Source: Kashmir Watch
Srinagar, Oct 13 (PBI): Stating that New Delhi’s claim of being the largest democracy in the world having “fallen flat” in Kashmir, a human rights group comprising educationists came up with a list of demands on Monday which included stopping of “military might” against peaceful protesters in Kashmir.
Revealing details to media persons, of their nine-day long ‘fact-findings’ visit to the valley starting from October 4, a member of the team, Syed Abdul Rehman Geelani, lecturer at Delhi university, who was acquitted in parliament attack case, said that the claims of India to be the largest democracy in the world have ended in fiasco in view of the present scenario in Kashmir.
“The most disturbing sight during the whole fact finding mission was the over-bearing presence of the army, paramilitary, police and the SOG personnel. This has become part and parcel of the everyday life of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The blanket powers given to the army, paramilitary, SOG and police under the garb of fighting militancy has only increased the cruelty of the state forces.”
Geelani, flanked by two other members, Prof. Amit Bhattacharyya and Rona Wilson V. lbrahim told reporters at a hotel here. “The display of this power is visible in the way, the forces have been dealing with the recent rallies in the valley.”
“The accounts of the doctors of Baramulla District Hospital as well as the testimonies from the injured confirm that the peaceful demonstrators were fired in the abdomen, chest or head. This shows a clear intention of shooting to kill.”
The team expressed concern over ‘implication in false cases’ of the people who participated in the rallies.
“False cases have been framed against many people who have participated in peaceful protests. Most of them have been booked under PSA. The draconian laws such as the PSA, DM, AFSPA have been used in the most arbitrary manner, so much so that even when someone who has been charged under PSA gets that quashed in the court, soon after he or she is charged afresh under the same act. Even those acquitted of PSA charges will have to endure an unending wait for the security forces to release them,” he said.
The team comprised Prof Amit Bhattacharyya (Jadavpur University, Kolkata), S. A. R. Geelani, (Delhi University), Prof. A. Marx (Chennai), Advocate Sugumaran (Pondicherry), Prof. Pranab Nayak (Kolkata), V. M. Ibrahim (Executive Editor, Madhyamam, Kerala), Rona Wilson (Research Scholar, JNU), Raja Sarkhel (Kolkata), Sitangshu Chakraborty (Film maker, Kolkata), Maitreyee Nayak (Student, Rabindra Bharati University,Kolkata) visited various areas of the valley to ascertain the facts.
Visiting medical stores in the valley, he said, proved beyond doubt the impact of the economic blockade and the total failure of the government to provide relief to the people.
“The Government of India’s effort to deny the economic blockade only brought to the fore the silent sanction of the establishment for such an inhuman. Life saving drugs, baby food and other drugs were in terrible shortage. Despite the letter written by the Divisional Commissioner, Multinational Pharmaceutical Companies such like Cipla, Cadilla, Glaxo, FDC, Emcure, Sun Pharmaceuticals have stopped their operations.”
The group called for repealing of all the draconian laws including ULPA, AFSPA, DAA and PSA. “Ensure life saving drugs, baby food and other medicines. Stop the use of military might on the peaceful demonstrations, Withdraw troops, Stop all efforts to foment communal hatred against the people, release all political prisoners unconditionally, initiate steps to address issue of right to self determination per the norms set by the UN and other International bodies” the group demanded.