SRINAGAR: The separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik Tuesday said choking of political space and repression is main reason for Kashmiri youth opting for militancy.
In a joint statement, three leaders said, "If it was possible to defeat peoples' movement by military oppression, police highhandedness, killings, massacres, and other tyrant means then no country including India would have tasted freedom."
Referring to statement of GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen Dhillon appealed parents to request their militants wards to surrender as everyone who has picked up gun would be killed, they said:
"Persuading young boys to refrain from treading some path is not in hands of fathers, mothers or even political leaders. This ball also lies in the court of Indian political and military leadership, who have chosen to choke every little space on political dissent in Kashmir."
"It is in fact aggressive policies of India's political leadership, its police, and other agencies and forces, choking off the peaceful political space in Kashmir and hence pushing Kashmiri youth to the wall, which is responsible for pushing younger generation to militancy," he said.
The three leaders said in 2008, when Kashmiris at the behest of the international community, big countries, diplomatic circles and even Indian civil society changed the outlook of their freedom struggle and started an exemplary peaceful resistance, Kashmiris were of the view that the international community and rulers would support this positive change but rulers chose to suppress that peaceful peoples agitation by military and police might.
"Hundreds of young and unarmed youth, children and women were killed; thousands maimed, thousands jailed and people's agitation was suppressed by military might. Same oppression was repeated in 2010 and again a peaceful political dissent was crushed by military and police boots," they said.