Updated: January 29, 2017 9:16:52 pm
Commemorating the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary, a group of prominent personalities from a cross-section of society issued a joint statement on last year’s unrest in Kashmir. Signatories of the joint statement included names such as Justice A P Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court; Aruna Roy, founding member, Mazdur Kisan Shakti Sanghatan; A S Dulat, Former advisor on Kashmir to NDA Government; H K Dua, former member of Rajya Sabha; Yashwant Sinha, former foreign minister; Julio Ribeiro, former DGP Punjab; Ramchandra Guha, historian, author and biographer; Shekhar Gupta, senior journalist and author.
“We have watched with grave foreboding as Kashmir has descended into turmoil for the past several months. A grave and unfortunate situation developed and nearly a hundred people have died and many others injured. Most regrettably for our country, most casualties have been from among the youth, even children, many of whom could have been our leaders into the future. Yet there has been no accountability thus far.
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“We, as fellow countrymen, grieve with the families of those who have suffered the loss of their near and dear ones and too many of whose children have even lost vision. We have been emotionally wounded by these unfortunate developments, and feel the agony of our brothers and sisters in Kashmir. As a nation we need to do everything possible to assuage their pain even when we cannot undo their loss,” the statement said.
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The violence that gripped the Valley in the aftermath of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani’s encounter had left over 100 dead and hundreds injured. J&K Police came under strong criticism over the use of pellet guns as civilians caught in the crossfire between security forces and protesters were grievously injured, some even losing their eyesight.
Noting that Kashmir is bound to India by sturdy laws, the group added that “only bonds of love and understanding will bind India together.” They went to request the J&K government to “create a peaceful and humane environment in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Here is the full list of signatories:
Justice A.P Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court
Aruna Roy, Founding Member, Mazdur Kisan Shakti Sanghatan
A.S. Dulat, Former advisor on Kashmir to NDA Government
Chinmaya Gharekhan, former Ambassador to UN
Darius Forbes, Industrialist
H.K.Dua, former member Rajya Sabha
Prof. H.D.Muni, Author & former professor in International Relations, JNU
I. H. Latif, former Air Chief Marshal & Begum Bilqees Latif
Irfan Habib, Historian & author
Julio Ribeiro, Former DGP Punjab
Smt Kapila Vatsayan, Chair, Asia Project, IIC
Kalpana Sharma, senior journalist and author
Prem Shankar Jha, Senior Journalist and Author
Ramchandra Guha, Historian, Author & Biographer
Ronen Sen, former Indian Ambassador to USA
Salman Haidar, former foreign secretary
S. K. Lambah, former Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India
Shyam Saran, Former foreign Secretary
Shekhar Gupta, Senior Journalist & Author
Gen. (r) V.P.Malik, former Army Chief
V. Balachandran, former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat
Prof. Zoya Hasan, Centre for Political Studies, JNU
Yashwant Sinha, former foreign minister
Wajahat Habibullah, former Chairman Minorities Commission
Kapil Kak, Air Vice Marshal(R)
Bharat Bhushan, Editor, Catch News
Sushobha Barve, centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation
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