Srinagar, July 13: As the tussle between the security forces and angry mob continued in Kashmir for the fourth day on Tuesday (July 12), a group of peace-loving citizens appealed to all the stakeholders in the Valley to end the cycle of violence.
An open letter signed by 40-odd people was addressed to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the protestors, the political leadership and the civil society.
The signatories of the letter called themselves "the peaceful and law-abiding citizens of Kashmir and other parts of India, with stakes in a peaceful Kashmir and belief in non-violent resolution of conflict situations".
Some of the peaceniks are Rajbir Bhattacharjee, Rafiul Alom Rahman, Pickee Kaul, Danish Iqbal, Sushant Taing, Saransh Joshi and Shoaib Mehraj, to name a few.
Read the full letter below:
In the past few days, we have seen Kashmir sink once again to unprecedented levels of anarchy. Kashmir is burning yet again.
The tragic deaths and maiming of youth due to firing, pellet guns and excessive use of force is unacceptable. Arson, loot and destruction of public property, attacks on the security personal of CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] and J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] police and sporadic attacks on the vulnerable communities and their places of worship that are continuing unabated, also are unacceptable.
We, the peaceful and law-abiding citizens of Kashmir and other parts of India, with stakes in a peaceful Kashmir and belief in nonviolent resolution of conflict situations, make this humble appeal, first of all to the Chief Minister of J&K: Please take immediate steps to reign in the security forces and issue orders for minimal use of force against the angry mobs.
To the youth, who are out in the streets to express their rage and anguish against the state, we urge that they take a moment and contemplate on the consequences of escalating an already out of control situation.
Irrespective of which side of the complex political problem one stands on, we are certain that no idea is worth more than the life of a fellow human being. Many precious lives have been lost in this turmoil in the past twenty-six years and we are continuing to lose more in the present, with each passing hour. Families are being shattered for their entire lives losing loved ones. Please spare a thought for the incalculable harm and damage the consequences of your anger will inflict on these families for many years to come.
The need of the hour for both sides - ever more for the state administration and its security establishment, which has experienced in the past how such situations can spiral out of control and escalate - is to exercise thorough restraint and prevent the unnecessary loss of lives in the state.
To the young protesters, we urge calm and suggest peaceful ways of expressing themselves even if they want to protest about some issue. This can only be achieved if we work together through secular and peaceful means. We urge the involved parties to choose a middle path of non-violence and inclusiveness. Let us create an atmosphere that enables peaceful resolution of the current situation. Only dialogue is the most viable means. Let us bring back peace to the valley of Kashmir.