Urgent appeal for peace in Kashmir: Citizens

Published on: July 12, 2016
To the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, the leadership of Hurriyat (M) and Hurriyat (G), The civil society of India and in Kashmir.

In the past few days we have seen Kashmir sink once again to unprecedented levels of anarchy. Kashmir is burning yet again.

The tragic deaths and maiming of youth due to firing, pellet guns and excessive use of force is unacceptable. Arson, loot and destruction of public property, attacks on the security personal of CRPF and J&K police and sporadic attacks on the vulnerable communities and their places of worship that are continuing unabated, also are unacceptable.

We, the peaceful and law-abiding citizens of Kashmir and other parts of India, with stakes in a peaceful Kashmir and belief in nonviolent resolution of conflict situations, make this humble appeal, first of all to the Chief Minister of J&K: Please take immediate steps to reign in the security forces and issue orders for minimal use of force against the angry mobs.

At the same time, we extend this appeal to the political leadership of Kashmir and the civil society members in India and in Kashmir to exercise their moral leadership and urge the volatile and angry youth of Kashmir to calm down and find more peaceful ways to express themselves.

To the youth, who are out in the streets to express their rage and anguish against the state, we urge that they take a moment and contemplate on the consequences of escalating an already out of control situation. Irrespective of which side of the complex political problem one stands on, we are certain that no idea is worth more than the life of a fellow human being. Many precious lives have been lost in this turmoil in the past twenty-six years and we are continuing to lose more in the present, with each passing hour. Families are being shattered for their entire lives losing loved ones. Please spare a thought for the incalculable harm and damage the consequences of your anger will inflict on these families for many years to come.

The need of the hour for both sides - ever more for the state administration and its security establishment, which has experienced in the past how such situations can spiral out of control and escalate - is to exercise thorough restraint and prevent the unnecessary loss of lives in the state.

To the young protesters, we urge calm and suggest peaceful ways of expressing themselves even if they want to protest about some issue. This can only be achieved if we work together through secular and peaceful means. We urge the involved parties to choose a middle path of non-violence and inclusiveness. Let us create an atmosphere that enables peaceful resolution of the current situation. Only dialogue is the most viable means. Let us bring back peace to the valley of Kashmir.

Signatories:
Rajbir Bhattacharjee, Rafiul Alom Rahman, Pickee Kaul, Danish Iqbal, Sushant Taing, Saransh Joshi, Shoaib Mehraj, Rajesh Dudeja, AjoyBhan, Sherwani Khan Amir, Kishlay Sharma, Anusuya Datta, Shakun Sethi, Harleen Bhogal, Aalok Aima, Ayshaa Saeed Mir, Wasim Mushtaq, Romil Dhar, Mankanwaldeep Rampal, Faiyaz Shaikh, Aakash ChowkaseApaang, Rashmi Talwar, Sunitha Choudhry, Pamela DharAnand, Sadaf Munshi, Mufti Shahid Hussain, Aamir Ahmed Amin, Sualeh Keen, Ajay Raina, Khalid Baig, SonuSuneja Jan, Tina Anjila Shah, Raju Moza, Rafiq Lasne, Feroze Mithiborwala, Rohit Bhat, Roxy Raina, Zeenat Nissa, Manmeet Bali Nag, Mohammad Anas, Shivani Taploo Raina, Hirday Nath Patwari, Sudipta Sen Gupta, Premanand Mishra, Shivendu Mittal, VineetKaul, Anil Kaul, Indrajit Gupta. 

Cover Image Credit: AFP/Tauseef Mustafa