NIA arrested leaders who had no role in 2016 unrest: Malik

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman (JKLF) Mohammad Yasin Malik Thursday said that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has tried all its tactics to defame the “genuine freedom movement of Kashmiris” by “ framing fake charges” against the jailed separatist leaders.

Malik said after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, in 2016 the government forces used brute force and went on a “killing spree of civilians” forcing the Hurriyat leadership to issue a protest calendar.

“The calendar was issued by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and me. We were jointly issuing the calendar. There was no role of the leaders arrested by NIA. NIA should have arrested us, but they arrested these leaders only to defame the movement by producing fabricated charges against them,” Malik said.
Malik, who was addressing a protest rally of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), here in Nowhatta area of Old City, said that the leaders who have been arrested by NIA have no role in the 2016 unrest. “At that time all the seven leaders were in jails,” he said.

The separatist leaders currently under NIA custody who are lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail are Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar and Altaf Ahmed Shah alias Fantoosh, the son-in-law of Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani.
Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani addressed the protest rally on telephone as he continues to remain under house arrest at his Hyderpora residence. Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, couldn’t attend the rally. Mirwaiz also addressed the gathering on telephone.
Both Mirwaiz and Geelani in their respective speeches demanded that the political prisoners should be released.
Both the top leaders criticised the government what they called “vengeful policy of shifting political prisoners and youth to outside jails against the court orders and lodging leaders and activists of Hurriyat in Tihar Jail with criminals in fabricated NIA cases”.
Earlier, Malik chaired a condolence meet at the JKLF headquarters here and demanded judicial probe into the killing of JKLF activist Naeem Ahmad Butt of Rawalakot, Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK).
Bhat, according to reports, was seriously injured in police action on March 16 , when the JKLF activists had taken to streets in PaK opposing cross LoC firing. The procession was fired upon by PaK police leaving several injured including Bhat who later succumbed to injuries.
Demanding judicial probe into the killing of Bhat, Malik said the government of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) should stop using “foul language against freedom lovers”.
“The government of PaK and its leaders should stop using foul language against freedom fighters and book the culprits who showered bullets on peaceful protesters,” Malik said.
Malik demanded an impartial judicial probe in the firing on peaceful protesters at Madarpur near LOC and said that action must be taken against the “culprits who killed Naeem Butt with impunity”.
The JKLF leaders and activists paid tributes to Naeem and termed him a “martyr”, whose “sacrifice is a continuation of the sacrifices rendered by Kashmiris for their freedom from last 71 years”.
“Butt’s martyrdom has reminded us of our brave leaders and activists who strive for complete freedom of Jammu Kashmir and never shy away from rendering sacrifice of their lives for this righteous cause,” Malik said.
The JKLF chief said that Kashmiris have been forcibly separated into two parts divided by a ceasefire line and are bearing the brunt of a dispute left unresolved by the international community.
“Our young and old, children and women are falling prey to the bombs and bullets. On March 6, JKLF had called for a peaceful march against the same, during which Naeem Butt along with many others received the bullets from Pakistani police and finally Butt succumbed to his wounds and attained martyrdom,” he said.