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Mumbai activists demand release of Kashmir leaders


At least 25 non-profit organisations and the Communist Party of India protested against alleged human right violations in Jammu and Kashmir outside the iconic Churchgate railway station in Mumbai on Tuesday, Human Rights Day.

A group of 20-25 protestors from NGOs like the Friends of Democracy, Mumbai Sarvodaya Mandal, Samvidhaan Jagar Committee and Communist Party of India participated in the protest. They alleged that the Union government was not serious on preserving the human rights of the residents of the newly created Union territory.

The protestors demanded the immediate release of former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. They also wanted a more friendly way of curbing of human rights violations in the area. Both Mufti and Abdullah are under house arrest since August 5.

However, applauding the government for controlling the problem of stone-pelting prevalent in the Union Territory, Shivram Sukhi of the Samvidhaan Jagar Committee said, “The government should look into the reasons that lead to terrorism in detail. It will be appreciated if they find humane solutions to control terrorism rather than the use of force.”

When asked to specify the kind of changes they wish to see in Kashmir, Charul Joshi from the Communist Party of India pitched for access to the Internet. He said educational institutions have been reopened but due to limited access to the Internet, the people especially students of standard 10 and 12 are facing a lot of problems. He stated that the family members of those who are living outside are constantly terrified. “These are no conditions for a young mind to grow and achieve success in their fields,” Joshi said.

Explaining the further course of action, Suraj Bhoir of Sarvoday Mandal said, “We have begun our journey with today’s protests. This will continue with a greater purpose after we hold another meeting in the first week of January where the exploitation of women and human rights will be discussed more deeply.”

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