The separatists camp in Jammu and Kashmir today hit out at the PDP-BJP state government for preventing them from holding a meeting by putting them under house arrest, saying it was doing this at the “bidding of its masters in New Delhi”. While hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani has been under house arrest for a long time now, the authorities today put Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Ahmad Shah and several other second-rung separatist leaders under house arrest to prevent them from reaching Geelani’s Hyderpora residence for the said meeting. JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was taken into preventive custody and lodged at a police station here.
Security personnel were posted outside Geelani’s residence, a police official said, adding that no one was being allowed to enter the premises. In a joint statement, the separatists said not allowing them to hold meetings had become a “norm” for the state authorities who had to “keep up the arce of normalcy through repression at the bidding of their masters in New Delhi”, otherwise “they will be shown the door by them”. The meeting was to be attended by separatist leaders and members of the business community in the wake of National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids on several of their second- rung leaders as part of a crackdown on the fundings of street protests and businessmen suspected of carrying out hawala operations.
“The meeting was barred by the anti-Kashmir ruling regime through force,” the statement read. Referring to the NIA raids, the separatists claimed that these moves to “intimidate and harass” their leaders and activists was Government of India’s “acceptance” that it had not been able to politically defeat the people’s struggle in Jammu and Kashmir. “The Government of India has completely failed in crushing the people’s revolt, despite its largest military concentration in the world in Jammu and Kashmir, who have unleashed a reign of terror and torture upon the people for the past seven decades, inflicting untold miseries upon the masses,” it alleged.
The separatists called for a peaceful protest after the Friday prayers across the Valley against the “witch-hunt, coercion and intimidation of resistance activists, leaders and members of the business community”. “The people will also strongly protest the Indian electronic media’s propaganda war against Kashmiris and its shameless attempt to discredit their freedom struggle,” they said.