Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday said it will be one year on 24 July 2018 since NIA started “arbitrary” arrest of political leaders and activists which continues till today.“It is evident that the raids conducted by NIA and subsequent harassment and arrests being made by them at the behest of GoI is nothing but a ploy to intimidate the people’s leadership and instill fear of grave consequences in them,” Mirwaiz said while addressing the Friday congregation prayers at Jamia Masjid.Friday prayers were being allowed at historic Jamia Masjid after two weeks.Mirwaiz said NIA “ploys” are aimed at to malign the leadership through “visceral propaganda” and create doubt and disillusionment among people regarding their movement for self-determination.He said those behind such measures should understand that Kashmiris are far too politically mature and conscious people who have seen enough of such “plots and ploys” in the last 70 years.“Such moves only bring to fore GoI’s policy of continuing to use extreme repression and intimidation as a means to crush the people’s resistance and of having no desire to settle the Kashmir dispute,” he said.“Today in India itself, the credibility and impartiality of these investigative agencies that are being used to trail their guns at us is being severely questioned and challenged by Indians themselves.
These agencies are being called the agents of the ruling dispensation which are used against anyone and everyone who is an opponent or does not agree with the government or questions them.So, if that is the case in India itself, it comes as no surprise to Kashmiris that they will be used to undermine our struggle and subvert it,” he said.Commenting on the condition of political prisoners, Mirwaiz said it is quite bad as they have been kept with criminals in Delhi’s notorious Tihar jail and as such there is always a risk to their lives.“Their health has deteriorated and basic medical supplies are denied to them. Same is the case with all political prisoners in various jails in India and J&K,” he said and lauded the courage and commitment of incarcerated leaders Shabir Ahmed Shah, Advocate Shahidul Islam, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Mehrajudin Kalwal, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Asiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi, Nahida Nasreen, Shahid Yousuf and businessman Zahoor Ahmed Watali and all others who are languishing in jails in and outside J&K. Mirwaiz demanded their immediate and unconditional release.“Let it be clear to all that neither leadership nor people will be cowed down by these measures and propaganda. The people’s demand for the right to self-determination was, is, and will continue to be there till it is granted to us. Sooner or later, the Kashmir dispute will have to be addressed. No amount of repression, harassment, intimidation or fear can change that fact,” Mirwaiz said. (GNS)