The slogans that reverberated on the streets of Kashmir during five months of unrest have now reached the Jammu and Kashmir assembly which is presently in session. While trying to corner the state government over the 2016 summer unrest, legislators of opposition National Conference and Congress raised these slogans to seek attention towards pellet victims, night raids and the slapping of Public Safety Act (PSA).
When legislators met in the Upper House of the JK assembly on Monday for obituary reference at the Legislative Council, the legislators from these parties started raising slogans that are the trade mark of the separatists against unprecedented use of pellets that left dozens killed in Valley and thousands injured and also about night raids and slapping of PSA on the youths.
The legislators were seeking to include the names of those civilians killed in the Valley during five months of unrest and also the names of policemen and soldiers killed on the LoC in the obituary reference, however when demand of opposition legislators was rejected by the chairman of the Legislative Council they started chanting slogans like –Ye shelling killing na bhai na (No to shelling and killing). Ye pellet vellet na bhai na ( No to firing of pellets). Ye PSA slapping na bhai na (No to slapping of PSA). Raat Ka Chapa na bhai na (No to night raids).
These types of slogans were coined and popularized by Moulana Sarjan Barkati during massive ‘pro-freedom’ rallies in south Kashmir during the paek of unrest. Barkati’s videos of peculiar “pro-freedom” sloganeering, which were also now raised in J&K Assembly, have gone viral on the social media in Kashmir. These peculiar slogans earned the cleric Barkati sobriquets of “freedom Chacha” and Kashmir’s “pied piper” cleric.
Barkati is under preventive detention since October 2016 and the High Court Wednesday directed for his release from Srinagar Central jail;, where he is lodged. He has been again rearrested. During sloganeering this week in Assembly, the NC legislators were led by Legislative Council member from South Kashmir, Bashir Ahmad Veeri, whereas Congress legislators were led by Ghulam Nabi Monga, who hails from Baramulla in north Kashmir and is also senior vice president of the Congress.
”Our’s was a genuine demand. We wanted to include the names of the civilians killed in the five month long unrest in the Assembly’s bituary references. But Chairman, LC rejected our demand,” MLC Monga told The Indian Express. He said that the legislators raised street slogans used by people in past six months to highlight plight of pellet victims, night raids conducted by security forces during nights and slapping of PSA on innocent people. “But government rejected our demand and then opposition legislators staged walk out.” Monga said that they also wanted to include names of soldiers and police men killed in the Valley and LoC in the obituary reference.