|Al Jazeera, July 6, 2010
Three more people have been killed in continuing unrest in Indian-administered Kashmir after police opened fire on demonstrators venting their anger over recent spate of killings in police firing.
The three, including a 16-year-old-boy, were shot dead on Tuesday after a large crowd took to the streets shouting “We want freedom” and hurled stones at the security forces in the city of Srinagar.
Mohammad Afzal, a police official, said, the fresh protests broke out after a body of a Kashmiri teenager was fished out from a rivulet.
Locals said the boy had jumped into the water in Srinagar and drowned while being chased by security forces during a demonstration on Monday evening.
Police said the teenager had pelted stones at security forces and and set fire to a police building.
Indian security forces have been accused of killing 15 people, mostly protesters, in less than a month in Kashmir, triggering the biggest anti-India demonstrations in the last two years.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a prominent separatist leader who led rallies on Tuesday, called for an end to the ”killing of innocent people”.
“Protests and civil disobedience will continue until India withdraws its security forces from all populated areas, and punish those found guilty,” Farooq said.
“These killings will not deter us from pursuing our goal of independence.”
Separatists in Kashmir have fought against Indian rule for 20 years, campaigning for independence or for the region to join neighbouring Pakistan.
Posts Tagged ‘Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’
Srinagar, November 24 (KMS): The APHC Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq briefed a European Union delegation, today, about the gross human rights violations by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. The delegation comprising New Delhi based diplomats, Mr Olof Lindgren, Ms Daniele, Mr. Lon Dela Riva, Mr Jean M Debouller and Mr Oscar Schlyter, met the APHC Chairman in Srinagar.
New York, September 26 (KMS): The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has said that Kashmir dispute is the main cause of tension in South Asia and needs to be resolved without any further delay. Addressing the OIC Foreign Ministers’ Conference in New York, the APHC Chairman said, because of its impact on relations between Pakistan and India, the conflict over Kashmir directly affects the peace and stability in the entire region, which is home to millions of people.
Mirwaiz maintained that the APHC was committed to bring about a peaceful and political solution to the dispute through meaningful dialogue among Pakistan, India and Kashmiris’ genuine leadership. He demanded demilitarization of Jammu and Kashmir, complete withdrawal of Indian troops from town and villages of occupied Kashmir and repeal of all draconian laws including Disturbed Areas Act, Public Safety Act and Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
The APHC Chairman said that human rights violations should be stopped and the international rights organisations should be allowed to have access to the occupied territory. He also called for the restoration of the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations, unconditional release of all political prisoners, freedom of all political leaders to travel abroad and allowing people to people contact on either side of the Line of Control.
Mirwaiz appealed to the leaders of the Islamic countries to use their moral and political influence to help resume the peace process for a just and honourable settlement of the Kashmir dispute and to grant the people of Kashmir their inalienable right of self-determination.
Complete text of the APHC Chairman’s speech is as follows
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen,
I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to address this highly esteemed gathering of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on the subject of Kashmir. I was also invited to participate in the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Damascus, Syria in May 2009. However, I could not attend that meeting because I was not given the travel document by the Government of India.
Excellencies, today, at this august body, I stand before you not just as a representative of the Kashmiri people struggling for their inalienable right of self-determination, but, more importantly as a ‘believer’. A believer who is urging the Ummah to reclaim its intellectual and spiritual glory. A believer who is proud of the accomplishments of the Organization of Islamic Conference, yet, recognizes that there is much work still to do.
The Foreign Ministers in this annual coordination meeting aim to discuss various issues related to the United Nations’ agenda in order to enhance cooperation and coordination among the OIC Member States at the UN. The importance of this initiative cannot be overstated. And, we need to be sure that our cooperation cannot be built on the hatred of anyone or anything, rather it should be undertaken with a love for ourselves and our traditions.
The present Charter of the Organization was adopted by the Eleventh Islamic Summit held in Dakar on 13-14 March 2008, which laid down the objectives and principles of the organization and fundamental purposes to strengthen the solidarity and cooperation among the Member States. The Organization has the singular honor to galvanize the Ummah into a unified body and have actively represented the Muslims by espousing all causes close to the hearts of over 1.5 billion Muslims of the world. The Organization has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN to protect the vital interests of the Muslims and to work for the settlement of conflicts and disputes involving Member States. One such conflict is that of the Jammu and Kashmir.
It bears no reiteration that the Kashmir conflict primarily involves the life and future of the people of the land. However, unresolved dispute is at the underlying cause of tension between two nuclear rival – India and Pakistan. Because of its impact on relations between these two neighboring countries, it directly affects the peace and stability in an unstable region, which is home to more than 1.2 billion people, and the peace and security of many more nations beyond.
It has been a cause of two wars and numerous battles between the two neighbors, India and Pakistan. The place has been aptly described by the former US President, Bill Clinton as the “most dangerous place” on earth. The situation has taken an ominous turn since the Mumbai attacks o November 26, 2008. With extremist threat growing in the region, the escalating turmoil in Kashmir promises to engulf the entire region extending from Afghanistan to Bangladesh.
Excellencies, the APHC is committed to a peaceful and political solution to the Kashmir dispute. We believe that for a meaningful dialogue between Pakistan, India and the Leadership of Jammu & Kashmir the following measures need to be taken.
1. To demilitarize the arena of conflict – the State of Jammu and Kashmir – through a phased withdrawal of the troops;
2. Complete withdrawal of India’s military presence from Kashmiri towns and villages;
3. Immediate repeal of all draconian laws including Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act and Public Safety Act and Armed Forces Special Powers Act;
4. End to violations of human rights and allowing the international human rights organisations to have access to Kashmir;
5. The restoration of the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations;
6. The unconditional release of all political prisoners;
7. Freedom of all political leaders to travel abroad; and
8. To allow people to people contact on either side of the Line of Control.
Excellencies, we trust you will bring your immense moral and political influence to bear on initiating a peace process which will lead to a speedy, just an honourable settlement of the dispute and to restore the inalienable right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir.
I thank you, Excellencies for your patient hearing.
See also, Resolving the Kashmir Conflict
SRINAGAR (Reuters) – Government forces locked down Kashmir’s main city on Wednesday to thwart planned protests against India’s general election, renewing tensions in the disputed region after a short period of relative calm.
Troops patrolled deserted streets and erected barricades in Srinagar, cutting off residential areas after separatists called a two-day strike from Wednesday. Shops and businesses also remained closed. Voting is scheduled on Thursday.
“New Delhi is frustrated by our resistance movement, and not allowing us to carry out peaceful protests against the polls is a shameful act,” said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the separatists alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference.
The boycott call, which came suddenly after two rounds of voting in rest of India, is seen as a bid by the separatists to deny New Delhi any credit for holding an election in Kashmir.
Analysts say the rebels also want to avoid a repeat of a successful local election last year when Kashmiris voted in large numbers, though many saw it as a vote for better governance rather than acceptance of Indian rule.
Hurriyat’s decision came after Pakistan-based amalgam of 13-militant groups fighting Indian troops in Kashmir, asked it to support their boycott call.(UJC), a
India’s general election began this month, but voting in the Kashmir valley has been split into three phases starting from April 30. The staggered voting is to allow thousands of security forces to move around the troubled region.
Most of the senior separatist leaders including Farooq, hardliner house arrest, police said.and were placed under
The Muslim-majority region last year witnessed some of the biggest pro-independence protests since a separatist revolt against Indian rule erupted 20 years ago. But those protests tapered off and a state election was held peacefully in December.
Aside from Congress, other parties contesting the polls include the main opposition Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the regional National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party.
More than 47,000 people have been killed in the region since discontent against New Delhi’s rule turned into a full-blown rebellion in 1989. Separatists put the toll at 100,000.
‘But It Should Be Aimed At Resolving The Kashmir Dipute’
ARIF SHAFI WANI | Greater Kashmir
Srinagar, Mar 16: The chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said on Monday Hurriyat was ready to resume talks with New Delhi, but maintained that the dialogue should be meaningful and aimed at resolution of the Kashmir dispute, rather than being a mere formality.
“We want the talks should be held in a conducive atmosphere. However, before the talks, we expect New Delhi to release political prisoners and thousands of Kashmiri youth languishing in its jails, revoke the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and stop harassment of people. Killings and talks can’t go together,” Mirwaiz said, adding that the talks would be possible after formation of the new government at the centre.
“We are for any dialogue which is aimed at resolution of Kashmir dispute. We believe that meaningful talks only can help resolve the dispute and are ready to take the process to its logical end,” Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir.
Mirwaiz blamed the successive regimes of India for delaying Kashmir resolution by holding elections in the state. “New Delhi can’t afford to linger on the dispute. It has to come out of its denial mode and escapism,” he said.
In 2004, Mirwaiz said, New Delhi had to recognize the Hurriyat Conference as the representatives of Kashmiris and initiate talks on Kashmir. “But after a few rounds the dialogue process was stopped apparently to hamper Kashmir resolution. Elections can’t be an alternative to the Kashmir resolution. Polls have given birth to a government which doesn’t have even power to initiate probe against the erring armed forces,” he said.
Mirwaiz warned that any delay in resolution of the Kashmir dispute could have serious repercussions. “If India and Pakistan keep talking only with each other, they can’t achieve any breakthrough. Kashmiris have borne the brunt of animosity between them. They are the principal party to the dispute and the two countries have to talk to them to achieve a lasting and amicable solution,” he said.
Referring to the recent statement of chief minister, Omar Abdullah, in which he had stressed initiation of the dialogue with pro-freedom leadership without drawing boundaries, Mirwaiz said, “now New Delhi’s representatives too are raising their voice for resolution of the Kashmir dispute through dialogue.”
Mirwaiz expressed satisfaction over the interest of international community, particularly the United States president, Barrack Hussain Obama, for supporting peaceful resolution of Kashmir.
Feb 25, 2009 04:13 EST
SRINAGAR, India, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Thousands of Indian police and soldiers locked down Kashmir’s main city on Wednesday to prevent separatist protests over the killings of two Muslim men, blamed on the army.
In Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital, troops patrolled deserted streets and erected barricades, cutting off residential enclaves after the weekend killings in north Kashmir sparked fresh protests against Indian rule in the disputed region.
Shops and businesses remained closed across the Kashmir valley in protest. Last year, the Muslim-majority region witnessed some of the biggest pro-independence protests since a separatist revolt against Indian rule erupted 20 years ago.
Those protests had tapered off and state elections were held peacefully in December.
At least 10 people were injured on Wednesday when police and stone-throwing protesters clashed in Srinagar, police said.
“Killing the innocents in cold blood is a shameful act,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the separatists alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, said.
The state government and the army, which has widespread powers of arrest in Kashmir, have ordered separate investigations into the deaths.
More than 47,000 people have been killed in the region since discontent against New Delhi’s rule turned into a full-blown rebellion in 1989. Separatists put the toll at 100,000.
But overall violence involving Indian troops and separatist guerrillas has declined significantly across Kashmir since India and Pakistan began a slow-moving peace process in 2004.
New Delhi put a pause on that dialogue after last November’s Mumbai attacks in which 179 people were killed. (Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Jerry Norton)
|The News International, Nov 23, 2008|
| SRINAGAR: The authorities in occupied Kashmir have been continuing to keep the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and other Hurriyet leaders including Maulana Abbas Ansari, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi, Fazl Haq Qureshi and Bar President, Mian Abdul Qayoom under house arrest and resorting to strict measures to thwart the March towards Ganderbal.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the call for the March has been given by the Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee on the occasion of holding of 2nd phase of shame polls by the occupation authorities in six constituencies of Ganderbal and Rajouri districts.
Except these constituencies, undeclared curfew has been imposed in the entire Kashmir Valley and roads leading to Ganderbal have been sealed.
Heavy deployment has been made in Srinagar and other major towns of the Valley. All roads leading to Ganderbal have been sealed with barbed and razor wires and barricades.
The police and paramilitary personnel have been forcing people to remain indoor and patrolling the deserted streets to foil any attempt by Kashmiri people to assemble for the march.
In view of strict restrictions imposed by the authorities and a general strike called by the Coordination Committee, all shops and business establishments are closed.
The residents complained that security personnel are not allowing them to come out of their houses.
Protesters, police clash as polls open in Indian Kashmir amid separatist boycott call
Nov 17, 2008 12:26 EST
Large crowds voted in some towns in Indian Kashmir on Monday while protesters clashed with police in others as state elections began amid boycott calls by Muslim separatists.
The elections — to be held in phases over more than a month in an attempt to avert violence — come after some of the worst protests against Indian rule in the country’s only Muslim-majority state and a crackdown on separatist leaders who oppose the polls.
“You can’t have free and fair elections in the presence of hundreds of thousands” of occupying forces, said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a key separatist leader who has been under house arrest for three days.
Separatists say the elections will only entrench New Delhi’s hold on the troubled Himalayan region.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where most people favor independence from India or a merger with Pakistan. The region is divided between the two countries and both claim it in its entirety.
Despite the calls for a boycott, long lines of voters stretched around polling booths in several towns north of the capital, Srinagar.
Overall, about 55 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots Monday, said B.R. Sharma, the state’s chief election officer.
But it varied from district to district. In many Muslim-dominated areas, turnout was so low that paramilitary soldiers and police outnumbered voters.
In Bandipore, a town 40 miles north of Srinagar, police fired tear gas at dozens of protesters, local police official Mohammed Yousuf said. Two people were detained and one was injured, he said.
More than 30 separatist leaders who called for an election boycott have been detained in recent days under a law that allows police to hold people for up to two years without trial.
The recent pro-independence demonstrations were the largest in Indian Kashmir in two decades. They were met with a tough crackdown by government forces, and at least 48 people were killed.
The elections are being staggered to allow the government to deploy thousands of security forces in each area.
Police said they feared more unrest, particularly from militant separatist groups, although insurgents have vowed not to use violence to enforce the boycott. Campaigning was mostly peaceful.
Militant separatist groups have been fighting since 1989 to end Indian rule. The uprising and subsequent Indian crackdown have killed about 68,000 people, most of them civilians.
Source: AP News
Reuters North American News Service
Oct 23, 2008 02:33 EST
SRINAGAR, India, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Indian police arrested a Kashmiri separatist leader in an overnight raid after he led a rally urging people to boycott forthcoming state elections in the disputed Himalayan region, police said on Thursday.
Multi-stage state elections are due to start on Nov. 17 in Kashmir, where the past two months have witnessed some of the biggest anti-India protests since a separatist revolt against New Delhi’s rule broke out in 1989.
Yasin Malik, chief of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front who started an anti-election campaign in north Kashmir on Wednesday was detained at his house in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital.
Police used tear gas and batons to disperse scores of demonstrators protesting against the arrest.
Kashmir’s main separatist alliance the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, which is demanding an end to Indian rule in the region, has called for a complete boycott of the elections scheduled to be held in seven phases.
There had been pressure to suspend the elections, due this year, after at least 42 people were killed by security forces and more than 1,000 wounded in anti-India protests.
“New Delhi is trying to project the election as an alternative solution to Kashmir, but we will not allow it to happen,” Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told reporters. “We appeal to the people to boycott the elections.”
The government has announced a ban on public meetings of five or more people for one month.
There will be a massive deployment of security forces across the strife-torn region during the poll.
In the past, separatist guerrillas have attacked candidates, polling stations, party workers and rallies during elections, killing scores of candidates and workers.
But early this year, United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-based militant alliance fighting Indian troops in Kashmir, rejected the use of violence to force a boycott of elections.
Violence involving Indian troops and separatist guerrillas has declined significantly since India and Pakistan, which both claim the region, began a slow-moving peace process in 2004. (Reporting by Sheikh Mushtaq; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Alex Richardson) (For the latest Reuters news on India see in.reuters.com, for blogs see blogs.reuters.com/in)
Mirwaiz, who is senior member of the Coordination Committee (CC) spearheading the present pro-independence struggle in the Kashmir Valley, said the Committee is meeting on October 8 to discuss the future course of action.
Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir that the stringent curfew imposed by the authorities ahead of October 6 march was a “moral victory of the people.” He said the CC had urged people to demonstrate peacefully and not to shout any provocative slogan.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed the imposition of curfew as “Martial Law” and “sheer frustration of the government.”
“We were going to hold the peaceful protest at Lal-Chowk but it was thwarted by the imposition of curfew. These restrictions ahead of our march are unjustified and undemocratic,” Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir by phone.
He said the pro-freedom leaders were either arrested or kept under house arrest. “Even people all across the valley were subjected to house arrest.”
Mirwaiz said that rally was a mere means of registering protests and demanding our right to self-determination. “It was not going to be a referendum. People have already shown what they want in huge rallies in August,” he said.
The Hurriyat chairman said that it was the moral victory of people as they made themselves heard at the international level. “On one hand India calls itself a democratic country but on another hand there is no room for expressing one’s views,” he said.
He condemned the imposition of harassment and restrictions on the movement of journalists in Srinagar and elsewhere.
Mirwaiz said Co-ordination Committee will meet on October 8 to decide the future course of action. The Hurriyat members are later expected to welcome a 15-member AJK chamber of commerce and Industry delegation on Thursday.
Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani also condemned the clamping of curfew in Valley ahead of the march.
“The protests were going to be peaceful so the administration’s decision to impose restrictions is unjustified and uncalled for,” Geelani told Greater Kashmir by phone.
He said it was not the protesters but the police and CRPF troopers that resorted to violence and used brute force against the unarmed civilians in the past three months which resulted in the death of more than 60 persons.
Terming the curfew “as an act of state terrorism”, Geelani said, “Even those who possessed curfew passes issued by the state administration were not honored by the troopers.”
Geelani said the coordination committee was aware of the problems faced by traders, students, and therefore has decided to call off the strike from Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Hurriyat Conference Provincial President Nayeem Ahmad Khan while condemning the detention and arrests of the Hurriyat leaders said India cannot suppress the ongoing struggle use force or placing restrictions.
“India has intensified atrocities on Kashmiri people and dozens of innocent peaceful marchers including senior Hurriyat leader, Sheikh Abdul Aziz were killed in indiscriminate firing by troops in last two months,” Khan said.
Khan said that people were going to hold the peaceful demonstrations at Lal Chowk as was done earlier. “India does not want Kashmiris to be heard at international level. But the issue has already caught the international attention and the Indian literate class was now opening supporting the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination,” he said.
Meanwhile, a CC spokesman said despite curfew restrictions, people in different areas staged peaceful demonstrations.
He said the call for Lal Chowk chalo was given as on this very place first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had promised the people of the Jammu and Kashmir that they would be given the right to choose their destination. ‘’We just want the world to know that we are demanding what we were promised by the first Prime Minister,’’ he said.
He also condemned the house-arrest of senior Hurriyat leaders, including Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and others, besides detaining more than 100 senior and other leaders.