SRINAGAR: Breakaway Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani has said more than 1400 political prisoners from Jammu and Kashmir were languishing in various jails in the country ‘’not for committing any crime but demanding the right to self-determination’’ of the people of the troubled state. Speaking at the two-day conference for the release of political prisoners here, he said a majority of these detainees, numbering 460, were lodged in Srinagar Central Jail followed by 175 in Tihar, 140 in Jodhpur jail, 95 in Udhampur and so on.
Geelani said the political prisoners of Jammu and Kashmir have been lodged in faraway jails of the country such as Ranchi, Agra, Varanasi, Bangalore and Kolkatta. He said the United Nations Resolution on Kashmir specified that the people of the state have the right to self-determination to decide their future.“Even the Government of India has recognised Kashmir as an issue and gave special status to the state under the Indian Constitution (Article 370),’’ the separatist leader claimed.
He said that the ‘’maximum concentration’’ of armed forces was being witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir.“There is a state terrorism going on in Jammu and Kashmir. The people are being targeted and subjected to repression of various kinds,” Geelani added. The leader said the slogans such as nationalism, unity, integrity, nation-state were being ‘’misused’’ to deny the people the ‘’fundamental’’ right of determining their fate.
Geelani said that two sets of governance were being practised in the country by ‘’targeting and isolating’’ the minorities for political ends, citing the 2002 Gujarat riots as an example.Stating that Kashmiris were fighting for their rights and the ongoing struggle could not be equated with terrorism, Geelani said Kashmiris respected every person’s freedom but were not being reciprocated. Seeking intervention of the international human rights organizations to stop the ‘inhuman treatment’ meted to the detainees, he appealed the ‘conscious Indian’ to raise his voice. “If anyone in this country has a heart, he should raise a voice against this injustice.”-SANA