By News Desk | Srinagar
While addressing a seminar on ninth death anniversary of Aasiya Jeelani at Srinagar on Saturday, noted human rights activist Gautam Navlakha said that though the people of Kashmir have shunned path of violence ‘their voices still go unheard’. He held the Government of India responsible for ‘provoking’ youth in the Valley.
Speakers from eleven states of India and Kashmir paid rich tributes to Jeelani. The seminar was organized by the human rights organization the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). The participates in the seminar also debated on ‘Institutional violence: The Indian state in Jammu and Kashmir’.
Jeelani was a journalist and human rights activist. She joined Agence France-Presse (AFP) Kashmir Bureau in 1998 and worked their as a trainee cum researcher till 2001. She also wrote for various publications and newspapers and later joined the JKCCS. Jeelani died on way to a hospital after a car carrying an elections monitoring team detonated an explosive device on a road in North Kashmir. The driver of the car was also killed in the blast and the JKCCS’ program coordinator, Khurram Parvez, was seriously injured.
“People of Kashmir were asked to adopt path of non-violence to carry on their struggle. They have shunned the path of violence but no one is listening to them now. Voices of youth are suppressed by force when they hold peaceful protest demonstrations,” said Navlakha. He said that by suppressing peaceful voices of people in Valley, authorities are pushing youth into taking up arms once again.
In last December, a report, “alleged perpetrators” was released by the International Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian administrative Kashmir (IPTK) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), in which several Indian forces’ men and the state police personnel were named for their involvement in the gruesome human rights violations.
[pullquote]People of Kashmir were asked to adopt path of non-violence to carry on their struggle. They have shunned the path of violence but no one is listening to them now. Voices of youth are suppressed by force when they hold peaceful protest demonstrations.[/pullquote]Kartik Murukutla, one of the authors of the report, said that the institutional violence is the state project. “Our report highlighted the numbers of institutional violence in the state, but unfortunately instead of acting on the identified cases in the report, the state promoted the perpetrators,” he said.
Navalakha, while terming the right to self-determination as the only way to resolve vexed Kashmir issue, said Indian Civil Society is conveying facts outside Kashmir. “Indian civil society does aware people in their states once they visit Kashmir and understand the facts on ground,” he claimed.
Other speakers in the seminar appealed international community and United Nations Organization (UNO) to intervene and press India to hold independent probe into issues unidentified graves, human rights violations, disappearance of youth and other atrocities.