CPI-ML, Kashmir, Protests

Hundredth Day of Curfew in Kashmir-Stop Sidelining the Gravity of People’s Struggle

Delhi Committee of CPI (M-L) New Democracy held a protest demonstration today (October 16) at Jantar Mantar, Parliament Street, New Delhi to highlight the ongoing agitation of the people of the valley and to draw attention to the burning fact that repression on the people of Kashmir is continuing and neither the State nor the Central Govt. is making the slightest effort to ensure withdrawal of armed forces from civilian areas or to restore basic democratic rights, revoke curfew, redress grievances of the people of injuries and deaths of innocent bystanders including a large number of children.

Protest meeting was held which started at around 12 noon and was addressed by Com. Mrigank (Spokesperson, CPI(ML)-New Democracy Delhi Committee), Com. Animesh Das (President IFTU Delhi), Com. Poonam (Gen. Sec. Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan), N.D. Pancholi (PUCL), Dr. Vikas Bajpai and Anil Dubey (Janhastakshep). Speakers pointed out that today (16th October 2016) marks completion of a hundred days since the Kashmir Valley burst out in protests this year. The protests this time have displayed an extreme sense of alienation of the people of Kashmir on the one hand and on the other, a lack of appreciation of the gravity of the situation by the rulers of India and also the parliamentary parties. 16th October represents the 100th day of a saga of continuous curfews; for many days it encompassed all districts and since then has been continual in some district or the other. While it also shows the terrible sacrifices the people of the area seem ready to make for their demands, it also well displays that India’s parliamentary gamut, especially the BJP RSS Central Govt., is unconcerned about the alienation of the youth or the sufferings of the people of the area. Curfew means lack of everyday commodities, medicines, food in the homes. Alongside almost 100 have died of pellet injuries and many of these casualties are children or youth, while the Indian Express reported on 13th Oct. that there have already been 1000 cases of pellet injuries to the eyes. But gradually, the ongoing struggle of the people and their protests against the actions of the armed forces which have resulted in eye injuries to so many under 12 years of age and further alienated the youth, as well as the continued denial of democratic rights have been systematically sidelined both by the Govt. at the Centre and by media as well as by parliamentary parties. India’s parliamentary parties seem to have decided that their responsibility has ended with the participation of their representatives in a Govt. delegation even though the said visit did not result in even one positive initiative. Using the so termed ‘surgical strikes’ which have definitely at least cut out the Kashmir situation from focus, the attention of the country is sought to be focused on military bravado. In Kashmir, Army continues to use pellets against protesting citizens and also to thus blind children who were allegedly innocent spectators. Democratic rights remain denied and the hated Public Security Act has been used against civil rights activists. Newspapers are being banned by the Govt. and the protesting journalists are no longer being backed by the Press bodies. Not even an attempt has been seriously made to restore confidence by initiating serious discussion on the demand of the people and no effort has been made to restore democratic rights, show concern for people’s suffering, withdraw curfew or show any serious concern. The attempt is on to write off the entire situation as a creation of another country as though the people of Kashmir lack an opinion of their own. The economy of the Valley has ground to a halt for which both Central and State Govt. have shown no concern.

Delhi Committee of CPI (ML) New Democracy demands that democratic rights be immediately and fully restored in the valley. All cases under PDA made in the current agitation should be withdrawn. Army and paramilitary should be withdrawn from civilian areas. A team of sitting Supreme Court Judges should visit the valley, record the complaints of Army injuring innocent bystanders with pellets and should complete a time bound investigation urgently and ensure punishment of the guilty. AFSPA should be withdrawn. Central Govt. must announce cessation of provocative steps like Sainik Colonies. Serious dialogue must be held between the representatives of all sections of the Kashmiri people and the Govts. of India and Pakistan to work towards a resolution of the issue of right of self-determination of the entire erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.