Kashmiri leaders warn Delhi against aggressive policies promoting violence

Published February 20, 2019
Tehreek-i-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir Chairman Syed Ali Geelani. ─ AFP/File
Tehreek-i-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir Chairman Syed Ali Geelani. ─ AFP/File

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) in Indian-occupied Kashmir on Wednesday warned New Delhi against pursuing aggressive policies that promote "the worst kind of violence", saying they cause youths to turn to armed resistance.

After Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi said he was giving Indian soldiers a "free hand" in the wake of the Pulwama attack, Kashmiris have reported increased harassment in various parts of India and occupied Kashmir. The harassment is particularly targeted towards Muslim Kashmiris.

Times of India on Wednesday reported that a few hotel owners in Agra have put up pamphlets asking Kashmiri tourists to remain away.

Read more: Kashmiris living in India facing threats, evictions

JRL leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik in a joint statement issued after a meeting in Srinagar today said that the "aggressive policies of India and a ban on political dissent are pushing Kashmiris to the wall and promoting the worst kind of violence", the Kashmir Media Service reported.

The JRL leadership said the oppression of Kashmiris was the main reason behind the region's youth choosing a path of armed resistance against brutal Indian occupation forces.

Find out more: In Kashmir, brutality of videos deepens anger against India

Referring to Indian Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon's comments yesterday, JRL leaders said convincing Kashmiri youths to refrain from going down the path of armed resistance was not in the hands of their parents or political leaders.

According to NDTV, Lt Gen Dhillon had asked "all the mothers of Kashmir to please request their sons who have joined terrorism to surrender and get back to the mainstream. Anyone who has picked up the gun in Kashmir will be eliminated, unless he surrenders."

The ball in fact lies in the court of the Indian political and military leadership who have choked every little space for political dissent in Kashmir, the JRL said.

Hindu hardliners ransack Muslim properties

The Kashmir Media Service today also reported that Hindutva groups in occupied Kashmir had ransacked and burned millions of rupees worth of properties owned by members of the Muslim community settled in Poonch.

The Hindutva rioters also raised provocative anti-Muslim slogans in Poonch's Mohalla Alapir area and destroyed dozens of cars and other property.

Find out more: Understand the Kashmir crisis through moving stories and commentary

Although some locals managed to catch the rioters on camera, they claim that police has yet to act and no arrests have been made, KMS reported.

Although the incident had occurred on Feb 15, it was not reported earlier since the Indian government has shut down internet services in the region, the report added.

Suspension of internet services is a common tactic employed by the Indian government to quell dissent and hinder the spread of information in Kashmir.

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