The Modi-led Indian government has decided to expand the network of notorious gang of killers, Village Defence Guards, to the entire illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir to target pro-freedom civilian population.
The dreaded gang, previously known as Village Defence Committees, was launched by Indian Army in 1995 in Jammu to eliminate the sympathizers of Kashmir freedom movement from the region. These so-called committees, now rechristened as Village Defence Guards, are tasked with going after particularly the IIOJK’s Muslim population, which is ingrained with the freedom spirit against India’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. The Village Defence Guards will be recruited, trained and armed by the Indian army to instill a sense of fear among public through deaths and destruction.
APHC leaders Zamruda Habib, Yasmeen Raja and Abdul Ahad Parra in their statements issued in Srinagar expressed concern over the plight of illegally detained Hurriyat leaders and activists and demanded their immediate release. The leaders said that there was no legal or moral justification to keep the political leaders behind the bars for an indefinite period on fake charges.
Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League in a statement in Srinagar strongly denounced the arrest of dozens of youth including party leader Irshad Ahmad in Handwara area of Kupwara district.
At least six personnel of Indian border police were killed and 33 others injured when a bus carrying them fell into a deep gorge in Pahalgam area of Islamabad district. The bus was on its way from Chandanwari to Srinagar.
Meanwhile, the release of 11 Hindus convicted on charges of gang-rape of a Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, and murder of her seven family members during 2002 anti-Muslim riots in the Indian state of Gujarat has shocked Muslims in India and Kashmir. They were awarded life imprisonment by a Mumbai court in January 2008. Their sentence has now been remitted on basis of factors like ‘completion of 14 years in jail, age and their behaviour in prison’. Legal experts asked why the Indian judiciary forgets the same factors when it comes to Kashmiri political detainees who have been languishing in Indian jails for the past more than two decades. From the above two parallels, the experts drew the conclusion that the Indian judiciary is only complimenting and facilitating the implementation of fascist policies of the ruling class while being indifferent to the miseries of the common citizens.—KMS