Post-unrest, Civil Society Groups from mainland make a beeline to Kashmir

While leaders like Sitaram Yechuri and D Raja had Hurriyat G chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani slamming his door on them, Sinha's team visited his residence twice in two days. Similarly, Morarka also met the Hurriyat leaders including Geelani.

Post-unrest, Civil Society Groups from mainland make a beeline to Kashmir

Over the past month, various civil society groups have made a beeline to Kashmir. After a group of high profile concerned citizens led by the former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha came the one  led by Seema Mustafa. Then a group of journalists led by a former Member Parliament Kamal Morarka and the Chief Editor of Chauthi Duniya Santosh Bharatiya was followed by Shiv Sena Hindustan, a Mumbai based rightwing party which called slain militant commander Burhan Wani a “martyr”.


All have published their respective reports and made statements which have taken an empathetic view of the prevailing situation.  Unlike the all party delegation led by the home minister Rajnath Singh, some of these groups have gained access to separatist leaders.

While leaders like Sitaram Yechuri and D Raja had Hurriyat G chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani slamming his door on them,  Sinha's team visited his residence twice in two days.  Similarly, Morarka also met the Hurriyat leaders including Geelani.

Sinha has issued some important statements like calling for Srinagar, New Delhi dialogue and highlighting the urgency of the efforts geared towards a Kashmir solution.

“We are a group of concerned citizens. We have come on our own to share the grief of the people,” Sinha told media while stressing the need for a dialogue geared to resolve the larger Kashmir issue. “We want to contribute to the peace building in the state and restore engagement between the country and the people of the state”.

But the other members in his team have made no bones about the fact that their effort was little more than an outreach on behalf of the concerned citizens of the country.  In their interactions with the media and civil society groups, members of the Sinha-led delegation have been at pains to dissociate from the government.

Sinha’s group was followed by the one of journalists comprising among other of Prem Shankar Jha, Seema Mustafa  Sukumar Murlidharan and Anand Sahay. Talking to people the group also assured them of making efforts to create more awareness about Kashmir situation in the rest of India.

“Everything that government has been saying is already known but there is a blackout on what Kashmiri people are speaking,” Seema Mustafa told reporters. We are a group of independent journalists and will highlight  the situation in the state”.

The group subsequently released a 36 page  scathing report ‘Kashmir: A Paradise Lost’ on the situation in the state.

“The team shares the view that the dialogue between New Delhi and Srinagar is imperative, with all the stakeholders that mainstream political parties, separatists, youth, civil society organizations, business trade, lawyers and others”, the report read. “From this will and should flow all the steps that need to be taken to make Kashmir whole again in short term and move towards solution in long term”.

Similarly, in their statement the delegation led by  Kamal Morarka said the Kashmir problem requires immediate intervention of the Prime Minister “as this is the only way to find solution the issue.”

After interacting with different shades of opinion in Valley over five days, the delegation said there won’t be any solution to Kashmir issue until the intervention of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“This delegation understands that the Prime Minister should intervene in Kashmir with immediate effect, because without his intervention this problem has no resolution,” the statement issued by the delegation read.

Mumbai based right wing political party Shiv Sena Hindustan termed slain militant commander Burhan Wani a “martyr” and called the Jammu and Kashmir government a “terrorist” asking “what the PDP-BJP coalition achieved by killing innocents.’

Addressing journalists at Press Enclave in Srinagar, SSH National Vice president Pandit Rajesh Kasari said he along with other party activists met people in Kashmir to get  firsthand knowledge of the situation.

“On ground, the reality is different. Khalid Muzafar Wani (Brother of slain militant commander Burhan Wani) is a martyr. His brother Burhan Wani is also a martyr. I will say that all those killed during 2016 unrest are martyrs,” Kasari said.