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Mirwaiz asks people to remain ‘united, steadfast’.

Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday urged the people of Kashmir to “forge unity and remain steadfast”, fearing that the Valley may witness a “surge in repression as India gears up for the general elections”.

Addressing Friday gathering at historic Jamia Masjid after three weeks, he said that “since general elections are nearing in India, the right-wing parties—BJP and RSS—may leave no stone unturned to unleash more repression in Kashmir for their vote bank politics.”These parties may resort to anything to suit their vote bank politics,” Mirwaiz, who was freed after three weeks of continuous house detention, said.

It’s high time that people of Kashmir unite and remain steadfast the way they did when an “open assault” was launched on the Article 35 A, the Mirwaiz said, adding that “it was people’s unity that forced deferment of the hearing of the case.”

He said “mass unity” at this juncture is “highly needed to protect and safeguard priceless sacrifices of people.”

Termed the prevailing situation in Kashmir as “worrisome”, Mirwaiz said: “Kashmir is passing through the worst phase of repression. Bloodshed and oppression have touched new heights. Kashmir’s every place is witnessing open aggression and worst-ever state terrorism. The entire Valley has been turned into a slaughterhouse for the only reason that its people want their legitimate birthright: the right to self-determination.”

Mirwaiz said that Kashmiri youth are being “selectively killed”, houses are blown up with explosives and inmates including women are thrashed during search operations.“This is the height of aggression”, he said. “The resistance leaders are booked under Public Safety Act which indicates the gravity of the prevailing situation.”

Referring to “presence of lakhs of forces who have unleashed a reign of terror” across the length and breadth of Kashmir, Mirwaiz said: “People have started feeling highly insecure. In some villages in southern Kashmir, people have already started migrating to other places due to fear created by the huge presence of forces.”

He said that “genuine” political, social and religious rights of people are being “muzzled through military might”, while Jamia Masjid is “deliberately targeted to silence the voice of people.”

Paying rich tributes to civilians and militants killed over the past three weeks, Mirwaiz said every citizen of Kashmir and the resistance leadership are “indebted to youth and duty-bound to protect these sacrifices.”

Meanwhile, a peaceful protest sit-in was organised outside Jamia Masjid after Friday prayers against “bloodbath and oppression” in Kashmir.

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