JRL calls for shutdown on Sunday against mass arrests, censorship, attack on Article 35-A

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has called for shutdown on Sunday to protest against mass arrests of Jamaat Hurriyat leaders, censorship and any tampering with Article 35-A.

In a statement, the leadership said that the arbitrary arrest of JKLF chairman Yasin Malik and the “mass crackdown and illegal detention” of more than 150 Jamat-e-Islami cadre and leadership including its Ameer Abdul Hamid Fayaz last night in nocturnal raids across the valley looks to be not only part of the continued policy of suppression of pro-self-determination leadership and narrative.

“But in the case of hearing of 35-A in Indian Supreme Court most likely on Monday, an indication of what may be expected. JRL strongly condemns this dictatorial policy of cracking the whip and arbitrary arrests against Kashmiris by those calling the shots in J&K,” the joint statement said.

They said that deployment of additional 100 companies of paramilitary forces on an urgent basis also indicates that “something is cooking in this regard.”

The resistance leadership said that challenge to heredity state subject law is an extremely important issue for the people as it is akin to our very existence as a people and directly linked to the Kashmir dispute.

“Leadership said the spontaneous shut down and protests across the valley against even the thought of tempering with the law should leave no doubt in the minds of those who have left no stone unturned to choke and muzzle the voice of Kashmir and are breaking records in repression , that the people of Kashmir will never allow it. JRL said entire people and pro people leadership of J&K are one on this,” the statement said.

Following the reports of mass arrests of Jamaat-e-Islami and Hurriyat leaders, parts of Srinagar city, including commercial hub of Lal Chowk, on Saturday remained partially shut.

However, Police said that the crackdown on Jamat-e-Islami and the additional deployment of armed police forces is “purely” part of an election exercise undertaken to ensure free and fair polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Lone has questioned the detention of Jamaat-e-Islami and Hurriyat leaders in nocturnal raids on Friday.

Earlier, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday while reacting over the crackdown on Jammat and Hurriyat leaders said that such a move will only precipitate matters in the state.

Earlier, on Friday night, cops detained JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik from his residence.

In a massive crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami, dozens including the top leadership were also detained during night raids in Kashmir.

In a statement, a JeI spokesman said the police and other forces launched a “mass arrest drive” during the intervening night of February 22 and 23 and arrested dozens of its central and district-level leaders.

“Article 35(A) which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is being heard within days and the way forces personnel unleashed the spree of mass arrest and detained dozens of Jama’at members prior to the hearing seems something is hatching behind the curtains,” said the spokesman, adding: “Any attempt of eroding or tempering Article 35(A) is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Jamaat spokesperson said in a statement.

Moreover, the Home Ministry of India has called for an urgent deployment of hundred more companies of central armed forces in Kashmir.

We have to urgently deploy CAPFs in Jammu & Kashmir. It is requested to provide 100 coys of CAPFs (CRPF – 45,BSF-35,SSB-10 & ITBP 10) to Govt of J&K with immediate effect and till further orders. IG (ops), CRPF is requested to ensure immediate movement of forces in coordination with IG (ops) of all forces,” read a Home Ministry letter to the state government, copies of which have been also sent to IG(Ops) to CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB.

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