All Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Mohammad Umar Farooq on Tuesday described the police crackdown on protesters as "Nazi tactics".
The Mirwaiz, in a press statement, condemned the crackdown operations and continuous arrests of children and teenagers. "We have deep concern and anguish over the safety and vulnerability of children in the custody," said the Hurriyat chairman.
More than 20 protesters have been arrested in the last five days in separate police crackdowns in Srinagar. In crackdowns, the police circle a locality and make all youth assemble at a particular place and get protesters identified from arrested youths. This was a very common practice in the early Nineties in the valley.
"On one hand, a large number of youngsters, which include nine-year olds and ten-year-olds are being brutally killed. More insidiously, the security apparatus is indiscriminately picking up hundreds of innocent children," said the Mirwaiz.
He alleged that in custody, all attempts are made to brutalize their young conscience and coerce them into submission. "These young boys are beaten and tortured in custody and their families harassed and intimidated. They have to pay large sums of money to the police in order to secure the safety and release of their innocent children," alleged the Mirwaiz.
"I strongly appeal to the media and civil society to be vigilant in identifying these practices, which are causing untold suffering to people as well as endangering our present and future social fabric," said the Mirwaiz, while referring to police using young boys as informers.
The Mirwaiz said the authorities should put a stop to these nefarious practices. "Rather than arresting children, the government should take action against those who are shooting and killing at will," said the Mirwaiz.
The Mirwaiz demanded immediate release of all boys who are in custody and asked for immediate steps to ensure that the children are not mistreated and brutalized.