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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Police foil Kashmir protest against life-imprisonment for pro-freedom prisoners

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, December 07, 2012
First Published: 18:49 IST(7/12/2012) | Last Updated: 18:51 IST(7/12/2012)

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman, Yasin Malik was detained on Friday along with some of his supporters for leading a protest against “life-imprisonments extensively awarded to Kashmir pro-freedom prisoners by Indian courts”.

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Police used force to disperse scores of JKLF activists and supporters who were trying to march towards city centre Lal Chowk after Friday prayers.

Angry over a TADA court’s sentencing of life imprisonment to two of JKLF’s senior members Nazir Ahmad Sheikh and Showkat Ahmad Khan, Malik led dozens of supporters after the Friday prayers from his bastion Maisuma in Srinagar and was trying to march towards city centre Lal Chowk.

As Police intercepted the march to detain Malik, youth resorted to heavy stone pelting at police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. The security forces retaliated by firing tear gas canisters.

Earlier this week, a court, hearing a case related to Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA) convicted Sheikh and Khan, and awarded life imprisonment to them for allegedly killing an officer of border guards in 1990.

“For the past two years Indian judiciary has suddenly become active. Courts are either pronouncing death sentences or awarding life imprisonments to Kashmir under trials. All these cases date back to early years of militancy in 1990s,” Malik said.

“These trials are going on for the past two decades. Many of the under trials have already spent 20 years in jail. Why was judiciary silent till now? Does Indian state want to convey to our younger generation that whosoever demands freedom will get life imprisonment and death?” questioned Malik.

“Or does India wants to convey that their transition to peaceful methods was actually their defeat,” he said.

JKLF has called for a strike over the issue on International Human Rights day - December 10, which has been supported by almost all the separatist leadership. Militant outfit, Lashkar e Toiba has also supported the call, media reports said.


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