پیSRINAGAR — The All Parties Hurriyat conference (APHC) led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who continues to be under house arrest, on Saturday strongly condemned the forcible closure of Jamia Masjid in Srinagar by the state authorities and disallowing thousands of people people from offering congregational Friday prayers.
The APHC said the earlier ‘pretext’ of closing the mosque for COVID-19 spread prevention stands totally exposed.
“The grief and deep hurt this reprehensible act causes in people, who for decades have been offering prayers in this central mosque, cannot be expressed in words,” the amalgam said in a statement.
“The environment created in J&K by the rulers is so suffocating and intimidating that no one dares to raise their voice to ask why even the basic right to offer prayers is denied,” the statement added.
The APHC said that all efforts are being made to silence the people of J&K into submission. “The recent continuing crackdown in every nook and corner of the valley has seen arrests of more than a thousand people so far, picked up by the authorities, and then illegally detained on criminal charges and draconian laws,” it added.
“Teachers, journalists, traders, youngsters, or anyone the authorities want, are summoned to police stations for questioning in an environment of fear and reprisal so overwhelming that no one dares to ask why but has to oblige.”
The APHC said that the “systemic oppression and environment of intimidation to choke people” furthers alienation and dissent, with many youngsters opting for violent means to resist.
“In this manner, the vicious cycle of violence and bloodshed keeps feeding the kashmir conflict, with human costs and violation of human rights borne by the people. All appeals of peaceful conflict resolution fall on deaf ears,” the statement added.
The APHC said that no amount of repression and denial to engage in resolving the conflict will wish it away. “There is no alternative but to resolve the Kashmir dispute.”