Srinagar: Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has alleged that the government has devised a “kill-list” to eliminate “pro-freedom” leaders, activists and like-minded civil society members, traders, government employees and journalists of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We’ve learnt that they have formulated a kill-list, whereby they have identified pro-freedom leaders and activists and those civil society members, business leaders, government employees and journalists, who have not succumbed to their machinations," he said in a signed statement after the police prevented him from holding a press conference at his besieged residence in Srinagar on Friday.
"This is a very serious issue and we warn the occupier (Indian government) and their local stooges that any such misadventure will have serious repercussions,” he said.
Earlier, large contingents of J&K police and CRPF deployed at Geelani’s house in Srinagar’s Hyderpora locality turned away media persons who had arrived there to attend the press conference. "He is under house arrest and, therefore, can’t address a press conference. You people should have known that before coming here,” said a police officer to this correspondent after stopping him about fifty yards from the separatist leader’s house.
Geelani later mailed the statement, which he had planned to read at the presser, to media persons. In the statement, he alleged the current phase of what he says is a "freedom struggle" has so unnerved the “occupier” and its “local stooges” that they have resorted to “vilest means” to suppress the “struggle.”
He sought to assure the people involved in the nine-week-old unrest in the valley or supporting it that the “freedom” is round the corner now. “The frustration of our occupier is understandable because between us and our freedom stand half a million Indian guns. Never before have we been so close to freedom with such clarity as we are now,” he said.
Geelani asserted that the unrest is an extension of the separatist campaign spreading over seven decades and that it only thrived after the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahedin commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani by the security forces.
“There is no village and no town where, during the past two months, people have not made it abundantly clear again that the only relationship between India and Kashmir is that of the occupier and the occupied, and between the two the smokescreen that India had created in J&K in the form of Abdullahs, Muftis, Lones and the sundry has fallen,” he said.
“The defeat of our enemy and the fact of our imminent victory are very much evident in the frustrated talk in their Parliament, institutions of power and in the news studios of their fascist media,” he said, adding, “For the past 70 years, India has created a massive infrastructure of military occupation and other instruments of control but the last two months have shown that our will to fight for freedom is stronger than all their evil machinations."
He acknowledged that apart from nearly eighty people getting killed and thousands injured in the security forces’ actions against protesters over the past two months, the shutdowns have cost the labourers, masons, transporters, shikarawallas, ponywallas, carpenters, weavers and others their livelihoods.
Geelani, however, said that people are at the forefront of the “struggle” even after suffering physically and economically. "Also, this is the struggle of every soul – farmers, doctors, teachers, school children and government employees. These sacrifices are the building blocks of the free nation we are destined to become," he claimed.
The separatist leader was all praise for Pakistan and said it has once again proved itself to be “our friends and well-wishers."
“Pakistan and its people shared our pain and raised their voice in our support. We are happy that at a time when the people of Jammu and Kashmir have once again risen for their freedom, Pakistan and its people have taken an ethical stand to support our struggle morally, politically and diplomatically”.
Geelani went ahead to thank the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other countries like China, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, New Zealand and Iran for expressing their concern over the “brutal repression” by India in Kashmir.
The separatist leader criticised sections of the Indian media for presenting a “distorted” picture of the Kashmir unrest.
“There was a time when the Kashmiri people would need someone else to read and write their letters. Our stories of pain and longing for freedom would almost always be distorted by the journalists and writers who came from India to take note of our lives and struggles against the Indian occupation,” he said.
"While there are a few honourable exceptions, the dominant discourse created by the Indian media and writers continues to be based on falsehoods aimed at dehumanizing us and labelling our struggle as terrorism," he added.
He alleged that the Indian media, by and large, is an extension of the Indian state and performs well the role that has been assigned to it to help keep in place the Indian occupation in Kashmir....