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Joint Hurriyat condemns ‘ill-treatment’ meted out to political prisoners

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Srinagar, Dec 27: Joint Hurriyat comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik Thursday strongly condemned the ‘ill and inhuman treatment’ meted out to the political prisoners from Kashmir lodged in Kathua jail.
Joint Hurriyat in a statement issued said that many inmates lodged there have been severely thrashed by the jail authorities which is not only unacceptable but against the basic principles of humanity.
“Similar treatment is given to the political prisoners from Kashmir time and again who are lodged in various jails out of Jammu and Kashmir which is a serious concern and a cause of worry,” Joint Hurriyat said.
The leadership said that “many ploys are being employed to prolong the detention period of Kashmiri prisoners as they are not even produced before the respective courts on their fixed dates of hearing which is nothing but sheer vendetta.”
“Despite clear-cut directions from the Supreme Court that prisoners be lodged to the jails closer to their homes, dozens of Kashmiri prisoners were shifted outside the State and are lodged in various parts of India where they are facing extreme suppression in-terms of absence of all the basic facilities guaranteed by the jail manuals,” Joint Hurriyat said.
“The situation is more worse in the jails that include Kathua, Udhampur, Kotbalwal, Delhi, Tihar and other prisons, where Kashmiri inmates are subjected to worst form inhuman behaviour in a brazen violation of basic human rights,” Joint Hurriyat said, urging the world bodies and international organisations fighting for the prisoner’s justice to visit the jails in Jammu and Kashmir and also various prisons in India where Kashmiri prisoners are lodged and to build pressure on New Delhi to release the inmates who have are facing no offence other than the demand for their legitimate right—the right to self-determination.
Joint Hurriyat strongly denounced the massive crackdown launched by the forces across south Kashmir, especially the day-long siege of more than a dozen villages in Awantipora, terming it as ‘the ultimate repression’.
“People of all ages were asked to stay out of their homes for hours together in the bone chilling cold while as forces conducted door to door searches in dozens of villages,” Joint Hurriyat said, asking people to “face the parade is the worst form of human rights that deserves highest form of condemnation.”
The leadership said that people of south Kashmir have been left at the mercy of forces that have crossed all limits of oppression to push people into submission.
Commenting on media reports about existence of some Joint Resistance Centre (JRC) in UK claimed to be the reflection of Joint Hurriyat in Kashmir, Joint Hurriyat has distanced itself from the said centre.
While stating that “we have neither authorized anybody to form this Centre nor do we know anything about it”, Joint Hurriyat said that “while we appreciate the role of the Kashmiri diaspora and believe Kashmiris living in any part of the world should act as ambassadors for the Kashmir cause and should be concerned about the happenings in their homeland, but making any forum and attributing it to the leadership without any prior consent or information creates confusion and misunderstanding.”
“Kashmiri diasporas is active at their respective places for long period and we wish they all unite by their hearts and minds to put a collective flight against the oppressor at diplomatic front, but it needs a common and collective efforts by everybody after proper deliberations and consent by the leadership on ground,” the Joint Hurriyat said.


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Kashmir

No decision yet on resumption of Cross LOC trade

Govt working on installing truck scanners on trade routes

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Srinagar, May 18: Though they are unlikely to resume the cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade soon, the authorities are working on installing truck scanners at both the trade centres Salamabad in the Kashmir valley and Chakan Da Bagh in Poonch in Jammu.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on April 18 had suspended the cross-LoC trade in J&K, saying that it was being used for “funneling of illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”.
“As such there is no order to resume the LOC trade but yes work had started on installing truck scanners at both the trade centres Salamabad in Kashmir and Chakan Da Bagh in Poonch in Jammu,” said one of the top government officials.
He said if the trade resumed, the truck scanners will enable the customs department and other agencies to see what is being imported from the other side.
After suspending the LOC trade, the MHA had said that the issue will be “revisited” after a “stricter regulatory & enforcement mechanism” that is being worked out is “put in place in consultation with various agencies”.
Cross-LoC traders and others associated with the trade are demanding the resumption of the business.
Traders has said that they support the government’s every move to put strict and transparent regulatory measure but suspension of trade that took a decade to establish itself is no answer.
“Over the past decade, cross-LoC trade has been our only source of income. Suspension of trade has affected our families. We request government to implement strict regulatory measures and continue trade simultaneously,” said one of the LOC traders.
In October 2008, as a confidence building measure, India and Pakistan agreed to carry out trade along the Line of Control through the Uri-Muzaffarabad route in Kashmir and the Poonch-Rawalakot route in Jammu.
The two countries agreed on a Standard Operating Procedure.
The defining feature of the initiative was that there would be no exchange of money between traders – it would involve the barter system. If a trader in Pakistan sent across goods worth five lakh Indian rupees to a trader on the Indian side, that trader would send back goods of the same value as payment.
It is to mention here that the initiative was launched during the tenure of the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government, its seed was planted in 2004, in the peace process initiated by the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf.
Cross-LoC trade was the second confidence-building measure between India and Pakistan after a cross-LoC bus service, which was launched in 2005.
For security agencies, cross-LoC trade has always attracted strict surveillance. They have, over the years maintained that they seized weapons, fake currency and narcotics being transported from the other side.

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B’pora teacher still missing; family protests for whereabouts

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Srinagar, May 18: The family members and relatives of the missing Bandipora government teacher on Saturday held a demonstration here in Mantrigam Bandipora area of north Kashmir’s district seeking his whereabouts.
Eye witnesses said that family members and relatives of Mushtaq Ahmad lone a government teacher assembled here in Mantrigam area of Bandipora and blocked the Bandipora-Gurez road.
They staged a demonstration seeking Mushtaq’s whereabouts, who went missing on May 13 after he left home for duty to Government Higher Secondary School Chuntimulla and has not returned home till date.
Family sources said that they tried to locate him everywhere but couldn’t find any clue despite lodging missing report in Pathkoot Police station.
“We have called relatives and friends, however, there has been no trace of him so far,” the family members said adding “his phone has been switched off for a long time.”
The family members and relatives of Mushtaq urged deputy commissioner Bandipora and SSP Bandipora to help in locating their missing son.
Meanwhile, a senior police officer said a missing report in this matter has been lodged in police station Pathkoot and investigation has been taken up.

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Unabated killings even during Ramadan worrisome: PDP

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Srinagar, May 18: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday said it’s worrisome to witness that there is no letup in killings and bloodshed in Kashmir even during the holy month of Ramadan.
In a statement, PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said the unabated killings of civilians, militants and security forces in Kashmir has once again made peace elusive even during the ongoing sacred month of Ramadan.
He said the way in which precious human lives are lost in Kashmir, there are apprehensions that the government is in no mood to shun the muscular policy that so far has yielded no positive results.
Hanjura said that it has been the cardinal Principe of the PDP that muscular and iron fist approach is bound to fail in Kashmir as such measures have in the past only wreaked havoc and in the future also wouldn’t bring any positive change on ground.
He said keeping the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan in view, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti as the Chief Minister last year played a vital role in making GOI declare unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir. This year also, said Hanjura, the PDP President made a fervent appeal to both militants as well to the security grid to declare truce and respect the ongoing holy month. “It is hoped that good sense will prevail and the vicious cycle of violence and bloodshed is stopped at an earliest so that the people of Kashmir yearning for peace could heave a sigh of relief,” said Hanjura.

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