Srinagar, July 24: “You cannot eat the cake and have it too, shun your claim of being champion of democracy or respect democratic dissent and human rights. India is violating the Geneva Convention on prisoners by terrorizing Kashmiri inmates,” this was stated by the various speakers who addressed a reverential seminar at Abi Guzar Lal chowk on Tuesday.
“The seminar titled as “prisoners of conscience’’ was organized by joint resistance leadership (JRL) and was organized at the completion of one year of incarceration of those ‘kidnapped and put in Tihar jail By NIA and ED namely Shabir Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saif-u-ullah, Meraj-u-Din Kalwal, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Aslam Wani and Shahid Yousuf,” read the statement issued by JRL.
The seminar was attended by various political leaders, social activists, human rights dignitaries’, leaders of trade bodies, members of civil society, intellectuals, educationists, lawyers, kith and kin of Kashmiri prisoners languishing in various Indian jails and jails of Jammu Kashmir and JRL activists in large numbers. JRL leader Muhammad Yasin Malik presided over the seminar while as senior leader Syed Ali shah Geelani who continues to remain under house arrest and Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq who was placed under house arrest this morning, addressed the gathering on phone.
Among the dignitaries’ who attended or addressed toady’s seminar included Tehreek Hurriyat chairman Muhammad Ashraf Khan Sehraie, JKLF vice chairman advocate Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Ghulam Nabi Zaki of Hurriyat (M), Tariq Ahmad Dar, Abdul Majeed Zargar, Sampat Prakash, javed ahmad Tenga ( president Chamber), doctor Mubeen shah, Shakil Ahmad Qalandar , Dr Zafar Mehdi, Nerander Singh Khalsa, Ghulam Nabi Sumji , Shabir Ahmad Dar, Bilal Ahmad Sideequi , Representative of Dukhtaran I Millat, Moulana Masroor Abbas Ansari, Ghulam Muhammad Nagoo,Nisar Ahmad, Molvi Bashir Irfani, Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi, Yasmin Raja, Moulana Khurshid ahmad Qanoongo, Moulana Showkat Hussain Keng, Moulana Reyaz Ahmad Shah, Abdul Rasid Untoo, Firdous Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Yasin Ataie, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah, Abdul Rashid Dar, Ghulam Nabi Najar, Haji Bashir Ahmad Wani, Muhammad Yosuf Naqash, Syed Muhammad Shafi, Muhammad Shafi Khan, Syed Bashir Andrabi, Nisar Ahmad Rather, Abdul Samad Inquilabi, Umar Adil Dar, Rameez Raja, Ghulam Rasool Dar Eidi, Master Muhammad Afzal, Showkat Ahmad Bakhshi, Mushtaq Ajmal, Noor Muhammad Kalwal ,Muhammad Yasin Butt, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo , Ghulam Nabi Waar, Deen Muhammad (President Lal chowk traders), Abdul Majeed (president Maisuma traders), Sajad Gul, Farooq Nawaz, Muhammad Ashraf Wani, Shabir Qazi and others. Abdul Rashid Hakim and Sheikh Abdul Rashid moderated the seminar.
The seminar was held to highlight the worst and inhuman conditions faced by pro-resistance Kashmiri inmates at various Indian jails like Tihar jail, Mandawali Jail Delhi and jails of Jammu Kashmir including Udhampor jail, Khutua Jail, Hiranagar jail, Amphala jail Jammu, Srinagar central jail, Mattan Jail, Baramullah Jail, Kupwara jail, KotBlawal jail and other incarceration centers. The participants expressed their gratitude towards these inmates who are being penalized for fighting the cause of the people of Jammu Kashmir and for holding a political belief which is contrary to Indian position on Jammu Kashmir. Various speakers who addressed the gathering said that India being a signatory to the Geneva Convention on prisoners should abide by the international law but contrary to this India is employing every evil means to inflict more and more harm to these inmates. Speakers said that Kashmiri prisoners were the prisoners of conscience, and they deserve the sympathy and ownership of the international community.
They said that Indian on one hand claims to be the biggest democracy of the world but on the other hand is caging down political activists for holding a political belief. This is not a democratic approach but a dictatorial attitude and India should either shun its claim of being biggest democracy or stop choking space on political activities’, refrain from caging down political dissent, respect democratic norms and allow political resistance of the people of Jammu Kashmir, said the speakers. They said that India by choking the space on peaceful political dissent and simultaneously claiming to be a democracy is like eating the cake and wanting to have it too which is impractical.
While highlighting the miseries faced by Kashmiri prisoners ,speakers said that slapping repeated PSA’s employing police tactics to prolong incarceration of prisoners, using agencies like NIA, ED etc to imprison Kashmiri prisoners in Indian jails, shifting lifers and other detainees from Kashmiri jails to jails in Jammu, disrespecting court orders and other normal procedures visa vise prisoners, denying proper medical facilities’ to inmates , torturing, beating, putting into solitary confinements, keeping inmates naked inside prison cells, humiliating and torturing their kith and kin who come to see them at jails and other incarceration centers and other oppressive measures like these have become a new normal in Jammu Kashmir and it is the obligation of the international community, human rights organizations, civil societies, ,International Red cross (ICRC) and others to take note of this grim situation regarding inmates and intervene to safeguard the rights of these prisoners of conscience and use their good offices to get them released from incarceration. Speakers said that on 30th June 2017, NIA issued a statement that after investigations it had found nothing against resistance camp but after some time this agency was used and it kidnapped many Kashmiris to Delhi and detained them under concocted charges. Recently this agency has again kidnapped and arrested three women leaders Syeda Asiya Andrabi, Fahmida Sofi and Nahida Nasreen and put them in a Delhi. Speakers hoped that international community and people who care for human rights will surely listen to the cries of Kashmiri prisoners and intervene to help save their lives and careers.
Emphasizing over the need of strengthening the unity among ranks and files, Speakers said that the struggle of the people of Jammu Kashmir is for their birth right and self determination and we as a nation could achieve our goal by resisting illegal occupation with unity. Speakers said that JRL is representing the sentiments of people and we all should follow them in letter and spirit. They said that if we have any suggestion or difference of opinion, we should refrain from making it public and instead try to reach out to the leadership in person. Speakers said that despite all hardships and oppressive measures by India; Struggle for freedom and right to self determination will continue till the desired goal is achieved.