Kashmiri Leader Warns Agitation If Slum Dwellers Not Expelled


Srinagar, Sept 28: The hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani Wednesday threatened to launch agitation if the government doesn’t expel non-resident slum-dwellers from Kashmir and publicly renounce their proposed settlement in the region by October 20.

Geelani accused India of pursuing Israeli tactics, India wanted to expel Kashmiris from their own land and alter the Muslims majority character of the state.

“Not even a single resident of Kashmir lives in slums and these so-called slum dwellers are from different states of India, who have illegally occupied land in different areas of Kashmir. There is no justification to settle them permanently here and the move is a blatant violation of Article 370 of Indian constitution, which bars non-state subjects from permanent settlement in Kashmir,” Geelani said.

Alleging that the proposed rehabilitation of slum dwellers is an Israeli-type policy to change Kashmir’s demography, he said even their presence is turning out to be a dangerous social, moral and economic challenge to our society. “Majority of these non-Kashmiri slum dwellers have turned begging into a professional business and also deal with liquor, opium and other drugs; some of them are even involved in prostitution,” he said.

He asked the government to expel the non-resident slum-dwellers by October 20 and publicly renounce its proposed bid to settle them. “Otherwise the matter would be taken to public which will peacefully fight for their land and values, moral and social,” he said.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.