Srinagar: The International Amnesty team, presently on an eight-day visit to Indian Occupied Kashmir met Hurriyet leaders including APHC (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, APHC (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference Professor Abdul Ghani Bhat and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik in Srinagar.
The Hurriyet leaders praised the international human rights watchdog team for its recent report on human rights abuse in Kashmir. The three-member team is led by its Director for Indian Programmes, Shishi Kumar Villath. The other two members included Ms Sunita and Rahilla Narchoor.
The team met with Chairman of JKLF, Mohammad Yasin Malik at his residence in Srinagar. Welcoming the team, Yasin Malik said, “Kashmir is the only place in the whole world which has highest number of troops posted in every nook and corner. Despite no violence the number of these troops is not decreasing but increasing with each passing day. Every corner of this land bears witness to the tyranny, oppression and abuses by forces. Despite of all this cruelty the silence of the world community is adding insult to injuries.”
Malik added that for every three Kashmiris, one trooper had been posted in Kashmir. “Even the Kashmiris who are in jails are being subjected to worst torture and sick minded superintendents are assigned this job,” he complained.
Malik said that in 2008 and 2010, “Hundreds of our young ones were killed by forces. But no FIR was filed against the killers.” Hailing Amnesty International for its reports on human rights abuses in Kashmir, Malik hoped that the organization would expedite its efforts in this regard.
Malik condemned arrest spree in Kashmir and asked Amnesty International to take a note of these atrocities and “Try to save innocent Kashmiris from this tyranny.”
During his meeting, Syed Ali Geelani told the group that draconian laws were in force in occupied Kashmir for the last 22 years. He informed the team about human rights violation cases including custodial deaths and enforced disappearance, arbitrary and house arrests of the Hurriyet leaders and inhuman treatment meted out to the inmates.
Ali Geelani on the occasion complained that Indian army and police vested with unlimited powers under draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and DDA were subjecting the Kashmiris to harassment and sheer human rights violation in the Valley.
Arguing that the presence of Indian troops in the Valley was the basic reason for the severe offences against the people of Kashmir, he said demilitarization was thus indispensable.
According to Ayaz Akbar, spokesman for the forum patronised by Syed Ali Geelani the group was informed about the plight of detained leaders including Masarrat Aalam Bhat, Pir Saifullah, Ghulam Nabi Sumji and Mushtaq-ul-Islam. These leaders are detained under the draconian Public safety Act (PSA).
The team met Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at Nageen in Srinagar. Divulging the details of the meeting, APHC spokesman in a statement said that Mirwaiz hailed the Amnesty International for highlighting the rights violation on international level. The spokesman said Mirwaiz also apprised the team about the increasing rights violation in Kashmir, pathetic condition of prisoners languishing in jails, enforced disappearances, and unmarked graves in Kashmir.
The Mirwaiz informed the Amnesty team that during his recent foreign trip, he met the top brass of the organization and held detailed talks with them over the human rights violation being committed in Kashmir.
Later, the group met with the Chairman of Muslim Conference Abdul Ghani Butt at his residence in Rajbagh. Confirming the meeting, Butt told in a media interview that he had informed the group that the pending Kashmir issue was the reason for mental and physical torture of the people of Valley.
“The biggest insult is that the non-locals are asking the locals in Kashmir to prove their identity,” Butt told the AI team referring to Indian troops posted in the territory.