Kashmir News Trust [KNT]
Kashmir’s chief cleric and All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today completed three years of continuous house detention. Demanding his release Jammu Kashmir Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone said that the continued detention of Umar Farooq is a crime against all those whom he inspires at a religious level and requested the Government of India and J&K administration to release him as soon as possible.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest on 4 August 2019, a day before J&K was stripped of its limited special status and downgraded from State to Union Territory.
APHC in a statement said that it strongly condemns this arbitrary, despotic and extra-judicial act of the authorities of forcibly detaining its chairman in his house, leading to gross violation of all his fundamental and basic human rights. “All channels of communication are blocked to him and all outreach to people friends and party cadre, barred.”
APHC said that “it seems our chairman is being punished for pleading the cause of resolution of the lingering Kashmir conflict through peaceful means of dialogue and deliberations, and good neighborly relations in the subcontinent. As Hurriyat we have not only advocated this stand since our formation, but have actively supported, and proactively participated in all initiatives taken in this direction as we firmly believe in this approach and outlook.”
APHC further said that jailing Kashmiri political leadership, cadres, activists journalists, youth, and people from different walks of life in jails across India, and using all forms of repressive measures to quell dissent or resistance is a despotic approach to problem-solving and futile in the long term, as has been observed in other conflict regions.
“We appeal to the Government of India to release all Kashmiri political prisoners unconditionally including APHC chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and resume the process of conflict resolution through peaceful means, which is dialogue,” concluded the statement issued by the APHC.
Meanwhile, Sajad Lone in a series of tweets requested Union Home Minister Amit Shah and LG Manoj Sinha to release Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq as soon as possible, saying he himself has been a victim of violence.
Lone in a tweet appealed Home Minister of India Amit Shah and LG Manoj Sinha to please ensure that he is released as soon as possible. “He has himself been a victim of violence. Let it be known. There are many wars in Kashmir. And in our real war he is an unapologetic moderate,” Lone said.
Lone said that they may have political differences with Mirwaiz but he inspires Kashmiris as a religious head.
“Spare a thought for Mirwaiz Kashmir. He is under continued detention for the last four years. And none of us has talked about him. My apologies. We may differ politically but he inspires us as a religious head. A religious head who spearheaded the forces of moderation,” Lone tweeted.
He said his continued detention is a crime against those whom he inspires at a religious level. “Mirwaiz Kashmir has stuck to utterances which are moderate and represent the true essence of Islam. He has religious duties. His continued incarceration is a crime against him and against all those whom he inspires at a religious level,” he tweeted.
Earlier different mainstream political leaders including Apni Party president Syed Altaf Bukhari, Congress leader Saifuddin Soz and others had demanded release of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. (KNT)