The people of occupied Kashmir have been facing the worst kind of Indian state terrorism in their just struggle for freedom from India’s occupation of their homeland. New Delhi has given its troops and police personnel unbridled powers under draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act and Disturbed Areas Act to commit all kinds of atrocities on the Kashmiris to intimidate them into submission.

At the same time, India has usurped all the basic rights of the Kashmiri people and Hurriyat leaders including the freedom of free movement, the freedom of expression and the freedom of protest and assembly. It has also imposed curbs on political and even on religious activities of the masses in the territory. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, and Hurriyat leaders, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Shabbir Ahmed Shah have been the worst victims of this undemocratic practice. While Syed Ali Gilani and Shabbir Ahmed Shah have been under continued house arrest for the past several years, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik are frequently placed under house arrest or illegal detention to stop them from reaching out to the public. Shabbir Shah is presently under detention in New Delhi. Since the killing of popular youth leader, Burhan Wani, on 8th July 2016 till 31st July 2017, Syed Ali Gilani had been kept under detention for 362 days, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for 155 days, Muhammad Yasin Malik for 227 days and Shabbir Ahmed Shah for 332 days.

It is a reality that New Delhi is suppressing the Kashmiris’ ongoing freedom movement through military might. However, despite using all brutal tactics, Indian forces’ personnel have failed to subdue the freedom sentiment of the Kashmiris and they are very much determined to continue their struggle till they achieved their cherished goal of freedom from Indian bondage.

After failure of its all old tactics, New Delhi is now employing a new ploy of using National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate to malign the Hurriyat leadership and defame the Kashmiris’ ongoing freedom struggle as a foreign-sponsored terrorist movement. The NIA recently arrested Hurriyat leaders, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Merajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Ayaz Muhammad Akbar, Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Advocate Devender Singh Behal and Farooq Ahmed Dar from Srinagar, Jammu and New Delhi. APHC General Secretary, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, was arrested by Enforcement Directorate from Srinagar on July 25. These leaders presently undergoing illegal detention in New Delhi have always been at the forefront of the people’s movement and have tirelessly worked for the Kashmir cause. They are being persecuted and targeted for their political ideology and principles.

India should acknowledge the fact that its brutalities have failed to suppress the Kashmiris in the past and would meet the same fate in the future as well. It should address the real issue of Kashmir by fulfilling its promise of giving the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right to self-determination. The world community also must take cognisance of India’s brutal and undemocratic actions against the Kashmiris particularly pro-freedom leaders and initiate measures to settle the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people to save them from the Indian cruelties.

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