Posts Tagged ‘Yasin Malik’

Kashmir shuts in poll protest, troops patrol

April 30, 2009
Reuters

Reuters – Indian policemen stop traffic at a security barricade in Srinagar April 29, 2009. Government forces locked …

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 United Jihad Council (UJC), a Pakistan-based amalgam of 13-militant groups fighting Indian troops in Kashmir, asked it to support their boycott call.

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 Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik were placed under house arrest, police said.

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.

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Kashmir police threaten to shoot curfew violators

October 7, 2008

Indian authorities threaten to shoot violators of curfew in Kashmir to prevent rally

AIJAZ HUSSAIN | AP News, Oct 06, 2008 05:47 EST

Police warned Monday they would shoot any violators of a curfew imposed in Indian-controlled Kashmir to prevent a large pro-independence rally planned later in the day.

Thousands of police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear drove through neighborhoods and went to people’s homes warning them to stay indoors, said Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Nowhatta district in Srinagar, the main city in India’s only Muslim-majority state.

In recent months the disputed Himalayan region has seen some of its largest protests against Indian rule in two decades. At least 45 people have died in the unrest, most of them killed when Indian soldiers opened fire on Muslim demonstrators.

While streets in Srinagar were largely deserted, hundreds of protesters defied the curfew in Baramulla, a town 35 miles north of Srinagar. Government forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowd and no one was injured, said Abdul Gani Mir, a senior police officer.

Reyaz Ahmed, a local resident, said by telephone that authorities entered homes, smashed windows and beat residents. Mir said police were looking into the allegations.

Several hundred people also defied the curfew in the nearby village of Rafiabad, but later dispersed peacefully.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Indian-administered Kashmir, where most people favor independence from mainly Hindu India or a merger with predominantly Muslim Pakistan.

Separatist groups have been fighting since 1989 to end Indian rule, leaving an estimated 68,000 people, mostly civilians, dead.

Indian police and paramilitary forces also prevented people from visiting mosques for Monday morning prayers in Srinagar and other places in the region, residents said. Shops, schools and businesses shut for the day.

Police announced over loudspeakers they would shoot anyone found violating the curfew, residents said.

“People should not violate the curfew, it’s an offense,” warned B. Srinivas, inspector-general of state police.

The recent demonstrations subsided during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ended Sept. 30. But separatist leaders sought to rekindle the protests with a huge rally Monday at Lal Chowk, a central square in Srinagar.

Authorities announced a curfew across the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley on Sunday.

Police also arrested Mohammed Yasin Malik, a key separatist leader, on Saturday and put another top leader, Mirwaiz Omer Farooq, under house arrest, Srinivas said.

“By imposing the curfew, India’s false claims of democracy and freedom of expression are exposed,” Farooq told The Associated Press by telephone.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, which both claim the region and have fought two wars over it.

Source: AP News

Kashmir Countdown

September 21, 2008

Source:  Kashmir Watch

Anil Raina chronicles the recurrence of Kashmir’s freedom cries from generation next

Protestors pelting stones at policemen in down town Srinagar


Till last summer, Kashmir had managed to reclaim its status of a tourist’s hub. Hotels were booked till year end, business was picking up after years of turmoil and it seemed that good times were returning to the Valley.

People were coming to terms with the pain of loss and getting over the fatigue of being hapless victims of 19 years of strife. At the time, no one knew that the situation would change so dramatically and so soon. Today, the state resembles the days of early militancy. The air is once again rent with calls for Azadi and the baton of freedom struggle has once again been passed from one generation to the other, with even children participating in the movement.

AN AUGUST MARCH

The march in Srinagar’s Muzaffarbad Road on August 22 looked like an ocean of people covering the highway from Pattan to Sheeri: a generation of young men, who were toddlers in 1990 when Kashmir exploded with massive public demonstration, was leading the procession. The security forces had withdrawn after failing to halt this march at 10 different places. Hurriyat leader Sheikh Aziz was killed on August 11, which lent fuel to the movement. Aziz’s killing during the Muzaffarbad Chalo march organized by the Kashmir based separatist groups and supported by People Democratic Party (PDP) made the situation volatile. People in the valley came out on the streets and started demanding instant Azadi (freedom) angered by what they called a cold-blooded murder by the security forces.

Burned CRPF bunker in Srinagar


Following this, all of Kashmir had erupted; dozens of people were killed in police firing and soon the Valley took on a different hue from what it was two months ago when the only buzz in the air was of election rallies, a pleasant spring and thousands of tourists. The People’s March at Srinagar’s Muzaffarbad Road changed all that. “We will not stop. We have to cross the LoC. We have to re-unite Kashmir,” said Abdul Rasheed Dar, a peace-loving businessman until now. “Kashmir has woken up. The movement is alive again.”

UNITED THEY STAND

For the first time, a million Kashmiris assembled in Eidghah last month at the call of the Hurriyat to conduct a rally to voice their demand for a free Kashmir. The rally lasted for 12 hours. Earlier it was a fight for leadership and ideology between the several extremist groups such as JKLF, People League, Dukhtaran-e-Millat and others, but following the Amarnath land row, they have melted their differences and become united with a single point agenda of making Kashmir an independent country. The stage was shared by hardliners such as Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and the merger was named the Co-ordination Committee. Hurriyat Chirman Syed Ali Shah Geelani wanted an end to the dialogue with the Centre, demanding trilateral talks involving Pakistan. The hardliner wanted the moderate faction to launch an active boycott campaign in the forthcoming assembly elections and stop offering a resolution proposal on Kashmir to the Centre. “We cannot let go of the opportunity. If we fail to rise up to people’s expectations, they will never forgive us,” said a senior Hurriyat leader on condition of anonymity. “Only a united Hurriyat will be in any position to lead and maintain the current momentum.

More than 10 lakh people responded to the Eid Ghah Chalo call sent out by the Hurriyat


“We have seen the beginning of militancy in our Valley through the ’90s. We have seen the crisis during the first elections in 1996 and as members of the minority community we still survived by sheer determination of not abandoning our heaven but now we shall pay the price for being on the other side of extreme militancy engineered by own brethren in our own land,” says a distraught Pran Nath Koul, a school teacher, who managed to stay in the Valley despite decades of militancy, but could not stand the threat caused by the mobilization of erstwhile lower heads of extremist Jehadi groups in the wake of Amaranth land row. Koul did not sleep at night just to guard his wife and three children from those who protected him even in adverse crisis. Koul’s family is one of the over 1,500 Hindu families who were not targeted by extremist Islamic Militants even through that time in the last 20 years.

BUSINESS FIRST

Koul’s sentiments are seconded by several Hindu families in the Valley who feel that their own Hindu brethren have left them fighting a cause that was never their own. Had their brothers in Jammu for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir not blocked the economy of Kashmir after the Amaranth land row, they would still continue to live in peace.

Protestors torch a police van in Srinagar


“Whatever the people are doing is the manifestation of their anger against the government of India,” said senior Hurriyat Leader Bilal Lone. Sahil-ul-Islam, political advisor to Hurriyat chairman Merwaiz Umer Farooq said, “We have repeatedly informed Delhi about the anger in the new generation. The Kashmir issue remains unaddressed but they can’t take every Kashmiri for a ride as they did before. Mobilization is the only answer.

“Unity is the need of the hour and that is why the leadership is united once again and we just want to channelize it and carry out a peaceful, non-violent movement, keeping the aspiration of the people of Kashmir in mind. The bandage approach of the people of India is no longer needed and we want the issue to be resolved for once and for all,” said Hurriyat chairman Merwaiz Umer Farooq. The 32-year-old is considered a moderate Kashmiri separatist leader  and has a strong base in the Bakra community. The Bakras are traditionally well-to-do people based in Srinagar, and have been at the forefront of anti-India politics in Kashmir.

(L) Unity among pro-freedom leaders: Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Shabbir Shah (R) About 3 lakh people gathered for the UN rally at TRC ground at Srinagar


Sajad Bhat, an apple supplier whose business was hit by the blockade on the highway because of which his produce could not be transported for 10 days and suffered great loses said, “So far it was a battle between Jammu and Kashmir and with rest of India, but now it has become too personal. My driver, who was delivering fruits to a Delhi market, was beaten so badly that I had to compensate their family despite incurring huge loses in business. I do not believe in massacring those responsible for the economic blockade, but in future if this continues, I have no option but to support the cause of fellow businessmen who for no fault of theirs have become victims of vote bank politics.”

However, the point in question is not about individuals gains or loses, says Riyaz Khan a chemist in Srinagar who has been in business since 10 years. “I never used to visit religious meetings since I believe that the protector is bigger than the destroyer; I would not even have participated in rallies until my business got hampered. I have got six people to feed from the profits that I earn from the shop. I used to get adequate supplies from the distributors before the road was blocked. I could not support my family for those 10 days when my people were dying for the medicines that could have saved their lives,” he says.

CRPF personals in action


The political leadership of all hues in the Valley is in a dilemma. Rendered ineffective by the mass upsurge, they are unsure about the way out of this situation which most of them felt was too serious. A senior leader said that dialogue was the only way out. But he has no clue where and how to get started. “If India and Pakistan fail to include Kashmiris in the dialogue process, we will be forced to launch non-violent agitation in Kashmir,” rounded off JKLF Chief Yasin Malik.

[Mumbai Mrror]

Posted on 21 Sep 2008 by Webmaster

Thousands protest Indian rule in Kashmir

September 20, 2008

REUTERS
Reuters North American News Service

Sep 19, 2008 05:37 EST

SRINAGAR, India, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Shouting anti-India slogans, thousands of Muslims marched in Kashmir’s main city on Friday, part of an ongoing campaign against New Delhi’s rule that has become an embarrassment for the Indian government.

The current round of protests are some the biggest since a separatist revolt broke out in the disputed Himalayan region in 1989, a conflict that has killed thousands of people.

Thousand of policemen and soldiers were deployed across the region ahead of protests called by Muslim separatists after Friday prayers.

“Go India go, we want freedom,” shouted protesters led by separatist leader Yasin Malik in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital.

At least 37 protesters have been killed by government forces since last month in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. More than 1,000 people have been injured.

The protests were sparked by a government decision to grant land to build shelters for Hindu pilgrims travelling to Kashmir, one of the world’s most militarised regions.

Shops, businesses and schools were closed on Friday and streets in the strife-torn region wore a deserted look. Only security patrols were on the roads.

“I appeal to people to protest peacefully,” Malik told the protesters, many of them carrying his picture.

The protests come at a time when violence involving Indian troops and separatist guerrillas has declined significantly after India and Pakistan, who claim the region in full and have gone to war over it, began a slow-moving peace process in 2004.

But people are still killed in shootouts and occasional explosions. (Reporting by Sheikh Mushtaq; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Sanjeev Miglani)

(For the latest Reuters news on India see: in.reuters.com, for blogs see blogs.reuters.com/in)

Source: Reuters North American News Service


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