Srinagar, Apr 12: A day after he returned to Srinagar following his three-day-long questioning by National Investigation Agency (NIA) at its headquarters in New Delhi, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said he told his interrogators that Kashmir issue has to be resolved politically and not by military power.
Addressing the Friday congregational gathering at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, Mirwaiz said that government of India was resorting to “tactics to pressurise Kashmiri leadership so that we change our stand”.
“Several agencies like Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate, NIA, are there to pressurise Kashmir leadership. They are imposing curbs, arresting leaders, and slapping PSAs. We won’t succumb by these pressure tactics to change our principal stand on Kashmir dispute,” he said.
“My stand remains the same. Kashmir dispute has to be resolved politically and not militarily. I don’t say one thing in Kashmir, another thing in Jammu. I said the same in New Delhi that Kashmir is a political issue and military approach won’t solve it. We are not scared of threats by New Delhi,” he said, as pro-freedom slogans resonated inside the Masjid.
The Mirwaiz said that elections would have no bearing on Kashmir issue and it needs to be addressed.
“It is our policy that Kashmir issue has to be resolved. If not today, but tomorrow, there has to be a peaceful solution to the issue. There is no option before India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership than to address the issue and elections in either of these countries should not mean that the issue can be put on a back burner,” he said.
Stating that his life was an “open book”, Mirwaiz said, “I always stand by my principal and did not hide anything. My home was raided and some documents were seized. But they did not find anything wrong against me. Still we decided to go to Delhi.”
He said that Kashmir issue was to be resolved by dialogue, which is pending since 1947. “We (Hurriyat) represent the sentiments of Kashmiris. People are our strength. This is not any leader’s or party’s movement. India, Pakistan, and people of JK have to resolve this dispute.”
Mirwaiz was quizzed by the NIA sleuths in an alleged militancy funding case. He had earlier refused to go to Delhi, citing security concerns and “hostile atmosphere”.
The NIA had, however, in its third summon to Mirwaiz assured that his security concerns will be taken care off.
Mirwaiz claimed that Indian political parties were blaming each other for creation of Kashmir issue. “But this is an internationally recognized dispute. We even gave suggestions and preparedness but government of India did not initiate any process for the resolution of Kashmir issue,” he said.
Mirwaiz also slammed the centre for using pellet guns in Kashmir. “Situation in Kashmir is deteriorating and anti-Kashmiri policies increase with each day. Yesterday a class 7th student was killed by pellet guns. Thousands of Kashmiris have been victims of pellet guns despite countries across the world raising cry against it,” he added.
Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army
Srinagar, Apr 24: Army on Wednesday claimed the government forces have “severely targeted” the militants for the last few months and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfit was “almost wiped out with no one willing to take over it”.
Addressing a press conference here, GOC 15 Corps, KJS Dhillon, who was accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, said that 69 militants have been killed and 12 of them arrested so far this year.
“Post Pulwama incident, 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis while 13 were A+ category,” Dhillon said.
The GOC 15 Corps claimed that they have targeted JeM leadership.
“The situation now is so that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley,” he said.
“Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM. The operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up,” he said, while appealing the local militants to surrender.
“Recruitment of local militants has gone down. In addition, those who surrender, we will take care of their security,” he said.
Dhillon also advised civilians not to rush to the encounter sites.
Asked about the bi-weekly restrictions on civilian traffic on the Highway, he replied, “This is just a temporary measure. There are now relaxations on the civilian traffic.”
On the occasion, the DGP said 272 militants were killed in the state during 2018 and a “large number was apprehended.”
He too claimed that the local recruitment in militant outfits had declined.
“2018 was generally a successful year. There has been less ‘law and order’ problem. We brought many youth (who had joined militancy) back to their homes,” the DGP claimed.
“Elections have been conducted peacefully in the state because of a well-planned security grid. Voter turnover at 13 percent in Anantnag district is not less. People voted despite threats, no one can be forced to vote,” he said.
Asked there were reports that 11 youth had gone missing in south Kashmir during the last one month, the IGP Kashmir said, “Few had gone missing but returned. They had gone missing for other reasons, not to join militancy.”
Held Pak militant paraded before media
‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’
Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday presented a Pakistani militant Mohammad Waqar, alias Chota Dujana before the media, who, they claimed, was arrested from Pattan area in Baramulla on Monday.
During a press conference here, the militant was briefly allowed to respond to media.
“My name is Mohammad Waqar, resident of Miana Mohalla Punjab in Pakistan. I underwent a four-month militant training there,” he said.
“I was told that Kashmiris are harassed, women are assaulted and Muslims are not allowed to offer prayers in Masjids. But I did not find any such thing here,” he replied when asked why had he picked up arms.
The militant was soon moved away.
SSP Baramulla, Abdul Wahid, said Waqar was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had arrived in Kashmir in July 2017.
“He was operating in Srinagar for over a year now,” the officer said.
He added that the militant was travelling in a vehicle along with a Kashmiri when they were intercepted by the police near Mirgund, Pattan.
“They were chased and arrested near Chainabal Pattan,” he said.
The SSP said that as per their preliminary investigations, the militant was given shelter in old city as well as uptown areas of Srinagar.
“His plan was to resurrect militancy in Baramulla,” Wahid said.
Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24
New Delhi, Apr 24: A Delhi court Wednesday sent the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with the alleged funding case, to judicial custody till May 24.
The Tihar jail authorities have also moved an application seeking direction to produce Malik through video conferencing due to security concerns.
The family of Yasin Malik, said on Saturday, that the JKLF chief had fallen ill and was shifted to a Delhi hospital after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention.
Earlier this month, Malik was brought to Delhi from Jammu and was later arrested by NIA in connection with an alleged case related to the funding of militant and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He was produced in a special court which remanded him in NIA’s custody till April 22.
Malik was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail after NIA secured his production remand. The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.
Malik organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre.
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