Geelani Rejects Omar's Call For Reconciliation Panel12 September 2011
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Kashmir's hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday rejected the assertions of chief minister Omar Abdullah that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) could provide answers to the unmarked graves in Kashmir. The veteran leader wanted a fact finding mission to be sponsored by United Nations to know who lie buried in around 40 unmarked graves in North Kashmir which were brought to light by a report of State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) last month. While listing various cases of alleged massacres and other human rights violations at the hands of security forces, Geelani told a press conference that justice was 'never provided to common Kashmiris under Indian rule'. 'What happened to the perpetrators of massacres in Bijbehara, Gaw Kadal or Sopore? Was anyone convicted? What was done to the killers of Tabinda Gani? What happened to those who gang raped the two women in Shopian and then killed them mercilessly. Nothing happened to them. We have been denied justice from past 63 years. The whole administrative system is based on falsehood and lies. So a TRC is just another commission to deceive the people of the state in the name of delivering justice and we reject it out rightly,' Geelani said. 'Thousands of people, who were picked up by the occupying forces in broad day light, have disappeared. More than 60 unmarked graveyards have been identified by the civil society; thousands of Kashmiri innocent people have been killed. I appeal the UN General Secretary to set up a fact finding commission that will look into the issue of these unmarked mass graves in the valley. We will continue to raise our voice and struggle until UN delivers on this issue,' he said. Last month a report by SHRC stating that over 2,000 unidentified bodies are buried in 38 sites in north Kashmir prompted Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to call for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to find out what happened in the last 21 years. Geelani said that the efforts by him to highlight the issue were thwarted by the state. 'So it is the responsibility of the International community to look into this serious issue,' he said. The veteran leader accused the army as well as police leadership of being involved in 'war crimes' in Kashmir. Quoting a national newspaper, Geelani accused the state police chief Kuldeep Khoda of being involved in custodial killing of three persons. 'Recently an Indian newspaper carried a detailed report about the involvement of the present head of the police in the custodial killing of three persons. What can we expect from that force whose Chief is involved in killing of people in custody,' Geelani alleged. 'We shouldn't take Farooq Abdullah seriously' On the allegations by Union Minister Farooq Abdullah that Geelani had collected money from people of Kashmir in summer unrest of 2010, the Veteran Separatist Leader said 'All he can do is to make us laugh. He most of the times does not know what he is saying. He is such a person who went to Gujarat and said that the Holy Quran was revealed by Ram. What can you expect from such a person'.