National

Delhi police’s five crimes within 24 hours

New Delhi: Delhi police on 3 May committed five crimes in a row within twenty four. First, it trampled on the democratic rights of JKLF chief Yasin Malik and his colleagues and supporters by cancelling the two-day hunger strike which was to start under his leadership on 3 May at Jantar Manter against brutalities in Kashmir and to press for the release of the remains of Afzal Guru which lie buried inside Delhi’s Tihar jail.

Delhi Police’s  second crime was to arrest Yasin Malik, torture him in custody and pack him to Srinagar where he was admitted in a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Delhi Police’s third crime was to prevail upon the Press Club of India’s management to cancel the booking for a press conference at 3:30 pm on 3 May and chase away his supporters who showed up at the press club.

Delhi Police’s fourth crime was to forcibly prevent 150 Kashmiri victims and relatives, men, women and children, to proceed to the Press Club of India from Jamia Nagar to take part in the planned press conference and keep them pinned at Okhla. This led them to stage a sit-in, in protest, outside A-72 Abul Fazal Enclave (next to Jamia Nagar Police Station) where they were putting up during their stay in Delhi. Women and children held placards condemning the Indian brutality in Kashmir and demanding the return of their husbands, sons and fathers who have simply “disappeared” in Kashmir after their arrest or kidnap by the security forces.

The fifth crime of the Delhi Police same day was to procure J&K Transport buses and pack the 150 Kashmiris back to Kashmir under police escort. This happened late same evening - around 9-10 pm on 3 May. These hapless Kashmirs, themselves victims of State terror, were not allowed even to venture out of their temporary residence in Delhi even for social interaction or to buy necessary items from the nearby market. The whole place was heavily surrounded by the police until the Kashmiris were forcibly deported from Delhi.

The Delhi-based Committee for Release of Political Prisoners said in a press statement after the Press Club of India prevented them from holding the press conference on 3 May: “We...wish to express our outrage at the manner in which the Press Club of India cancelled the booking of the Press Conference called to condemn the illegal detention of Yasin Malik and the refusal to allow the fundamental right of democratic protest to Kashmiris...at Jantar Mantar today. Under the clear instructions of the Indian State, the Press Club officials (themselves journalists) cancelled the booking for the Press Conference at the last minute. The officials used the language of the state by branding it ‘anti-national’ which again is the language of the Indian State to justify the suppression of all dissenting voices. This is the first time the Press Club of India cancelled such an event at the venue in the name of ‘protecting sentiments’. Further, the officials, along with the Delhi Police and right wing organizations gathered at the venue, bodily pushed and heckled Vara Vara Rao and others attending the Press Conference... this, we see the clear collusion of the Indian State, the Police, and the right wing forces to suppress all voices of dissent. Aam Aadmi Party cadres were seen holding placards wearing party-caps along with many other right wing organisations and did not allow this press conference to take place...The press conference was called in protest of the arrest of Yasin Malik as well as the denial to express the anguish of hundreds of Kashmiri families through the democratic means of protest in the form of a two-day hunger strike at Jantar Mantar. These Kashmiri families have been victims of persecution as members of their family have either been the target of forced disappearances or have been languishing in Indian jails for many years and in some cases even decades...”

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2013 on page no. 3

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