SRINAGAR: Accusing the Centre of forcing "demographic change" and "settler colonies" in Kashmir in "violation of all international laws" and UN resolutions, All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairperson Syed Ali Geelani has urged Jammu and Kashmir's people to "resist at this critical juncture".
In a statement issued on Friday, the hardline separatist leader, who advocates Kashmir's merger with Pakistan, said people should organise peaceful protests and demonstrations in their areas of residence.
"While doing so, we must remain absolutely disciplined and not give the enemy, who is armed and ready to kill, any excuse whatsoever to hurt our lives and property," he said.
Geelani, 89, said: "Each and every person must face the naked Indian brutality with courage. We all can, and must, act according to our abilities; through action or word... It is very important that our demonstrations remain absolutely peaceful so that more and more people are able to join.
"If the Indian armed forces still attack our gatherings, the entire responsibility for the possible loss of lives and property will be on them, and the world will remain witness to their deeds."
Referring to the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre's August 5 order abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which gave special status to the erstwhile state, Geelani said he hoped his message reaches the people via the international media.
Referring to the recent events in the Jammu and Kashmir -- now a Union Territory after Parliament split it into two -- Geelani said the move showed in clear light the real "deceitful and brutal" nature of the Central government.
"They are a firm and brazen display of India's intention in forcing a demographic change and the creation of settler colonies in Kashmir in violation of all international laws and the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir. The rulers from Delhi are drunk on power and arrogance of majoritarianism and they have snatched away all percepts of humanity, ethics and democracy," he said.
Mentioning that the entire region had been transformed into a "prison", Geelani alleged that the Centre had made efforts to hide its campaign of "brutal repression" from the outside world.
"Not only have they blocked the entire communication systems used by common people since about the beginning of the month, they have also gagged local reportage and news media without any formal declaration. No news about the brutalities and repression of the Indian armed forces, killings and arrests of thousands of youth is being published.
"Common people are unable to know about their kith and kin. The oppressors might try to hide the reality, but history will not spare anyone."
Calling the Centre's move a "murder of democracy", Geelani said it was "unfortunate" that the people in other parts of the country had been celebrating the government's decisions.
"... The increased military presence was used to not only imprison the pro-freedom leadership and people but also large sections of the pro-occupation machinery."
Marking the scenario a "golden opportunity", Geelani appealed to Kashmiris to join the "valiant struggle" for complete freedom and liberation.
"We must fight the enemy in unison. History remains witness to the fact that big military powers have repeatedly perished in front of the force of people's unity and truth. Courage, patience and discipline are those weapons of a defenceless people which can defeat the enemy with howsoever enormous an arsenal."
In a message to Jammu and Kashmir government officials, bureaucrats and police personnel, Geelani said even when they were hand-in-hand in the "oppression" of their own people, the Centre did not "trust them".
Describing the Kashmiri people living outside the region as "ambassadors of Kashmir", Geelani said they should keep themselves informed of the situation back home and participate in the resistance struggle.
He urged the people of Pakistan and its leaders to help the "besieged" people of Kashmir.
"You are an important party to the Kashmir dispute and this is the time for unity and action... You must continue to heighten your political and diplomatic initiatives to the highest level and respond to the deceit of the Indian occupation with full strength and determination."