Paying tributes to Handwara martyrs on their 27th anniversary, Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq Wednesday said, “This day is another tragic reminder of the great sacrifices our people have rendered for gaining their basic political right.”
Mirwaiz in his statement said 27 years back, forces rained bullets on unarmed protesters killing 20 civilians at Handwara and injuring more than 50 others.
“No one among them was either prosecuted or punished. Since then the civilian population of Kashmir is bearing the brunt of brutal oppression and subjugation, repeatedly witnessing such massacres and mass murders at the hands of forces for demanding their basic right of making a political choice to determine their future,” Mirwaiz said, adding: “The cause for which tens and thousands of our children, our young and old, our men and women have offered the supreme sacrifice of their lives, it is incumbent on each one of us to honor them by realizing the dream for which they were killed.”
He said: “It is due to the sacrifices of these people that Kashmir dispute is alive and is forcing the world to pay attention to it and influence New Delhi to resolve the dispute by giving people of Kashmir their right to self-determination so that bloodshed of Kashmiris is stopped and peace, and good will among people of subcontinent is restored.”
The Hurriyat (M) statement also said due to the inclement weather and incessant snowfall in Kashmir, the program of joint leadership “to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of the Handwara massacre was cut short although a prayer meeting of locals led by senior Hurriyat leader Haji Shah Muhammad and attended by Hurriyat workers Haji Muhammad Jamal, Abdul Majeed Dar, Muhammad Akbar Teli, Ghulam Muhammad Ganai, Mushtaq Sagar, Irshad Ahmad Dar and others was held today in Handwara in which special prayers and Fateh Khawani was offered for the Handwara martyrs and all the martyrs of Kashmir.”
Statement also said Mirwaiz also remembered the massacre of 23 Kashmiri Pandits on this day in 1998 at Wandhama Ganderbal by gunmen who till date are “unidentified” and “again no one has either been arrested or punished for this gruesome crime against innocents”.
Condemning the “arbitrary arrests” of innocent people, youth and children during the ongoing movement, statement said: “It is a worst form of state oppression and by filling jails, police stations and detention centers with people in fake cases and slapping infamous PSA on hundreds of them, the ruling class was displaying its political vendetta against the people of Kashmir.”
The conglomerate called for an immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and informed the families of those whose dear ones were detained or had been arrested during the ongoing movement to approach the members of the Hurriyat Legal Cell “for any type of legal assistance and for further information in this regard call APHC Headquarters on 0194- 2450673”.