Riyaz ul Khaliq
Almost following what Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did in 2010, the major opposition in J&K Legislature, National Conference (NC), on Monday lashed out at PDP-BJP combine for killing of civilians in Kashmir during last one month.
The NC took out a protest march from its party headquarters housed in fortified Nawai-e-Subh and held a sit-in protest in main TRC Chowk.
Amid anti-PDP slogans led by NC secretary general and six-timer Khanyar lawmaker, Ali Mohammad Sagar, the NC activists sought end to killings and unprecedented arrests.
At least 58 civilians have been killed by forces while over 6000 persons have been injured in last 31 days since July 09, 2016. Police have said that over 1000 persons have been arrested in past month and Kashmir witnessed 1018 violent incidents in since July 09 up to August 07, 2016.
Holding CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti directly responsible for the crisis Kashmir is, Sagar said that New Delhi needs to initiate an unconditional dialogue with all stake holders in J&K.
“It (Kashmir Issue) is not an economic or social issue,” Sagar, who was accompanied by such a number of workers that spectators and media men outnumbered them, said, “but the statements being issued by governments (on current crisis) are as if given by terrorists.”
“Kashmir is a political issue,” Sagar said, “Omar (Abdullah) sahab has always been saying it which demands that separatists need to be taken on board.”
Notable to mention here, under Omar Abdullah led NC-Congress government, at least 120 youths were killed in 2010 uprising and hundreds were jailed. As recently as Eid-ul-Fitr, the incumbent CM withdrew over 100 FIRs thus absolving over 600 youths implicated in various cases since 2010 up to 2014 the era held by Omar government.
Sagar, whose son and NC youth president-Salman Sagar, broke the police barricades and walked on deserted TRC, said, “New Delhi needs to understand the changing trends. “(Given the crisis), Autonomy too won’t work as Delhi will have to walk furthermore,” he added. Autonomy – is a proposal National Conference believes can solve the issue of Kashmir. The ruling coalition partner, PDP, had floated Self Rule when it came in to being in 1999.
The NC activists raised “RSS Sarkar – Hai Hai; Modi Sarkar Hai Hai; Katputli Sarkar Hai Hai” and intermittently broke the speeches of their leaders which included Nasir Aslam Sogami, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Mubarak Gul, Shameema Firdous, Ch Mohammad Ramzan, Ali Mohammad Dar, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, Ab Majid Larmi, Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Gh Nabi Ratanpuri, Sharif ud Din Shariq and others.
“This government is not even allowing us to exercise normal democratic practice,” Sagar said, “we wanted to march to civil secretariat (To check where Mehbooba government is, shouted Sharif ud Din Shariq).”
“When we can’t protest now,” Sagar said, “then when should we be allowed?”
Sagar, who has been at the fore front of his party inside the assembly as well, alleged that Ms Mehbooba Mufti government has banned media from making news of “atrocities of government public”.
“First, they banned publication of newspapers and now Journalists have been told not release news of government actions,” he said.
The NC activists who walked not more than 150 metres from Nawai-e-Subh up to TRC chowk raised intense sloganeering against the use of pellet gun. Pellet guns, it may be noted, were first procured in 2010 by Omar Abdullah led NC-Congress government to use against the people during the uprising.
While several NC men muscle powered cops who were not allowing them to take out the march ahead from TRC, Yawar Masoodi, who unsuccessfully contested 2014 assembly from Pampore, was seen in a verbal dual with an SI rank police officer.
“You jailed Sheikh sahab (SM Abdullah, the NC founder and then PM&CM of J&K) for twenty years and we even tolerated that,” Masoodi told the cop when Mian Altaf intervened and pacified the situation.
On the side lines of protest demonstration, former minister who represented Handwara assembly segment in J&K Legislature, Ch Mohammad Ramzan told reporters, “we had planned a peaceful march against the civilian killings in Kashmir.”
“We wanted to make governments in Srinagar and Delhi realise about the ground situation,” he said, “and an unconditional dialogue with Hurriyat (Conference) need to be started immediately to control the situation.”
Pertinent to mention, the NC march towards civil secretariat comes on the same day when united resistance leadership had asked people to stop government employees from entering the governance centre in Kashmir.
He warned “if talks are not initiated from Delhi, the Kashmir situation will deteriorate further”. “The statements issued (by GoI) signify the dual policy towards Kashmir,” he said, “property worth Crores of Rupees was destroyed in Haryana but no bullet was used; PM opened his mouth on Dalit atrocity but is shut on Kashmir killings.”
Ramzan added that the uprising is not only Kashmir centric now. “It has spilled over to Chenab Valley.”