Geelani rejects TRC, seeks UN probe on unmarked graves |‘Can’t expect Justice from Killers’

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By: Umer Maqbool
Srinagar: Rejecting the idea of Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) proposed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday demanded a United Nations fact finding mission for probing the unmarked graves in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a crowded press conference at his Hyderpora residence, Geelani said they don’t expect justice from the system committing rights abuses.“How will they tell the truth when their foundation is laid on deceit and falsehood? We have seen in the past 64 years especially last 20 years that there has been no investigation in the killings, outraging of the chastity of women, torture and other abuses. Were the perpetrators of Gawkadal, Sopore and Shopian punished?”he asked.
Following the discovery of unmarked graves by police investigation wing of State Human Rights Commission in north Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reiterated the idea of TRC to investigate the human rights abuses in Valley. Two days back, CM also pitched for its creation before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during National Integration Council meeting in New Delhi.
Geelani appealed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to appoint a fact finding mission for finding the identity of those buried in unmarked graves in the state.
“The discovery of the graves is a serious issue and it needs thorough investigation. Before the discovery of 38 sites, the civil society group has identified 62 such sites in the Valley and a human rights group has also found such graveyards in Lolab. We also want to know the whereabouts of our 10,000 youth subjected to enforced disappearance,” he said, adding that government did not allow them to hold a seminar over unmarked graves on Sunday.
Replying to a question about the demand for Income Tax probe against him made by Union Minister for Renewable and New Energy and National Conference patron Dr Farooq Abdullah, Geelani said he (Farooq) does not know what he speaks. “A man who does not know what he is talking about should not be taken seriously. Sometimes one laughs at his comments and sometimes cries too,” Geelani said.
When asked about the planned visit of Sardar Attique Khan, former President of Pakistan Administered Kashmir, Geelani said it will have no bearing on Kashmir issue.
“It is not worrying as people come and go. It will not alter the disputed nature of Kashmir,” he said.
The veteran pro-freedom leader said they will not accept any formula or solution except right to self-determination for resolution of Kashmir issue.
“Even if India and Pakistan will bilaterally agree to any solution, we will not accept it at any cost,” he said, adding that nation needs to demonstrate steadfastness to take the movement to its logical conclusion. “A nation which dislikes slavery cannot be enchained by any power of the world,” he said.
Coming down heavily on curbs imposed on him, Geelani said he has been continuously placed under detention since 2010. “I remained under police custody for 141 days last year and I was not allowed to offer Friday prayers during holy month of Ramadan this year. I managed to offer Eid and Friday prayers at Sopore and Baramulla respectively after traveling throughout the night. They have no justification for my house detention and in unambiguous terms we can say that there is Police Raj in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
Hurriyat (G) chairman further said that biggest tragedy with the ‘oppressed nation is that courts have failed to provide us justice.’ “In every society the last option for getting justice is court, but here it is an exception,” he added. He said that when I sought justice from court against my illegal house-arrest, the police asked for a two-weeks time to present the report in this regard. And, when the case was taken up after the gap of two weeks, police again sought three-weeks time which the court granted them without any argument even.

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