Kashmir open-air prison now, Kashmiris don’t know their future: Mehbooba’s daughter
She said that amid suspension of civil liberties, the fear is what is going to happen next and for how long people will be kept under the curfew, or how long her mother would be kept under detention
The Kashmiris are being treated like animals in their own land with total restriction on their movement or communication so much so that no helpline for any emergency is there, Iltija Javed, the daughter of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has said.
“I think the entire country and the international community should know what is happening with people here and the mistreatment being meted out to them. They’re being treated like animals. They are being kept at home – they are unable to communicate or go out. In case of an emergency, there is no helpline. How can there be a helpline when all the numbers are down?” Iltija said while speaking with ‘The Wire’ from Srinagar.
She said that her mother was first kept under house arrest with nobody beingf allowed to meet her, but later she was detained and shifted to Hari Niwas guest house.
Hari Niwas used to be an interrogation centre used by the the paramilitary forces, before it was converted into a guest house.
“Mehboobaji was taken away from here (her residence) at around 6-6:30 pm. A team of about 4-5 people came and gave an arrest warrant. They gave her about 15-20 mins to pack her things and leave with them. They took her to Hari Niwas. As of now, I don’t know anything. The only thing I know is that she is there and I have heard that Omar saheb is also lodged there.
“Apart from that, I have no information and because communication is absolutely down here, we are unable to make any connection. It feels as if we’re not in Kashmir but rather in an open-air prison,” she added.
The reason why she’s now been put under detention [Mehbooba Mufti] and taken away from her family is so they can break her spirit.
She said that the situation was “very tense” in the Valley with the worst fears of the people having come true.
“What the people were most afraid of has happened. What they thought was going to happen, has happened. But the manner in which it has happened is very wrong. Like thieves – overnight – Article 370 has been scrapped.
“Now the atmosphere here is that of fear. I’m sure after what happened, people must be very angry. But it’s another matter that they are not even being given a chance to express that anger… One thing is very clear is that whatever has happened has been very well-thought-out and obviously meant to consolidate their positions even more,” she added.
“The apprehension is that in this attempt to put Kashmiris down, to vilify and demonise them, the people of the region will be persecuted. Obviously, it doesn’t seem like the people enjoy even basic human rights or civil liberties right now. There is a complete clampdown,” Iltija said.
She said that she was worried of what is going to happen next and for how long people will be kept like this, or how long her mother would be kept under detention.
She also wondered as to whether there was actually any need to keep Mehbooba Mufti in “isolation or solitary confinement” apart from the house arrest, and added that it was perhaps being done to break her spirit.
“Nobody has any idea what to expect and at a time like this, everybody is very troubled. I don’t know how long this curfew can be imposed, because, at some point, normal life has to resume. It seems they (the government) are getting highly insecure and given the decision they have taken, they are apprehensive about what will happen once the people are let free and that leaders like Mehbooba ji will mobilise people and they don’t want that… No assurances have come till now. In fact, tyranny is only increasing,” Iltija said.