The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, today said, “government forces operating in Jammu Kashmir enjoy the cover of legal impunity under laws such as AFSPA and are free from accountability and prosecution.”
“There is no expectation, hope of justice from any quarter for the daily killings of civilians, young or old men or women, children or lactating mothers by armed forces,” the leaders, in a joint statement today, said.
“Eight lakh forces stationed in Kashmir are used as a vehicle of maintaining forcible control over the people and territory of Kashmir. As a consequence of the unbridled powers bestowed upon them by the laws of the state, more than one lakh Kashmiri civilians have been killed with bullets and pellets either during massacres such as in Hawal, Gaw Kadal, Sopore , Kupwara and Handwara during civil protests and agitation or during cordon and search operation or in targeted killings. None of the perpetrators has ever been brought to book or punished although many times so-called inquiries are set up as an immediate remedy to bring the situation under control and assuage people’s anger,” the leaders said.
They said, “once in a while, when the unproved and target killing of civilians by the forces is too obvious as in the case of Shopian on 28 January 2018 where three young boys were shot at in the head and brutally killed and the administration was forced to file an FIR, all hell is let loose, there is a hue and cry about how dare forces are indicted, will it not affect their morale is argued?”
“The biased and aggressive among the Indian media goes all guns to defend indicted armed forces. In the din and cacophony that ensues, the basic question of the fundamental right to life of those Kashmiri civilians who were killed in cold blood and justice for their murder, is drowned,” they said, “In such a situation to expect any of justice for the young boys killed with impunity is futile.”
Elaborating, they said “the political struggle of the people of Kashmir is based on the universal principle of right to self determination in deciding their destiny. “No amount of injustice and repression or the use of brute force and aggression will make the people give up their demand. Repression will only reinforce it further,” they said.
“The resolution of the dispute in accordance with internationally accepted norms of justice and fairness is the only way to ensure peace in the region and end to bloodshed and death,” they added. —GK
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