Send me to Tihar to die, won't surrender: Yasin Malik on ED notice
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik on Saturday accused New Delhi of playing a dirty hand to force the Hurriyat leadership to meet newly-appointed interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma and ensure the start of a dialogue.
His accusations come a day after the Enforcement Directorate issued issued a FEMA notice to him and two others for alleged forex violation of Rs 48.23 lakh.
“The motive behind sending notices to resistance leadership is to force them to surrender. But I want to convey to New Delhi that I am ready to spend my entire life in Tihar jail rather than surrender. Send me to death cell,” Malik said, adding that he was in love with Kashmir movement and that lovers don’t give up.
“They (Sangh Parivar) were nowhere in sight when Quit-India movement was launched against the British rule. So those at the helm in New Delhi this time can’t understand what the commitment towards freedom struggle means, let alone acknowledge it,” said Malik at a press conference in Srinagar.
The case dates back to April 2002 when J&K Police claimed to have recovered $100,000 stitched to the shalwar of a young Kashmiri woman Shazia at a check-post on Jammu-Srinagar highway. The money allegedly was meant for Malik. The notice has been issued to Shazia and her husband Mushtaq Ahmad Dar too.
However, at the press conference Malik said the case was politically motivated and that he had been framed after Hurriyat executive at the time had set up an election commission of its own under the activist Tapan Bose, and said it would hold parallel elections at an undefined stage to prove its representative character.
“This move was not liked by New Delhi and it framed me to sabotage the initiative,” Malik said.
Malik said that at the time the late People's Democratic Party leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and the present Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had taken a serious exception to the case terming the charges as fake. “They had offered that their leader and the lawyer Muzaffar Hussain Beigh will plead my case,” Malik said, bemoaning that Mehbooba has now become complicit with the Centre’s harsh policy towards the state.
“Same Mehbooba used to go and weep at the militant funerals. Now her government uses pellet guns against Kashmiris," he said.
He wondered as to what was the fun of issuing notice to him when the trial in the case was already going on in a court in Jammu. “I came to learn about the notice through newspapers, even though I have not received it yet,” he said.
The JKLF chief said that New Delhi was going all out against the “resistance leaders” with an objective to get them around and force them to talk on its terms.
“But this will not happen. We will not succumb,” he said.
Incidentally, the Centre’s new interlocutor on Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma is visiting Kashmir on Monday to hold consultations with various political and social groups. But the Centre’s parallel iron-fisted policy towards separatist leaders has run counter to Sharma’s goal of peace and reconciliation in the state.
A common cause
Malik is one of the Valley’s separatist triumvirate – others being Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq – who commands a wide following in Srinagar city. It was he who along with his colleagues Javed Mir, Ashfaq Majid Wani, and Abdul Hamid Shiekh had started the armed struggle in Kashmir in 1989 – the last two of them have since been killed.
Malik is the only pro-independence leader in Kashmir among a gaggle of pro-Pakistan separatist leaders. He is part of neither of the Hurriyat amalgams headed by Mirwaiz and Geelani respectively. But the three now have been forced to make a common cause following the sudden mass eruption following last year’s killing of the popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Talking about the new interlocutor Malik said that while the Government had appointed him it had not made its intentions clear. “What is it that the Government of India wants, nobody knows. On the one hand, it had appointed the interlocutor and on the other it has continued to terrorise Kashmiris,” he said.