Srinagar    -   Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Syed Ali Shah Geelani has appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to continue to resist the naked Indian brutalities.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Syed Ali Geelani, in his first official statement since the scrapping of special status of Jammu and Kashmir by India on August 5, said there was no other alternative but to fight with full determination.

“India should know that even if they bring their entire armed forces to the occupied Kashmir, even then people of the state will not stop their struggle for their right to self-determination,” Geelani said emphatically.

“We must fight the enemy together. History remains witness to the fact that big military powers have perished when confronted with the force of people’s unity and truth. Courage, patience and discipline are those weapons of defenceless people which can defeat the enemy with howsoever enormous an arsenal,” APHC chairman said, and added, “The entire region has been transformed into a prison. Even as we continue to receive grim news from every corner, the Indian state has made extensive efforts to hide their 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 reporting 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.”

Geelani said the state of India had long obfuscated Kashmiri people’s narrative of struggle at the international level. “However, in spite of India’s best efforts, Kashmir issue is being highlighted throughout the world like never before. The recently concluded United Nations Security Council meeting on Kashmir as well as the international media coverage are its clear examples. In this scenario, we hope that this message reaches you via the international media,” APHC chairman said.

He was of the view that the Indian rulers were power intoxicated and they had crushed all canons of humanity, ethics and democracy under their feet. “They have increased the presence of their troops in the valley manifolds to force unilateral decisions upon people who have been made prisoners in their own homes. These attempts to divide Jammu and Kashmir and bring it under direct Union control in fact makes a mockery of their own so-called democracy,” he concluded.

INDIA REMOVES JAMMU AND KASHMIR FLAG

The flag of Jammu and Kashmir was removed from the Civil Secretariat in Srinagar Sunday following the orders of the BJP-led Indian government, three weeks after it ended special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Till now, both the Indian flag and the state flag used to fly atop the Civil Secretariat building, reported NDTV.

It was expected that the flag would be removed on October 31, when the law bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh -- comes into effect.

Under the special status granted by the Article 370 in the Constitution, Jammu and Kashmir was allowed a separate flag - three white stripes on a red base and a white plough - which was adopted by the state’s constituent assembly in 1952. The three stripes represented the state’s three regions -- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.