'Will Move Resolutions For Release Of Political Prisoners, Guru's Mortal Remains'

11 March 2015
Kashmir Reader
Irfan Mehraj

Srinagar: Independent legislator Engineer Abdul Rashid Wednesday said the 'unnecessary hue and cry' over Masrat Alam's release had revealed India's 'insecurity' on Kashmir. Addressing a press conference here, Rashid, who also heads the Awami Itihad Party, said the government had done no favour to Kashmiris by releasing Masrat Alam. 'Masrat Alam didn't kill 120 youth in 2010. They were shot dead by police. Why was no police official arrested for those killings?' he said. Rashid said the uproar in Indian parliament and the hue and cry raised by the media over the release of a 'political prisoner has only revealed India's insecurity on Kashmir.' 'Masrat Alam was a political prisoner and if the Indian state says he was responsible for leading the mass agitation in 2010 then it admits that he is a mass leader and not a terrorist,' Rashid said. 'People don't take to streets on the call of a terrorist,' he said. 'The fuss created over the release on Masrat Alam only shows that India is on a such a sticky wicket in Kashmir that even its Prime Minister had to go on the defensive and issue a statement (on Alam's release),' Rashid said. Terming the release of Masrat Alam a 'political game,' Rashid said that Mufti was aware of political storm it would create and help him emerge as a 'political martyr.' Rashid said that Omar Abdullah should stop calling the release of Masrat Alam as a deal. 'Masarat Alam is not like Sheikh Abdullah or Kuka Parrey that he would negotiate his release. People who have spent 25 years in jail cannot negotiate for their release,' he said. Rashid said that these political games should stop and leaders of all parties should present a united front to push for the resolution of Kashmir issue. 'You can arrest Alam back and put me behind bars but start talks on Kashmir without playing any political games,' he said. The uproar in the Indian parliament over the release of Masrat Alam shows that India has lost the battle in Kashmir, Rashid said. 'For them anyone demanding Afzal Guru's remains in parliament or calling for release of the political prisoners is a terrorist. I want to tell them that by this attitude they are only pushing Kashmiris against the wall,' he said. Rashid said his demand for resolution of Kashmir issue does not mean that 'I am anti-national or against India's sovereignty. India sovereignty is under threat from its media not Lashkar,' he said. Rashid said that he will move two resolutions in the Assembly calling for the release of all political prisoners languishing in jails in and outside Jammu and Kashmir and for return of mortal remains of Afzal Guru to his family. Rashid said that why can't Kashmiris have a memorial for Afzal Guru when 'Bindrawalla, the architect of all militant movements in India can have a memorial in Golden temple.' Reacting to the question of disclosure by former SSP Srinagar Ashiq Bukhari that Omar Abdullah offered him 1.5 Crore for bumping off Masrat Alam, Rashid said, 'I think Ashiq Sahab should have written a letter to his superiors revealing chief minister had said this to him. Also, it's not a new thing in Kashmir. Police, Army and Task Force have killed hundreds of people in Kashmir for medals and rewards. Bukhari should also disclose how many people were killed and how many custodial killings took place when he was SSP Srinagar.'