Joint Resistance leadership slams Govt over Downtown Curbs, Closure of Schools

Joint separatist leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik on Friday slammed the government for once again turning Downtown Srinagar into a “military fortress”, barring people from offering prayers at Jamia Masjid for the third consecutive Friday and closing educational institutions in Kashmir.
In a joint statement, the leaders said that caging or jailing them and detaining pro-freedom activists while “holding lakhs of people hostage in their own homes by sheer might reflects the military mindset of the government as the only way to exercise control over a dissenting people and disputed territory.”
“Come Friday, most of Shehr-e-Khas (Downtown Srinagar) is converted into a garrison with huge deployment of police and paramilitary forces while rolls of concertina wire are used to block all its roads and alleys to make it inaccessible. People are caged and not allowed to move out and Friday congregational prayers are disallowed at the central Jamia Masjid and other adjoining masjids, reflecting the complete apathy and disregard of those giving such orders towards the religious obligations and sentiments of the Muslims of Kashmir.”
“The frequent closure of schools, colleges, and universities under the bogey of law and order (but in actuality to prevent students from expressing their concerns and resentment) is ridiculous and exposes the repressive regime further,” the joint leadership said.
“House confinement of veteran resistance leader Syed Ali Geelani for the past many years is taking a serious toll on his health. Similarly, placing Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under frequent house detention including on Fridays when he delivers the weekly religious sermon at Jamia Masjid is highly condemnable, as is lodging Yasin Malik every now and then in central jail. This is a brazen ploy by the authorities to harass the leadership and prevent them from reaching out to the masses and being with them,” the statement said.
“Detaining dozens of resistance activists and workers every day and lodging them in various jails illegally just for their political beliefs is a move to create fear among the people to stop them from demanding their basic right—the right to self-determination. With a complete crackdown on resistance leadership and all those associated with it by the authorities, the miscreants and agencies are having a field day in committing crimes and harassing people, while killings, human rights violations, raids on people’s homes and vandalising them continues unabated as leadership stands caged,” the leaders said.
“These so-called rulers in Kashmir have completely failed on all fronts. On the one hand, Kashmir is in the grip of lakhs of terrorising forces and on the other, terror and fear have been unleashed upon people in the wake of serial incidents of braid chopping of women while the police and authorities are deliberately looking the other way and denying it,” the leadership said.