The All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by incarcerated Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Saturday expressed grave concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, stating that it was “getting more and more repressive with each passing day”.
In a statement, the pro-freedom amalgam said that “day in and out extreme laws are introduced to further curb people’s freedom and intimidate them into silence through fear of retribution”.
“Sudden dismissals of government employees without any investigation or being given a chance to be heard, is part of this policy as six more government employees have been sacked by the ruling dispensation,” the statement said.
“As per newspaper reports lists have been prepared to dismiss hundreds of Kashmiri employees in this foulest manner to exacerbate the atmosphere of intimidation and fear in the valley. Under these bizarrely inhuman rules, employees can be even be dismissed from service if they or their family members are found to be “sympathetic” to people accused under the (UAPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA). Even while applying for a passport, J&k Government Employees have to get vigilance clearance! Which is not the case elsewhere?” the resistance amalgam noted.
The APHC said that a large segment of the J&K population is working in the government sector, and these laws are meant to silence them into submission, crush their freedom of expression and speech and quell any kind of dissent.
Strongly denouncing this “dictatorial approach to deal with people’s aspirations”, the conglomerate said, “it only creates more dissent and anger”.
“Local media persons and media houses are also continuously being targeted and harassed through raids on their homes and offices and confiscation of their equipment while many among them are not even spared arrests,” it said.
“Continued raids by government agencies on organizations and homes of people and slapping of PSA and other harsh laws on them, picking up of youth, their arbitrary arrests, constant surveillance of people continues unabated across J&K as a state policy, as the number of Kashmiris in jails and detention center’s further swells.”
While thousands including political leaders and activists continue to languish in jails for years on end without any remedy, with APHC chairman himself placed under arbitrary house detention for the past twenty-six months now.
The APHC said the situation in J&K is simmering and the people especially the youth feel suffocated, which can have serious consequences.
“No problem or issue can be solved by force and repression”, Hurriyat said, adding that the longstanding non-resolution of the political and humanitarian issue of Jammu and Kashmir is only creating more complications in the region and should be resolved as soon as possible.
“The ruling dispensation should stop pursuing the policy of intimidation and retribution against the people of J&K by withdrawing these harsh laws and restore people’s freedoms and liberties,” the APHC said.