‘Will approach international organizations against intimidating tactics adopted against leadership and activists’
A press conference by Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at his residence regarding the “coercive” NIA raid and the prevailing situation was not allowed by authorities who barred the press from entering inside.
Hurriyat (M) later issued a statement.
“First thing, the leadership and people of Kashmir greatly urge India and Pakistan not to escalate the situation and desist from warmongering which will be a disaster for the entire region. We ask both governments that as in the past, escalation and war can never resolve the issues between them and only talking to one another is the way forward. APHC reiterates the call for dialogue,” the statement issued said.
“As you are aware there is a threatening and grave atmosphere created by the authoritarian state across Kashmir and people are being psychologically intimidated, journalists and media are being targeted and two newspapers are facing reprisal. In keeping with this wave of repression and intimidation, coercive raids were conducted at the residences of resistance leadership Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, Ashraf Sehrai, Naseem Geelani and others by the NIA yesterday including at mine from morning from 8 am which lasted till around 6 pm in the evening. A cordon was laid around my house by a large number of paramilitary forces who entered the premises of my house.”
The statement further said, “Around 15 to 20 people from NIA accompanied by two local policemen entered my house and office and thoroughly searched it and also the homes of my relatives who live around me. After these thorough coercive searches, certain items were confiscated by them which included my laptop and phones, hard drives from my office computers, press releases on Hurriyat and Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid letterheads, records of Kashmiri students studying in Pakistan medical colleges that Hurriyat recommends. I was not given the copy of magisterial order for search though I was shown a copy. Upon leaving I was not given the seizure memo of things seized from me which is the norm.”
When I asked for it, I was told to approach court for it, Mirwaiz said in the statement, adding, later in the NIA press release in evening, they have used word “incriminating evidence” which is a matter of concern there was nothing so-called “incriminating” that was taken. As I was not given a seizure memo, any mischief can be done, he said.
“It was also said that ‘a high tech internet communication was also recovered’. This in actuality is a simple internet lease line by a private company which is commonly used in media offices and at homes for good and uninterrupted internet use. The word recovered is part of the propaganda to give an impression as if it was something hidden that has been discovered,” he said.
“We will approach international organizations as these intimidating and threatening tactics are being adopted against leadership and activists by the authorities, which are totally undemocratic and totalitarian,” Hurriyat (M) said.
Mirwaiz said that “ours is peaceful political movement. There is a deliberate design to link it with violence and through that route, harass intimidate and malign us”.
“Simultaneously a viscous and steady campaign to demonize Kashmiris and generate hate against us is promoted, especially through electronic media to justify repression against people and action against us and to project the people’s just struggle for self-determination as an enterprise. The great sacrifices and struggles of people offered for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute are undermined. Propaganda has taken over reality and people of India are being deliberately misled and fed lies.”
“It is not difficult to understand that at a time of elections in India when other things have failed for the rulers, Kashmir is being used the whipping boy and people of Kashmir are being targeted, threatened and intimidated to polarize Indian voters and garner votes. Threats of removing 370 and 35-A is kept hanging over our heads like a Damocles sword to be used as and when the electoral situation for them demands,” the statement said.
Let the rulers know for a fact that people of Kashmir will defend this Article at all costs, the amalgam said adding that whether the leadership is in jails or out, if any tinkering is done with it people will be on streets, no one in J&K is going to take this assault at our identity and disputed status lying low.
Mirwaiz said we believe in dialogue to resolve the dispute.
“We have walked the talk when it came to engagement and done so in the past even at huge risks and sacrifice. We do not want war and violence. We want our youth to live and prosper not be forced to a violent path. But that cannot happen through repression and coercion. That can only happen when the sentiment and aspirations of Kashmiris are addressed in its human and historical context,” he said.