Geelani Speaks

(As told to Tasavur Mushtaq)

We have been talking about Amarnath Yatra since 2008. As far as yatra is concerned, we are not against it. This yatra is going on from the last 150 years. What we demand is that the way it was going since ages it should continue the same way.

The formation of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board is a part of the larger conspiracy and then to gives it powers in such a manner that it acts as a state within the state. See, J&K’s Governor is its chairman. He has the powers. Most of the members are non-state subjects. A few local are those who are like-minded. They dictate terms to the state government.

Our basic demand is to dissolve SASB. The duration of yatra was increased from days to months. It should be decreased up to 15 days. And then there is the issue of huge number of pilgrims visit the cave. In 2012, 6.3 lakh yatris visited the cave. On one side, they talk about environmental issues and on the other side, they don’t see how environment is being polluted. 6.30 lakh people in a small area lead to discharge of huge wastes. The water of Lidder was clean as mirror, and the water on which 80,000 people depend is being made poisonous. We want a solution for this.

If in Uttarakand, Gangotri yatra is for limited time and limited yatris are allowed, why it is not prevalent here to have cap on number of Yatris and limit it to 15 days? This is a plan of India to send Yatris in huge numbers and pollute this place. They want to tell us; ‘See we can send crores of people and you cannot stop us’.

This yatra is also huge encouragement and boost for occupational forces. The religious practice of our Hindu brothers is being politicized. They plan to have a separate city, Amarnath Nagar, and then aim to provide them every facility. They intend to construct huts for them and cut off it from valley. This, in fact, is to execute the plan of Panun Kashmir.

Our nation should understand where we are being taken. The government which is in power today have since 1947 sold everything for their power and chair. You know in 1947 the forces who came here, which leader justified the accession and their presence. See what India is doing now. Around 28 lakh kanal land is under illegal occupation of forces. I repeatedly say and I want to tell you that our claims were never contested by the government. In Shopian only, 5200 kanal forest land is under occupation of forces and 3-4 lakh trees had been felled. This government has failed to safeguards our resources, our lives and our dignity is not safe with them

Then our even religious rights are being denied to us. Muslims are being divided. I have information from Banihal that there is group of people who openly tell Muslims that they should not read Quran, but have a compiled specific book.

They are publicly advocating reading that book only. See, the situation we are living in, how our future is dark in every respect. We want to tell people through you that situation is very critical and if people don’t take it seriously, without any fear, India will repeat Andulus here.

Like in Jammu, five lakh people were killed in 1947 and the whole Muslim population now don’t have any identity. Jammu is being separated and Kashmir valley has been turned into a garrison. A time will come like Jammu massacre. A massacre of Muslims will take place here as well, and then, like Andulus, nobody will be here to pray in our mosques. Muslims ruled in Andulus for 1800 years. But now, even in Masjid Qurtaba, where once 80,000 people used to pray at one time, no one even to called azaan. I want to inform my victimised nation what India is planning for them and how the puppet governments here are being used for which people here vote.

Many people say I am keeping the pot boiling. I am not. See it should be understood that the sketch of strategy India has made. We don’t have anything against building roads but our basic and genuine demand is that SASB should be dissolved and Kashmiri Pandits should take over and manage the yatra as they used to do earlier. The number of days and yatris should be limited. This is not making issue out of a non-issue.

Environment is its off shoot as building a road will affect forests. What you say is a non-issue; let me tell you, it is going to have adverse effects in future. The Supreme Court took its notice because out of 6.30 lakh people, around 90 people died a natural death. They were not killed. But can you ask Supreme Court to take cognisance of the murder of 125 innocent youth and 3000 injured in 2010. Nobody had a stick, a gun, a teargas shell or a grenade. Did Supreme Court take any notice? In media, there have been reports that many people were arrested and then disappeared by forces and most of them were innocent. Did Supreme Court take any notice of that? There are 7000 unmarked graves. Who are in them? Does anybody know? Is that being noticed? In 2012, out of 6.30 lakh people, few died a natural death which is not surprising. Many Muslims die during Hajj.

Taking a notice of yatri deaths by the Supreme Court and then issuing a directive on recommendations of SASB is all being done under a plan. We are against that plan. What we see in mirror, we make public aware of it.

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