Riyaz Ul Khaliq
The family of Hurriyat Conference (G) member and close confidante of its Chairman, Ghulam Mohammad Khan Sopori held a protest demonstration in Lal Chowk Friday morning. They were protesting against the continuous closure of their house by government authorities.
Pertinently, in 2011 state government sealed the house of Khan Sopori alleging that he has built his house from Hawala money, which the family out rightly rejects. Since then, the family has been living with their relatives.
The family members holding placards shouted slogans demanding that their house be let open immediately. “Our house should be given back to us forthwith as we are still living divided between our relatives,” Sajad, son of Khan Sopori told reporters here.
The family, including children alleged that the government closure of their house was “the policy of Israel which India is implementing in Kashmir.” They were holding placards reading “Stop Israeli Tactics” and “Why are Champions of Democracy Silent?”
The protesting family members also said they have filed an appeal with High Court but neither government nor police is filing any response to it. “Why is government not filing any response to our appeal,” Sajad asked, adding, “Because they know that our father is innocent and the charges are baseless.”
Khan Sopori is considered a staunch supporter of ‘freedom from Indian Occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.’ The family believes that forcible sealing of their house is only to break that ‘resolve’.
While holding sit-in, the family members of Khan Sopori decried the silence of ‘champions of democracy and human rights’.
“We ask the human rights defenders and supporters of democracy why they are observing a criminal silence on this case,” Sajad said. He claimed that not a single person from civil society or human rights groups turned up to see their condition. “No one came to see us in the last one and a half year of our nomadic life.”
Answering a question, a family member of Khan Sopori said that Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Geelani of which Khan Sopori is a member only issued press statements with regard to their demand and nothing else.