The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the crackdown on separatists and called for shutdown on Sunday against the arrests of separatist leaders, killings and any tampering with 35A, which grants special privileges to residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The arbitrary arrest of JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and mass crackdown and detention of over 200 Jamat e Islami cadres including its Ameer Abdul Hamid Fayaz during nocturnal raids across the valley looks to be only part of the continued policy of ‘suppression’. It is also killed to hearing of Article 35A in Indian Supreme Court most likely on Monday. We strongly condemn this policy of cracking the whip and arbitrary arrests,” Geelani, Mirwaiz and detained JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a joint statement.
They said deployment of additional 12000 paramilitary forces on an urgent basis also indicates that something is cooking in this regard.
“The challenge to heredity state subject law is an extremely important issue for people as it is akin to our very existence as a people and directly linked to the Kashmir dispute,” the leaders said.
They said the spontaneous shutdown and protests across the valley against even the thought of tampering with the law should leave no doubt in the minds of the people, who want to erode or tamper with it. “People of Kashmir will never allow it. The entire people and leadership of J&K are one on this.”
They said last 30 years have shown that “jailing and intimidating activists and leadership will not deter them from their path nor will it stop people from demanding the resolution of the Kashmir dispute through self determination.”
“The protest these arbitrary mass arrests, nocturnal raids, insecurity among people due to repression, killings and censorship and any tampering with 35A, a protest strike will be observed on February 24 (Sunday),” they said.