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Kashmir separatist group protests harassment

Abrar Lone

Srinagar, January 22, 2008:

JKSM protest
JKSM activists
The activists of Kashmir separatist group Jammu Kashmir Salvation Movement today held a sit in protest and hunger strike sitting inside an iron cage symbolising prison cells in Srinagar, summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir.

The activists were protesting human rights violations and repeated detention of former militants by Indian police in run up to January 26, the Indian republic day.

Security measures are beefed up in Kashmir every year in run up to January 26 and August 15 marking Indian Republic Day and Independence Day.

Frequent frisking and search operations are taken up and many people detained ahead of these days.

JKSM Chairman Zaffar Iqbal Bhat said that the reasons the protest demonstration include the human rights violations, “illegal abduction under infamous Public Safety Act, and inhuman torture Kashmiri detainees in various jails”.

He said, "Kashmiris businessman and students in Indian states are harassed and denied accommodations and lodging ahead of these days (26 January and 15 August) and in some cases branded militants and locked behind the bars."

JKSM activists held placards, with chained hands draped in black garments were holding placards against human rights violations.

"A released person is denied basic human rights, which includes not issuing passports to go for Hajj, education and business" Zaffar said.

"The released person is unnecessarily forced to attend police stations and army camps and are subjected to inhuman torture, hence forcing them to choose the path of militancy."

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