Mirwaiz terms PDP’s silence on rewarding Major Gogoi ‘criminal, shameful’, leads protest demonstration

Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Friday appealed to the United Nations, UNHRC, ICJ, and international human rights bodies to take strong note, and play their role in preventing the Indian military from “committing heinous war crimes” against Kashmiri civilians, especially in the backdrop of Government of India (GoI) and its Army chief honoring an army major for using a civilian, Farooq Ahmad Dar, as a human shield.

Dar was tied to an army jeep and paraded through several villages in the Budgam district on April 09, 2017 by a Major rank officer of the Indian army.

Addressing the Friday congregational gathering at the historic Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar, Mirwaiz said, “the Kashmiri people are being subject to the worst forms of state atrocities at the hands of forces, over the past 30 years in particular, with impunity, and there is hardly any method of repression which has been left unused against us.”

“All this because we are demanding our fundamental right to decide our destiny,” he said while leading a protest demonstration outside the Jamia Masjid.

Referring to the incident that took place in the Budgam district on April 9, Mirwaiz said that Farooq Ahmed Dar, who was a passerby, was grabbed by the forces, beaten up ruthlessly, with hands tied back, and then tied to the bonnet with the sign: “I am a stone pelter” hung around his neck, and paraded  for 7 hours through various villages.

To the shock and horror of the locals as they saw him, even denying him water, Dar was later tied to a tree in the CRPF camp before being released, while announcements were being made on the loudspeaker of the jeep that this is the way locals will be treated.

“The whole episode was not ‘on the moment decision’ as claimed by the Major, but a well thought out idea because if according to the Major it was to save his team from stone pelting, why was Farooq Ahmad paraded for seven long hours through many villages?” Mirwaiz asked.

“The objective of this incident was two-fold,” he said, “revenge and retribution from the locals, and to send a clear and stern message to the locals, and the people of Kashmir in general, that this is how they will be treated if they dare to stand up for their rights.”

Kashmir’s chief cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, addressing faithful on May 26, 2017 in Jamia Masjid Srinagar.

The Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson said, “by felicitating the army officer for this anti-human act, the Government of India and its army chief have blurred the lines between a fascist regime and a so-called democratic one, and shamed Indians and people of the world who are shocked and appalled by this military approach to deal with a peoples’ movement.”

Mirwaiz termed the silence maintained by the partner of the ruling regime—PDP as “criminal and shameful”. “They are equally accountable for the inhumanity and cruelty inflicted upon the people of Kashmir.”

“Despite the fact that the authorities have declared war and are using brute force against innocent students, young boys and girls are hitting the streets in uniforms, demanding only their basic birthright, which is the right to self-determination,” he asserted.

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