Civic polls: JRL calls shutdown in Kashmir on October 8
The Joint resistance leadership (JRL) on Wednesday appealed for a shutdown in Kashmir on October 8 to protest against the commencement of municipal and Panchayat elections in the state.
“JRL leaders asked people to observe complete shutdown across Jammu and Kashmir on 8th October to protest the commencement of the ULB and Panchayat election drama being foisted upon them,” said a statement, issued by the JRL.
“The leadership asked people to observe subsequent protest shutdown in their own respective areas as per the poll schedule on 10th, 13th and 16th October 2018 respectively and show their complete disassociation and resentment against it.”
JRL leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also condemned the “arbitrary arrest of JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik by the authorities ruling J&K and the arrest of dozens of Hurriyat activists and youth and raids on their homes.”
“Those in power should by now realise that incarcerations intimidation and fear is neither a deterrent for leadership nor for people not to pursue their struggle for self determination,” they said.
The leaders said that additional forces are being brought to Jammu and Kashmir for the conduct of this “election drama”.
“It is clear that this farce is another attempt at coercion and rulers want to shove it down people’s throats by force, with the backing of lakhs and lakhs of military forces stationed here and through sections of police force,” said the JRL.
The JRL dubbed the process as an “electoral drama” and “another form of subjugation.”
“It conveys that even if entire people of Kashmir are against it and even if pro India regional parties boycott it, GOI is the command and control in Kashmir and has the power and force to conduct them without caring about its credibility or effectiveness,” said the JRL, in the statement.
Calling it ironic and a “mockery”, the JRL said even the identity of candidates who are supposed to represent public will not be known to the public whom they will represent in this “so called democratic exercise”.
They said that the elections are being forced on people to “break their resolve for standing up against the state for their fundamental right.”
“As per Doval, people cannot sustain resistance beyond a point, so keep the pressure on them by hurling one assault after another, till they break down. So right after the 35 A assault this bogey was raised,” said the JRL.
The leadership said that Kashmiri people know that any kind of participation in these “machinations” is “betrayal with their supreme struggle.”