“We are seriously concerned on the high handed measures taken by India in the wake of Afzal Guru’s execution to suppress the aspirations of Kashmiris by arrests and detention of Hurriyat leaders, curfew, news blackout and other coercive means,” the Foreign Office said.
The Indian authorities had confined All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and the veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Geelani, to their residences in New Delhi. The action was taken to prevent the two leaders from returning to occupied Kashmir and leading demonstrations against the hanging of a Kashmiri man Muhammad Afzal Guru after a controversial trial over attack on Indian Parliament in 2001.
“We call for the lifting of repressive measures and immediate release of Hurriyat leaders”, FO Spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan said in a statement. In response to a media question about the hanging of Afzal Guru, he said he won’t go into details of the trial process, “however, the same was being discussed and debated by the media and the Human Rights organisations”.
Separately‚ Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Chairman Fazlur Rehman said that India is using all tactics to suppress the freedom struggle in Kashmir. In a statement issued on Monday, he said India has converted the entire of occupied Kashmir into an army garrison and “now it has also started using the courts against the Kashmiris” to suppress their passion for freedom.
He said around 800,000 troops had been deployed in the Occupied Kashmir; such heavy deployment was not made even in Afghanistan, Iraq or any other place in the world.
The Indian forces have made the life of the Kashmiris miserable, he said. Saying that Kashmiris were being sentenced to life imprisonment or other severe punishments, he urged India to end this ‘judicial terrorism’.
“The Kashmiri leaders are either in jails or under house arrest. Congregational prayers are not allowed in the mosques. Recently, the eminent Kashmiri leader Ali Geelani said in New Delhi that he could not offer Juma Prayer for the last nine months in the Occupied Kashmir,” he said.
Fazl said the Indian government is running a propaganda campaign against Pakistan just to divert the attention of its masses from the internal problems and to mute the international condemnation of its oppression in the IHK. “Recently, a propaganda campaign was started about the possibility of a nuclear war and a hue and cry was also raised over the LOC,” he said.
About the execution of Afzal Guru, Kashmir Committee chairman said that it would further fan the flames of the Kashmiris’ struggle. He said that Guru’s execution had even been termed by some Indian intellectuals as a travesty of justice. He said that India might kill as many freedom fighters as it liked but it cannot kill the freedom struggle in the occupied valley.