India denying IIOJK people religious freedom



Srinagar, August 18 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat forum, and Hurriyat leaders and organizations have strongly denounced the use of brute force by Indian police on Muharram mourners in Srinagar, terming it interference in the religious affairs of the Muslims.

Several mourners were injured when Indian police subjected the participants of a Muharram procession to teargas shelling, pellet firing and lathi-charge in Jahangir Chowk area of Srinagar on Tuesday. The police also arrested dozens of mourners on the occasion. The police also thrashed more than a dozen media persons who were covering the procession and police atrocities on the mourners.

The APHC spokesman in a statement issued in Srinagar termed the use of brute force on mourners and arrest of dozens during the Muharram procession as blatant interference in religious matters. He said India has usurped all basic freedoms of the people of IIOJK including the religious freedom. The spokesman also denounced police raids on the residences of Hurriyat leaders and activists in the length and breadth of IIOJK and sought intervention by the international community to stop New Delhi from committing war crimes against humanity in the occupied territory.

The Hurriyat forum led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement issued in Srinagar strongly denounced the police brutality against the mourners and media persons. It said that through forcible closure of mosques and other places of worship, banning religious gatherings, processions and events and instead ruthlessly beating up people who stand up for their religious rights in the garb of COVID concerns, the authorities completely expose themselves. The same authorities force public participation in official functions and events that they hold with scant COVID concern or following the protocols, it said.

The statement said official diktats are enforced to ensure people participate in official events and are threatened with consequences otherwise. But religious places are barred to public, even though all COVID SOPs are in place and bans are forcibly executed, it deplored.

The Hurriyat forum said such anti-people policies of the rulers only create further dissent and vitiate the situation on the ground, the onus for which is on the rulers. It demanded that all mourners who have been detained by the authorities should be released immediately and all religious events related to Muharram should be allowed to take place without hindrance. It also asked the authorities to allow mosques and other places of worship to be opened for prayers.

Jammu and Kashmir Anjuman Shari Shian leader, Agha Syed Mujtaba Al-Moosvi, in a statement strongly denounced the police action on the mourners. He said the Battle of Karbala teaches the lesson of resistance against oppression and occupation and sympathy with the oppressed.

The Chairman of Islamic Political Party, Mohammed Yousf Naqash, in a statement issued in Srinagar said the use of lethal force against the unarmed mourners speaks volumes about Islamophobia in India. He said, Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government is resorting to coercive tactics to impose Hindutva ideology in IIOJK. Yousuf Naqash said the brutal violence on the Muharram procession is a reflection of India’s philosophy that no minority in general and Muslims in particular are allowed to act against the principles laid down by Hindutva. He appealed to the Kashmiri people to come out of their homes raise their voice against the Indian oppression and violence in the occupied territory.

Hurriyat leader, Javaid Ahmed Mir, in a statement in Srinagar said India has deprived the Kashmiris of all freedoms including religious freedom. He said that the world community must come forward to save the Kashmiri Muslims from Hindu fascism.

Tehreek-e-Wahdat-e-Islami spokesman in a statement in Srinagar said that the attack on mourners and imposition of strict curbs to disallow Muharram processions are not only interference in the religious affairs of the Kashmiri Muslims but also violation of international law. He said preventing people from performing their religious obligations in a peaceful way has become an everyday affair in IIOJK. The TWI spokesman also condemned the thrashing of media persons by Indian police while they were covering the Muharram procession at Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar. He said media in Kashmir has been stripped of freedom and Kashmiri journalists are being repeatedly victimized by Indian authorities, adding all this is being done to stop the true situation of Kashmir from reaching the world. He deplored that the Modi-led Indian regime has snatched every right including religious freedom and press freedom of the Kashmiri Muslims. He pointed out that Modi is the Yazid of the time for the Kashmiri Muslims, stressing that the flag bearers of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) will defy his evil designs to impose Hindu culture in IIOJK.

Altaf Ahmed Butt, Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement, while hailing , freedom sentiments, determination and courage of the freedom-loving people of Jammu and Kashmir in his statement said that the courage with which the people of the territory are facing the difficult and grim situation is commendable.While referring the recent development in Afghanistan, he said that this era of slavery and subjugation will come to an end and the oppressive forces will sooner or later have to submit to the demands of the oppressed people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

It is to mention here that fearing eruption of anti-India and pro-freedom sentiments, India continues to ban the main Muharram processions in IIOJK since 1989. Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government is now allowing the Muslims of IIOJK to perform their religious obligations particularly since August 05, 2019 when it repealed the special status of the territory and put it under military siege. It frequently restricts offering of Juma prayers at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid and other major mosques of the territory. People are disallowed to hold Eid prayers and take out Eid Milad-un-Nabi (SAW) and Muharram processions.

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