Srinagar, December 31, 2012 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, has announced to launch 10-day “jail bharo tehreek” from Friday (January 4) as first-phase of the campaign to seek rollback of life-sentences awarded to Kashmiri detainees and press for release of all political prisoners languishing in different jails.
The JKLF Chairman while speaking at a seminar ‘Prisoners and our responsibilities’ at a local hotel in Srinagar, said that those languishing in various prisons were the collective asset of Kashmir. “I believe the life-sentences awarded to at least 30 persons from the Valley, is part of the political policy of New Delhi and its regime in the occupied territory,” he said.
“Take the case of Masarrat Aalam Butt. He was released by the court many times but is being slapped with fresh draconian law, Public Safety Act, every time,” he said. The JKLF Chairman said that it was not the time to shift responsibilities towards others. “When people of Kashmir launched a sustained campaign against the death penalty of Muhammad Afzal Guru, only then his sentence was delayed,” he stated.
“Those who were in jails before 1994, were released. Even Muhammad Qasim Faktoo was released once for one-and-a half years in 1998-1999. But suddenly, all these people were re-arrested and have now been awarded life sentences,” he said.
Malik said, if people of Kashmir think that the life-sentences can be fought in courts, the move would tantamount to bailing out Government of India. “It is high time for the heads of all liberation organisations to take the case as their collective responsibility. We will launch 10-day Jail Bharo Movement from Friday and that will be first step towards seeking scraping of life-sentences against 30 Kashmiris and their release,” he said.
“These prisoners don’t belong to any particular group or community. They are a part of the Kashmir and all of us need to work together to ensure that these men do not spend the rest of their lives in jails,” he said, adding, “Jammu and Kashmir is a political issue but the judiciary is being used to suppress the voices of the resistance leadership,” he added. He maintained that the future strategy would be announced accordingly.
The 1st session of the seminar was presided over by noted academic and historian, Dr Sheikh Mohammad Iqbal, while reputed columnist and law professor, Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, chaired the 2nd session.
Others who spoke on the occasion include advocate Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, advocate Nazir Ahmad Ronga, renowned paediatrician, Dr Altaf Hussain, noted scholar, Abdul Majid Zargar, Ghulam Ali Gulzar, renowned poet, Prof Rehman Rahi, columnists, Z G Mohammad, Professor Ijaz-ul-Haq, Hurriyet leaders, Aasiya Andrabi, Javed Ahmed Mir, Mohammad Yousuf Naqash and Bilal Ahmed Siddiqui, advocate Fayyaz Ahmad Sodagar, senior journalist, Riyaz Masroor, Sikh leader, Jag Mohan Singh Raina, columnist, Dr Javed Iqbal, Shakeel Qalandar of Chamber of Industries, professor Noor Bilal, advocate Zahid Ali, Bashir Ahmed Mir, Maulana Khursheed Qanoongo and Bashir Siddique advocate.
Those who attended the seminar included Dr Ashiq Hussain, Maulana Shawkat Hussain Kang, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, renowned journalists, Yousuf Jameel, Sheen Meem Ahmed, Arshad Kaloo, Imdad Saqi, Mehmood Azad, Rashid Rahil, Naseer Ganai, advocate Bilal, renowned poet, Zareef Ahmed Zareef, Mahaz-e-Azadi leader, Mohammad Iqbal Mir, APDP leader, Parveena Ahangar, Mahmood-ul-Hassan, head of CTK, leading human rights activist, Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, Prof Manzoor Wazir, Malik Mohammad Safdar, Farooq Ahmed Tawheedi, Football Association leaders, Fayyaz Ahmed, Tariq Ahmed, Dr Waheed, Farooq Ahmed Aawaz, Professor Bashir Ahmad Dar, Mohammad Shafi Khan of TUC, Ghulam Mohammad Qadri, Irfan Bilal etc. The seminar was also addressed by Sarir Ahmad Fazili of Kashmiri American Council over phone from the US.
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