Srinagar: Joint Resistance Leadership comprising syed Ali Gillani, Mirwaiz Ummer Farooq and Yasin Malik have decided to court arrest at NIA headquarters in New Delhi on September 9.
JRL announced this at Jamia Masjid on wednesday after the Zuhar Prayer. “We will leave for Delhi on September 9,” Geelani said. He said the NIA has already arrested seven Hurriyat leaders and a businessman and lodged them in Tihar jail.
Outraged at the frequent raids being conducted by the National Investigation Agency in Kashmir, the joint separatist leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik on Wednesday said they would fly to New Delhi on September 9 and stage a protest outside the NIA headquarters.
Addressing a joint press conference outside Jamia Masjid in Downtown, the joint leadership dared New Delhi to keep the doors of Tihar jail open. “We are ready to face arrest by the investigating agency,” they said.
Mirwaiz and Malik managed to reach the Jamia Masjid at 10 am and stayed inside the grand mosque till Zuhr (afternoon) prayers in a bid to evade their possible arrest by the police. The Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Geelani however wasn’t allowed to reach Jamia and he addressed the presser over phone from his Hyderpora residence where he continues to remain under house arrest.
Geelani said the leadership has unanimously decided to leave for New Delhi to stage a protest outside NIA headquarters against the “reign of terror” unleashed by the investigating agency “on the pretext of raids in connection with the funding case.”
“We will leave for Delhi on September 9,” Geelani said. He said the NIA has already arrested seven Hurriyat leaders and a businessman and lodged them in Tihar jail.
“They first sought 10-day remand and then extended it to 20 days and then confined all of them to Tihar jail. Even my both sons were summoned to Delhi and questioned. So far, no substantial evidence has been recovered by the NIA to what it claims terror funding,” Geelani said. “The net cast by the NIA is only to instill fear among the people. But I urge the people of Kashmir to remain steadfast and not fear as such moves are destined to fail. Our movement is based on truth and has (given) a huge number of priceless sacrifices and we are committed to take the movement of right to self determination to its logical end.”
In his address, chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq while reading out a joint statement said that the government of India is “following a policy of coercion, defamation and intimidation” in Kashmir as it “does not want to address the actual issue.”
“New Delhi wants to change the whole narrative. So diversionary tactics and propaganda are being used,” he said.
Mirwaiz said that the plan is to “defame and malign the leadership through personal attack on their integrity, by spreading vicious lies about them and distorting and manipulating facts to create disillusionment among the masses.”
“Vicious and consistent propaganda through media especially electronic and social media; each day media trials are conducted and Kashmiri movement ridiculed while leadership is abused and Kashmiris humiliated,” he said.
“People of India are being fed lies and propaganda. Intimidation and harassment of our family members, associates, friends, acquaintances, party cadres, organisations associated are used as a tool of intimidation against them. This is a move to build pressure on us.”
Mirwaiz said that even social, educational and legal institutions, be it AnjumanNusrat-ul-Islam, AuqafJama Masjid or Bar Association or any organisation associated with the leadership or the movement are being targeted and summoned through notices.
“Members of business community and youth are also being targeted, harassed and jailed while writers, intellectuals, artists, respected members of civil society or anyone who raises his voice against oppression and for resolution of Kashmir is intimidated by sending of the notices,” he said. “The narrative of the Kashmir issue and our struggle for self determination are being deliberately distorted and it is projected as a sponsored movement from across the border where money is the motivation.”
He said seven lakh armed forces are stationed in Kashmir making it the world’s largest militarised zone. Posing questions to the government of India and the NIA, Mirwaiz said: “Did more than one lakh people who were killed mercilessly by forces in the past 27 years die for money? Were thousands of Kashmiris enforced into disappearances at the hands of forces for money? Did thousands of people blinded by pellets and handicapped for life protest for money? Are thousands of Kashmiris languishing in jails for money? Do students hit streets for money? Are traders and shopkeepers closing their shops for money?”
Mirwaiz said that NIA claim that Kashmir movement is being funded and those protesting are being paid holds no ground and the argument is totally baseless and false.
He said after “ultimate oppression”, the special position and the state subject laws are now being targeted. “The move is aimed at settling outsiders in J&K in order to change the demography of the state to render Kashmiris powerless and irrelevant. This will also dilute the disputed nature of Kashmir,” he said. “This move will have a direct bearing on right to self determination guaranteed at the United Nations and ratified by the world body itself.”
The JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik said without informing the media about the presser, he reached Jamia in the morning as government has “choked all the space for the leaders.”
“I have seen Central Bureau of Investigation, Crime Branch and even Intelligence Bureau, but this is for the first time I am seeing NIA—whose job is to investigate—being assigned the job of instilling fear among the people of Kashmir and defame the leadership,” he said. “Since the day BJP-led government has taken over the command in New Delhi, every month a new issue is raked up to keep Kashmiris busy and divert their attention from the basic issue.”
He said on one hand, the issue of Article 35A was raised to change the demography of the state and on the other, frequent raids by NIA continue on the Hurriyat leaders and now the businessmen too are being involved. “There is a media trial going on against us since past three months and the trial is against Geelani, Mirwaiz and myself. We have decided to go to New Delhi on September 9 and protest outside NIA headquarters. Let NIA keep the doors of Tihar open for us,” he said.
Malik said that the three leaders have been accused of spending money for organising protests. “I want to ask the NIA that did those blinded last year with the pellets hit streets for Rs300? Who will face bullets and pellets for mere Rs 300? Kashmir struggle is not the one based on money, but has a history of emotional attachment of people,” Malik said.
He said Kashmir High Court Bar president Mian Abdul Qayoom too has been summoned by the NIA. “Qayoom is a lawyer, who earns Rs 10 lakh a month due to his caliber and yet he has been summoned,” he said.
Malik also condemned the re-arrest of Dukhtarn-e-Milat chief AasiyaAndrabi and her aide, FehmeedaSofi despite court quashing their PSAs. “Aasiya is suffering from Asthma and Arthritis and yet she was re-arrested and sent back to Jammu jail. Given her health conditions, she should be immediately shifted to Srinagar jail,” Malik demanded.
The JKLF chief also condemned the brutal massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Mayanmar stating that the Organisation of Islamic Countries and world human rights bodies should immediately join hands to stop further killings of Rohingyan Muslims.
Senior Hurriyat leader Aga Syed Al-Moosvi, Al Safavi, Masoor Abbas Ansari, Kashmir Economic Alliance president Muhammad Yasin Khan were also present on the occasion and extended full support to the decision of the joint leadership.
Meanwhile, the joint leadership extended its support to MutahidaMajlis-e-Ulema’s call for peaceful protests after Friday prayers and a unanimous resolution to be passed in solidarity with Rohingya Muslims in all Masjids and shrines. “We extend full support to MMU call for Friday. A unanimous resolution will be passed in all masjids, shrines and also in Imam Baras across Kashmir to express solidarity with the Muslims of Mayanmar,” Malik announced on behalf of joint leadership.
Earlier, MMU, an amalgam of religious organisations of Kashmir, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had asked people to stage peaceful protests after Friday prayers and urged all Imams to read the joint resolution that would also be presented to the United Nations and other world human rights bodies, urging them to play their role in stopping brutal massacre of Muslims in Mayanmar.