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Mirwaiz appeals for de-escalating tensions; Says NIA did not provide him search order, seizure memo

Srinagar, Feb 27: Amid the mounting tensions between the neighbouring countries, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Wednesday appealed India and Pakistan not the “escalate” the prevailing situation.

India and Pakistan are at loggerheads since the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which 49 CRPF troopers were killed.

 

Pakistan on Wednesday said that it shot down two Indian fighter jets in response to the bombing by the latter inside Pakistan early Tuesday morning.

“Leadership and people of Kashmir urge India and Pakistan not to escalate the situation and desist from war-mongering which will be a disaster for the entire region. Escalation and war can never resolve the issues between them and only talking to one another is the way forward,” Mirwaiz said in his statement.

“There is a threatening and grave atmosphere created by the authoritarian state across Kashmir and people are being psychologically intimidated.  Journalists and media are being targeted and two newspapers are facing reprisal,” he said.

Mirwaiz issued his statement after police disallowed the media fraternity to cover the press conference scheduled at his Nigeen residence at 2 pm on Wednesday.

The presser was convened a day after the National Investigating Agency NIA, raided his and residences of six other separatist leaders including that of JKLF Chief Yasin Malik in Maisuma.

“In keeping with this wave of repression and intimidation coercive raids were conducted. Around 15 to 20 people from NIA accompanied by two local policemen entered my house and office and thoroughly searched it and also the homes of my relatives who live around me. Certain items were confiscated including my laptop and phones, hard drives from my office computers, press releases on Hurriyat and Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid letterheads, records of Kashmiri students studying in Pakistan medical colleges that Hurriyat recommends,” he said.

The Hurriyat leader said that he was only shown and not given the copy of the magisterial search order.

“Upon leaving I was, against the norm, not given the seizure memo of things seized from me. When I asked for it, I was told to approach court for it,” he said.

“Later the NIA in press release has used word incriminating evidence which is a matter of concern. There was nothing so-called ‘incriminating’ that was taken. As I was not given a seizure memo any mischief can be done.”

“It was also said that a high tech internet communication was also recovered. This is a simple internet lease line by a private company which is commonly used in media offices and at homes for good and uninterrupted internet use. The word recovered is part of the propaganda to give an impression as if it was something hidden that has been discovered,” he claimed.

Mirwaiz said Kashmiris have a peaceful political movement and there was a “deliberate” design to link it with violence and through that route, “harass intimidate and malign us”.

“A vicious and steady campaign launched to demonise Kashmiris and generate hate against us is promoted, especially through electronic media to justify repression against people and action against us and to project the people’s just struggle for self-determination as an enterprise,” he said.

“Threats of removing Article 370 and 35 A is kept hanging over our heads like a Damocles sword to be used as and when the electoral situation for them demands. People of Kashmir will defend this article at all costs. No one in J&K is going to take this assault at our identity and disputed status lying low,” he said while asking for dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem.