September 2018 News

JRL Announces ULB, Panchayat Polls Boycott

3 September 2018
Rising Kashmir

Srinagar: The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) Monday announced the boycott of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayat polls and accused New Delhi of 'using judiciary' to alter the State's demography. The JRL, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, after holding a meeting at Rehmatabad, Hyderpora residence of Geelani, said, 'The leadership wants to convey to Government of India loud and clear message that the people of Kashmir boycott any kind of participation in elections and instead only demand right to self-determination.' The JRL statement said, 'We are being threatened through the judicial route where our very identity and disputed status is being put at stake by proposing to alter the demography of our State.' The unified leadership commended people on their steadfastness and unity in strongly opposing the tinkering with hereditary state subject law being challenged in the Supreme Court by the 'anti-Kashmir agencies and organisations'. They said people of Jammu Kashmir had always stood up and resisted every move of 'occupation and subjugation' thrust upon them. 'It speaks volumes about the courage and character of the Kashmir nation that despite all out assaults by the Indian state with the assistance of local collaborators NC, PDP and all others through extreme repression, propaganda and subversion, this small nation is firmly and consistently engaged in the pursuit of its goal - the fundamental right to decide its destiny, the right to self-determination,' JRL statement said. 'The heart-rending sacrifices and resistance being offered by people, young and old men, women and children especially during the last 30 years is our asset and guiding light that we can never betray. The followers of Chanakya are using all means and methods in the book to maintain their authority and forcibly rule over us.' The JRL statement said, 'Kashmiris continuously bear the brunt of daily crackdowns by eight lakh Indian forces stationed in every nook and corner of the State especially the Valley in the form of killings, incarceration, harassment and repression. Each day a new assault is launched against us to pin us down and tire us out.' It said while the Damocles sword is kept hanging over the people on the issue of Article 35-A, GoI now wants to thrust and enforce panchayat and municipal polls upon the people through additional deployment of lakhs of government forces under the pretext of 'lapse of developmental funds'. The JRL said it cannot get more ironic and that GoI was not so 'gullible' as to think that despite all the physical and psychological pain and trauma that they inflict on people of Kashmir, any Kashmiri would buy their 'lapse of funds for development' argument and willingly participate in this 'act of manipulation and deceit'. 'These enforced elections are nothing but another assault on the people to harass them and cause them further inconvenience and agony,' the statement said. Quoting a former Panchayat chairman who was quoted in a news report the JRL said, 'GoI only wants to hoodwink the world by telling that Kashmiris have faith in democratic institutions. It hardly matters for them if people get killed in the process.' It said people of Kashmir know too well that when it comes to J&K, all power rest with New Delhi and all decisions flow from there. 'So much so that in 70 years since 1947, J&K is a colony ruled by India. Each so-called election that has been held here from panchayat to parliament has only been a means to further strengthen that power centre and in turn New Delhi's hold on J&K, and steadily but surely weaken the sovereignty of the people of J&K,' the JRL statement said. It said any participation in them was propagated as people's verdict in favour of India and hence they were used as a means to dilute J&K's 'disputed status' and undo the holding of a referendum as promised by India at the UN. 'These so-called elections only bring prosperity to an opportunist class of people whom India has patronized in Kashmir like snakes being fed milk, while selling these so-called elections to the people of India and the world as an endorsement by the people of J&K to the Indian rule,' the JRL statement said. 'New Delhi has never believed in empowering the people of J&K or the institutions here for it knows that it's connect with the State is neither legitimate nor moral but an outcome of manipulations and broken promises. So to think that any good can come out for people or they will in any manner get empowered from any elections held under Indian rule whose foundations are illegal and immoral is unnatural.'