JKLF Leaders, Others Court Arrest Against Life-sentences

JKLF Leaders, Others Court Arrest Against Life-sentences

4 January 2013
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Launching a 10-day jail bharo movement against life-sentences to Kashmiri youth, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik Friday said the assurances of 1994 to then militants that Kashmiris would be provided space for peaceful struggle have turned deceptive. Malik, along with 40 other people including the family members of those awarded life sentences, courted arrest at Budshah Chowk here after Friday prayers as part of the movement. Addressing the people before courting arrest, the JKLF Chairman said: “Kashmiri youth picked up gun in 1988. In 1994, civil society activists from New Delhi, European Union and United States met the then militants in jails and promised a space for peaceful movement. Now Government of India is using its judiciary against Kashmiris. Those who were active militants till 1994 launched a peaceful struggle under various political groups as they were set free. The height of things is that same people are now being slapped with life sentences.” Questioning the civil society members of India, Malik said if people were released to launch peaceful struggle in 1994, “why they are now being awarded life sentences?” “The fresh move is a complete deception on part of Indian civil society. I want to ask them what happened to their promise of providing us a space for peaceful struggle,” the JKLF Chief said. He said at least 50,000 people, who were active militants in 1994, joined the peaceful movement under various organizations. “Kashmir witnessed a complete transition in 2008, 2009 and 2010 but still hundreds of youth were killed. In all three summer agitations, it was not Kashmiris that resorted to violence but the blame goes to J&K government that used force against peaceful protestors,” Malik said. He said Kashmiris, especially the young generation, was fast losing faith in the Indian civil society which can have ‘dangerous repercussions.’ “If verdicts like life sentences continue to be slapped on the people of Kashmir, time is not far when young generation would once again pick up guns,” he said. “The blame for that would lie on the civil society of India.” Later, Malik and 40 others, including the family members of those who have been awarded with life-sentences recently, courted arrest amid pro-freedom slogans. They were carrying placards displaying the photographs of those awarded with life sentences. The lone woman who courted arrest was the Chairperson of APDP Perveena Ahanger. JKLF (H) Chairman Javaid Ahmed Mir and Muslim Conference Chairman Shabir Ahmed Dar were also among those who courted arrest. Abdul Aziz Wani, father of slain JKLF commander Ishfaq Majeed Wani, and Ghulam Nabi Khan, whose son Javaid Ahmed Khan has been awarded life sentence, also courted arrest on the occasion. Police sources, however, said only 35 people courted arrest of which 26 were shifted to Central Jail Srinagar while nine others including the APDP chairperson were released owing to non-availability of space in the jail. However, a JKLF spokesman said 50 people courted arrest. “Yaseen sahib and others have been lodged in Central Jail Srinagar,” he said.