SRINAGAR: Kashmiri leaders Muhammad Afzal Guru, who is on a death row over alleged attack on Indian Parliament, has called for “complete boycott” of the upcoming Assembly elections in occupied Kashmir, according to media reports. “Some so-called leaders back home, while standing beside the graves of martyrs declare that elections are not an issue. But tell me what the issue is if not elections?” Guru, a resident of north Kashmir’s Sopore town, has said in a letter from Delhi’s Tihar Jail, The Asian Age reported.
In the open letter which appeared in the latest issue of vernacular weekly ‘Ahtisab’ and is addressed to the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Afzal Guru has without naming the leaders of the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat accused them of betraying the cause of the martyrs.
“These liberation leaders who do not hold any sway or weight, stand up at the graves of our martyrs and then talk in such a fashion that it only affronts the supreme sacrifice they made for a cause. They also deliberately or inadvertently allow themselves to be used for betrayal, treachery and sellout,” he writes. Urging Geelani to launch a vigorous anti-election campaign, Guru reiterates that the Kashmiris’ fight is against the Indian constitution and not the Indian public, “a vast majority of whom continues to be refused two pieces of cloth to put on, who like us are a victim of repression and cruelty.”
Dubbing the “moderate” Hurriyat leaders as “a bunch of people who have got no conscience at all and are imprudent as well,” Afzal Guru has asserted that election boycott was a challenge which could be turned into an opportunity. “It (poll boycott) can work out as a substitute to referendum and right to self-determination,” he insists.
Afzal adds: “It was the refutation of the Indian Constitution which has led to our 40,000 sisters becoming widows and our 80,000 children orphans, thousands have fallen victims of enforced disappearances and then martyred and hundreds of our youth incarcerated are fast turning out to be aged in jails.” He also writes that there are as many as 30 inmates from Jammu Kashmir lodged in the Tihar who have completed 14 years or more in prison.
Afzal Guru has also said that some Congress party leaders are of late issuing “astounding” statements about him. Terming Geelani as the “true and trustworthy leader of the Kashmiri freedom struggle,” he has urged the Hurriyat (G) chairman to contradict them “because I am not interested in politics nor do I seek media hype or want to come out of jail but to face the gallows silently so that my pledge to the sacred bloodshed by our martyrs is accomplished.”-SANA