Armed forces again proactive in J&K: Geelani

Expresses solidarity with Sikhs on Golden Temple attack anniversary

Taking a serious notice of the ‘third degree torture’ of Muhammad Afsar Khan of Sherwani Abad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district by the army, the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani today said the armed forces had once again become pro-active in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Like 1990s, the forces have started torturing and terrorizing the common people in the far-flung areas of the state. In Baramulla, the army subjected M Afsar Khan, father of seven daughters, to third degree torture by pressing hot iron over his body. The police used indiscriminate force against the peaceful protestors, protesting the mysterious death of a pregnant woman, Sameerah, at Mir Bazar, Qazigund, in South Kashmir,” Geelani said, while addressing a meeting of amalgam executive body held here today.
Terming the statement of Army regarding the third degree torture of M Afsar Khan as baseless, Geelani said, “The man is not involved in any underground activity. He is doing hard labour to earn livelihood for his family. The way he was called to the camp and subjected to the third degree torture and custodial violence there, is the worst kind of state terrorism and grave human rights violations. The government is a mute spectator to these incidents and they don’t even bother to issue a statement in this regard.”
Geelani has appealed to the Amnesty International and local human rights organizations for investigation into the matter. Demanding probe into the mysterious death of a pregnant woman and stern punishment to the culprits, Geelani strongly condemned the use of force by police against the people who were peacefully protesting the mysterious death.
“Local people are suspecting the hand of some professional criminals and influenced persons into this mysterious death and some government agencies are trying to shield them. The process of this case should be made public,” a spokesman of the Hurriyat, in a statement today quoted Geelani as having said.
Geelani said the change of the governments in India and Pakistan can’t eliminate the status and seriousness of the Kashmir dispute.
The executive body meeting was attended by the heads or the representatives of all constituents of Hurriyat.
Meanwhile, Geelani has expressed solidarity with the Sikh community on the 30th anniversary of the attack on the Darbar Sahab and Akal Takth (Golden Temple), saying “the amalgam is with the Sikh community in their struggle for their rights and we strongly condemn the atrocities which were unleashed upon them.”
In a letter to Kanwar Pal Singh, President of a well known human rights organization of Punjab, Dal Khalisa, Geelani expressed sympathy with the families of the Sikhs who were brutally killed during the Operation Blue Star and 1984 anti-Sikh riots when Indra Gandhi was killed. He alleged that the minorities in India are treated as second class citizens and their life, property, honour, dignity and even religious places are not safe here.

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