Srinagar, India : Leader of the key separatist alliance in Kashmir, the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has warned of a resurgence of an upheaval if “Kashmiris continued to be pushed to the wall.”
Addressing mourners while visiting the family of the latest victim, Zahid Farooq, to pay his condolences, the Mirwaiz flayed the investigations conducted by state agencies in similar cases in the past and asserted that Kashmiris had lost faith in government institutions.
In a departure from it’s established practice in Kashmir, the centrally-controlled Border Security Force (BSF) on Wednesday admitted that one of its men “may have been” involved in the killing of 17-year-old Zahid Farooq in the Nishat area of the city last Friday.
The Mirwaiz asserted the inevitability of protests when civilian killings were unabated and lashed out at the government for its failure to redress the wrongs done to victims, saying that the pent up lava would burst into an unstoppable tide.
“We appeal to the United Nations, for God’s sake, pay attention to Kashmir because the people have lost faith in the state institutions and investigating agencies,” the Hurriyat chairman said.
“The recent killings in Kashmir should be investigated at the international level as we don’t have faith in state agencies,” he said.
“Nothing has emerged so far from these state inquiries. The Shopian incident is in front of us, the incident in Dalgate, and the boy recently killed in Rainawari. Who was punished so far?” the Mirwaiz said.
Two women were gang raped and later murdered allegedly by police in Shopian district last year sparking a state wide agitaion.
The Hurriyat chairman castigated the government for imposing restrictions to thwart his proposed march to the UN office on Monday where he wanted to submit a memorandum demanding world bodys intervention in Kashmir.
“For how long will you clamp curfews and place curbs to prevent people from coming out in protest. The time will come when people will take to the streets despite all restrictions,” he said.
“We had proposed a peaceful march to the UN office but it was forcefully thwarted. The voice of the people is being muffled by force. We appeal to the world community to look into this injustice,” he said.
He said that an extreme situation was being created in Kashmir to push people to the wall.
“We warn the government that if this killing spree is not stopped, the situation will revert to what prevailed in the nineties in Kashmir. And it will be a peaceful revolution. Then nobody can stop it. Even the army or the paramilitary will not work,” he said.
“The government blames the people for protesting. Why shouldn’t people protest? When people are being killed, when our boys who leave home for tuition or sports return dead, what shall people do?” the Mirwaiz asked.
Asking that the government forthwith meet the demands put forth by the Hurriyat to prevent the situation from escalating, the chairman of the pro-freedom conglomerate announced to convene an extraordinary meeting of all pro-freedom groups in Kashmir soon to formulate a strategy against the killings.
“We have five demands which include repeal of draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and the Disturbed Areas Act, the withdrawal of troops from the state Jammu and Kashmir, halt to killings, unconditional release all Kashmiri prisoners and allowing the Amnesty International to visit Kashmir,” he said.
“We will call even those pro-freedom people who are outside the Hurriyat umbrella because it is our collective issue. We are all united on this issue,” the Mirwaiz said.