Hue & Cry over AFSPA a Drama: Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign

By: Umer Maqbool
Srinagar, Dec 4: Terming the ‘hue and cry’ over the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir as a drama, the Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign on Sunday said they will intensify campaign for the revocation of the “draconian” law in the country.
“The state Government in collusion with New Delhi has worked out a well-orchestrated plan to give a sense of feeling as if the removal of AFSPA was some big achievement for Kashmiris. This is an open secret that New Delhi has agreed to remove the law from Srinagar and Ganderbal districts. They feared their move will trigger protests in other parts of the state where people have suffered immensely due to military presence. To pre-empt it, the drama has been enacted,” Member Assembly Langate, Er. Rashid, who is part of the nationwide campaign for revocation of AFSPA, told reporters at a news conference here.
The legislator was addressing media along with other members of Save Sharmila Solidairty Campaign who reached here today after starting their journey from Gujarat, last month.
Demanding complete revocation of AFSPA, Rashid said, “The removal of the Act would provide relief to the people when it would be lifted from Uri, Kupwara, Rajouri and Poonch where forces are deployed in large numbers. It should be removed completely, from Lakhanpur to Karnah.”
Coming down heavily on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the independent legislator from Langate constituency of north Kashmir said, “More than 45 days have passed after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced revocation of AFSPA, but he has miserably failed to do it. If he has guts, he can revoke it unilaterally by recommending revocation of Disturbed Areas Act, we will support him.”
Lashing out at security forces, Rashid said their interference in political and administrative matters was giving an impression as if Kashmir has become another Pakistan.
“New Delhi had created an impression in the minds of Kashmiris that Pakistan government was unable to take any decision without their Army. Is it not same here as the move to revoke AFSPA has been put on hold due to Army opposition?” he questioned.
“The dogs have more rights than humans here,” he said, adding, “Jammu and Kashmir government has no right to observe world human rights day on December 10, as its hands are soaked with blood of Kashmiris.”
He added that they will hold protests and candle light vigil on the human rights day to attract the attention of international rights bodies towards the abuses committed here.
“We will also file eight cases in the High Court on that day as Jammu and Kashmir government has not implemented the recommendations passed by the State Human Rights Commission two years ago,” he said.
Talking to reporters on the occasion, Faisal Khan of National Alliance for Peoples Movement said, heart of the majority of the Indians bleed for Kashmiris, who have suffered immensely during past two decades.
The Jhatta for mobilizing opinion for the revocation of AFSPA which started from Sabarmati Ashram of Gujarat reached here today, he said.
Pertinently, this was 2nd phase of anti-AFSPA caravan. The first journey for apprising non-victim states about the “abuses committed by forces” due to applicability of AFSPA in JK and Northeastern states started from Hazratbal on October 16 and culminated in Imphal on October 27.
Terming AFSPA as anti-democratic, anti-human law, Khan said, “Majority of the people in the country don’t favour continuation of the law, otherwise our journey wouldn’t have been a success.”
Khan added that signatures collected by them during the campaign will be submitted to the President of India on December 10.


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