- Oil Supply Stopped
- Milk & Vegetables Stopped
- Mobile Network Blocked
- Internet Services Suspended
- Curfew, Protests on since last 41 days
- More than 67 Persons Killed, 8000 Injured
- People form ‘Committees’ in South to ‘Counter’ Night Raids
- Center want to own Land, not the owners : Omar Abdulla
National Conference on Thursday lashed out at Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the PDP-BJP Government for their “brazen and shameless” attempts to prevent essential food commodities from reaching parts of Srinagar and also condemned the curbs announced on distribution of fuel to petrol pumps.
“As if the wanton killing and maiming of our youth was not enough to satiate her appetite for tyranny, Mehbooba Mufti is now supervising a systemic, well-planned policy of an embargo on essential commodities and rations to persecute the people into submission,” NC State Spokesperson Junaid Mattu said in a statement issued from Party Headquarters in Srinagar.
“We are shocked and sickened at the ghastly murder of a young lecturer in Khrew, Pampore last night. This narrative of arrogance and ignorance from the Union and State Governments, coupled with an increased sense of impunity, has emboldened the brutality against civilians to an extent where a young lecturer has been beaten to death. Dastardly cases like these in the last few days, including the barbaric point-blank shooting of an ATM guard at Chattabal, followed by the targeted killing of a youth in Batamaloo has failed to awaken the dead conscience of our Chief Minister and her allies and has also failed to move the Prime Minister to look towards the grief in Kashmir when he’s done looking towards Baluchistan. We express our heartfelt condolences and solidarity with the families of these young men who have lost their lives. Their loss is unimaginable,” the NC Spokesperson said.
The NC Spokesperson also condemned the intimidation and harassment of Amnesty International after an event held in Bangalore.
“The intimidation of Amnesty International is by no means an attribute or measure of patriotism. This fully patronized harassment of Amnesty International depicts the fascist and intolerant narrative that is thriving under a Union Government that finds its succour in jingoism and autocracy. If Amnesty International can be booked for a law as archaic and regressive as sedition in the present day and age, one can only dread the imminent elimination of transparency and freedom-of-speech in the country. This churlish, intolerant behaviour goes against the very fabric of the Constitution and the values it pledges to safeguard. The Prime Minister shouldn’t allow this narrative to flourish – its long term implications will be disastrous,” the NC Spokesperson said in the statement.
The NC Spokesperson also expressed serious concern over the safety and security of Kashmiri students studying outside the State and said the Chief Minister was duty-bound to take all possible measures to ensure their safety and well-being.
“Mehbooba Mufti should take some time from the frequent practice of putting one’s foot in one’s mouth at every possible opportunity and call all Chief Ministers and also exert pressure on her allies in New Delhi to ensure no Kashmiri student is harassed or intimidated. Her failure to call the Chattisgarh Chief Minister in time over the case of a young Kashmiri professional in Chattisgarh booked in a case of sedition over a Facebook post has emboldened fascist fringe groups and communal organizations across the Country. These groups are now issuing public warnings to Kashmiri students. The onus lies on the Chief Minister to act and till now her characteristic inaction has cast a shadow of insecurity over our students studying outside the State,” the NC Spokesperson added.
“The curb on distribution of fuel is outrageous and will pose enormous difficulties to Hajjis, patients and attendants as well as doctors who have to reach hospitals. That the Chief Minister has chosen to do something as atrocious as this after more than a month of curfew speaks volumes about her state of mind. If she wants to torture people into submission – she is grossly mistaken and also a very poor student of history. Mass repression against civilians will worsen the situation and comes with the enormous risk of a public revolt that goes beyond the scope of the traditional operational containment – which is the only policy of this Government as well as the Union Government,” the NC Spokesperson said.
Coming out with yet another out-of-box move, people in South Kashmir have formed ‘committees’ which will be patrolling streets during the night. The move, locals said, helps in “saving people from being arrested”. “In every village, watchman committees 10-15 youths have been formed,” a local from Shopian said, “these youths have been tasked to patrol major junctions so as to keep watch on men in uniform.”
At least 67 civilians have been killed by forces while over 7500 persons have been injured in last 41 days in Kashmir during mass protests. At least 1500 persons have been arrested and are lodged in various jails and police stations.
“Forces are raiding Mohallas and villages in the dead of night and arresting youths,” a Shopian youth said, “so as to save ourselves from being arrested and implicating in cases, people are alarmed and man their own areas with strict vigil during night as well.” As the day long protests continue and refuse to die, the defiant people have found an easy way to raise the alarm through Masjid loudspeakers.
Last time, it was in North Kashmir’s Palhallan that people came out on roads in the dead of night after someone raised alarm that forces have come for raids. The forces chased the forces and slept late mid-night.
In another instance, last late night same ‘watchman committee’ sensed that a forces party was raiding Meemandar area of Shopian.“The youths on duty raised alarm and announced through loudspeakers that forces are raiding the village,” locals said, “people came out and stone pelting started and forces were chased out.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Wednesday said Pakistan is “not the architect” of the present crisis in the Valley, and that the situation can improve only when the Centre recognises the “anger” on ground and tries to address it.
Pakistan, according to Omar, could be “fishing in troubled water” in the state but the current situation in the Valley was not created by the neighbouring country. “They are not architects of the problem and they are not keeping it alive,” Omar said. “It is our inability to address this anger that is keeping it alive.”
Stating that Opposition parties in the state have decided to approach President Pranab Mukherjee to apprise him of the ground situation, Omar also said the Centre feels it has ownership only over the land of Jammu and Kashmir, not over its people.
“When you say Kashmir is an integral part of India, you are talking only about the land. You need to own the people (living in that land),” Omar said at a press conference after a meeting of Opposition parties at Farooq Abdullah’s residence in Srinagar. The meeting was attended by representatives of the National Conference, Congress, CPM and other smaller parties and independent legislators.
Flanked by several leaders from other Opposition parties, Omar said the situation in Kashmir will improve only when the Centre recognises the problem and tries to address it. “Today, both the state and the Central governments are turning a blind eye to the situation. If you don’t recognise the anger, if you don’t address the root cause of this anger, how will the anger die? That’s why we are telling the Centre, ‘Please recognise (that) there is a problem’,” he said.
Drawing a parallel between the Dalit agitation in Gujarat and protests in Kashmir since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8, the Leader of Opposition in J&K Assembly said the difference between the two is that although the agitation in Gujarat was “far lesser” in magnitude, it is “mind-boggling” that PM Narendra Modi addressed the issue, but he refrained from doing the same on the Kashmir crisis. This is because Modi feels ownership over the people and Gujarat, Omar said.
“Why is it that we don’t get owned, our anger doesn’t get owned, our sentiment is not owned? If you don’t recognise this anger on ground, if you are unwilling to address the anger, then you are unwilling to own the people,” he said.