SRINAGAR: Terming the Indian Government’s decision of transferring the forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) as “illegal” hundreds of students staged massive protests in the University of Kashmir (KU) campus. The students assembled in the KU campus to express their resentment against the Government’s decision and marched through the campus raising pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans. Amid pro-freedom and pro-Pakistani slogans, the varsity students unfurled Pakistani flag in the KU campus also.
The students carried the flag from Maulana Rumi gate up to administrative building of the varsity. During the protest, the students also raised slogans in favor of Hizb-ul- Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba. “Kashmiri Mujahids we are with you,” the students shouted. “We would not budge before the Indian occupation”. The students said they would never accept compromise on Kashmir issue. Students also raised slogans in favor of senior hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. “If India continues with this stance, then they should be ready to face Sheikh Yasin and Hamas,” a student said, while addressing the protesters. “We would continue to carry on with the struggle. It would not end till we get right to self determination,” he added.
Carrying placards and banners, the students raised slogans, like “We want freedom” and “Pakistan zindabad”. The agitating students also chanted slogans against SASB, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Governor SK Sinha, and CEO of the SASB Arun Kumar. “Our forests, our wildlife, even the abode of Rishis is sold,” read a placard. “No settlement on the pattern of Palestine,” read another placard. “We are protesting against the land transfer,” said Rehber Hussain, a student. “We are protesting against the parallel government run by SK Sinha, Arun Kumar and SASB at the behest of India,” he added.
Another student Bilal Ahmad said, “We are fighting for freedom. We are fighting for birth right”. Later, the protesters comprising both, male and female students reached Maulana Rumi gate, beyond which their movement was restricted. The students staged sit in near gate and again started raising slogans against SASB, mainstream leaders and upcoming elections. “No election, No selection, we want plebiscite, plebiscite” were slogans chanted by students.
Acting President, Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU), Saqib Amin during the protest said they were concerned over the whole issue from day one. “As the controversies erupted, we started spreading awareness among students by organizing debates and distributing pamphlets” Amin said. “But it was after provocative statement of Arun Kumar we decide to take to the roads to protest against the SASB and land transfer”. The students said a big conspiracy is being hatched under the garb of SASB against Kashmiri people.“The land transfer is a big slap on the legislature,” Amin said.
Lashing out at mainstream leaders, the students said, “How they could expect leaders to protect the people, when they could not save the land. Fifty five percent of Kashmir land is already under occupation. It seems the remaining part of the land will be allotted to the bodies like SASB and at the end Kashmiris will be treated as nomads in their own country,” he said.
Stressing that students would intensify their protests against “land transfer,” Amin said they would carry out a signature campaign and candle light protest to create awareness over the issue. Students also demanded unity among, social, political and religious leaders. “Students want unity among people. Only unity can expose the ill designs of India,” a student raised his voice among the protesting students.
Riyaz Ahmad, a protester said, “I am protesting against Arun Kumar who is issuing irresponsible statements.” “They want to dilute the culture and settlements of Kashmir by creating Amarnath Nagar. They want to see us in minority by employing Israeli tactics”. Pledging they would continue to protest for “genuine” cause, students said they would foil the designs of those people who would act against the interests of Kashmiris.-SANA