From AlJazeera.com: “Indian Army Halting Peace in Kashmir”
Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has slammed the Indian government, saying that it is using armed forces to stop the peace process in the restive Himalayan region.
The chairman of the separatist faction of Hurriyat Conference said on Saturday that the large contingent of troops in the region was “blocking the path to peace”.
He was speaking during a seminar called “Kashmir: Road to Peace” in the provincial summer capital Srinagar, the Reuters reported.
“India has blocked the road to peace. One million troops are sitting and blocking the path to peace. The road to peace has been blocked by the Indian government’s police. The police [are] exhibiting a display of atrocity and force on the innocent people of the valley,” said Geelani.
“The presence of armed forces is not an answer to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. The presence of police is not an answer to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“Using gunpoint to generate silence is not the solution to the Jammu and Kashmir issue. Using the strength of the police to create graveyard like silence in the valley is not the solution,” he added.
Geelani accused the Indian government of using its forces to suppress the people and issues of the disputed region.
“India is acting like a stranger to the issue. From time to time they are sending interlocutors, lawmakers or representatives of policy centres and other groups to know the opinion of the people of Kashmir.
“India is adopting the policy of behaving as if it is unaware of the situation Ianthe Jammu and Kashmir. Even after 63 years, we are suffering from this policy of the Indian government,” Geelani said.
He further lashed out at Palaniappan Chidambaram, India’s interior minister for hailing state chief Omar Abdullah for restoring peace and normalcy in the state.
“He patted the back of Omar Abdullah (chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir) saying that you are very brave to send teenagers to jail, you are very brave for putting Syed Ali Shah Geelani under house arrest for many weeks without any law or order problem,” Geelani said.
Amnesty International reported in March that hundreds of people were being held each year in detention centres in the state without trial or a charge.
In recent weeks, the Jammu and Kashmir state government announced plans of a proposal to make some amendments to the Public Safety Act (PSA) after a public outcry over the law that allows the detention of people as young as 16 without a trial for up to a period of two years. ….