Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said that the Government of India (GoI) through its investigative agencies like NIA and Enforcement Directorate (ED) was trying to instil fear among the Hurriyat leadership, journalists, businessmen, intellectuals and other sections of the society.
Addressing Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, the Mirwaiz said, “Let it be clear to all that neither the leadership nor people will be cowed down by these measures and propaganda.”
He said: “The demand of the people for the right to self-determination was and will continue to be there till it is granted to us. Sooner or later, the Kashmir dispute will have to be addressed.”
The Mirwaiz said GoI had to accept the reality at some point of time.
“No amount of repression, harassment, intimidation or fear can change this fact,” he said.
The Friday prayers were allowed at Jamia Masjid after two weeks.
The Mirwaiz said restrictions, curbs and repression had become the order of the day in Kashmir.
“Imposing restrictions has been a standard process of the authorities to manage Kashmir and keep Kashmiris in check,” the chief cleric of Kashmir said.
The Mirwaiz said it would be one year on July 24 since NIA started the “arbitrary arrest” of political leaders and activists which continues to go on till today.
“It is evident to all that the raids conducted by the NIA and the subsequent harassment and arrests being made by them at the behest of GoI is nothing but a ploy to intimidate the peoples’ leadership and instil fear of grave consequences among them,” he said.
The NIA and ED through their “propaganda” cannot suppress the leadership, the Mirwaiz said.
“NIA through visceral propaganda wants to create doubt and disillusionment among the people regarding their movement for self-determination,” he said.
The Mirwaiz said those behind such measures should understand that Kashmiris were far too politically mature and conscious people who had seen enough of such plots and ploys during the past 70 years.
He said the credibility and impartiality of these investigative agencies that are being used to train their guns at them was being severely questioned and challenged by the Indian citizens themselves.
Commenting on the condition of Kashmiri political prisoners in Delhi’s Tihar jail, the Mirwaiz said their condition was quite bad as they had been kept with criminals in Tihar jail and as such, there was always a risk to their lives.
“Their health has deteriorated and basic medical supplies are being denied to them,” he said. “Same is the case with all political prisoners in various jails in India and J&K.”