January 2017 News

Resistance Groups Hold Sit-in Against Pandit 'settlements'

30 January 2017
Kashmir Reader

Srinagar: Against the proposed settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in separate townships in the valley, the joint resistance leadership held a protest sit-in here at Srinagar's Abi Guzar locality in Lal Chowk on Monday. The protesters said Pandits are part and parcel of Kashmiri nation and no one can oppose their return, but at the same time no Kashmiri would accept the idea of rehabilitating them in 'Israeli type settlements'. Prominent activists and leaders of Hurriyat Conference (G), Hurriyat Conference (M) and JKLF- including Altaf Ahmad Shah, Yasmeen Raja, Raja Meraj ud din Kalwal, Muhammad Salim Zargar, Molvi Bashir Ahmad, Muhammad Ramzan Khan, Khawaja Firdous, Pir Muhammad Shafi, Muhammad Shafi Lone, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Ghulam Nabi Zaki, Abdul Rashid Untoo, Abdul Majid Wani,Hakim Abdul Rashid, Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi, advocate Sheikh Yasir, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Jafar Kashmiri, Farooq Ahmad Sodagar and Engineer Ghulama Rasool Dar Eidi, Noor Muhammad Kalwal, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, Siraj ud din Mir, Ashraf Bin Salam, Professor Javed-participated in the protest. 'Kashmiri Pandits are welcome, they should come and settle at the places of their own choice and live in harmony with their Muslim brethren in Kashmir,' the leaders from the pro-freedom camp pointed out. Calling it a conspiracy to harm Kashmiri religious harmony, the pro-freedom leaders added such settlements are not acceptable and the move will be 'resisted'. The protesters attempted to march towards Lal Chowk from Abiguzar but were intercepted by government forces near the Press Enclave where barricades were laid to halt their march. During the protest rally, the participants chanted slogans in favor of freedom, martyrs and called for unity against conspiracies to change the state demography. The leaders also condemned so-called black laws like PSA, which they said, are being used to prolong the incarceration periods of these inmates. 'The so-called rulers have through their police and forces unleashed an ugly reign of terror against the people of Kashmir but these rulers should bear in mind that their oppressive acts cannot deter Kashmiris from perusing the path of resistance and freedom,' the protesters said. Calling for their release, the protesters also pointed out the 'ill treatment' of Kashmiri inmates in jails and police stations.