Srinagar: Joint Resistance Leadership on Saturday expressed strong resentment and concern over the “repeated and arbitrary” imposition of curfew and restrictions in downtown Srinagar and lockdown of central Jamia Masjid by the Government.
The JRL comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik said locking down the central Jamia Masjid especially on Fridays to bar people from all across the valley to assemble and offer prayers there, was aimed at weakening the centrality and significance of the grand mosque.
“The Historic Jama Masjid is not only the spiritual centre of confluence for the people of Kashmir but also representative of their political consciousness and aspirations,” they said.
The leaders said it was a deliberate bid to silence the voice of truth and justice raised from the pulpit of the historic mosque for decades and resonated by the people, that all roads are blocked with rolls of concertina wires and deployment of the large number of police and paramilitary forces takes place on Fridays converting the whole area into a garrison and undermining the sanctity of the mosque.
“On the other hand, the frequent imposition of curfews and restrictions has taken a serious toll on the trade and the other business activities of the people in downtown, which is the oldest business hub of Kashmir, and they are incurring huge losses. Students of the area are also made to suffer as they are caged inside and their institutions locked out.”
They also expressed serious concern over the continued policy of “oppression and persecution” of the people by the authorities in one form or other.
The JRL said the killing of youth and arresting and detaining them under one pretext or the other, while invoking draconian laws like PSA to keep them under illegal detention, also continues unabated.
“Punishing CASO operations by the armed forces continue daily, especially in south Kashmir villages where people are harassed and homes vandalized. Repeatedly schools colleges and universities are locked down and information channels blocked by raising the bogey of ‘maintaining law and order’ causing distress to students and hardships to the people. There is a blanket ban on our movement and meeting people as we are either caged at homes or detained in jails while tens of dozens of pro-freedom leaders and activists have been lodged in infamous jails across J&K and India where many are even denied medical facilities.”
JRL reiterated that such “oppressive” measures will not succeed in crushing the people’s spirit. “People of Kashmir are offering priceless sacrifices for the right to self-determination and New Delhi should acknowledge the ground realities in Kashmir and take concrete steps to resolve the issue as per the will and aspirations of people,” they added
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