Srinagar, Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani on Thursday accused New Delhi of “instilling fear” among the people of Kashmir in a bid to “break their resolve.”
Addressing a seminar at his Hyderpora residence here, Geelani alleged that the recent National Investigation Agency raids were “used to let Kashmiris be gripped by fear.” But, he said, “We need to remain steadfast and follow the teachings of Islam and Qu’ran in letter and spirit. People need not to worry and defeat this fear.”The seminar was organised by Tehreek-e-Hurriyat to pay tributes to Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal (RA).
Geelani asked the people especially youth to face NIA “intimidations” with bravery, persistence and commitment.
He said that a majority of Kashmir leaders, including those arrested by the NIA, is languishing in jails “without any fault.”
“There are at least 50 prisoners facing life sentence in various prisons of the state,” Geelani said. “During Maharaja Hari Singh’s rule, life sentence meant that a person has to remain in prison for 14 years, but in our state, there are people like Muhammad Qasim Faktoo, who have spent more than 23 years in prison.”
“The present government is least bothered about the prisoners’ rights and their justice,” he said.
Geelani slammed the government of India’s special representative on Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma for stating that Kashmiri youth are “wasting time for Azadi and Islam.” “These remarks are absurd,” he said.
He said that during the Partition, “Jammu and Kashmir was supposed to merge with Pakistan on the basis of rules of the Partition. Our state had 85 percent Muslim population. Our relation with Pakistan was closer than other states in terms of religion and geography.”
Geelani said that in Jammu, five lakh Muslims were brutally massacred in 1947. “Those at the helm at that time remained silent. It was the first act of forces who had had landed in our state.”