Civil society groups demand immediate end to violence in Kashmir

By, Md. Ali,,

New Delhi: In order to register protest against killings of innocent civilians in Kashmir, a Dharna was organized by ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) at Jantar Mantar on Thursday, 8th of July, 2010. Representatives from various civil society organizations took part in the Dharna to extend their solidarity to the people of Kashmir.

Speaking at the occasion Shabnam Hashmi, prominent social activist and founder of ANHAD, condemned the killing of innocent civilians and rampant human rights violation in the state. Expressing her angst at the disturbing situation in the state she said that people’s voice can not be stopped by bullets.

She categorically asked, “why doesn’t the governments use bullet and army, when Shiv Sena and Vishwa Hindu Parishad goons disturb communal harmony? Why didn’t the government use bullet to stop rioters from raping women in Gujarat?”

She demanded that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act should be withdrawn from the state immediately.

Participants of the Dharna endorsed a final statement, which expressed their grave concern at the absence of any sensitive reaction by the Central Government, in response to the ongoing deaths, injuries and killings in cold-blood of civilians in Srinagar and Anantnag districts of Jammu and Kashmir, including young girls and boys, most of them innocent, peaceful protestors.

Talking about the protesters in the state, the statement pointed out “these are unarmed, non-violent citizens, who are being treated with such blatant and indiscriminate use of military force — why? Is there no other way to negotiate with civil unrest? And what is the root cause of this civil unrest if not the brutalities executed by the police and para military forces? And what about cases of atrocities committed on people who are not even protesting?”

The participants of the Dharna put few demands from the Central and the State governments, among which putting an end to the violence perpetrated by the security forces with immediate effect and Immediately appointing an independent time bound Commission of Enquiry to look into the killings of peaceful civilians & human rights violations, were the most prominent ones. They also demanded that the freedom of expression and press and safety of media persons should be ensured in any case.

Expressing serious concern over the complete lack of political initiative displayed by the UPA-led central government in response to the situation in the valley, the statement also demanded from the central and state governments, to immediately start a political dialogue with various stake holders, as the people of Jammu and Kashmir deserve a more rational, humane, visionary and sensitive response from the Indian State.

People who participated in the Dharna were Swami Agnivesh, Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD), Harsh Kapoor (South Asia Citizen Web), Navaid Hamid ( member, NIC), Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy (JNU), Prof. Anuradha Chenoy (JNU), Indu Prakash (IGSSS), Madhu Chandra (North Eastern Helpline), DivyavVinod (YWCA), Sanjay Kumar (AAA), Ravi Himadri (The other Media), Prof. Rizwan Kaisar (Jamia Millia Islamia) and others.

These demands were endorsed by:

1. Aashima Subberwal- Delhi University
2. Abeer Gupta – filmmaker
3. Adnan Nabi – Kashmir
4. Alana Hunt – Artist
5. Ali Asghar – Social Activist, Hyderabad
6. Amandra – AAA
7. Amit Sengupta, Journalist, Delhi
8. Amrita Nandy – SANGAT
9. Anil Choudhury- Peace
10. Anjali Thomas – Student DU
11. Anjum Rajabali, Cinema Script writer
12. Ankita Dash – Student DU
13. Appu Esthose Suresh – The Sunday Guardian, Delhi
14. Aqsa Anjum – Delhi
15. Arindam Jit Singh – Team Nishan
16. Arun Kumar Tiwari – Anhad
17. Aslam Khan – Student, Jamia Milia Islamia
18. Astha Rajan – Anhad
19. Atique Farooqui – Lucknow
20. Avinash Kumar-Oxfam India
21. Barkat
22. Biju Mathew – Professor of Business, Rider University, NJ, USA
23. Bindia Thapar – Architect/Illustrator, New Delhi.
24. Bobby Kunhu – Researcher and Writer
25. Chandra Nigam
26. Colin Gonsalves-Human Rights Law Network
27. David Devadas – Senior Journalist
28. Dev Desai – Gujarat
29. Dhananjay Tripathi – South Asians for Human Rights
30. Divya Vinod – YWCA
31. Dunu Roy – Hazards Centre
32. Fahad Shah, journalist, Srinagar
33. Faizen Haider Naqvi – Businessman, Delhi
34. Gauri Dasan Nair – Senior Journalist, kerala
35. Gowher Nabi Gora – J and K
36. Harsh Dobhal- Human Rights Law Network
37. Harsh Kapoor – South Asia Citizens Web
38. Inder Salim – Activist
39. Indu Prakash Singh- IGSSS
40. John Dayal- General Secretary, All India Christian Council
41. Kallol Bhowmik – Spl Correspondent Ajir Dainik Batori and Eastern Chronicle
42. Kalpana Tikku –
43. Kashif-ul-Huda – Editor,
44. Madhu Chandra – All India Christian Council & North East Support Centre & Helpline
45. Madhura Chakrvoraty – Student Jadhavpur University, West Bengal
46. Maia Barkaia – JNU student
47. Manas Arora – Student, IP College of Engineering
48. Manasi Pingle – Student, DU
49. Manisha Sethi – Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association
50. Manisha Trivedi – Anhad Gujarat
51. Manjit Singh Roperia – Student Hissar
52. Mankasha
53. Mansi Sharma-Anhad
54. Meeta Bhandari – IGSSS
55. Moggallan Bharti – JNU student
56. Mohan Kumawat- Anhad
57. Mohd. Ali – Delhi Correspondent of news website
58. Mudassir Kawa, Activist, Srinagar
59. Mukul Manglik – Historian Delhi University
60. Murli Natarajan, South Asia Solidarity Initiative, USA
61. Mushtaq Koka, Activist, Srinagar
62. Naazim Mohammed – Social Activist, Bangalore
63. Nadeem – IGSSS
64. Nadim Nikhat – Centre for Social Justice, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
65. Navaid Hamid -Social Activist
66. Neha Dhole, Aman Trust, New Delhi
67. Prasad Chako- NCDHR
68. Pratap Singh Negi, Anhad
69. Prativa Thomas – Amnesty International, UK
70. Prem Dangwal – Anhad Mumbai
71. Prof Anuradha Chenoy, JNU, Delhi
72. Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy, JNU, Delhi
73. Prof. KN Panikkar, Historian
74. Prof. Rizwan Kaiser – Jamia Milia Islami
75. Raj Gopalan – Trivandrum, Kerala
76. Ram Puniyani – Ekta, Mumbai
77. Rashid Ali – Freelance Journalist
78. Rima Aranha
79. Rohit Sinha – Student DU
80. Rupal Oza, South Asia Solidarity Initiative
81. Saaimah Khwaja
82. Saba Diwan – Film maker
83. Sabir Hussain – Jammu and Kashmir
84. Sachin Pandya – Anhad Gujarat
85. Sania Hashmi – Anhad
86. Sanjay Kumar – AAA
87. Sanjay Sharma – Anhad
88. Sanjeev Mahajan, CA, USA
89. Saqib Sana – Mumbai
90. Sargam Mehra
91. Seema Duhan-Anhad
92. Seher Hashmi
93. Shabir Hussain – Srinagar, J &K
94. Shabnam Hashmi- social activist, Anhad
95. Shahnawaz Malik – Lucknow
96. Shaweta Anand, Journalist and Researcher
97. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi – Researcher JNU
98. Shesh Narain Singh-Senior Journalist
99. Shivayan Raha – The Other Media
100. Shoaib Khan – Srinagar, J&K
101. Shrish Chandra – Lucknow University
102. Shweta Tripathi – Programme Officer, SHRUTI
103. Sohaib Niazi – Student, Jamia Milia Islamia
104. Sohail Hashmi-Social Activist
105. Sonam Gupta – Anhad
106. Sonia Jabbar- Independent Filmmaker
107. Sri Nidhi Baglodia
108. Tanveer Hussain Khan -Anhad Kashmir Coordinator
109. Thulasi Kakkat – Photographer, Kerela
110. Uma Chakravarty- Academician
111. Vijayan- Delhi Forum
112. Vrinda Grover- Human Rights Lawyer, Supreme Court
113. Waqar Kazi – Anhad Mumbai
114. Wasim Khan, NJ, USA
115. Yasmeen Qureshi, Human Rights Activist, CA, USA
116. Zafar Abbas – journalist, Delhi
117. Zafar Agha, journalist, Delhi