National Conference on Monday expressed outrage over the police actions on mourners observing Youm-e-Ashura, terming the action of police “unwarranted, inhuman, and discriminatory”, reported a local news agency, Global News Service (GNS).
In a statement issued to GNS, the Party’s Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said that “the brutality on mourners in terms of arrests, torture, raining of pellets and baton charging was unacceptable and that the party unequivocally condemns it.”
He added: “Denying people to perform their religious activities is a new low which unfortunately has become a new normal in J&K. The administration was already aware of the forthcoming holy month of Muharram, on that account it was supposed to chalk out a programme with different religious groups, try to bring them onboard to ensure necessary safety measures in view of the prevailing pandemic situation. Despite the barbarism of police, the mourners didn’t indulge in any violent act. Actions like these are giving a lie to the commitments of the government on zero tolerance for human rights violations.”
“Use of pellet guns, canes, teargas shells against mourners shows how unfeeling the civil administration and local police is,” the statement added. “The brutality has left several mourners injured, some of whom have incurred fatal injuries on their vital parts. Even journalists and scribes were heckled and baton charged.”
Police on their part to contain the processions should have used persuasion, the statement said, but as a norm it is not on the priority list of government vis-à-vis J-K in particular Kashmir.
“On one hand government is claiming everything is normal, why is it then resorting to such inhuman acts, why are people’s voices being muzzled? I, on behalf of my party condemn these brutalities,” he said.
Provincial President maintained that intersectarian bonhomie has been a cultural mainstay of Kashmir and that the people of Kashmir have never allowed such divisive forces to break unity. “We demand through action against those elements who are trying to give the incidents a sectarian color. Such elements should be unmasked, named and shammed. There is no place for such elements in our society. Our party demands a strong action against such mischievous elements,” he said.
Mr. Nasir also expressed outrage at the heckling of Journalists by security forces and police, saying such actions on part of government present a wrong picture of the country internationally. (GNS)