Surrender Was The Biggest Blunder We Committed: Mir

Surrender Was The Biggest Blunder We Committed: Mir

27 October 2013
Rising Kashmir
Faisul Yaseen

Srinagar: Peace is proving costly for the former militant commanders and separatist leaders as government has opened hundreds of cases against them. Numerous cases have been opened against Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Shakeel Bakhshi, Showkat Bakhshi, Mushtaq-ul-Islam, Shahid-ul-Islam, Zafar Akbar Bhat, Noor Muhammad Kalwal and Firdous Shah besides hundreds of other Hurriyat and JKLF activists. Senior Hurriyat leader and Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (Hakeeki) Javed Ahmad Mir said last month he had to get bail in 14 cases from different courts. 'Cases are registered against us in TADA Court in addition to cases in district courts,' Mir said. 'There are also cases against us in the CBI.' The senior separatist leader blamed the Indian civil society for being a 'war machine' of the Government of India. 'When we were part of an armed movement, Indian civil society members like Kuldip Nayar, Justice Rajinder Sachar, Justice Vithal Mahadeo Tarkunde, Tapan Bose and Nalini Singh would come and persuade us to pursue a peaceful movement,' said Mir, who was among the first few youth in Kashmir to take up arms for waging an armed struggle. 'I think they were working on Government of India’s plan so that guns fall silent,' he said. 'They did so because JKLF was running the show in Kashmir between 1988 and 1994.' According to Mir, under the influence of the Indian civil society and the visiting delegates from the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and various international human rights organizations, who also urged them to pursue a peaceful movement instead of an armed movement, JKLF declared a unilateral ceasefire in 1994. 'It was the biggest blunder we committed,' Mir said. Following the ceasefire, over 400 militants of JKLF were killed. JKLF ideologue and noted human rights activists Jaleel Andrabi was also killed in March 1996 after being detained on March 8, 1996 in Srinagar by Major Avtar Singh of the 35th Rashtriya Rifles unit of the Army. 'These killings were the Indian government’s prize to us for the ceasefire,' Mir said. 'The government also started slapping PSA (Public Safety Act) after PSA on us.' He said the government was continuing its vendetta against the separatists. 'Instead of having guns in our hands, we are fighting peacefully now, but the government is settling scores with us by opening hundreds of cases against us,' Mir said. The separatist leader said he was surprised that the cases had been opened without their knowledge. He said most of these cases had been opened after the mass uprising in 2010. 'The state government, intelligence agencies, police–all are after us,' Mir said. However, Mir was all praise for the Kashmiri lawyer community including Advocate Aijaz, Shafqat, Mian Qayoom, Nazir Ronga, Aijaz Bedar, Imtiyaz Khan, Bashir Sidiq, Mohammad Rafiq Joo, Zaffar Shah, Imtiyaz Sofi, Ghulam Nabi Shaheen and Mir Urfi. He said while cases were being opened against the separatists, no cases were registered for the civilian killings by the State forces. Advocate Shafqat Mir told Rising Kashmir that hundreds of open FIRs stood registered against youth as well as separatist leaders in cases related to protests and stone-pelting. 'Most of these cases were opened after 2008,' he said. Talking to Rising Kashmir, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Abdul Ghani Mir told Rising Kashmir, 'Those cases must have been registered against them for militant activities.' 'I can’t tell about the history of those cases without seeing the records,' he said. However, Javed Mir said by launching a crackdown on separatists and youth, the government was only asking for violence. 'Perhaps, a violent Kashmir movement is what the government wants for showing to the international community that Kashmiris are extremists,' he said. Mir said he may not take up gun again 'but the new generations have been pushed to the wall and are left with no option but to strike back'. He said youth would look for guns and added that there was a visible trend in the past three to four years that youth who had taken up arms were the ones 'victimized' by the State. Mir also expressed apprehensions that the government may any day hang them in one of those cases. 'The government only waits for the time to pull the noose,' he said. Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Ali Mohammad Sagar told Rising Kashmir the government did not deal with the said cases as they were in the court. Sagar said the government had even granted amnesty to many separatists and stone-pelters in various cases registered against them. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s Political Secretary Tanvir Sadiq seconded Sagar and said the government’s jurisdiction ends whenever a case goes to the court. He said no new FIRs had been registered against them and the government had even given amnesty to some separatists and released them ahead of Eid as a goodwill gesture. Javed Mir was also critical of the West saying that while they had a lot of time for Malala Yousufzai, no one bothered about the death of Aasiya Jeelani, Neelofer Jan, Asiya Jan, Zahid Farooq and Wamiq Farooq and injuries to Khurram Parvez. Mir said in the name of peace, Government of India was 'cutting the Kashmiris to pieces'.