Kashmiri students want AFSPA to go

Kashmiri students want AFSPA to go

Kashmiri youth at a panel discussion in the Capital demanded immediate repeal of `draconian laws' like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act.

The reiteration of the key demand from the Valley took place at a convention organised here on Monday Jawaharlal Nehru University's left-wing parties and Centre for Policy and Analysis.

Communist Party of India's D Raja, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, senior journalist Seema Mustafa and chairman minorities commission Wajahat Habibullah also spoke.

“We do not want sympathy, but a dialogue to address the issues long pending in Kashmir,” Kashmiri students  insisted.

“Nobody asks what the youth of Kashmir is resisting for. In the crisis of summer of 2010, lakhs of youths were on the streets. We were called stone-pelters. But nobody questioned why we had stones in our hands instead of pens. Till date we have not exercised our right to be Indian,” said Abdul Fazili, a research student at Kashmir University.

The students said any talk of a fresh start and forgetting the past was unacceptable.

“For every encounter in Kashmir, the state government comes up with an apology stating that a magisterial probe will take place. But nothing happens,'' said Amir, an undergraduate students at Kashmir University.

He said the wounds of thousands of mothers could not be healed just by saying `sorry'. They are mothers who send their children to school, to find one day that their child won't return home.

Kashmiri students studying in Delhi as well as in Kashmir gathered in large numbers, stressing on dialogue with the youth and urging for justice for those killed in 2010. They said 120 people had died in police firing that year across the Valley.