Kashmir Solidarity Group is a broad network of individuals and organisations working on highlighting issues concerning Kashmir, in Mumbai.
The group has organised film screenings in various colleges in Mumbai .
In June 2011 , the group invited Parveena Ahangar – Founder of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), Kashmir for a Public Meeting on ‘Human Rights Violations in Kashmir’. She along with Freny Maneckshaw- Senior Journalist who was recently in Kashmir and .Dilnaz Boga – Journalist and Film Maker, addressed at the Press Club.
WHAT WE STAND FOR
For the past several months the Kashmir valley has been in the grip of a spiraling violence. Protestors voicing their dissatisfaction with the authorities, unarmed except for stones have had the security forces open fire on them. No one has been spared, including women. About 110, mostly teenagers, have been killed in Kashmir since June 11 last.
Fake encounters, disappearances, imprisonment without charges and killings with impunity of unarmed civilians voicing dissent and exercising their democratic rights have marked the lives of Kashmiris. Such utter violations of the human and constitutional rights of Kashmiris has been made possible by the imposition of draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA) on the Kashmir Valley.
Curfews and hartals have added mountains of misery to the lives of the people there resulting in loss of working days, loss of livelihoods, wages, and lives as they have prevented medicines and other essential supplies from reaching the sick and wounded, besides paralyzing the entire education system.
Against this backdrop, the visit of the All Party Delegation to Srinagar sent by the Union Government during 20-21 September and subsequent announcement of an eight-point package on September 25 came as a faint ray of hope. However, the subsequent developments including announcement of a three-member team of interlocutors sans any high profile and credible political figure further reinforce grave doubts about the seriousness of the Union Government. The significant lowering of the level of violence since then could thus turn out to be merely transitory.
We, in view of above, urge the governments of India and state of Jammu and Kashmir:
· to call for an immediate halt to the use of arms by security personnel against the unarmed civilian population demonstrating only with stones.
· an immediate return to the negotiating table of all parties with different shades of opinion. The solution lies in the political process alone.
· to translate into reality the Prime Minister’s promise to have ‘zero tolerance’ for all human rights violations in the Kashmir.
· the repeal of draconian acts like AFSPA and the PSA which have done nothing but added to the daily miseries and humiliation of Kashmiris.
· that all security personnel – whether representatives of J&K police, the central military or para-military forces – who have charges of murders and encounter killings be dealt with by due process of law.
· to effect immediate and time-bound investigations into all cases of human rights violations.
· the immediate release of all political prisoners arrested since February and those being held without charges.
· that the media in Kashmir be allowed to function normally and smoothly and execute its work as befits the media.
· withdrawal of security forces from the civilian populated areas of the State.
Kashmir Solidarity Group, Mumbai