quoted the example of a resident of south Kashmir’s Tral town who is undergoing life sentence with two others because two rifles were seized from them. “We had been motivated to shun violence but instead of resolving Kashmir issue, the judiciary is now being used to crush the pro-freedom activists.”
He revealed that when former diplomat and columnist, Kuldeep Nayer was talking to him and stressing him to shun the armed struggle, he was talking on behalf of the then prime minister of India.
The shrinking space for non-violent resistance risks youth to take to violence to resolve political disputes, JKLF chief said.
Malik said the JKLF had announced the ceasefire in 1994 after assurances from the US and the Indian civil society that a space would be provided to non-violent struggle. “Instead of providing us a space, we are now receiving sentences from courts handing down life imprisonment and death penalties to freedom fighters,” he said.
Talking about the present situation of India -Pakistan relationship, JKLF leader said the friendship between New Delhi and Islamabad had always been punctuated by tensions. “We are not against the business and other types of relations between the two countries. But unless the root cause is not addressed, the tensions will continue.”