Weekly update 39: Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from May, 26, 2020 to Jun., 1, 2020
1. Youth martyred: May, 5, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred two Kashmiri youth in Kulgam district, today.The youth were killed during a cordon and search operation, jointly launched by the personnel of Indian army, paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force and Indian Police in Damhal Hanjipora area of the district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/25/indian-troops-martyr-tow-kashmiri-youth-in-iok/
2. Internet: May, 29, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian authorities have extended ban on high-speed internet service in the territory An order issued by the Home Department of occupied Kashmir said that the gag on Internet connectivity would continue until further orders. Narendra Modi-led fascist government in New Delhi had suspended the internet and mobile phone services in occupied Kashmir on August 05, last year, when it revoked the special status of the territory and placed it under lockdown. Meanwhile, 48 rights groups from different parts of the world, including US-based Human Rights Watch in a letter to the World Health Organisation urged the World Body to impress upon India to restore internet access in Kashmir. The rights groups informed the WHO that residents in Jammu and Kashmir were unable to access information about COVID-19 due to the restriction of high-speed internet access. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/28/india-extends-ban-on-high-speed-internet-in-iok/
3. Petition: May, 29, 2020: http://chng.it/rTKQnhPPxc Kindly sign and support this petition which demands that 4G be immediately restored in Indian Occupied Kashmir
5. Rape a weapon of war: May, 30, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, India is using rape and molestation of women as a weapon of war to suppress the Kashmiris’ struggle for securing their inalienable right to self-determination. An analytical report issued by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, in connection with the completion of eleven years to the gory incident of Shopian double rape and murder said that women were the worst victims of Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir. The report maintained that Indian troops had molested 11,204 women since January 1989 till date. Indian men in uniform had abducted 17-year-old Aasiya and her 22-year-old sister-in-law Neelofar after they had gone to their orchard on this day in 2009, gang-raped and subsequently murdered them in custody. Their bodies were recovered from a shallow stream in the area on the next morning. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference spokesman in a statement issued in Srinagar, today, said that India was victimizing the Kashmiri women for their active role in the ongoing freedom movement. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/29/india-using-molestation-of-iok-women-as-weapon-of-war/
6. Youth martyred: May, 30, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred two Kashmiri youth in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district, today. The troops martyred the youth during a cordon and search operation in Wanpora area of the district. The troops have sealed all entry and exit points of the area. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/30/indian-troops-martyr-two-kashmiri-youth-in-kulgam-4/Weekly update 38: Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from May, 19, 2020 to May, 25, 2020
1. Property Destruction; May, 20, 2020: .People across Kashmir say government forces are destroying civilian property with increasing frequency. In recent years, almost every gunfight has led to homes being turned to rubble. According to official data accessed by IndiaSpend, in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district alone, at least 105 homes were destroyed during gunfights between 2015 and March 2018. Eyewitness accounts and videos shared on social media show the Indian Army setting houses on fire shortly after tracking down militants. Security officials, however, claim an announcement is always made after a house where militants are hiding is besieged, giving them a chance to surrender.The Army has also ransacked entire neighbourhoods across South Kashmir, where support for militancy runs high. Wani Mohalla is one such neighbourhood. “No militant was killed, but our houses were burnt to the ground,” the shopkeeper said. “The head of the search party said the building was clear of militants. They still burnt it down. All our cash, gold and documents are gone with the house.” Residents of Khudwani say the Army prevented fire tenders from dousing the flames. Another shopkeeper in his 30s whose home was also burnt down said the local Army unit’s then commanding officer as well as a senior district police official watched the buildings burn. “No one heeded our pleas,” he rued. The police eventually allowed firemen access to the buildings, but the Army was stern. “They warned against dousing fires in the houses,” the younger shopkeeper said. “They said they would shoot us if we tried. They allowed the firemen to control fires in our shops, though.” Only a few rooms were left of his house, where he lived with his parents and a younger brother. The family is now staying in the house of a neighbour, who was gracious enough to offer them a floor and without taking rent.The Army, the younger shopkeeper said, does not distinguish between civilians and rebels. “Now, all of us are terrorists to them,” he said. “This should not happen. They should fight with militants. Why do they fight with unarmed civilians like us? For one militant, they trouble 50 civilian families, damage our property.” As he rushed to tend customers at his shop, he added, “We are fed up with both sides.”Three months after his home was destroyed, the older shopkeeper started rebuilding, only for his plans to be stalled. In July, another gunfight broke out in Wani Mohalla. This time, the Army did not relent: they immediately set on fire the house in which the militants were hiding. “It is now better to shift out of this area,” the shopkeeper said. In Pulwama, the Army used flamethrowers to burn down a house where the Hizbul Mujahideen militant Sameer Bhat, alias Sameer Tiger, was hiding. A video seemingly shot from inside an Army vehicle near the site of the gunfight, which took place in April, shows Bhat emerging on the roof soon after the fire is lit. He is gunned down within seconds. An undated video that first started circulating on social media in June shows soldiers surrounding a two-storeyed Kashmiri house. Soon, there are explosions in the ground floor and the house collapses in just five seconds. Panning away from the wreckage, the camera turns to the smiling face of a soldier. Why are security forces destroying homes in Kashmir? The answer depends on whom you ask. For villagers, it is a form of punishment. “I feel they did it so we would not shelter militants again,” the old shopkeeper from Khudwani said. “But what can we do? We are helpless. We are forced to give them shelter. Both sides have guns.” All over the Valley, one question repeatedly crops up regarding gunfights: given that militants lack enough “samaan”, the colloquial term for arms and ammunition, why can security forces not wait for their supplies to run out and apprehend them, instead of killing them or burning down houses? In response, security forces point to a recent change in the dynamic of gunfights. In the past, a senior police official said, they preferred room to room searches. Today, security forces cannot prolong gunfights as protesting crowds around sites of operations swell the longer they last. Trying to avoid killing militants in such situations would result in civilian killings. Then, there is the matter of media attention. The security establishment does not want “spectacles for the press”, the official said, so they prefer to finish operations swiftly.Another police official who has supervised several counterinsurgency operations in recent years, largely agreed. “Material damage is acceptable to all rather than loss of lives on any side,” he said.He added that the methods used to expedite operations involve tossing improvised explosive devices inside houses or planting them close to a wall to “stun or kill” the holed up militants. Since 2017, after protestors started disrupting operations with increasing frequency, the Army has been using flamethrowers as well. The official, however, claimed using explosives and flamethrowers “is not meant to blow up the house entirely. The damage is collateral.” Such destruction of homes is not new to the Valley. A retired lieutenant general of the Indian Army who has served as a commander in Kashmir said destroying houses has always been part of the counterinsurgency methods “in vogue”. “It is the easiest way to do it,” he said.The Army, he said, generally avoids confrontations that threaten the lives of its men. Protocol is not followed each time militants are tracked down as there usually is not enough time. “In battle you use firepower to avoid casualties,” he added. “Minimum force for [maximum] effect. And the effect you want to see produced is one that kills terrorists. It is better to fire a thousand rounds than let them [militants] kill two of our men, it is better to bring the house down than lose two men.”Houses are destroyed, he said, because militants usually do not heed announcements offering them safe passage and an option to surrender. Has the Army ever considered how such a policy would affect the civilian population and shape its perception of the Indian state?“No,” the general replied, and accused the affected homeowners of being “complicit” for giving shelter to militants. “Where is the question of outrage?” he asked. “You are complicit.” He said there are “no idealistic rules” in wars, pointing to a war strategy that has been around “since times immemorial”. “Why do you bomb cities?” he asked. “To break the will of the people”.The police official who has supervised counterinsurgency operations in recent years claimed the Army destroys homes to prevent deaths of security personnel. “Conflicts within the country are difficult for the Army,” he said. “They are trained to kill in wars, to eliminate all that moves on the opposite side.” A raft of international statutes prohibits the “unnecessary destruction” of property. These include the Geneva Conventions. While India is a signatory to the four main conventions, which primarily deal with international armed conflicts, it is yet to sign the additional protocols. Among other things, these protocols codify violations in the case of non-international armed conflicts. In Kashmir, as militancy raged in the 1990s, residential areas came under fire. The northern town of Sopore, for example, witnessed repeated burnings. In September 1990, the Border Security Force set 83 houses and 50 shops on fire in the town’s Arampora locality, in retaliation for an attack on their convoy. On January 6, 1993, they set fire to the town’s main market, this time to “avenge” the killing of one of their men, killing at least 53 civilians and burning down 300 shops and over 100 houses. In April 1993, The New York Times reported that Indian security forces had been blamed for arson and killings across Srinagar. Bhat alleges his house was set ablaze well after the gunfight had ended. The fire also consumed his sister’s home next door. It is not the destruction of his home that Bhat regrets so much as the loss of his work. “I know the value of a mujahid,” he said, using the popular term for militant. “If their sacrifice is accepted, then all my property isn’t worth even a shoe. The injustice they died fighting, I think God will accept them.” The destruction of his work has broken his resolve to write. “I only regret this,” he said, laying on a sheet on the bare cemented floor of his new home that is still under construction. “Today, I write a line and then think of all that was lost. It stops me right there.” Save for a separatist leader who “put a band aid on my deep wounds” by offering a paltry sum of money, Bhat said, no one has came forward to help him. “One made a speech here,” he recounted. “Telling people not to worry because he would rebuild this house. He said he considered it his own house. Seeing that, the local people did not come to my help. Neither did [that separatist leader].” Today, Bhat, his wife, two adult sons and a daughter live in a single-room outhouse that survived the gunfight. His sister’s family has erected a tin shelter. Bhat and his wife spend most of their days in the house he is now rebuilding. The outhouse is too hot during the day. “It is making a lesson out of us,” Bhat said of the destruction of his home. “So that the next time militants seek shelter anywhere, people would rather be killed by them than face this.” For ordinary Kashmiris, to have their homes destroyed is to feel “doomed”, the poet said. “But for those who know how movements are run, it doesn’t matter,” he added. “When so many people have died, what is a house worth?”The responsibility for supporting such families, Bhat argued, should lie with the Hurriyat leaders, “who claim to run the tehreek”, or the Azadi movement. People whose homes are destroyed during gunfights are eligible for compensation. After a claim is made, the district administrations seeks a police report on whether the owner harboured militants willingly or under duress. Bhat said he has applied for compensation but there has been no progress on his claim. He suspects his vocal support for the separatist movement has led to an unfavourable report from the police. But the counterinsurgency official claimed the police give favourable reports in most cases. This is done on “humanitarian basis” so that the homeowners do not suffer any further, he added. But the process is long and the money given, often years later, is generally a fraction of the losses suffered. Moreover, the process can only start if a homeowner files a claim. Not all do. Waheed Khan’s home in Anantnag town was damaged during a gunfight in July, but he did not even consider seeking compensation. “We know they will not compensate us, so why should I humiliate myself?” Khan said, sitting in his shop in the ground floor of his home. The windows in the upper floors are still broken, the walls riddled with bullet marks. “They will call us anti-national, so why should we approach them? What can we tell them?”Khan’s brother, Tariq Khan, ran away to join the militancy soon after the gunfight. Gunfights across Kashmir follow the same routine: homes reduced to rubble, vast funerals for militants, people thronging the sites of the gunfights. People regularly travel to such places from distant villages. In local folklore, the wrecked buildings mark the sites where militants achieved “martyrdom”.A young villager from Pulwama said going to such sites was like “visiting a shrine”. “There are stories and anecdotes, and martyrs linked to an encounter site,” he said. The visitors trace bullet holes in the rooms and follow the slain militants’ footsteps, trying to imagine the scene of their death. The day after Sameer Tiger was killed in Drubgam village, the visitors struggled to climb a narrow staircase to the spot on the roof where his blood was still visible. Unsurprisingly, the destruction of homes and the displacement of families invariably fuels anger. “There is a feeling of deliberate victimisation,” said the young man from Pulwama. “We see what the hundreds of soldiers do to kill two people holed up in a house, the hatred for Army only increases.” https://scroll.in/bulletins/272/the-best-of-eco-india-and-a-brand-new-season
2. Youth killed: May, 21, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, a 12-year-old boy, who was injured yesterday at the site of an encounter that took place between the mujahedeen and Indian troops in Srinagar, succumbed to his injuries, today.
The boy identified as Basim Aijaz son of Aijaz Ahmad of Chota Bazar Karan Nagar was injured yesterday along with three other persons at Nawakadal encounter site in Srinagar on late Tuesday when a house which was earlier blasted by the Indian troops got collapsed. Basim Aijaz died today at Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital where he was undergoing treatment. As the news of boy’s death spread, people took to the streets at Karan Nagar and Eidgah areas of Srinagar and started protesting against the killing. Clashes also erupted between the protesting youth and Indian troops in these areas. Protests and clashes were going on when this report was being filed. Pertinently, two mujahideen including top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Junaid Sehrai, were martyred by the troops at the site. The troops also destroyed over a dozen houses in the area. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/20/srinagar-boy-injured-at-encounter-site-succumbs/
3. OIC: May, 21, 2020: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has denounced India’s new domicile law for occupied Kashmir, calling it a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.The OIC in a statement said, “The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has been following with deep concern the unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 and subsequent measures to alter the demographics of and undermine the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”. Reaffirming the importance of complying with international law and UNSC resolutions, the OIC termed the Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020’ as baseless, running counter to international laws.The Islamic organization also urged the international community to gear up its efforts to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/20/oic-condemns-new-domicile-law-in-iok/
4. Schools: May23, 2020: Ulfa Rafiq’s school is walking distance from her home in the Hawal area of Srinagar’s old city. But since August 5 last year, she has only attended classes for 11 days.As the Centre stripped Jammu and Kashmir of special status and divided it into two Union Territories on August 5, a complete lockdown and communications blockade was imposed on the Valley. Schools would remain shut for months, despite the government announcing that they had reopened. The schools that opened saw scant attendance, as parents were afraid to send their children out amid the communications blackout and the constant arrests. Within months of the August 5 lockdown, the government announced a two-and-a-half-month long winter vacation, from December 10 to February 22. On February 25, Rafiq went to her school for the first time since August 5. But on March 11, the administration ordered the closure of all educational institutions. The Valley was entering a second lockdown, this time to contain the coronavirus.
5. “We were yet to settle down and go back to normal school life when another shutdown was announced,” said Rafiq, a Class 10 student. “But we thought it’ll be over soon.”
6. Like more than a million other students in the Valley, Rafiq has known little formal schooling since August 5 last year. She breaks into a smile when she recalls last year’s final exams. “In November, we went to school where we were given study material, question papers and answer sheets,” she said. “We were asked to write exams at home and submit the answer sheets after a week. You can only imagine how easy it would have been. We just consulted our study material on our own and then wrote answers. Was it really an exam?”Across the country, schools have taken classes online for those students who have access to the internet. In Kashmir, this is complicated by the ban on 4G internet imposed on August 5 and defended by the government as being necessary for security purposes. After a complete ban on mobile internet for close to six months, the administration restored 2G mobile internet and fixed line internet services in the Valley. But few internet users have fixed line services and 2G mobile internet is inadequate to the demands of online learning. “Our school announced online classes several weeks ago but the lack of high-speed internet makes it hectic,” said Rafiq, who relies on 2G mobile internet to attend online classes through the Zoom video-conferencing app and receive lectures through WhatsApp voice notes. “Most of the time, the connection gets lost and we have to reenter the session. The video quality is very poor.” The private schools’ association, along with a group of media professionals and doctors, filed a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the internet curbs. “Our contention was to allow us to have online schooling so that we can close schools,” said Var. “Who knows how long this pandemic will continue? But they are making a mockery of things.” The Supreme Court, which heard the petition on May 11, refused to pass an order to restore 4G internet, leaving the decision to a special committee, led by the Union home secretary. Schools in the Valley are making the best of limited resources. In North Kashmir’s Kupwara district, Sajad Ahmad painstakingly records and sends video lectures on WhatsApp. It takes him at least an hour and a half to record a 15 minute lecture. On average, he teaches three to four classes a day.“All of our online schooling relies on WhatsApp,” he explained. “I have to first shoot the lectures myself and then upload them on WhatsApp. Every day, I send two to three videos to the different classes I teach. After the classes, I send and receive assignments from the students from WhatsApp only.” Sending a video lecture on 2G internet means having to monitor it constantly to ensure it gets uploaded. “Once it’s sent, it takes my students the same amount of time to download the video lecture,” said 33-year-old Ahmad.There is an added anxiety – Ahmad has not been paid his monthly salary of Rs 5,000 since the lockdown began in March, he says. “I have to feed my family and parents and I am expecting a baby soon,” he said. “All these months, we have been buying essentials from a village grocery shop on credit. Recently, I borrowed Rs 1000 from my friend to purchase a gas cylinder,” said Ahmad. Schools in Srinagar have fared a little better, with teachers holding online classes on Zoom. But even this process is hobbled by the fact that most students have only 2G internet. “Our teachers are giving online classes to kids and the classes are monitored online by supervisors to ensure quality and understanding,” said Mohammad Yousuf Wani, chairman of the Green Valley Educational Institute, an English-medium school in Srinagar. With online classes set up, they might be able to cover the syllabus, Wani believes. “We will be in the process of holding online examinations soon,” he added. The only time she has been to school since August 5 last year was in November, when she collected study material and question papers to be answered at home. Now with 2G internet, she has entered a new routine during the Covid-19 lockdown. At 11.15 am, she logs in to Zoom for three half-an-hour long classes. She is joined by 90 other students. “After attending classes, I finish my assignments,” she said. “These days, I am preparing for online examinations scheduled from next week In Kashmir, however, the strain of the Covid-19 lockdown comes on top of decades of mental health problems caused by the armed conflict. According to a Doctors Without Borders study in 2016, 45% of the population in Kashmir wee experiencing “mental distress.” “If half of the population has such a condition, how will they cope with the mental health care of their kids?” asked Khan. “Parenting will also be affected by the loss of livelihoods and jobs due to the shutdown.” https://scroll.in/article/962295/in-kashmir-school-children-have-barely-gone-to-classes-for-nine-months
7. Fatalities: May, 25, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, two more civilians wounded at Nawakadal encounter site in Srinagar last week succumbed to their injuries, today. With these two deaths the toll of civilians who died of the injuries suffered at the site has mounted to three. The Indian troops had killed top mujahid commander Junaid Sehrai and his associate in Nawa Kadal area of Srinagar on Tuesday (May 19). The troops later blasted many houses at the encounter site resulting in a fire that also damaged scores of surrounding homes. Several people were injured when a partially damaged house collapsed after the encounter ended. First a 55 year old man identified as Manzoor Ahmad Khan a resident of Hawal, Srinagar, who was injured in the house collapse at the encounter site, succumbed at SMHS Hospital on Sunday morning, the health officials said. Barely a few hours later, one more injured youth identified as Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, 35, of Jamalatta, Nawa Kadal, also breathed his last at the same hospital. Earlier, a 12-year-old boy, Basim Aijaz, who was also injured at the same spot on Tuesday, succumbed to his injuries at the same hospital on Wednesday. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/24/2-more-hurt-at-nawakadal-encounter-site-succumb-toll-reaches-3/
1. HR crimes: May, 11,2020: Kashmiris under Indian occupation should prepare video logs, witness statements, photos, diaries and record the all the war crimes, crimes against humanity and atrocities committed by the Indian army and security officers. This will be used in the future ICC war crimes trials, and they will be brought to justice even after their retirement with international arrest warrants. They will be arrested at international airports while travelling abroad. They should send all the evidence to the UN and ICC’s official email addresses, social media platforms and other apps. It is time that all the occupied, oppressed and abused groups in India join hands and start a joint struggle against Nazi-fascist BJP and RSS terrorism. India has over 900,000 military force deployed in occupied Kashmir and become the highest militarised zone in the world. Any brave commander should be thinking where the hell, I am going to find space to bury them all? For Prime Minister Imran Khan it is time to stand up for action with all the ‘humanly possible resources’ to support the occupied Kashmiris facing genocide. It is time to call the United Nations and International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Indian Armed Forces on the orders of BJP leadership and Prime Minister Modi. Covid19 Pandemic has exposed many things like that: ‘US cannot save the world as they show in Hollywood movies and Indians cannot achieve in occupied Kashmir what they show in the Bollywood movies. As Pakistan Air Force can go inside their camps at 9 am broad day light and hit all the targets as they did successfully on 27 February 2019 in held Kashmir. At the same time Pakistani media should declare ‘unilateral declaration of independence’ from their foreign paymasters and others should be shut down as no one can tolerate this treachery. Indian Prime Minister Modi’s love for guns, madness and criminal behavior has led both countries India and Pakistan at the verge of war between two nuclear states. The so called 350 KG Pulwama terrorist attack was very indigenous or seemingly self-inflicted which lead to the damaging the moral as soldiers refused to go by road and now, they are being airlifted. 11/05/2020 Indian Army Committing Genocide in Occupied Kashmir – UN & International Criminal Court (ICC) must Investigate War Crimes | The L… thelondonpost.net/indian-army-committing-genocide-in-occupied-kashmir-un-international-criminal-court-icc-must-investigate-war-crimes/?fbclid=IwAR… 3/7 There are 64 terrorist organizations listed on Indian Government list among them only 4 are linked with Muslims and Kashmir rest are indigenous separatist movements with manpower, explosives and ideology to support their cause. All it requires is a fully functioning ATM machines and long arms of support. Modi worshipping guns cannot be a man of peace? The madness of Modi has already damaged India and its reputation as a secular state. It is now a state run by the Hindu racist Brahmins where they have no space for Sikhs, Christians and Muslims as all the minorities are a victim and target. 11/05/2020 Indian Army Committing Genocide in Occupied Kashmir – UN & International Criminal Court (ICC) must Investigate War Crimes | The L… thelondonpost.net/indian-army-committing-genocide-in-occupied-kashmir-un-international-criminal-court-icc-must-investigate-war-crimes/?fbclid=IwAR… 4/7 “The Indian High Commissioner to London, H.E Renandra Sen got upset with my question at London School of Economics in a seminar about ‘India emerging power’. “I merely asked him how you can play a role at international stage when you (India) had three wars with Pakistan, one with China, border dispute with Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. The only country you have good relations is Mauritius.” His reply was, ‘this is not a fair question’. Professor Gautam Sen was hosting the program in the packed auditorium of LSE. India is dying and drowning in occupied Kashmir and now after months curfew it will have a trickle-down effect all over. This might lead to break up of India into small states as long before the arrival of Muslim Mughals who consolidated and united whole of India into one rich super state. Non-racist Muslims rulers made India rich, prosperous and powerful. India has no history of Hindu – Muslim riots. The first riot happened during the British occupation of India wrote former police chief of Mahrahrata (Mumbai), S M Mushrif, in his bestseller book – ‘Who Killed Karkare? – The Real Face of Terrorism in India’. The Indian media has become a mouthpiece of this racist rule of the BJP-RSS racist government. 11/05/2020 Indian Army Committing Genocide in Occupied Kashmir – UN & International Criminal Court (ICC) must Investigate War Crimes | The L… thelondonpost.net/indian-army-committing-genocide-in-occupied-kashmir-un-international-criminal-court-icc-must-investigate-war-crimes/?fbclid=IwAR… 5/7 If Indians were wise, they would have let Kashmiris have their ‘UN recognised right of selfdetermination’ and have excellent relations with Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. But Indian Brahmins ‘white supremacist’, ‘Arian mentality’ lead them to in the lap of European arms dealers who obviously don’t want this matter to be resolved? They would like more states in India. All the arms contracts in India are full of corruption from Bofors Guns by Rajiv Gandhi to French Rafael fighter Jets by Prime Minister Modi. The India Today reported, “Bofors: Perhaps the scam most widely remembered in popular memory. Thanks to it Rajiv Gandhi lost the 1989 general elections. The scam was to do with a $1.4-billion howitzer deal between Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors and the Indian government signed in 1986. It was alleged that the Swedish company paid nearly $9 million to politicians, Congress leaders and bureaucrats. The case is still alive in the Supreme Court.” https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/from-rafale-to-bofors-dubious-defence-deals-thatrocked-india-1451287-2019-02-08 The occupying Indian Army is officially assessed by the US as 68% obsolete and unable to fight. The New York Times wrote: “And 68 percent of the (Indian) army’s equipment is so old, it is officially considered “vintage.” The Indian army with its Israeli – Nazi mindset advisors using same tactics what they are doing in Palestine, but it will fail eventually as Kashmir is not Palestine. The only way forward for the Kashmiris would be to follow the Afghan model of resistance against invasion and occupation. As Kashmiris have every legal right to resist by using all available means including armed resistance under the UN Charter. Afghans never protested outside the US or NATO embassies after 2001 US invasion and Soviet invasion of 1979? I sincerely believe that: ‘some sane people in India have this view that current escalations have everything to sell the arms to poverty stricken, naked and hungry Indians whose BMI (Body Measure Index) is close to a poverty stricken African due to lack of toilet facilities and water born diseases’. Every morning over 350 million sit on both sides of railways tracks to defecate themselves due to lack of toilet facilities. However, Prime Ministers Modi sent space craft to the moon or shooting a satellite in the space to further make mess in the sky. 11/05/2020 Indian Army Committing Genocide in Occupied Kashmir – UN & International Criminal Court (ICC) must Investigate War Crimes | The L… thelondonpost.net/indian-army-committing-genocide-in-occupied-kashmir-un-international-criminal-court-icc-must-investigate-war-crimes/?fbclid=IwAR… 6/7 Since February 2019, after the failed Indian air attacks on Pakistani territory, US and Israeli press was too quick to publish assessments about the lack of professionalism and use of obsolete arms by the Indian forces. The New York Times reported on 5 March 2019, “After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its ‘Vintage’ Military”, which seems to be absolutely true after the recent display modern Chinese weaponry with hyper-sonic technology at China National Day military parade in October 2019. The New York Times wrote: “It was an inauspicious moment for a military the United States is banking on to help keep an expanding China in check. An Indian Air Force pilot found himself in a dogfight last week with a warplane from the Pakistani Air Force, and ended up a prisoner behind enemy lines for a brief time. The pilot (wing commander Abhinandan) made it home in one piece, however bruised and shaken, but the plane, an aging Soviet-era MiG-21, was less lucky. The aerial clash, the first by the South Asian rivals in nearly five decades, was a rare test for the Indian military — and it left observers a bit dumbfounded. While the challenges faced by the India’s armed forces are no secret, its loss of a plane last week to a country whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter of the funding was still telling. The New York Times further wrote, “India’s armed forces are in alarming shape. If intense warfare broke out tomorrow, India could supply its troops with only 10 days of ammunition, according to government estimates. And 68 percent of the army’s equipment is so old, it is officially considered “vintage.” “Our troops lack modern equipment, but they have to conduct 21st-century military operations,” said Gaurav Gogoi, a lawmaker and member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense. American officials tasked with strengthening the alliance talk about their mission with frustration: a swollen bureaucracy makes arms sales and joint training exercises cumbersome; th 11/05/2020 Indian Army Committing Genocide in Occupied Kashmir – UN & International Criminal Court (ICC) must Investigate War Crimes | The L… thelondonpost.net/indian-army-committing-genocide-in-occupied-kashmir-un-international-criminal-court-icc-must-investigate-war-crimes/?fbclid=IwAR… 7/7 WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com Indian forces are vastly underfunded; and the country’s navy, army and air force tend to compete rather than work together. Whatever the problems, the United States is determined to make the country a key ally in the coming years to hedge against China’s growing regional ambition.” While keeping in view the Chinese troops deployment and preparation in Ladakh and rest of the Indian-China border ‘it will be impossible for the Indian army to resist and fight with its 68% vintage army and obsolete weapons’. As for occupied Kashmir the Indian army have no choice but to leave. Kashmiris have already sacrificed over 100,000 people but now they to have decide either to give their lives for freedom or take the Indians with them? (Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on AlJazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Azerbaijan 2020, April 2018, Kazakhstan 2015, 2016, 2019 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. At Government College Lahore he wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ and studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University. He is a visiting Professor at Hebe University in China http://thelondonpost.net/indian-army-committing-genocide-in-occupied-kashmir-un-international-criminal-court-icc-must-investigate-war-crimes/?fbclid=IwAR1ZWGDDGqZ27ojm5_8T96jUh1KMaZBBaoViFpp4_2AHJFNbSe0rlzcSiCk
2. LoC: May, 11, 2020; A private schoolteacher was killed in Poonch district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) during heavy Indian shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday evening, raising the number of such deaths in the ongoing year to seven, ofhcials said on Sunday. Rashid Naeem Khan, deputy inspector generalof (DIG) police in Poonch, told Dawn by telephone that Indian troops shelled Abbaspur sector, using light and heavy arms and targeting civilian population.One of the shells landed in the kitchen of a house in Polas Kakota village at about 6.45pm where Shazia Bibi, 22, wife of Usman Hafeez, was preparing meals for Iftar, he said.`Splinters from the shell pierced through her body, leaving her dead on the spot,` he added. https://epaper.dawn.com/DetailImage.php?StoryImage=11_05_2020_001_002
3. Troops vandalize property : May, 13, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops and police went berserk, vandalized public property and arrested people randomly in a village in Budgam district. For the last three days the occupational troops and police personnel have been appearing in Nasrullah Pora village of the district and running amok damaging public property, beating locals and arresting people before leaving the village. Some reports say that the troops and police personnel have looted 27 shops including hardware stores and gas cylinders, damaged 162 vehicles and 42 houses as well as breaking window panes of nearly 800 homes in the village in last three days. The villagers said that the forces either looted or destroyed their valuable possessions including cash, electronic appliances, furniture, cooking gas cylinders, and jewellery during the raids. Indian forces’ vandalism have forced people to migrate to other villages. A villager said that forces personnel arrested people randomly during night, adding even elderly people were not spared and arrested.“The forces damaged parked vehicles, shops and gates of the house. They barged into the houses and damaged my JCB, LeD TV, washing machine, refrigerator, Maruti Alto and other things. They spared only a few households and created havoc in almost every home,” another resident of the village said. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/12/indian-troops-resort-to-vandalism-in-iok-village/
4. Youth arrested: May, 13, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian police arrested four Kashmiri youth in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, today.The police arrested the youth identified as Shabbir Ahmed Parray, Sheeraz Ahmed Dar, Shafat Ahmed Mir and Ishfaq Ahmed Shah from Awantipora area of the district.All the youth are residents of Bathen area of Khrew. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/12/indian-police-arrest-four-youth-in-pulwama-2/
5. Youth mattered: May, 13, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops shot at and martyred a civilian in Budgam district, today. The civilian was killed after Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) fired on his vehicle near Kawoosa Khalisa in Narbal area of the district.The bullets hit him in chest and he was shifted to SHMS hospital, Srinagar, where doctors declared him as brought dead https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/13/indian-troops-martyr-one-kashmiri-youth-in-budgam/
6. Deliberate killing; May, 14, 2020: The US daily, New York Times, quoting family sources of the youth, Merajuddin, martyred by Indian forces in Badgam district, today, denied the police account saying the victim did not drive through any checkpoints; instead Indian soldiers first stopped him and then shot him dead.The newspaper in its report particularly mentioned the narrative of the youth’s father Ghulam Nabi Shah to counter the police version that he was killed when his car didn’t stop despite warning shots. As the troops moved in to stop the villagers from marching, hundreds threw stones at the troops, who fired shotgun pellets and tear gas to quell the protests, the newspaper added. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/13/anti-india-protests-held-in-badgam/
7. USCIRF: May, 15, 2020: The US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Thursday noted with concern reports that the Indian government is arresting Muslim activists during the Covid-19 crisis who protested against the country's contentious CAA."At this time, India should be releasing prisoners of conscience, not targeting those practising their democratic right to protest," the USCIRF, which is a bipartisan agency of the federal government, said in a tweet. It specifically mentioned the arrest of Safoora Zargar, a pregnant activist who was arrested in connection with the communal violence that flared up in Delhi in February over the CAA. In a second tweet, the USCIRF noted that in its annual report for 2020, the commission had recommended that India be designated a Country of Particular Concern for its "systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom" during 2019."Unfortunately, this negative trend has continued into 2020," the US agency said. https://www.dawn.com/news/1557104/us-commission-expresses-concern-over-indias-arrest-of-muslim-activists-during-covid-19-crisis
8. UK Parliamentarian: May, 17, 2020:Judith Cummins, Member of UK Parliament from the Labour Party, has expressed serious concern over the human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir, particularly since August, last year, when India revoked the special status of the territory. Judith Cummins in a statement issued in London said, “I firmly believe that we must redouble our efforts towards securing a safe and peaceful future for Kashmir. The United Kingdom must play its part in achieving this. I have said before that I believe the British Government must play an active role within the international community in securing a peaceful solution through facilitating genuine dialogue between India and Pakistan. In this respect, I do not believe that Kashmir is solely a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.” The MP said she also fully backs the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination as mandated by the UN Security Council resolutions. I will support all peaceful and diplomatic efforts to facilitate this right to self-determination, she added. Judith Cummins said she wrote to the Foreign Secretary on the 8th August 2019 to raise the Kashmir issue. “I firmly believe that Labour must stand against human rights abuses wherever they occur and in the case of Kashmir we must be vocal in our support for those suffering,” she said. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/16/uk-mp-expresses-concern-over-hr-abuses-by-indian-troops-in-iok/
9. Youth martyred: May, 18, 2020:In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred two Kashmiri youth during a cordon and search operation in Doda district of Jammu region, today. Indian Army claimed that the youth were killed during an encounter with the troops in Gundana area of Doda town. An Indian soldier was also killed in an attack during the operation in the same area. In another incident, an Indian policeman was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Yaripora area of Kulgam district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/17/two-youth-martyred-indian-soldier-killed-in-iok/
1. Naseer Ahmed: May, 6, 2020: Nasser Ahmad wani S/o Mohd Hussain wani of Dompora village ,Rajpora Pulwama- Kashmir .The Family alleges that he was picked up by The Army RR on November 29 ,2019 ,That was the last time he was seen by his family ,After his detention his family went to Army camp and police station but the concerned Authority neglected them and told we left him but his family never received his minor son. They Approached to DC Pulwama but there was no response. The Naseer is sole bread earner for the family he has ailling father and 2 sisters .Her mother is suffering from depression and stress ,They are appealing the LG Mr Murmu sir plz show our son once we don't know whether he is dead or alive, plz if he is any jail of Kashmir or India plz show us once ,we will sell all our property to get him back, plz give us our child back he is innocent ! They are requesting to High Court also plz set the enquiry on this matter ,# News.click Mr Kamran yousuf has already covered this story but there was no response
2. Canada reacts: May, 7, 2020: Soon after several Indian nationals living in Arab countries were fired from their jobs for displaying and portraying Islamophobia through social media, Canada has also removed an Islamophobe from his job and terminating his contract with one of the leading real estate companies in the Nort The Islamophobe identified as Ravi Hooda was a member of ‘School Council Chair’ in Peel District School in Brampton. Several Toronto municipalities granted permissions to local mosques to call for prayer (azaan) on loudspeakers during Ramzan. On the other hand the move by Toronto municipalities was not accepted by Ravi Hooda and he posted a tirade mocking Muslims and their faith. He wrote, “What’s next? Separate lanes for camel & goat riders, allowing slaughter of animals at home in the name of sacrifice, bylaw requiring all women to cover themselves from head to toe in tents to appease the piece fools for votes.” Canada which is globally known for its liberal approach received shockwaves by Hooda’s remarks. Peel District School Board in Brampton announced that it had removed Hooda as ‘School Council Chair’ and investigation was underway against him https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/indian-expat-in-canada-losses-his-job-for-islamophobic-views
1. LoC Violation: Apr., 28, 2020: Pakistan on Monday summoned the head of Indian High Commission in Islamabad to lodge a strong protest over the latest ceasefire violations by Indian troops along the Line of control (LoC), leaving a woman martyred and eight-year old inured. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Indian troops initiated unprovoked ceasefire violations in Jandrot and Khuiratta sectors along LoC deliberately targeting civilian population on Monday morning. “Due to indiscriminate fire of automatics and rockets, a 36 years old woman, Yasmeen, resident of village Red embraced shahadat [martyrdom] while an 8 years old innocent girl, Adeeba Zaheer, resident of village Mohra Chattar sustained serious injuries. [The] injured child has been evacuated and being provided with medical care,” the military’s media wing said. “The Indian occupation forces this year, India has committed 882 ceasefire violations,” according to the FO. . https://tribune.com.pk/story/2208281/1-pakistan-summons-indian-diplomat-lodge-protest-ceasefire-violation-along-loc/
2. Youth martyred: Apr., 28, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred three more Kashmiri youth in Kulgam district,today, taking the total number of youth martyred by the troops to 7 in less than 24 hours.The youth were killed by the troops during a cordon and search operation at Lower Munda in Qazingund area of the district. On Sunday, the troops martyred four youth at Asthal in Kulgam district. The latest killings have raised the number of deaths to 16 since Wednesday. Earlier, Indian troops martyred three Kashmiri youth in Awantipora area of Pulwama district on Saturday, two youth at Arwani in Islamabad district on Thursday and four others in Melhora area of Shopian district on Wednesday. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/27/indian-troops-martyr-one-more-kashmiri-youtn-in-iok/
3. UN: Apr., 28, 2020: The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression has said that limitations imposed by the authorities on internet in occupied Kashmir have made access to basic information difficult for healthcare professionals. David Kaye, UN rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, in his report “Disease pandemics and the freedom of opinion and expression”, has expressed concern over internet restrictions in Kashmir. It has been reported by healthcare professionals in Kashmir that the limitations imposed by the government have made access to basic information difficult to obtain, reads the report. The report is being submitted to Human Rights Council’s 44th session scheduled from June 15 to July 3, 2020. According to the report, the continuation of restrictions on internet has been troubling, amid outbreak of COVID-19. “In the context of the pandemic, it has been especially troubling to observe the continuation of several instances of Internet shutdowns. The most prominent has been the long-term disruption that the Government of India has imposed on Kashmir,” reads the report. Referring to UN experts’ statement in August 2019, the report states that the government imposed what several mandate holders found to be “a form of collective punishment of the people of Kashmir, without even a pretext of a precipitating offence”.“Early in 2020 the Supreme Court of India found that the Government must periodically justify its continuing actions in Kashmir, but even as of this writing, reporting suggests that people in Kashmir are only able to access limited Internet sites and with extremely limited speeds,” the report states. On August 22, 2019, a group of five United Nations human rights experts had issued a joint statement asking the Indian government to end the crackdown on freedom of expression, access to information and peaceful protests in Kashmir. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/27/internet-restrictions-in-iok-figure-in-un-rapporteurs-report/
4. Domicile: Apr., 29, 2020: India in violation of all international norms and UN-recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir has granted domicile status to more than three hundred thousand (300,000) non-residents, all Hindus, in occupied Kashmir. News reports emanating from the occupied territory have revealed that since the new domicile law has been introduced by the Indian government for occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the people fear that more than 800,000 Indian soldiers and over 600,000 migrant labourers present in the territory may also be granted the domicile status in the days to come. Kashmiri masses have a strong feeling that the people in power in New Delhi are working on an agenda of changing the demography of Jammu and Kashmir, rendering the territory into “Another Palestine in the making”. The efforts in this regard have been doubled since India abrogated Articles 370 and 35-A on August 5, last year, the reports said. As part of the sinister move, the Indian government has also renamed the Jammu & Kashmir Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act by deleting references to “permanent residents.” This has also made it easy for non-local slum dwellers to acquire property rights in the disputed territory. However, those who closely watch the Indian moves in occupied Kashmir believe that these developments of severe political magnitude and consequences will not go unnoticed. There is a strong resentment among Kashmiri people against the India’s sinister designs. When and how anti-India sentiments explode into a full-scale uprising is only a matter of days. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/28/india-grants-300000-non-residents-domicile-status-in-iok/
5. Youth martyred: Apr., 29, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred two more Kashmiri youth, today. The troops martyred the youth during a cordon and search operation at Melhora in Zainapora area of Shopian district. The operation continued till last reports came in.The killing of the youth triggered massive anti-India demonstrations in the area. Indian troops fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse the protesters, triggering clashes between the demonstrators and Indian forces’ personnel. One youth suffered pellet injuries and was shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar for treatment. It is to mention here that the troops have martyred 10 youth in different areas of occupied Kashmir since Saturday. During cordon and search operations, the troops killed three youth at Lower Munda in Qazingund area of Kulgam district, yesterday, four youth at Asthal in Kulgam district on Sunday and three others in Awantipora area of Pulwama district on Saturday.The latest killings have raised the number of martyred youth to 19 since last Wednesday. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/28/indian-troops-martyr-two-more-youth-in-iok-12/
6. Youth martyred: Apr., 30, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred one more Kashmiri youth in Shopian district, today, taking the toll to three in the past 24 hours. The body of the martyred youth was recovered from the debris of a house destroyed by the troops during the ongoing cordon and search operation at Melhora in Zainapora area of the district. Two youth were killed by the troops during the operation yesterday evening in the same area. An Army officer and a soldier were injured during the encounter.The killing of the youth triggered massive anti-India protests in the area. Indian troops and police fired bullets, pellets and teargas shells on the protesters, triggering clashes between the protesters and the forces’ personnel. Several people suffered pellet injuries and were shifted to different hospitals for treatment. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/29/indian-troops-martyr-one-more-youth-in-shopian-toll-rises-to-3/
7. Youth martyred: May, 3, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, a colonel, Major rank officer and incharge of Special Police Group have been killed in an ongoing gunfight in Chanjmulla area of north Kashmir’s Handwara. It is also reported that one youth has been martyred. The dead bodies have not been recovered so far. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/02/two-youth-martyred-in-handwara/
8. Youth martyred: May, 3, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian martyred two Kashmiri youth during a cordon and search operation in Dangerpora area of Pulwama district, today. The troops also destroyed a residential house by using explosive material. People took to streets and staged forceful anti-India demonstrations in the area. They raised high-pitched pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Indian police and troops fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse the protesters. Dozens of youth were injured, some of them critically, in the brutal actions of the forces’ personnel. The troops have also launched a similar operation in Chanjmulla area of Kupwara district. Illegally detained Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Islami Tanzeem-e-Azadi, Abdul Samad Inqilabi, in a statement issued in Srinagar paid rich tributes to the martyred Kashmiri youth. . https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/05/02/2-youth-martyred-protesters-injured-in-pulwama/
1. Journalist booked: Apr., 22, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian police registered a case, today, against senior journalist and political commentator, Gowhar Geelani, for his posts and writings on social media. The Indian police in a handout said that Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone, Srinagar, received information through reliable sources that an individual namely “Gowher Geelani” is indulging in unlawful activities through his posts and writings on social media platforms. The Indian authorities have already registered cases against two noted Kashmiri journalists, Peerzada Ashiq and female photojournalist Masarrat Zahra under serious charges. They were booked for uploading some Kashmir-related photographs and covering the viewpoint of the Kashmiri martyrs’ families. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/21/indian-police-book-senior-journalist-gowhar-geelani/
2. Youth martyred: Apr., 23, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred four Kashmiri youth in Shopian district, today. The youth were killed during a cordon and search operation which was launched by the troops on Tuesday in Melhora area of the district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/22/indian-troops-martyr-two-kashmiri-youth-in-iok/
3. Ambedkar and Kashmir: Apr., 23, 2020: On April 15, 2020, in a continuing agenda of unfettered appropriation, an opinion piece titled ‘Ambedkar saw J&K’s special status as detrimental to national unity’ was published by Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, a two-time MP from Bikaner and Union minister of state for parliamentary affairs. The article was a repetition of the arguments that the Bharatiya Janata Party MP had used in a previous article published on August 20, 2019, under the heading “BR Ambedkar opposed the special status for J&K.” These arguments made in the latter article have been debunked many times for a wilful misreading of history, selective presentation of Ambedkar’s statements on Kashmir and most of all an appropriation of Dr B.R. Ambedkar to suit a myopic agenda of majoritarian politics.In order to support his opinion that Ambedkar was in opposition to Article 370, Meghwal relies on a purported conversation with Sheikh Abdullah where Ambedkar allegedly said, “you want India to defend Kashmir, feed its people, and give Kashmiris equal rights all over India. But you want to deny India all rights in Kashmir…” Unsurprisingly, the earliest use of this statement can be found in an editorial in Tarun Bharat, a Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) mouthpiece, dated 1991 citing a speech of Balraj Madhok, a Jammu-based RSS veteran, who attributed these lines to Ambedkar, four decades after his death. Madhok spent his lifetime campaigning against Article 370. There is no archival evidence to establish that Ambedkar ever had this conversation. Further, an assessment of the recorded positions of Ambedkar indicate a position very different from one stated by Balraj Madhok. It is well recorded that in 1951, Ambedkar was concerned about Kashmir’s Hindu and Buddhist minority and had opined that the Muslim majority part of Kashmir should be left to decide their future on their own. Ambedkar resigned from the position of Union law minister and gave five reasons for doing so. The third reason clearly displays his dissatisfaction with India’s policy on Kashmir. In a statement in explanation of his resignation from Cabinet (October 10, 1951) available in Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches (BAWS), Vol. 14 (2), page 1317, he says: “….We are really not concerned with the Muslim part of Kashmir. It is a matter between the Muslims of Kashmir and Pakistan. They may decide the issue as they like. Or if you like, divide it into three parts; the Cease-fire zone, the Valley and the Jammu-Ladakh Region and have a plebiscite only in the Valley.” This position is reiterated in the Election Manifesto of the Scheduled Caste Federation (available inBAWS Vol 17(1) page 396): “On the Kashmir issue, the policy adopted by the Congress Government is not acceptable to the Scheduled Castes Federation…. Kashmir to be partitioned– the Muslim area to go to Pakistan (subject to the wishes of the Kashmiris living in the Valley) and the non-Muslim area consisting of Jammu and Ladakh to come to India.” The same position is observed in an interview, October 27, 1951, available in BAWS Vol 17(2): “I fear that a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir may go against India. In order to save Hindu and Buddhist population of Jammu and Ladakh, from going to Pakistan, in such an eventuality, there should be zonal plebiscite in Jammu, Ladakh, and Kashmir.” Today, the upkeep of India’s army in Kashmir costs six crore rupees per day. During the budget 1952-53 General Discussion, while criticising the expenditure on the Indian Army due to engagement in Kashmir, Ambedkar said it was a needless drain on India’s exchequer: “The question of plebiscite is in no way new in the history of the world… After the First World War, I certainly remember there were two questions to be settled by plebiscite… which we can usefully carry into the Kashmir dispute and have the matter settled quickly so that we can release Rs. 50 crores from the Defence Budget and utilise it for the benefit of our people”. During the same discussion, Ambedkar said “Out of 350 crores of rupees of revenue we raise annually, we spend about Rs. 180 crores of rupees on the Army. It is a colossal expenditure which has hardly any parallel.” Ambedkar reiterated his support for a plebiscite in Kashmir, stressing that India could learn from “the line of action taken by the League of Nations with regard to the plebiscite in Upper Silesia and Alsace-Lorraine”. The peculiarity of Indian politics is that despite Ambedkar’s clear positions on Kashmir, it is surprising that even Dalit political leaders like Mayawati, former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and national president of the Bahujan Samaj Party, have supported the scrapping of Article 370 while relying on a position of Ambedkar that does not exist in recorded text and history. A concerted effort is being made to obfuscate the ulterior motives behind the de facto annexation of Kashmir. Statements are thrown around either with no contextual understanding or as outright falsehoods meant to validate their unconstitutional moves at the altar of the father of India’s constitution. . https://thewire.in/politics/jammu-kashmir-ambedkar-article-370
4. Bodies denied; Apr. 24, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, in order to prevent large funeral processions, Indian authorities under a new brutal policy are denying the bodies of the martyred youth to their families for proper burial as per the Islamic rituals and norms. The authorities while pursuing the new wicked policy took the possession of the bodies of four youth who were martyred by Indian troops during a cordon and search operation in Melhora-Zainapora area of Shopian district, yesterday. Indian Army took the bodies of the martyred youth to Gantbal area of Ganderbal district and buried them without funeral and other religious rites. It is to mention here that many graveyards are under control of the Indian Army where troops bury the youth killed during custody or in fake encounters. As per local rights bodies, there are over six thousand Kashmiri youth, who were killed in custody and were later buried in unmarked graves in these graveyards. The families of the martyred youth have demanded the dead bodies to accord them proper burial after performing religious rites. Pertinently, last week, the occupation authorities also did not hand over the bodies of two youth who were killed by the troops in Shopian. They were buried at Gantmulla in Uri area of the Baramulla district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/23/troops-deny-martyred-youths-bodies-to-their-families-in-iok/
5. Human Rights and India: Apr., 24, 2020: 12 Kashmiri students were assaulted in Dehradun by Hindu extremist groups calling all Kashmiris as ‘traitors’. In the days and weeks that followed, Kashmiri civilians have been under attack on a regular basis in so many parts of India, including most recently in Lucknow. It is common knowledge in the international arena that India has a dismal track record in human rights. The last five years under the “Hindu nationalist” regime has seen an unprecedented increase in human rights violations. Officially reported atrocities on Dalits has increased eight fold in the last five years, compared to the preceding five years. The vast majority of the nearly 200,000 reported crimes are extreme in nature – murders, rapes and the like.Beef-related lynchings, which led to over 25 deaths in the last four years, shocked the world The minister of state for home affairs himself disclosed that in 2017 alone there were 822 communal “incidents” resulting in 111 deaths. There has been an alarming number of attacks and even murders of journalists, the most visible one being the tragic killing of Gauri Lankesh in September 2017. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath alone breaking all records; within nine months of taking power, 1,038 encounters were carried out in Uttar Pradesh resulting in 32 deaths. What is appalling is the level of impunity that powerful leaders and corporates enjoy. In the most sensitive cases, witnesses regularly turn hostile or go mysteriously missing. All of this is on top of the on-going reality of a criminal justice system that has almost half a million people languishing in our prisons for years, sometimes decades, for petty crimes, stuck there because they cannot afford bail, despite a Supreme Court order to the contrary. Most of these people are poor Dalits, Muslims and backward castes as one would expect. Violations of women’s rights abound and even this is increasingly being justified in the name of religion, like the entry of women into Sabarimala temple. Fast forward to the last five years and two successive UN human rights chiefs have called out India’s human rights abuses in the last two years. I don’t recall this happening in the history of independent India. When Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid chided India for serious human rights violations in Kashmir in June 2018, the Indian establishment was livid and dismissed it as the baseless and illegitimate rant of an outgoing “Muslim” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights But on March 6, 2019, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, the soft spoken ex-President of Chile, while presenting her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, warned India about the growing reports she has been receiving of attacks on minorities, Dalits and adivasis. She also took the unusual step of expressing concern that this divisiveness was being fomented to meet political ends.. https://thewire.in/rights/india-human-rights-record-since-2014
6. Youth martyred: Apr., 25, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred two youth in Islamabad district, today evening. The youth were killed during an operation in Kharpora area of Arwini in the district. Indian police claimed that the slain youth were militants who were killed during a shootout while trying to escape in a car after abducting a policeman from the area. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/24/indian-troops-martyr-two-youth-in-iok-19/
7. Youth martyred; Apr., 26, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today, taking the number of slain youth to nine since Wednesday. The troops martyred the three youth during a cordon and search operation at Goripora in Awantipora area of Pulwama district, today morning. During similar operations, the troops killed two youth at Arwani in Islamabad district, yesterday, and four others in Melhora area of Shopian district on Wednesday. . https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/25/indian-troops-martyr-nine-youth-in-four-days-in-iok/
8. Youth martyred: Apr., 27, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred two Kashmiri youth in Kulgam district, today, taking the number of slain youth to 13 since Wednesday. The troops martyred the four youth during a cordon and search operation at Asthal in Kulgam district this evening. The operation continued till last reports came in. Earlier, Indian troops had martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district yesterday and two in Arwani area of Islamabad district on Friday. The troops had martyred four youth during a similar operation in Melhora area of Shopian district on Wednesday. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/26/two-more-youth-martyred-in-iok-toll-rises-to-11-since-wednesday/
1. Protest: Apr., 16, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, the forcible occupation of farmers’ land by Indian troops in Soibugh area of Badgam district prompted the locals to come out of their houses and stage protest against the Indian army’s brutal act. The troops captured the land and set up an army camp in the area. Annoyed by the Indian army’s move, the locals defied restrictions and lockdown, came out of their houses and pelted stones on the troops. The troops fired bullets and teargas shells on the protesters. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/15/indian-troops-face-stone-pelting-over-capture-of-farmers-land/
2. Apple farmers: Apr., 16, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, apple growers and traders are forced to pay for cold storages but are earning nothing as all markets and transport are shut because of the lockdown imposed to prevent spread of coronavirus. As many as one lakh tonnes of apple are lying in cold storages in Pulwama, Shopian, and other areas of occupied Kashmir. The traders say that there was a huge demand for the apples but it all vanished overnight due to the lockdown. The apple industry in occupied Kashmir had already suffered heavy losses, last year, due to the prolonged lockdown imposed by the Modi government after abrogating the special status of the territory. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/15/iok-apple-industry-going-through-worst-phase/
3. 1992 Documentary; Apr.,16, 2020: Documentary of human rights c violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, n rape, extra judicial killings, arson , involvement f Indian Armed Forces in gross human rights violations https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=811090262614405&id=608649652858468
4. Youth martyred: Apr., 17, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred two Kashmiri ( Shoib Lone Arshad, Mursi Bhai) , youth in Shopian district, today. According to Kashmir Media Service, the troops martyred the youth during a cordon and search operation in Dairoo Keegam area of the district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/17/indian-troops-martyr-one-kashmiri-youth-in-shopian-4/, Youth martyred: Apr., 18, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred four Kashmiri youth in Shopian and Kishtwar districts, today.The troops martyred two youth each during cordon and search operations at Dairoo Keegam in Shopian and in Dachan area of Kishtwar. The operations in both the areas continued till last reports came in. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/17/indian-troops-martyr-4-youth-in-occupied-kashmir/
5. Youth mistreated: Apr., 18, 2020: Thus is how Indian security Forces treat Kashmiris and in the process have alienated the Kashmiri youth to a point if no return. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2575012629419838&id=2318465695074534
6. Kashmiri workers attached: Apr., 18, 2020: Three Kashmiri labourers attacked in Barot village in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh on Saturday by a group of unidentified locals apparently fearful of the coronavirus are anxious to return home as they continue to fear for their safety.The three Kashmiri labourers – among a group of nine Gujjars from Banihal who had come to Barot to work on a transmission tower in November – claimed that they were subjected to an unprovoked attack at their place of residence. The assailants also hurled obscenities and warned them to leave the place or bear the consequences, claimed 60-year-old Abdullah. Even after attacking the labourers with cricket bats, the men allegedly followed them to the government hospital and threatened them while calling them “aatankwadi (terrorists)”. “They hate us because we are Muslims,” said Bahaardeen Naik, a 32-year-old victim, who sustained injuries in his arm. Abdullah, who was severely beaten, is bedridden as a result. “I cannot work now, I feel like I am crippled,” he said, speaking to The Wire. On April 11, at around 10:30 pm, Naik and eight other workers were sleeping in two separate rooms when the men broke into their house and attacked them. “They started thrashing us without telling us the reason,” Naik said. “I tried to escape and ran out crying for help, while others were struggling to get rid of them,” he said. Joy Choudhary, a digital marketing consultant, who lives half a kilometre away from the labourers, was the first person to come to their rescue after Naik narrated the whole incident to him. “I saw his right hand severely injured when he ran for help towards my place,” said Choudhary. After that Choudhary, with the help of another friend, reached the place of the incident and saw the labourers lying on the road with injuries on different parts on their bodies. “We then took them to the hospital,” .“The premises where the labourers were residing is adjacent to the Durga Mata Mandir. Some people already had issues about the labourers living there,” said Chaudhary. “They are Muslims and their passage is through the temple, so the locals were troubled by that. They thought they [the labourers] were polluting the place and there is already a campaign in the media about it as well,” he said. Advocate Deshraj, a lawyer who lives near Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, however, said that the attack against the labourers was communal in nature as the locals felt that Muslims are responsible for spreading the coronavirus. “It is a result of the hate campaign which is creating a communal divide between two communities,” he said. “There is no other reason,” he said. “The police are calling it an altercation, which is not the case.” “We have not seen such cases from here before this, but what is being circulated on social media and also by certain sections of the media, has made a target out of these laborers right now,” he said. “People here have also circulated posters about not providing rooms to Muslims on the grounds that they are responsible for spreading the coronavirus,” he added. The accused got bail within 24 hours of the incident. https://thewire.in/communalism/himachal-pradesh-kashmiri-labourers-attacked
Kashmir from Apr., 7, 2020 to Apr., 13, 2020
1. COVID 19; Apr., 8, 2020: The Chairman of Kashmir Council Europe (KCEU), Ali Raza Syed, has urged the higher authorities of European Union (EU) to pay special attention on the severe situation of human rights in occupied Kashmir. In this connection, Ali Raza Syed has dispatched a letter to the President of European Council, Mr Charles Michel; President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen; and High Representative of EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles. Ali Raza Syed in the letter wrote, “With extreme regret on suffering of the whole world from coronavirus, I want to draw your attention towards the critical situation of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).” The pandemic of coronavirus has increased the miseries of the people of Indian occupied Kashmir who were already facing hardships due to curfew imposed by the India for the last eight months, the letter added. In his memo the KCEU Chairman further stated that the people of occupied Kashmir are witnessing a constant siege for last several months and thousands of political workers are in prisons as the Indian government annulled special status of Kashmir and took this disputed territory in its direct control since August 2019. The letter maintained that now under the garb of the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian authorities are controlling information about the widespread of the disease in the disputed territory. It said, information received from the independent sources revealed that number of the infected people from coronavirus is increasing day by day in the territory but medical staffs have been asked not to share this information to the media. “Due to the less access to the internet, the activities on the social media are very limited and regular media outlets in the region are also restricted. Less freedom of expression and restrictions on free media, exchange of accurate information related to coronavirus crisis is very hard,” the letter further said. However, the independent sources from IOK said, there is a shortage of medicine for the masses and a lack of basic facilities and protective gears for frontline health workers, doctors and paramedics, who can ensure safety of the people from this dangerous virus, it further maintained. About India illegal activities in emerging situation of coronavirus, Ali Raza Syed further said, I want to inform that situation of the human rights in IOK has been more difficult since the outbreak of the coronavirus. The letter said that in a recent move by exploiting the situation created by the coronavirus, India introduced new domicile rules in Jammu and Kashmir in order to settle the non-Kashmiris and change demography of the disputed territory. It is gross desecration of international law and a clear violation of the UN resolutions that called for holding of plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, the letter said. Ali Raza wrote that there was a need of special attention of EU on current human rights situation of occupied Kashmir. The EU should stop India from attempting to change demography of the disputed region, he added. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/07/kceu-draws-eus-attention-towards-grim-hr-situation-in-iok/
3. UN and Kashmir: Apr., 8, 2020: The United Nations and six other global rights bodies have expressed serious concern about the plight of the Kashmiri detainees languishing in different jails of the territory and India. UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’ Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric told reporters in Washington that the UN Secretary General believes that any political solution must take into consideration the issue of human rights. He said that already on March 25, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also called on the international community to protect prisoners from the pandemic by releasing vulnerable ones.
Six international human rights organizations in a recent joint statement in Geneva have already said, the fate of hundreds of arbitrarily detained Kashmiri prisoners hangs in the balance as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in India passes the 4,000 mark. These organizations include Amnesty International, the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation, International Commissions of Jurists, International Federation for Human Rights and World Organization Against Torture. They stressed that under international law, India had an obligation to ensure the physical and mental health and well-being of inmates. The global human rights watchdogs expressed the apprehension that various state governments in India had begun releasing detainees, but there was a concern that hundreds of Kashmiri youth, journalists, political leaders, human right defenders and others arbitrarily arrested would not be among those benefiting from the measure. The statement said, as entire India is in a lockdown and a ban on prison visits for the duration of the outbreak imposed, inmates are more isolated from the outside world than ever. They added that the phenomenon was even more alarming in view of the huge number of custodial deaths due to torture and ill-treatment in Indian prisons. . https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/07/un-rights-bodies-show-concern-about-iok-detainees/
4. Youth martyred: Apr., 8, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred one Kashmiri youth in Sopore town of Baramulla district, today. The youth was martyred by the troops during a violent cordon and search operation at Gulababad Arampora area of the town. The troops also destroyed a residential house in the area. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/08/indian-troops-launch-violent-caso-in-sopore-town/
5. LoC Violations: Apr., 13, 2020: A four-year-old boy was killed and four other civilians were injured by Indian shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday, officials said. The four-year-old victim, Hussain Mir, was killed in Bantil village when the Indian forces started shelling earlier today. "The innocent boy was hit by shrapnel from a mortar shell in the first bout of shelling while he was standing in the courtyard of their house. He died on the spot," Shahid said.Bantil is part of revenue village Tehjiyan and five kilometres away from Dudhnial. Both Tehjiyan and Dudhnial had suffered damages from Indian shelling on Friday as well. In Rakhchikri sector, two men, aged 26 years and 70 years respectively, were injured from Indian shelling . Meanwhile, in Poonch district, a 14-year-old boy was critically injured after shelling started in the area at about 6:30pm Early in the morning, a 50-year-old woman was injured in Gaahi Barhu village of Samahni sector in the southernmost Bhimber district The Nakyal sector of Kotli district was also being “indiscriminately” shelled by Indian troops, residents said, adding that there were no reports about casualties.“Indian army is targeting Mohra Dharoti, Balakot, Nara Lanjot and other adjoining villages. As I speak to you, I can hear the thunder of mortars and artillery,” Abdul Qayyum Tahir, a Nakyal-based journalist told Dawn by telephone.“We will be able to ascertain losses only when the shelling stops,” he added. The number of people killed by Indian shelling in the year 2020 has increased to three while 54 civilians have been injured, out of whom 38 are men and 16 women. Unprovoked, indiscriminate and unrelenting ceasefire violations by Indian Army were not only causing civilian casualties and damages but also disturbing our efforts to contain Covid-19 in areas along the restive ceasefire line [LoC]. Earlier today, the Inter-Services Public Relations had said that two civilians were injured from "unprovoked ceasefire violation" by Indian forces during the night. On Friday, six civilians were injured after Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing in various sectors near the LoC, the ISPR had said. https://www.dawn.com/news/1548651/4-year-old-boy-killed-near-loc-from-indian-shelling-officials-say
6. Arrests: Apr., 13, 2020: in occupied Kashmir, since the world is coping with the coronavirus pandemic, India while stepping up its state terrorism arrested more than 50 civilians during nocturnal raids in Sopore area of Baramulla district to suppress the freedom movement.Raids are being conducted by the police particularly against the youth across the territory on the pretext of anti-corona drive. The relatives of the detained youth while talking to the media said the coronavirus has become a new tool in the hands of the occupational authorities to persecute the innocent Kashmiris. . https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/12/over-50-people-arrested-in-iok/
1. Martyrs remembered: March 31. 2020: : In occupied Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference Chairman, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, Tehreek Muzahamat Chairman Bilal Ahmed Siddiqui, acting Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Abdul Hameed Butt and other Hurriyat leaders and organizations have paid glowing tributes to Ashfaq Majid Wani, Dr Abdul Ahad Guru, Shabbir Ahmad Siddiqui and Jaleel Ahmed Andrabi on their martyrdom anniversaries. Shabbir Ahmad Dar in a statement issued in Srinagar said, these Kashmiri martyrs were great sons of soil who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Jammu and Kashmir from Indian subjugation. He said these great martyrs always advocated the just settlement of the Kashmir dispute and never hesitated in calling a spade a spade. “Ashfaq Majeed Wani was a born freedom fighter with leadership qualities, who always led from the front,” he said. Shabbir Dar said martyrs Abdul Ahad Guroo and Jaleel Ahmad Andrabi always championed human and political rights of the Kashmiri people and they never shied away in highlighting the heinous crimes against humanity in Kashmir. Shabir Ahmad Siddiqui and his associates were killed under a conspiracy in Hazratbal shrine, Srinagar. He said that the mission of these martyrs would be taken to its logical conclusion, against all odds.Tehreek Muzahamat Chairman Bilal Ahmed Sidiqui in his statement said that the martyrs would always be remembered. He said martyrs Jaleel Andrabi, Ashfaq Majeed Wani, Dr Abdul Ahad Guru and Shabbir Ahmed Siddiqui would always act as an inspirational force for the Kashmiri people. .It is worth mentioning here that Indian troops had killed Ashfaq Majeed Wani in March 1990, Jaleel Andrabi and Shabbir Siddiqui in March 1996 and Dr Abdul Ahad Guru in April 1992 in different areas of the occupied territory. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/30/glowing-tributes-to-martyrs-ashfaq-guru-siddiqui-and-andrabi/
2. Detentions: Mar., 31, 2020: While the prisoners are being released worldwide to protect them from the rising cases of coronavirus, the Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir arrested 627 people in the name of preventive measures. Director-General of Police Dilbagh Singh in a statement issued in Srinagar confirmed that the police had so far arrested 627 people while cases were registered against 373 people. He said more than 100 shops were sealed while 490 vehicles were taken into custody for violation of the lockdown. It is worth mentioning here that the occupation authorities have imposed curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar and all district and tehsil headquarters in the territory in the name of preventive measures against the coronavirus, further compounding the miseries of the Kashmiri people. Indian forces are widely harassing Kashmiris in the name of security measures. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/30/world-releasing-detainees-while-india-arrest-627-more-in-iok/
3. March cost: April, 1, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred nine (9) Kashmiris during the last month of March, one woman was rendered widowed due to the killing of her husband by the troops. During the period, at least seven (7) people were injured in the use of brute force on peaceful protesters by Indian police and troops. Indian police and paramilitary personnel arrested eight hundred and six (806) people including Hurriyat activists and youth during three hundred and ninety four (394) cordon and search operations in different areas of the territory. The troops also destroyed two (2) residential houses in the month. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/01/indian-troops-martyr-nine-kashmiris-in-march/
4. COVID 19 and IOK: Apr., 4, 4040: Soon after the first patient of COVID-19 – a 67-year-old woman who had recently travelled to Saudi Arabia — tested positive on March 18, a team of health professionals and volunteers were sent to Khanyar to sanitise the area. They were also tasked with tracing the people the woman may have had contact with. Meanwhile, police personnel began patrolling in their jeeps. With speakers, they warned people to stay indoor. On March 22, another patient surfaced. Four days later, the 65-year-old man died.The third patient had lied about his travel history. The fourth one is just 22 years old.Now, 70 people have tested positive, including a 10-year-old from Eidgah Srinagar. Jammu and Kashmir are faced with the same challenge as the rest of the world, yet the dearth of infrastructure and manpower in the healthcare sector here makes the task more challenging.As the whole Valley is in a lockdown, memories are strong of another unprecedented lockdown, imposed after the former state was stripped of its special status and bifurcated into two Union Territories on August 5. To ensure the efficiency of lockdown, authorities have been taking the hardliner approach that they have taken since August 5. People have reported having been beaten up by policemen even after furnishing a magisterial permit. Tawseef, an engineering student from South Kashmir, had to see his ailing aunt in Srinagar. The district magistrate of Kulgam gave him a permit, but to his surprise, uniformed men at Khudwani stopped him and beat him up.“I told them my aunt had just undergone a surgery and I had to visit her,” said Tawseef, who suffered multiple fractures from the beating.Police have lodged 337 FIRs against people who have allegedly violated the lockdown. Moreover, about 627 people have been arrested in the past week. “The incidents capture the horrors of violence against civilians in Kashmir at the hands of police personnel ensuring a lockdown. They do not have a humane approach, but with a militaristic one,” writes Gowhar Geelani, a veteran journalist and author of Kashmir: Rage and Reason for The Federal. Dr. Khawar, one of the medicos treating coronavirus patients, said this is the exact kind of epidemic that takes people by awe. “It took me nearly nine hours to process the news that the first COVID-19 patient had been found in the Valley. Like me, people are in utter confusion. Most are not aware of the implications of contracting the disease,” he said “Another reason for people evading quarantine is the careless attitude of the authorities. People were stacked like cattle in the quarantine facilities at Awantipoora and Sumbal,” said Geelani.“There were videos that went viral on social media showing that not even necessities like soap or sanitizers were available. The people were not really isolated, because in some instances, dozens of people had to stay in a single room and had to use common washrooms, which were dirty and unhygienic”. Asifa was then taken to a quarantine centre, which is a local hotel cum restaurant in Lawaypura area of Srinagar. “There were people from Europe, Pakistan, Bangladesh and all of us were kept together. For three days, nobody came to the hotel, not even the doctors. We were left alone.” “On March 23, at about 10 pm, we were told that we were being shifted. At about 12:30 in the night, we realised that we were brought to a hill-station, with three-feet snow. We were caught unprepared in the cold,” said Asifa. “Some of us were in slippers. We were told to stay in a hut where there are only two rooms for five of us. There was no water, not enough heating, not even a bar of soap “Haj House was dirty. The compound was full of stray dogs. There was no water in the washrooms, toilets were defunct.” Moreover, more than 14 beds were stacked in a single room, which were not even an arm’s length apart.” After the first patient tested positive, the number of ventilators at SKIMS, SMHS and JVC and other district and sub-district health centres was 97. And most of these ventilators are occupied by non-COVID-19 patients. According to Census 2011, there are seven million people in Kashmir and by 2021, it is expected to be eight million.One of the health officials from the Valley said on the condition of anonymity, “I think we are living in a slaughterhouse. We must not care much about masks and other personal protective equipments (PPEs) for doctors. If Milan, France and New York are facing acute shortage of PPEs, Kashmir, a third world region in a third world country, should not be an exception.” “What we must do is import more and more ventilators. Since March 18, how many ventilators did the government arrange for? None,” he said. The official also said that the level of testing was abysmal and called for more testing kits. An official at the Government Chest Diseases Hospital, Srinagar echoed him when he said, https://thewire.in/rights/kashmir-coronavirus-covid-19-internet
5. Youth arrested: Apr., 4, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian police arrested four more Kashmiri youth from different areas, today.The police during house raids arrested four youth including Azad Ahmed Butt and Altaf Ahmed Baba in Handwara and Sopore areas of north Kashmir.A police officer talking to media men claimed that the arrested youth were over-ground workers of mujahideen. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/03/indian-police-arrest-four-kashmiri-youth/
6. Youth martyred: Apr., 4, 2020: Four Local young men Killed In Kulgam Encounter,2 Army Mens Injured Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred four Kashmiri youth in Kulgam district, today. The troops martyred the youth identified as Sadam Malik, Aijaz Ahmed Naikoo, Shahid Sadiq Malik and Waqar Ahmed during a cordon and search operation in Hardmanguri area of the district. Earlier, three Indian troops were injured in an attack in the same area. The troops also destroyed three residential houses in the area with explosive material. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/04/indian-troops-martyr-four-kashmiri-youth-in-kulgam/
7. Youth martyred: Apr., 6, 2020; In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism, martyred five more Kashmiri youth bringing the toll to nine since yesterday. The youth were killed during a continued violent operation in Keran area of Kupwara district. Indian army confirmed that three soliders were also killed during the operation. Earlier, Indian troops had killed four youth identified as Sadam Malik, Aijaz Ahmed Naikoo, Shahid Sadiq Malik and Waqar Ahmed in Hardmanguri area of Kulgam district, yesterday. Three Indian troops were injured in an attack in the same area. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/04/05/indian-troops-martyr-five-more-kashmiri-youth-in-iok/
1. 4G: Mar., 24, 2020: The Centre must immediately restore 4G internet connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir. To deprive citizens of direct access to information and instructions during a global pandemic is unjustifiable. Moreover, it is outright inhuman to do so at a time when there is no indication of trouble on the ground and when the forces and security arrangements in place are adequate to meet any challenges As things currently stand, businesses have suffered a lot. Some have had to suspend their operations or even shut down altogether .Students and researchers have faced great problems. Many have faced terrible difficulties to complete mere applications and registrations. Doctors and other health care personnel have also faced significant predicaments. With concerns arising over the coronavirus pandemic, the risks to life and lungs have increased. A Kashmiri doctor recently tweeted his frustration over not being able to download the ICU guidelines for COVID-19 even after an hour of trying.In this situation, some Kashmiris have begun to publicly describe the communication restrictions imposed as a form of collective punishment. . https://thewire.in/rights/kashmir-coronavirus-pandemic-internet
2. Youth arrested: Mar.,24, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops arrested six Kashmiri youth in Kapwara district, today. The youth were arrested during a cordon and search operation in Keran area of the district. Four of the arrested youth are from Sopore area of Baramulla district and they have been identified as Ehtisham Farooq Malik, Shafqat Ali Tego, Masab Hassan Butt and Nisar Ahmad Ganai.The other two are residents of Karen area of Kapawara district and were identified as Kabir Lone and Sharif Ahmed Khan. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/23/indian-troops-arrest-six-kashmiri-youth-in-kupwara/
3. Lock down: Mar., 2, 2020: On the morning of August 5, 2019, everyone in Kashmir woke up to a complete blackout. There was no mobile or internet service. A shrill silence fell over the state as neighbours sat in silence. Within a few hours, Prime Minister Modi announced the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, that the state would be divided into union territories, and also the changing of various state-specific laws. We Kashmiris felt betrayed. But the decision was lauded in the Indian nationalist press, with publications such as Times Now and Republic calling it a brave decision. Indigenous Kashmiris were under siege, with schools shut and hospitals out of reach amid a curfew. Reporting the on-the-ground realities — one of the cornerstones of journalism — was forgotten, as Indian media spent the first few days in celebration, and information filtered through them offered no crucial context for local Kashmiris. We struggled to connect with our loved ones in different regions of the state and had no clue about major political and social developments. People travelled for miles in the searing heat, spending large sums of money just to access healthcare with no respite whatsoever. The observances for the Islamic festival of Eid on August 12 were muted. We did not celebrate, merely offering prayers in the morning as dictated by religious practice. For the children there were no toys or sweets, as we were barely surviving on the bare essentials. Every street was filled with fear and grief. Nobody was aware of the happenings in other households, not to mention happenings around the world. People who were believed to have any semblance of political affiliation were caged and transported to jails outside the state. Kashmir — already the largest militarized zone on earth — was converted into a garrison of forces. The extraordinary situation worsened the health of my mother, who has been on medication for diabetes. Lack of medicine and transportation made matters worse, and we had to seek help from a kind local man who dropped us at the hospital gates in Srinagar. The impact of Modi’s decision is clear. The blackout has alienated Kashmiris even further, in their hearts and their minds alike. There is no other way to look at it.The removal of Article 370 may or may not impact the people of the Kashmir valley, but the treatment meted out to us only reminds us about the brutal occupation of our land. The cruelty inflicted on us has resulted in far worse human tragedies. But these things refuse to leave our minds and will only strengthen our desire for an independent land.
Indian Jails: Mar., 26, 2020: “Indian jails have no healthcare facility, nor the detained Hurriyat leaders are given any proper medical treatment. We appeal to the United Nations, OIC and all other humanitarian and health organisations to pressurise India to release Dr Hameed Fayaz, Zafar Akbar Bhat, Yasin Malik, Asiya Andrabi, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Masarat Aalam Butt and all other leaders and Kashmiris from jails,” Malik added. the-long-descent https://tribune.com.pk/story/2185005/1-india-urged-release-ailing-kashmiri-leaders-amid-coronavirus-fears/
5. 4 G and Kashmir: Mar., 29, 2020: Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders or Reporters Sans Frontières has termed the continued restrictions on the high speed internet in occupied Kashmir as potentially criminal irresponsibility of New Delhi during the coronavirus pandemic. According to Kashmir Media Service, in a statement released to media, Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said that 8 million Kashmiris continued to be cut off from the absolutely vital information that was needed to prevent the spread of the pandemic, when people under lockdown all over the world are using the internet to work, communicate and get information. He said, this is the cruel reality to which the citizens of the Kashmir Valley, including its journalists, are currently being subjected. He demanded of India to immediately restore the high speed Internet in the territory. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/28/iok-internet-gag-can-be-deadly-during-covid-19-rsf/
6. Youth arrested: Mar., 29, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops arrested two youth in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, today.The troops arrested the youth identified as Showkat Mir and Showkat Yattoo, during vehicle checking in Pattan town of the district. The troops labeled the youth as over-ground workers of mujahideen https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/28/indian-troops-arrest-two-youth-in-baramulla/
1. Solider martyred: Mar., 17, 2020: A Pakistan Army soldier was martyred after Indian forces resorted to unprovoked fire in the Shahkot sector along the Line of Control (LOC) on Tuesday.“Indian Army troops resorted to unprovoked fire in Shahkot sector along LOC with heavy weapons,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations. “During the exchange of fire, one brave soldier Sepoy Wajid Ali, age 20 years, resident of District Dadu, valiantly responding to Indian ceasefire violation (CFV) embraced shahadat. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2178084/1-one-pakistan-army-soldier-martyred-indian-firing-across-loc/
2. Economic strangulation: Mar., 19, 2020: President of the Jammu Kashmir Salvation Movement and senior Hurriyat leader Altaf Ahmad Bhat censured Indian democracy by highlighting the injustice and inhumane actions the Modi fascist government has been carrying upon besieged people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). While talking to ZMC News live from UK, Bhat said that the pre-planned actions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his aides Amit Shah, Ajit Doval and Indian army chief were to economically strangle the region and people were thrown into a digital black hole “In a bid to weaken the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government started economic terrorism, and hence the world-famous apples, walnuts and apricots of IOJ&K were destroyed because of Indian state terrorism.” Shedding light on situations of education, Bhat affirmed that the education system of Kashmir is one of its kind, and it’s better than Indian education system, however, in order to snatch future of Kashmiri children and youth, Indian brutal forces have converted schools, colleges, and universities into army camps with additional forces. “The students are going through psychological trauma and are unaware of their future.” The president went on to say that Indian occupation troops under the guise of cordon and search operations are deliberately targeting the young Kashmiris by falselybranding them as terrorists. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2178873/1-india-economically-strangling-occupied-kashmir/
3. Yasin Malik: Mar., 20, 2020: The illegally detained Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik has announced to go on ‘a fast until death’ from 1st April 2020 against the authoritarian attitude of India.Muhammad Yasin Malik in a statement released by his family in Srinagar, today, said that the Indian government had made a pledge with him that he would be provided with a genuine political space and efforts would be made for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute through a meaningful dialogue process. However, he added that India had reneged from this pledge. Muhammad Yasin Malik pointed out that besides Indian officials, many international diplomats were also on board for pursuing the idea behind the pledge. The JKLF Chairman said, the cases against him are politically motivated and the prejudice of the TADA court judge hearing a case against him was evident by his attitude. Muhammad Yasin Malik maintained that he had every legal right to be presented physically before the court but the Judge and the Central Bureau of Investigation at the behest of the Indian government did not allow it. He said he was presented through a video link, where he was neither able to hear the arguments of lawyers, nor was allowed to speak. He added that he had already withdrawn his counsel. Muhammad Yasin Malik, who is detained in Delhi’s Tihar jail, deplored that the judge was not ready to listen to him, and was behaving like a prosecuting or police officer. He went on to add that whenever he tried to speak, the judge muted the volume or went offline, which showed his bias and prejudice against him and his friends. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/19/yasin-malik-to-go-on-hunger-strike-till-death/
4. AI: Mar., 21, 2020: In wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir must restore full access to internet services in the region of Jammu and Kashmir and ensure that people have full access to health and safety related information, said Amnesty International India today. “There is a growing anxiety around the pandemic and unwarranted restrictions on content and dissemination of information only stands to add to the panic,” said Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India."Complete shutdowns or restricting of internet speed or access makes it difficult for people to navigate their way through a difficult time further undermining their trust in the authorities. The Government of India needs to adopt a rights-respecting approach to protect public health and restore access to 4G speed internet." Human rights approach must be at the centre of all prevention, preparedness, containment, and treatment efforts to protect public health and support the most vulnerable groups. The right to health, as guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, provides for the right to access healthcare. Access to health-related information is also a crucial part of the right to health. Providing “education and access to information concerning the main health problems in the community, including methods of preventing and controlling them” is considered an “obligation of comparable priority” to the core obligations of the right to health. The latest Situation Report issued by the World Health Organisation on 17 March recommended that that the public must be informed of the situation so that they can take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your family. It further advised that anxiety around the outbreak can be countered by access to facts from reliable sources that help accurately determine risks so that reasonable precautions can be taken. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have the right to remain informed of the threat to their health, the measures to mitigate risks, early warning information of possible future consequences and information on ongoing response efforts. They have the right to information in the local languages and through media and in formats that can be easily understood and accessed, so that they can fully participate and take informed decisions in the response efforts. Failures to do so can heighten the sense of helplessness, anger and frustration, undermine the public health response, put the health of others at risk, and may constitute human rights violations.“The situation in relation to the coronavirus is constantly evolving. To ensure its full communication to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, the Government of India must urgently lift internet restrictions in the region and ensure real time preparedness of the people against the spread of the virus. The responses to coronavirus cannot be based on human rights violations and a lack of transparency and censorship,” said Avinash Kumar. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/03/mitigate-risks-of-covid-19-for-jammu-and-kashmir-by-immediately-restoring-full-access-to-internet-services/
5. COVID 19 and IOK: Mar., 21, 2020: “This is so frustrating. Trying to download the guidelines for intensive care management as proposed by doctors in England. It is as many as 24 MBs. It has been one hour…still not able to do so,” Iqbal Saleem, a professor of surgery at Government Medical College, Srinagar tweeted on Thursday about his inability to access intensive care management guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.“While the world is helping each other in fighting #COVID, a professor of surgery in Kashmir had to waste hours trying to download treatment guidelines from the internet,” another Kashmiri doctor tweeted in response. “Reason? Internet is deliberately slowed down! When will this collective punishment end?” he asked. A research scholar from Kashmir also tweeted about the urgent need to restore high-speed internet which remains officially banned in Kashmir, after an unprecedented government-ordered shutdown following the reading down of Article 370 on August 5 last year.“Restore the damn 4G internet, Modi. Human security and health of the people of J&K must not be kept hostage to the so-called ‘security of the state’ which is being invoked as the reason for the continuing internet restrictions in J&K,” Tahir Firaz, a Dublin-based Kashmiri researcher tweeted.“Our doctors need internet now.” “This becomes all the more important in Kashmir given the poor healthcare infrastructure. The effects of the pandemic are only worsening because of rampant misinformation and rumours,” he said. Andrabi and his colleagues in the US tried to reach out to people in Kashmir by making informative videos in Kashmiri language about COVID-19 with facts about the infection and ways to prevent its spread. However, he points out, the biggest hurdle they’re facing is making the information accessible through the internet to people in Kashmir is the ongoing ban on high-speed internet. “Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that the internet is properly restored in the valley before the problem become too big for anyone to handle, including the Indian government itself which will likely have plenty of coronavirus related problems of its own to deal with within a short span of time,” he cautioned. On Thursday, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK), a doctors’ body in Kashmir started an online initiative which will make doctors available online for voluntary health consultations to people through WhatsApp and mobile phones in order to limit hospital visits of routine patients in view of the COVID-19 scare.The doctors’ body has also requested more doctors to volunteer and provide online consultations to patients so that “people suffering from general ailments limit visiting hospitals.”“Internet should be fully restored as it would be helpful in disseminating critical information by doctors about the coronavirus epidemic among people,” said Dr. Mir Mushtaq, a senior executive member of DAK. “Even the government can use the internet to disseminate a positive message and keep people updated about the steps taken by administration.” A psychiatrist who works in a government hospital in south Kashmir told The Wire that given the rising anxieties and restricted mobility of people, the already stretched healthcare system in Kashmir will be soon overwhelmed by general patients instead of preparing and focusing on coronavirus patients. The doctor said that 4G internet access should be immediately restored by the authorities so that they can provide online video consultations to general patients in order to minimiSe the patient load in hospitals. “It’s a double whammy for the Kashmiri population in general and persons suffering from mental health issues in particular. A video call to their physician/psychiatrist would have alleviated anxieties of the patients when every other doctor here is offering their personal cell numbers for their patients in this hour of need,” he said. Another doctor, an assistant professor in a medical college said due to the months-long internet ban, he couldn’t follow up on many of his patients from August 5 last year who would otherwise consult him and remain in touch via video calls for their medication. “In my personal practice, video call consultation, and videos through WhatsApp was a routine until the lockdown from August 5 last year,” he said, adding that it was very feasible for elderly and frail patients across the valley as well as they didn’t have to move out of their homes and travel.“Many such patients have stopped medications and I have lost the opportunity to follow up on many more patients since last summer,” he said. “It has been a tragedy in my personal practice.” The doctor said in the present situation when the coronavirus epidemic is posing a serious threat and claiming lives worldwide, the restoration of 4G internet services would “at least alleviate the anxiety and fears among people and also help the student community.” “Despite the rising number of cases, on 17 March 2020 the Government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir ordered for the continued restrictions on full internet services such as restricting the speed to 2G in the region. Complete internet shutdowns have also been imposed intermittently in certain areas in the guise of security,” the statement further said. https://thewire.in/rights/coronavirus-kashmir-slow-internet
6. Youth arrested: Mar., 23, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops arrested two Kashmiri youth on the fake charge of being overground workers of mujahideen in South Kashmir. the youth identified as Irfan Ahmed Kuttey and Adil Bashir Lone were arrested during a cordon and search operation by a joint team of Indian Army and police in Shopian district. Police claimed that Irfan, a resident of Chotipora Sedow in Pulwama district, was motivating the youth to join the armed struggle against Indian occupation. The other detained youth, Adil Bashir Lone, was a resident of Aaloora, Shopian. The troops have taken the detained youth to an unknown location. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/22/indian-troops-arrest-two-youth-in-south-kashmir/
1. Youth martyred: Mar., 9, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred two Kashmiri youth in Shopian district, today. The youth were killed by Indian troops during a violent siege and search operation in Khawjapora Reban area of the district. Meanwhile, Indian forces blocked all entry and exit points of the area and conducted house-to-house search. The movement of the people was restricted. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/09/indian-troops-martyr-one-kashmiri-youth-in-iok-2/
2. MAPIM: Mar., 10, 2020: Kuala Lumpur based non-governmental organization, Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organization (MAPIM) has expressed deep anguish and concerns over the prevailing bloodbath targeting Muslims in India and inhuman lockdown in occupied Kashmir. The MAPIM headed by Mohammad Azmi Abdul Hamid in a statement issued in Kuala Lumpur demanded the Indian government to immediately take action against Hindus extremist elements who targeted and killed the innocent Muslims in Delhi and destroyed their properties and masjids. The organization also condemned the role of the Indian media and police in being biased against the Muslims and being complicit with the government to promote their hateful agenda of division and oppression. “The unjust policies, laws and actions by the government have intentionally target a religious creed and this will render India unmanageable politically, socially and economically,” the statement added. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/10/mapim-denounces-massacre-of-indian-muslims-lockdown-in-iok/
3. Youth martyred: Mar., 13, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred one Kashmiri youth in Baramulla district, today.The troops martyred the youth identified as Mudassir Ahmed Butt during a cordon and search operation in Shutloo area of the district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/13/indian-troops-martyr-one-kashmiri-youth-in-baramulla-4/
4. UK Parliament: Mar., 13, 2020: Debbie Abrahams, UK Labour Party MP and Chairperson of All Parties Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPGK) in the British Parliament, presented a resolution in the UK Parliament for debate. March 26 has been fixed for debate on the resolution titled “Human Rights in Kashmir”.The debate is being held in the wake of a week-long visit by a delegation of the APPGK to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir last month. The parliamentary delegation, besides a report of the visit, also presented a resolution in the parliament for a detailed debate on ‘Kashmir situation and human rights in Kashmir’. The parliament, accepting the resolution, fixed 26th March for debate. The members will take part in the debate for three hours https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/13/debate-on-human-rights-in-kashmir-in-uk-parliament-on-march-26/
5. Farooq Abdullah: Mar., 15, 2020: former R&AW chief A.S. Dulat says that he visited Srinagar to meet Abdullah and that the government had cleared the visit and, additionally, national security adviser Ajit Doval was fully aware of it. Dulat – who said he visited Abdullah in Srinagar on February 12 – has known the National Conference patriarch for decades and interceded with him on behalf of earlier governments on at least two previous occasions. Speaking to Karan Thapar for The Wire, he says Farooq Abdullah will respond if the Centre reaches out and that he has always done so. Dulat told The Wire that his involvement began when he spoke to Abdullah on October 31 to enquire how he was. He asked if he could come and meet him and Abdullah said that depends on the authorities. Dulat then contacted a former colleague in the IB in Srinagar who said he would need to get clearance from Delhi. Dulat then contacted sources in the home ministry in Delhi but they did not give him permission to meet Farooq Abdullah. However, on February 9, he received a phone call from the home ministry saying he was free to go to Kashmir. Dulat says this phone call would only have happened with the knowledge and concurrence of Doval and this means the NSA was fully in the loop. Although Dulat told The Wire his visit to Srinagar was a “private” one, he revealed that the IB in Srinagar provided transport to take him from Srinagar airport to Abdullah’s residence at Gupkar Road and back to the airport. It was a short trip and Dulat was back home in Delhi by 6.30 pm the same day. Shortly after his return, he was rung by the home ministry to find out how the trip had gone. Dulat told The Wire that he spoke to Farooq Abdullah late on the night of March 13t), some six hours after the latter’s release, and that Abdullah told him he would probably come to Delhi in 15 days time. This means Abdullah is likely to miss the present session of parliament altogether. Speaking about his meeting with Abdullah on February 12, Dulat told The Wire that the NC leader was particularly concerned about the use of PSA against his son, Omar Abdullah, and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti. Dulat said Abdullah could not understand why this was done. He says Abdullah also expressed concern about the impact of the reading down of Article 370 and all the subsequent developments in Kashmir on his grandchildren. He said he himself was fully committed to India and had brought up his children in the same way. But now he did not know how to answer questions his grandchildren may ask The meeting with Farooq lasted for an hour during which time he also met Abdullah’s wife, Molly, and his daughter, Safia, and had lunch.Dulat told The Wire he was confident the government would also find some way of talking to Mehbooba Mufti if it had not already done so. Talking about Omar Abdullah, Dulat said the present government was even more comfortable with Omar than with Farooq. With great confidence, he said Omar Abdullah would be the next chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, i.e. whenever the state elections are held. https://thewire.in/security-security/interview-karan-thapar-a-s-dulat-farooq-abdullah
6. ICJ: Mar., 15, 2020: International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM) organised a panel discussion “Democratic Despotism and Crimes Violations of Self-Determination” on the sidelines of the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.The panelists, in a lively interaction, detailed the Kashmir dispute, Alaska and Hawaii, referencing other cases in the world where the right to self-determination is denied and suppressed, when in fact it could be used as a conflict prevention strategy.Prof Alfred de Zayas, First UN Independent Expert for the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, said that in 2013, he presented a report to the UN General Assembly discussing issues of self-determination including Jammu and Kashmir, and the matter should be taken seriously and that they should adopt appropriate resolutions and send the case to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion. He referred to and endorsed the reports of the UN High Commissioner for human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, saying there is an urgent need to address the past and ongoing human rights violations and to deliver justice for all people in Kashmir. Prof De Zayas concluded by endorsing the right to self-determination of various peoples around the globe, as specified in his report to the United Nations General Assembly, commonly known as 69(n), assessing that the source of the problem is in the violation of that right, emphasising that realisation of self-determination is a conflict prevention strategy. Kashmiri representative and Executive Member of Organisation of Kashmir Coalition (OKC), Ms Shamim Shawl evaluated India’s action in Kashmir since the 5th of August 2019 and offer her analysis on future strategies to best illicit international response to India’s continued occupation and aggression on Kashmir as well as their disregard to International laws. Ms Shaista Safi, journalist and TV anchor expressed the need to emphasize on personal stories of Kashmiri victims as well as lobbyists who advocate for them. She gave the examples of Kashmiri representative, Syed Faiz Naqsbandi who was informed of his mother’s demise whilst in a UN session in Geneva. She further referred to Barrister Tramboo’s exile and the cruelty India has meted out to him and his family. Another Kashmiri representative, Advocate Pervaz Shah, questioned the illegal annexation of occupied Kashmir on 5th of August, last year, and expressed concerns over India’s plan to change Kashmir’s demography by ushering in illegal land reforms after the abrogation of special status of Kashmir. He stated that there was an impending economic crisis in occupied Kashmir and that the Indian judicial system had proved to be not only a failure, but corrupt as they bend to the whims of the BJP government. He ended by reminding the audience of Kashmiri prisoners including leaders and suggested a campaign to demand the early release of all political leaders.Kashmiri journalist, Latif Ahmed Butt expressed concern over the journalists of occupied Kashmir who have been unable to report freely post August 5th and lamented India’s action by clamping down on the media in Kashmir and placing hundreds of journalists on Exit Control List.Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo, IHRAAM Permanent Representative to United Nations and Executive Member of OKC concluded the event by re-emphasizing crucial terminologies that must be used to accurately reflect the actions of India in occupied Kashmir such as: Genocide, demographic change, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.He further added his pursuit of Kashmir’s cause at the ICC and ICJ, stating that no stone will be left unturned in seeking and delivering justice, peace and freedom for the oppressed and subjugated people of occupied Kashmir https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/15/panelists-seek-icjs-intervention-on-kashmir-issue/
7. Youth martyred: Mar., 16, 2020: Indian troops on Sunday martyred four Kashmiri youth in Indian Occupied Kashmir in the latest spike in violence. One of the martyred youth was identified as Tariq, Muzaffar, Umar and Sajjad. . The youth were martyred during a cordon and search operation in Watrigam area of Islamabad district on Sunday.The Indian forces sealed all the entry points of Watrigam, Achabal and Islamabad and launched a massive door-to-door search operation. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2176939/1-four-kashmiris-martyred-iok/Weekly update 27: Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Mar., 3, 2020 to Mar., 9, 2020
2. Youth martyred: Mar., 5, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred a Kashmiri youth in Baramulla district, today. The troops killed the 22-year-old youth, identified as Omar Subhan, during a cordon and search operation in Warpura area of Sopore in the district.Earlier, a Special Police Officer of Indian police was killed and another was injured in an attack in the same area. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/04/indian-troops-martyr-youth-in-baramulla/
3. Freedom of World: Mar., 5, 2020: In the latest edition of Freedom in the World, an annual report published by Washington-based pro-democracy nonprofit Freedom House, India has suffered the largest decline in its political rights and civil liberties score among the 25 most populous democracies because of the Narendra Modi government’s “alarming departures from democratic norms,” while Kashmir’s status has declined from “Partly Free” to “Not Free.” On Kashmir, the Report 2020 highlights the abrupt revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) special status on 5 August, 2019, the massive deployment of troops, the arbitrary arrests of hundreds of Kashmiri leaders and activists, and shutdown of mobile and internet services. Kashmir, the report said, “experienced one of the largest single-year score declines of the past 10 years in Freedom in the World, and its freedom status dropped to Not Free. Interestingly, the Freedom House was founded in 1941 with the support of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the rise of Nazism at the time. The 2020 gives a damning assessment of the Modi government’s pattern of Hindu nationalist policies, including the persecution of religious minorities, abruptly revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the adoption of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which it calls a discriminatory citizenship law and the aggressive suppression of the anti-CAA protests that followed. India, which is ranked ‘Free,’ dropped from 75/100 in 2019 to 71 in 2020.“Indian government has taken its Hindu nationalist agenda to a new level with a succession of policies that abrogate the rights of different segments of its Muslim population, threatening the democratic future of a country long seen as a potential bulwark of freedom in Asia and the world,” Sarah Repucci, Freedom House’s Senior Director of Research and Analysis, writes in the report. India because of its Hindu nationalist policies was highlighted as glaring example in the 2020 Freedom report, which is called A Leaderless Struggle For Democracy. The report said, “The BJP has distanced itself from the country’s founding commitment to pluralism and individual rights, without which democracy cannot long survive.” https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/04/freedom-report-grills-india-for-anti-kashmir-anti-muslim-agenda/
4. Journalism under occupation: Mar., 6, 2020: Next day, we woke up to a curfew or we can call it a military siege, stricter and more threatening than what we had witnessed in Kashmir before. Streets, lanes and bylanes that connect one area with the other were sealed with barbed wires. Everywhere, only gun-toting paramilitary troops with orders to foil any kind of resistance were present on the roads. I was watching television and at around 10:30 am, news channels reported that home minister Amit Shah had presented a Bill in the upper house of parliament to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy. Two days after restrictions were placed; I went outside to observe the situation. When I reached the main road, I was chased by soldiers who swore at me. They behaved in an uncouth manner and didn’t even let me tell them that I am a journalist. I was left without any work, like hundreds of thousands of other young Kashmiris whose careers were in peril and who were looking for new opportunities. My plans were falling apart before me and I felt distressed at home. It was difficult to concentrate on anything, as rumours about killings, detention of youth and protests were circling. Every night, I kept tossing and turning in bed, thinking about the future of my people. I wanted to amplify their voices, as their human rights were being brazenly violated. But I was helpless In South Kashmir districts people told us horrific tales of torture, detention and loss. Most people looked frightened and refused to talk to us. It was as if an invisible tape bound their mouth or there was a gun to their heads, asking them to accept the decision that had changed their lives drastically and had been made without counting their opinion. During my career, I have mostly covered South Kashmir, where hundreds of people were killed during the last few years of anti-militancy operations and violent protests. I had never met a local who was reluctant to talk to the media. In fact, they were always vocal. The one phrase that was often repeated to us while interviewing people was, “Kasheer Karikh Khatim (Kashmir has been destroyed One afternoon, we went to a nearby hotel to have lunch. A Kashmiri man, probably in his 40s and wearing a salwar kameez, was sitting at the table before us. He looked distressed and tired and started to converse with us. He had come to Jammu all the way from Shopian, a hotbed of militancy in South Kashmir, to meet his elder brother, who was incarcerated in the Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu. The brother had been picked up by the police from his home two days after the dilution of Article 370.As he wasn’t able to make any contact with his brother, two days ago, he had left his home early morning under clampdown. He had passed through scores of barricades and security checkpoints. He walked by foot, hitchhiked up to Anantnag, around 35 kilometres from Shopian, where he boarded a cab to Jammu. While speaking to us, the man was almost in tears. He was running out of money and wanted to leave Jammu as soon as possible. “Before leaving home, I collected some cash from family members and took a cheque with me,” the man told me. “I thought I would withdraw it in Jammu as the banks were still closed in Shopian.”When he went to the bank to withdraw money, the cheque got bounced because of an incorrect signature. He couldn’t even contact his family. Before leaving the hotel, the man turned toward us and said, “Assi Kya Korukh (What has been done to us?).” When I returned home, I began feeling frustrated again. In Jammu, I came to know that I had been shortlisted for the ‘Young Journalist Award 2019’ run by Thomson Foundation in collaboration with the Foreign Press Association. I was waiting for news on who would be the three finalists, as they would be flown to London to attend the Gala Award Ceremony.
5. I gave access to my email to a friend who was working in Delhi in a private firm. He was checking my email everyday day. I wasn’t one of the three finalists, but I was given an opportunity to sign up for a free online course offered by the Thomson Foundation. I was unable to utilise that opportunity as the Internet was still disconnected in Kashmir.To work around the restrictions, I had begun to dictate story ideas to my friend in Delhi, who sending emails to editors on my behalf. In the months preceding August 5, 2019, I was regularly writing reports from Kashmir. During the last six months, I only managed to file four reports. The Internet blockade in Kashmir has already surpassed 200 days. On January 25, a painfully slow speed mobile internet was restored with access limited to just government-approved whitelisted websites. It was mere eyewash, just to show the outside world that ‘normalcy’ has returned to Kashmir. Apart from stifling journalism, the prolonged internet ban has severely damaged businesses has left Kashmiri students in distress. And still, we do not know when the restrictions will be lifted.Can you imagine living in today’s digital world without the Internet, under a prolonged military siege? Have you ever witnessed raids in the dark of the night and widespread detentions? Have you ever stayed in your own home as a prisoner for months? https://thewire.in/rights/kashmir-life-under-clampdown
6. PSA: Mar., 6, 2020: Geneva: International Human Rights Association of American minorities (IHRAAM), a global organisation dedicated to human rights and right to self-determination, has expressed deep concern about Kashmiris’ arbitrarily detentions and accused India of widely misusing a law allowing for detention without trial in Indian occupied Kashmir. Barrister Abdul Majid Tramboo represents the IHRAAM at the 43rd session (24 February-20 March 2020) of the Human Rights Council at UN offices in Geneva. The Public Safety Act (PSA), which Indian Supreme Court describes a “lawless law” under which the Indian authorities hold children, old people, political leaders, activists, lawyers and protesters, IHRAAM said in its statement submitted at on ongoing session. It was a breach of international human rights law, the statement of IHRAAM said published on the UN General Assembly said.The IHRAAM, which is in consultative status with the UN, demands that PSA be scrapped and prisoners released. “OHCHR, the President of UNHRC and UNGA must take serious note of this and call upon India to repeal the PSA to ensure it complies with its international human rights norms and obligations and release all the prisoners detained under PSA,” it said. The law prohibits the detention of children but IHRAAM said that Indian authorities knowingly detained minors under this law. IHRAAM said that Indian authorities use the PSA as a safety net, using it to secure the detention of people who are released, or likely to be released, on bail. It said that authorities keep on issuing orders to keep people behind bars. In August 2018, authorities amended the Act to remove a proviso that barred detainees who are permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir from being lodged in jails outside the state. The US NGO IHRAAM said that at least 40 pro-freedom Kashmiri political leaders, who are detained under PSA, have been moved to Indian jails outside the state. In its statement. This law provides cover to those officials who detain people arbitrarily. As per Section 22, “no suit, prosecution or any other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith” under the PSA http://kashmirwatch.com/india-is-misusing-lawless-law-in-kashmir-us-ngo-informs-unhrc-at-geneva/
7. Women day: Mar., 9, 2020: As the world is observing the International Women’s Day, today, the miseries and victimization of the Kashmiri women at the hands of Indian troops and police personnel continue unabated in occupied Kashmir. According to a report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, today, thousands of women are among 95,507 Kashmiris, martyred by Indian military, paramilitary and police personnel since January 1989 till date. At least 671 women have been martyred by Indian troops since January 2001 till date. The report pointed out that the unabated Indian state terrorism rendered 22,912 women widowed. The Indian forces’ personnel molested 11,179 women including the victims of Kununposhpora mass rape and Shopian double-rape-and murder of 17-year-old Aasiya Jan and her sister-in-law Neelofar Jan. An eight-year girl, Aasifa Bano, of Kathua, was abducted, gang-raped and subsequently murdered by Indian police personnel, in January 2018. The report said that thousands of women lost their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers in the occupied territory who were subjected to custodial disappearance by India troops. As per the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, more than 8,000 Kashmiris went missing in custody during the past 31 years, the report added.The report revealed that thousands of school boys and girls were also injured by the pellets fired by Indian troops while over hundred including 19-month-old Heeba Jan, 2-year-old Nusrat Jan, Ulfat Hameed (17), Insha Mushtaq, Ifrah Shakoor (17), Shakeela Bano, Tammana (11), Shabroza Mir (16), Shakeela Begum(35) and Rafia Bano (31)were blinded. The report said that near a dozen women including Hurriyat leaders, Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi, Naheeda Nasreen and Insha Tariq Shah (23) were facing illegal detention inside Kashmir jails and in infamous Tihar Jail in India. They are being victimized only for representing the Kashmiri people’s righteous demand and aspirations. The report further pointed out that womenfolk are majority of the Kashmiris suffering from multiple psychic problems. The women whom these disappeared men leave behind are referred to as “half-widows,” reflecting their uncertain status between wifehood and widowhood.Many mothers are waiting for their disappeared sons while widows and half-widows are in pain since decades in occupied territory. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/03/08/thousands-of-women-killed-molested-by-indian-troops-in-iok/
Weekly update 26: Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Feb., 25, 2020 to Mar., 2, 2020
1. IHRAAM: Feb., 25, 2020: The International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM), a non-governmental organisation, has submitted a written statement for the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council’s agenda item 4, human rights situation. The session of the Human Rights Council will be held from February 24 to March 20, 2020 and the Secretary-General has received the written statement, which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31. It said, the Convention has been ratified by 152 states. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has repeatedly stated that the Convention is peremptory international law and that it embodies principles that are part of customary international law. This means that whether or not States have ratified the Convention, they are all bound that genocide is a crime prohibited under international law, it added. The statement said, Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir is a distinct national/ethnic/religious group, in particular the Kashmiri Muslims, as being recognised in the UN report 2019. It said Kashmiris are subjected to genocide by the perpetrators with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part. The IHRAAM submitted in its statement that the international human rights groups have admitted that Indian armed forces are using excessive force that leads to unlawful killings and hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris have been killed during the period 1990-2019.It said, in recent years, the civil society groups estimate that 130 to 145 Kashmiris were killed by the Indian forces between July 2016 and March 2018. These killings resulted from the use of pellet guns, bullets, teargas shells, inhaling chemical shell fumes and shooting by Indian troops. The statement said, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists all claim that there were over 90 fatalities of Kashmiris in 2016 and during 2018, it is claimed that 160 Kashmiris were killed, the Kashmir Valley accounted for 122 and the four districts of South Kashmir recorded 85 killings. The first half of 2019 (January–June 2019) continued with killings of Kashmiris. The first six months record 163 Kashmiris’ killings, it said. The IHRAAM statement said, among the civilians killed, 9 were minors and 12 were women and all the killings were at the hands of Indian forces. The second half of 2019 (July–December) records 64 killings of Kashmiris. These figures (95,475 killings since January 1989 to December 10, 2019 corroborate the argument that there is a systematic pattern in place with intent to destroy in whole or in part the Kashmiris, it maintained.It said, there has long been persistent claims seriously bodily harm of Kashmiris who have been subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. “Such bodily injuries are caused from lethal weapons including pellet shotguns. Besides, injuries through torture and other mistreatment occur at the detention and interrogation centres operated by the Indian forces and the intelligence agencies, it added. It said, one of the most dangerous weapons used against Kashmiris is the pellet-firing shotgun – a shotgun – that fires metal pellets. According to information received by the State Human Rights Commission from 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley, metal pellets seriously injured 1,726 Kashmiris in 2016, it deplored. The statement said, the Government of India has introduced the policy of “operation all out” that has been on-going since 2017 and this operation has led to severe injuries including 1,253 Kashmiris blinded by the metal pellets up to the end of 2018.The IHRAAM statement said, human rights groups have warned the authorities that minors were arrested under draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) in 2016 and 2017 and several Kashmiri leaders detained under the black law in 2018 and 2019 continue to be imprisoned and many of them were transferred to Indian prisons adding that the aim is the physical destruction of the Kashmiris. It said, civil society in occupied Kashmir claims over 8,000 Kashmiris having disappeared since 1989 and impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in the territory continues. Cases of enforced disappearances continue to be reported until the end of 2019, it added. In February 2018, the Support Group for Justice for Kunanposhpora survivors filed a petition before the Human Rights Commission of the territory, urging investigation into all cases of sexual assault by Indian forces upon Kashmiri women. This vicious act is undertaken to ensure physical destruction of Kashmiri women, it said. A media investigation claimed that schools and colleges were closed for 60 percent of the working days between 2016 and 2017 and the situation in 2018 and in 2019 was such that practically no schools and colleges were open. The IHRAAM statement said, human rights groups claim days-long curfews and communication blockade have major impact on Kashmiris and their access to medical care particularly on pregnant women. “According to civil society reports around 200 ambulances were damaged by Indian armed forces and in some cases by protestors. The Doctors Association of Kashmir documented several instances of doctors, paramedics and ambulances drivers being obstructed, prevented and physically assaulted by Indian armed forces, it deplored. It said, IHRAAM addresses the international community and calls for an international Commission of Inquiry on the killings perpetrated against the Kashmiris. It also calls for the prosecution under the Convention and under universal jurisdiction of the perpetrators of the crime of genocide in the occupied territory, who have acted or act at the behest India. The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, should open a formal investigation under articles 6 and 7 of the Statute of Rome. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/22/ihraam-submits-statement-for-43rd-session-of-unhrc-session/
2. ICJ: Feb., 26, 2020: A former chief justice has suggested Pakistan to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the continuing rights violations in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chowhan, according to a statement issued by the Srinagar-based Legal Forum for Oppressed Voices of Kashmir (LFOVK) on Saturday, said Pakistan being an important party to the long-standing dispute should approach the UN court. LFOVK, which organized the event, is an international legal organization which defends "the political, social and human rights of Kashmiris." Chowhan, a Pakistani national, was a judge in the Hague from 2006 to 2009. He later served as chief justice of Gambia between 2014 and 2015. The former judge urged for efforts to get Kashmiris recognized before the UN the way Palestinian bodies are represented at the international forum.“There are UN resolutions on Kashmir, they nurture the struggle of Kashmir but when we wish to address the legal aspect of the dispute, one fails to understand why Pakistan as a state and an important party to this dispute fails to approach the ICJ," he said. According to several rights organizations, thousands of people have been killed and tortured in the conflict since 1989. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/pakistan-should-take-kashmir-issue-to-intl-court/1742287
3. LoC : Feb., 28, 2020: Since 2019, at least 60 civilians have been killed and more than 280 wounded due to Indian shelling into Pakistan-administered Kashmir, according to Pakistani government data, which also revealed that the death toll rose by 114 percent compared with the year before. Conflict at the LoC spiked in February 2019 following a suicide attack that killed at least 40 Indian security forces in the Indian-administered town of Pulwama. India responded by increasing shelling across the LoC and then carried out air raids on Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on February 26 s." https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/constant-fear-death-pakistan-administered-kashmir-200226140258169.html
4. UNHCR: Feb., 28, 2020: In its update to the Human Rights Council on rights concerns and its progress across the world, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights highlighted both Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act. The latter and the violence into which the capital city has descended as a result of it was described as a cause for “great concern.” In her address to the Human Rights Council, in its 43rd Session, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet spoke on the prevailing situations in countries across the world. Her mention of India began with the detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. The UN has taken cognisance of the Indian government’s excesses in the region a few times before and since the reading down of Article 370, on October 29, the spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville acknowledged that an “undeclared curfew” had been lifted from much of Jammu and Ladakh regions within a few days. Bachelet had expressed concerns about restrictions imposed on Kashmir in her inaugural speech at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as well, in September 2019. After Article 370 of the constitution was read down in August, five UN-appointed independent human rights experts had described the communication clampdown and security restrictions as a “collective punishment” for the population. This time, the OHCHR’s focus remained on the treatment of political leaders, activists, the closure of schools, the partial restoration of mobile and internet services, the restrictions on social media and the often excessive use of forces. https://thewire.in/rights/caa-kashmir-violence-unhcr
5. Missing Parents: Mar., 1, 2020: I’ve been watching the images of bloodshed and targeted attacks against Indian Muslims breaking out on the streets of Delhi. The role of the police in precipitating violence in Delhi and the detention spree in Kashmir since August 5, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the region’s nominal autonomous status, has laid bare a glaring truth: The Indian government is willing to use any means to crack down on dissent. For as long as I can remember, my father has suffered under the Indian state. I’ve seen him in the guise of a prisoner all my life. It’s hard for me to even conjure him as a free man. On February 5, he completed his 27th year of imprisonment. I’m 20 years old. In his absence, my mother raised me. But I haven’t seen her for two years. Both my parents are in solitary confinement, in two different jails. As Kashmiris, they have been detained by the government of India for speaking out against the occupation and demanding the right to self-determination. In Kashmir, my story is commonplace. While much media attention in India has shown great concern vis-à-vis the detention of pro-Indian politicians like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti in Kashmir, there has been little backlash against the horrible detention of those Kashmiris who do not see their future with India. Every such Kashmiri is deemed inherently criminal and punishable Of the total number of detentions, 412 were booked under the Public Safety Act—a law that India has used for decades to quell any protest. The detainees do not have the right to legal representation, and can be held up to two years without charges. Amnesty International has called this a “lawless law.” The authorities are not required to inform the detainees about the grounds for their arrest if they decide that revealing the information goes “against the public interest.” In fact, it’s the very existence of this draconian law that violates our “public interest.” A 76-year-old lawyer, Mian Qayoom, who has practiced law for over four decades in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and Indian Supreme Court, has been detained under the act. The High Court dismissed a petition challenging his detention. He is a diabetic patient surviving on a single kidney and has recently had a heart attack. He needs urgent medical care—a basic right that our prisoners have long been deprived of. When it comes to our political prisoners, India disregards international law, and its judiciary only validates this injustice. When my own mother calls me from prison once a month, the authorized time is 12 minutes. But the jailers rarely allow us to talk that long. The underlying message is clear: They are more entitled to my mother than I am. They violate their own laws and ignore their own dicta, to put in our mind that there is no “system” or “law” that a Kashmiri can count on. Yasin Malik, a popular resistance leader, has been in a solitary cell for more than a year. He espouses a peaceful method of struggling for the right to self-determination. The prolonged and harsh imprisonment of a political activist like him conveys an important message: The democracy of India will not tolerate even nonviolent Kashmiri resistance. Children as young as 13 have been taken into custody. They have been arrested while they were busy playing on the streets or picked up from their homes in the dead of night. Fifteen-year-old Umar is an orphan but the sole breadwinner for his family; he dropped out of school a few years back when his father passed away. On August 7, he was detained from his home, handcuffed, and sent to a prison a thousand miles from his home. For three months, he was confined inside a small cell. Umar was finally released, but his life is not the same. He is in a state of war within. He has abandoned the bakery shop amid fears he would be arrested again. Families like his are finding it hard to battle for justice and livelihood at the same time. Some of them can’t even afford the cost of traveling to the distant jails where their loved ones have been kept. I know a mother who scurried from one police station to another, with eyes hopeful of catching one glimpse of her detained child. In most of the cases, the authorities do not inform the family regarding the whereabouts of the detainee. On December 20, 65-year-old detainee Ghulam Muhammad Bhat died during imprisonment. Ever since his death, many families in Kashmir fear that they could be faced with a similar fate. With little or no communication with their detained family members, they wonder if they will have the closure of saying goodbye to their loved ones before they die. In the ongoing violence against Muslims by right-wing Hindu supremacists, the lives of Kashmiri detainees in Indian jails remain in great peril. Kashmiris have always been soft targets of majoritarian nationalism. Now those attacks are increasingly also aimed at Muslims across the country. Oppression in Kashmir prefigures injustice elsewhere. Violence is the natural state of the Indian government’s rule in Kashmir. The individual liberty of every Kashmiri comes into conflict with the national integrity of India. The Indian state’s plan of action in Kashmir is simple: crush every form of dissent and increase the cost of resistance. By compelling the people to choose between survival and resistance, the Indian government thinks it can subdue Kashmiri political aspirations. What it does not realize is that for many Kashmiris, resistance is survival. https://www.thenation.com/article/world/delhi-kashmir-india/
6. VPH: Mar 2, 2020: Keen to clamp down on VPN use, the security forces first resorted to physical checks of smartphones, as multiple Kashmir residents told Scroll.in. Then, on February 17, the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s cyber wing filed a first information reprt on the alleged “misuse of social media” through VPNs. The FIR invoked the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code against unknown persons. According to police officials, there have been no arrests directly under the cyber police’s FIR. But it has kicked into motion several arrests under FIRs filed at the district level. Scroll.in tracked down at least five cases of arrest since February 17, all for social media and VPN use. https://scroll.in/article/954711/in-kashmir-a-spree-of-arrests-for-alleged-misuse-of-social-media-and-vpns
1. UAPA: Feb.,18,2020: The police in Jammu and Kashmir are reportedly using the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act – one of India’s ‘extraordinary laws’ – against those who are using VPN or proxy servers to access social media websites. The administration has partially restored internet services in the Valley, only about 350 “whitelisted’ websites can be accessed. All social media platforms have been banned – and this is the first time the police has filed an FIR for that ban being broken. The police decision to file an FIR against those using VPN servers came a day after a video of ailing Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani was uploaded on social media, according to the Indian Express. “Taking serious note of misuse of s ocial media, the Cyber Police Station, Kashmir Zone, Srinagar has registered a Case FIR against various social media users who defied the Government orders and misused social media platforms,” The FIR was filed “while taking cognizance of social media posts by the miscreants by use of different VPNs, which are propagating rumors with regard to the current security scenario of the Kashmir valley, propagating secessionist ideology and glorifying terror acts/ terrorists”, the police said. The Wire had reported earlier that a large number of Kashmiris have been using VPN servers to slip past the internet restrictions, which many have called unfair. https://thewire.in/government/kashmir-vpn-uapa-social-media-fir
2. Facial recognition technology: Feb., 19, 2020: Activists in the Indian capital of New Delhi are expressing concern over the use of facial recognition by the police amid intensifying protests over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).The protesters are reportedly anxious about the lack of regulation around facial recognition and its possible role in the crackdown on the protest movement. They point to the fact that the government didn't acknowledge it was using the technology for this purpose until a national newspaper Back then, the technology was used to identify and filter out what the police called "law and order suspects" at one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rallies. When the Delhi Police first acquired its Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) in 2018, the original purpose was to identify and locate missing children by matching facial images. "I do not know what they are going to do with my data," Rachita Taneja, a Delhi-based activist who created an online cartoon about cheap ways for protesters to hide their faces, told Reuters. "We need to protect ourselves, given how this government cracks down." A 21-year-old Muslim protester told Reuters that he has adopted a pseudonym and at times covers his face with a handkerchief to avoid being identified."We don't know enough about these things, but we are trying to take some precautions," he said. The recently retired police chief of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, O P Singh, told Reuters that facial recognition had only helped the police in detaining a "handful" of more than 1,100 people arrested on charges of alleged links to violence during protests. Modi's government is currently seeking bids from companies to help set up a National Automated Facial Recognition System. It would match photos captured from CCTV with existing databases, with policing a key potential use for such technology. Critics equate the project with the far larger-scale surveillance system in China. https://www.dw.com/en/protesters-in-india-object-to-facial-recognition-expansion/a-52412455
3. Exodus: Feb., 18, 2020: Both moved to the Indian capital after losing hope of a sustainable career in their native Kashmir, where an internet gag has crippled businesses. “Before August, I had job offers from many IT companies in the Valley. Now, the prolonged internet shutdown has almost wiped out the sector,” says Nabi, who hails from Bemina in Srinagar. The duo is among the thousands who have moved out of Kashmir since August last year when the communication blackout was enforced by prime minister Narendra Modi’s government in the wake of Kashmir’s revoked constitutional autonomy. The state has since been reconstituted into the union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, directly governed from New Delhi. Though Kashmir is no stranger to internet clampdowns, governments in the past have ensured that lease lines (or private communication channels) and broadband services were uninterrupted. This time, however, it was a complete blackout. This exodus of educated youth, some even to Gulf countries, is indicative of a wrecked economy.Kashmir has lost some Rs1.78 lakh crore ($25 billion) in economic output in the five months since August 2019, according to an estimate by The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I). This is 11% of the erstwhile state’s nominal gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Rs1.59 lakh crore for 2018-19. If we separate Kashmir Valley from Jammu and Ladakh regions of the former state, the loss is a whopping 20%. “People from carpet industry, handicrafts, paper mache, tourism, IT and e-commerce have opened makeshift offices in New Delhi, Punjab, Hyderabad, and Kolkata,” says Sheikh Ashiq Hussain, president of KCC&I. The worst-hit has been Kashmir’s Rs450-500 crore IT industry, which once employed an estimated 25,000 people across the Valley. .” Even though many businesses have regained access to broadband internet after signing an undertaking with the police accepting responsibility for any “misuse,” the relocated IT firms are in no hurry to close their offices outside Kashmir. “The situation in the Valley remains unstable and uncertainty looms,” says Ahmad. “We will continue to use our outside offices as our backup.” There has also been a mass migration of hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators, and ticketing agents from Kashmir’s Rs65,000 crore tourism industry. The sector, which accounts for 6.8% of its GSDP and employs over two million people, is now struggling.Outbound tourism had grown exponentially in recent times with over 40,000 Kashmiris going for Hajj every year. Now this, too, has taken a hit. For one, online visa processing is no longer possible under the circumstances, leading tour operators to move out left Kashmir,” says Samiullah. Running news portals, too, has become impossible. The student community is one of the worst-hit. A significant number of those who fled Kashmir used high-speed internet to prepare for competitive examinations. Last year, around 25,000 students from J&K appeared in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to undergraduate medical courses. Around 8,000 appeared for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam.. https://qz.com/india/1803539/kashmirs-internet-shutdown-makes-startups-students-flee/
4. Missing persons: Feb., 18, 2020: Kashmiri mothers are still awaiting the return of their kids...When most parts of the world celebrate Mother’s Day, thousands of Kashmiri women continue to wait for the return of their sons subjected to disappearance in custody by Indian troops in Indian Occupied Kashmir over the past 30 years. Their resistance persists. One such story is of Parveena Ahangar, the mother of Javeid. Javeid was 16 when Indian security agents arrested him in August of 1990. She has not seen him since. Parveena does not know why her son was arrested, or even whether he is alive. In her grief, she started a group called the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) more than 10 years ago. Since then she has filled a thick green folder with hundreds of letters and sun-faded photographs from families with husbands and sons who have vanished. Women in Kashmir have suffered immensely as the conflict in the region continues.Many has lost their husbands, sons, or fathers. There are also around 2,500 "half-widows" who remain unaware of their husbands' whereabouts. For Parveena and thousands of other Kashmiris who have lost family members in this conflict, the politics is irrelevant. For them, there is only the one recurring question: Where is my son?
5. Three young men martyred: Feb., 20, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district. The troops martyred the youth, Jahangir Rafiq Wani, Uzair Ahmed Butt and Raja Umar Maqbool Butt, in a fake encounter in Tral area of the district. As per reports, Jahangir Rafiq Wani and Uzair Ahmed Butt were arrested by Indian troops on 12th January, this year, and were kept in custody. They were killed in cold blood by the troops in a fake encounter, last night. Thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of the martyred youth in Tral. The participants of the funerals raised high-pitched anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Indian police arrested Sirajuddin Ganai, who was working as a domestic help at the residence of ailing All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, from outside the house of the veteran leader and shifted to a police station https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/19/indian-troops-martyr-three-kashmiri-youth-in-pulwama-2/
6. AI: Feb., 20, 2020: Amnesty International has said that police is using repressive counter terrorism law to prevent access to social media in occupied Kashmir. Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, in a statement in Bangaluru, said while the government has a duty and responsibility to maintain law and order in the territory, filing cases under the repressive counter-terrorism law over vague and generic allegations and blocking social media sites is not the solution. He was responding to the news that the police in occupied Kashmir have invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against people allegedly misusing social media sites through proxy servers in the territory. He maintained that nearly 12 million residents in occupied Kashmir have been living through communication restrictions since 5th of August, 2019, and now the police is using the UAPA, a repressive counter terrorism law, against the people for overcoming the longest-ever internet ban imposed in the world by using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter through Virtual Private Networks (VPN).He said the people arrested under this law can be kept for up to seven years in jail. He said the Indian government says such sites are blocked to curb the misuse of the sites by miscreants for propagating false information/ rumours but the government has almost total control over what information is coming out of the region.Avinash Kumar added that the Indian government needs to put humanity first and let the people of Kashmir speak https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/19/india-using-repressive-law-to-stop-access-to-social-media-in-iok-ai/
7. US Congressmen; Feb., 20, 2020: Two US Congressmen, Ami Bera and George Holding, have expressed concern over the grim situation in occupied Kashmir, insisting that the Narendra Modi government should release political detainees and restore normalcy in the territory at the earliest. Ami Bera also expressed concern over the Citizenship Amendment Act, a controversial law that has sparked protests across India over the last three months. Several member of the US Congress have already termed the law, which deprives Muslims of Indian citizenship as “discriminatory” and “unconstitutional”. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/20/us-congressman-expresses-concern-over-situation-in-kashmir-protests-over-caa/
8. Brutal Indian occupation: Feb., 22, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, APHC leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Tehreek-e-Muzahamat, Bilal Siddiqi, has said that India has created an atmosphere of fear in the territory to prevent people from expressing their aspirations and sentiments. Bilal Siddiqi in a statement issued in Srinagar said, Indian troops barge into the residential houses, harass the inmates and ransack household goods. He said that since August 5, last year, there was complete ban on political activities in the territory. He said if any remark is made or published in favour of freedom movement, the person who makes the remarks is arrested while action is taken against the said newspaper. Bilal Siddiqi maintained that India intends to create a silence of graveyard in the occupied territory. He appealed to the world community to take cognizance of the grim human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and impress upon India to resolve the Kashmir dispute by giving the Kashmiris their right to self-determination. International news organisation, Reuters, in a report maintained that India has launched a massive crackdown against Virtual Private Network users in the territory for accessing Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and other social networking sites. A police spokesman told Reuters that cases have been registered against several people who accessed social networking sites through proxy servers.On the other hand, a large number of people from different civil rights organisations held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, demanding restoration of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to occupied Kashmir. Posters calling for ‘Free Kashmir’ came up for sale on the occasion of the demonstration held on the completion of 200 Days of Kashmir Blockade, yesterdayThe police in the Indian city of Bangaluru arrested a girl for holding a placard carrying slogans ‘free Kashmir, free Dalits and free Muslims’ during a protest against the citizenship amendment law. On Thursday evening, a 19-year-old girl, Amulya Leona, had raised “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan thrice in the presence of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi after the organisers of the event under the banner of “Save Constitution” invited her to address the gathering. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/21/india-has-created-an-atmosphere-of-fear-in-iok/
9. Two young men martyred: Feb., 23, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred two Kashmiri youth in Islamabad district, today.(Saturday). The troops martyred the youth at Naina Sangam in Bijbehara area of the district during a cordon and search operation which started late last night. . https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/22/indian-troops-martyr-two-youth-in-iok-18/
10. Youth arrested: Feb., 23, 2020: Indian police and troops arrested at least 17 youth during house raids in Pulwama, Shopian, Ganderbal and Baramulla districts. These youth have been labeled as Over Ground Workers of mujahideen. The police also arrested two other youth in Kupwara and Handwara areas for sharing material depicting the Indian atrocities in the territory. The arrests have been made days after the Indian police registered an open FIR for defying government orders on the use of social media. The sleuths of India’s National Investigation Agency carried out a raid at Darul-Uloom in Pinglana area of Pulwama district. On the other hand, a delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, today, met the visiting British Members of Parliament in Islamabad and apprised them of the latest situation of occupied Kashmir. The International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, a non-governmental organisation, has submitted a written statement for the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council drawing its attention towards the grim human rights situation in occupied Kashmir. It appealed to the international community to constitute an International Commission of Inquiry for investigating the killings and prosecuting the Indian troops involved in the crime of genocide in occupied Kashmir. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/22/indian-troops-martyr-two-youth-in-iok-18/
11. Kashmiri Women: Feb., 24, 2020: The miseries and victimization of Kashmiri women by the Indian troops and police personnel continue unabated in occupied Kashmir. According to a report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day, today, revealed that at least 671 women have been martyred by Indian troops since January 2001 till date. The report pointed out that since January 1989; the unabated Indian state terrorism rendered 22,911 women widowed while Indian forces’ personnel have molested 11,178 women. The report said that thousands of women lost their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers in the occupied territory who were subjected to custodial disappearance by Indian Army, police and paramilitary personnel. The report said that several women including Hurriyat leaders, Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi and Naheeda Nasreen were facing illegal detention. They are being victimized only for the reason that they represent the Kashmiri people’s aspirations. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/23/thousands-of-women-martyred-molested-in-iok-since-jan-1989/
Weekly update 24: Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Feb., 11, 2020 to Feb., 17, 2020
1. Torture: Feb., 13 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops brutally subjected Kashmiri men and women to torture and harassed children during a series of cordon and search operations in Srinagar and other parts of the territory. The troops along with the personnel of paramilitary and police conducted operations in different areas of Srinagar, Bandipore, Ganderbal, Badgam, Kupwara, Baramulla, Islamabad, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch districts. They sealed all entry and exit points at different places and conducted door-to-door search operations. The residents told media that the troops also ransacked houses.Meanwhile, Indian police arrested, at least, three Kashmiri youth for taking part in a silent protest demonstration in Srinagar on the occasion of so-called visit by 25 selected foreign envoys to the territory. The locals said that Indian government was managing such tours to falsely portray normalcy in the territory. The Democratic Political Movement at a meeting in Srinagar called upon the international community, especially the United States and the United Nations to take notice of grim human rights situation in occupied Kashmir https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/12/troops-brutally-torture-inmates-during-casos-in-iok/
2. American city opposes CAA: Feb., 13,2020: Cambridge in Massachusetts state has become the second city in the United States after Seattle to pass a resolution against a controversial citizenship law pushed by India's Hindu nationalist The Cambridge ity Council on Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), calling upon the Indian Parliament to "uphold" the country's secular constitution by repealing the law and stopping a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). The US city houses the world-renowned Harvard University and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology. “It has come to the attention of the city council that on December 11, 2019, the Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which for the first time uses religion as a criterion for Indian citizenship," the resolution said.The Cambridge resolution declared that "Modi government's racist and repressive policies" were inconsistent with the values of the city, "which welcomes South Asian communities of all castes and religions".The Cambridge city council urged its congressional delegation to support legislation in the US Congress censuring India or enacting such policies.The move came a week after Seattle, one of the most powerful city councils in the US, passed a similar resolution, urging India to repeal the CAA and stop the NRC.The two resolutions came ahead of an upcoming visit of US President Donald Trump to India. Rachel Wyon, an activist in Cambridge who was born in India to British parents, told Al Jazeera that laws such as CAA echoed the Nazi Germany of the 1930s."Through the CAA, most of us can recognise the echo of the 1930s in Germany when a Nazi government took similar steps - closely parallel to the NRC and CAA - which we know now were initial steps towards the Holocaust," said Wyon, who deposed before the city council in support of the resolution.She said CAA and NRC are "unconstitutional and designed to disenfranchise several million Muslims, Dalits (people at the bottom of Hindu caste hierarchy) and other marginalised groups in order to move toward an ultra-right-wing fascist state"."People in India and the South Asian community in the US should know that they have the support of the world in opposing such a discriminatory law," Wyon told Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/city-passes-resolution-india-citizenship-law-200212094100503.html
3. US Senators on Kashmir: Feb., 14, 2020: Four U.S. senators asked the State Department on Wednesday to provide assessments on India's crackdown in Kashmir, weeks before President Donald Trump's visit to New Delhi. In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sens. Chris Van Hollen, Todd Young, Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham expressed concern that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has blocked the internet in the Jammu and Kashmir region for months."India has now imposed the longest-ever internet shut down by a democracy, disrupting access to medical care, business and education for seven million people. Hundreds of Kashmiris remain in 'preventive detention,' including key political figures," said the bipartisan group of senators in the letter. The government's steps, including the Citizenship Amendment Act, "threaten the rights of certain religious minorities and the secular character of the state," they wrote. The senators requested information in 30 days about the number of political detainees in Kashmir, restrictions on the internet and cell phone service, access for foreign diplomats, journalists and observers and on religious freedom.They also seek to know the number of people who are at risk of being stateless, deported or locked up as a result of the citizenship law and whether Indian authorities are employing "excessive use of force" against protestors. The letter came nearly two weeks before the White House announced that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will travel to India on Feb. 24 and 25, marking his first presidential visit to South Asia’s largest country. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-senators-request-assessment-on-kashmir-issue/1732529
4. Leader booked: Feb., 15, 2020: Shah Faesal, a former bureaucrat, whose arrest along with other political leaders in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, has sparked outrage, was on Saturday detained under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), which allows detention without trial for up to three months and multiple extensions. Faesal, who had floated the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement party after resigning from the Indian Administrative Service, was a topper in the 2010 batch. The young former bureaucrat denounced the civil services to protest "unabated killings" in Kashmir and the "marginalisation of Indian Muslims". He joined active politics in January 2019, but after the Centre abrogated Article 370 on August 5, which was condemned by all political outfits in Jammu & Kashmir, was arrested from Delhi airport on August 14. His arrest, while on his way to the US, reportedly to complete his studies, sparked outrage across the country and abroad, since he had unequivocally opposed the demotion of J&K from a state to a Union territory. According to a human rights outfit, JKCCS, as many as 662 persons were booked under the draconian PSA in 2019, a majority of them after August 5 in Kashmir. In a report titled by Annual Human Rights Review 2019 by Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), the outfits said that4 12 persons in the region had been booked under PSA, often termed as a “lawless law”, after August 5. A majority of these persons continue to serve detention in jails across India, making it difficult for their family members to even meet them. https://www.newsclick.in/jk-leader-shah-faesal-booked-under-draconian-public-safety-act
5. EU: Feb., 16, 2020: The European Union (EU) has called for swift removal of communication and political restrictions in Kashmir. The organisation was in touch with the Indian authorities for continuing dialogue regarding the situation in Kashmir, a spokesperson for the EU said. Some restrictions remain, notably, and some political leaders are still in detention. While we recognise the serious security concerns, it is important that the remaining restrictions are lifted swiftly”, said Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.The statement was issued a day after a delegation of 25 diplomats that included the EU Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto and several other European envoys visited Kashmir and Jammu from February 12 to 13. The delegation was not part of the earlier team of diplomats that visited Kashmir in January as they had insisted on meeting jailed political leaders. .In recent months, India's relation with the EU has been marked by growing concern of the powerful regional body over the Kashmir situation, the controversial new Indian citizenship law and National Register of Citizens. In January, 626 of the 751 members of the EU Parliament took up six resolutions for discussion but ultimately postponed a vote on the matters till coming spring.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Brussels in March for the next EU-India summit. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/eu-for-swift-end-to-all-curbs-in-kashmir/article30823016.ece
6. State terrorism: Feb., 16,2020: : Delhi police , unproved, beat up university students in a library. Jamia Milia Islamia's CCTV footage shows security forces entering and beating students who were studying in the library. This is from 15 December 2019 when a student lost sight in one eye after the clash. https://www.facebook.com/najmi.zuberi/videos/10219393762248959/
1. Youth martyred: Feb., 5, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three Kashmiri youth in Srinagar, today. The troops martyred the youth during a cordon operation in Lawaypora-Shalteng area of Srinagar.Earlier, one Indian soldier was killed and another was injured in an attack in the same area. Soon after the incident, Indian police and troops cordoned off the area and launched searches. Further details are awaited. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/05/indian-troops-martyr-two-kashmiri-youth-in-sriangar/
2. OIC: Feb., 7,2020: Saudi Arabia has shown reluctance to accept Pakistan’s request for an “immediate meeting” of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Kashmir, Pakistani daily Dawn has reported. On February 9, senior officials of the OIC are meeting in Jeddah to make preparations for the 47th CFM. “It is expected that the usual resolutions on Kashmir would be included in the agenda of the foreign ministers’ meeting scheduled to be held in Niger in April, but still no special focus on the plight of Kashmiris, who have been enduring lockdown that is now in its 185th day since abrogation of Article 370,” the newspaper on February 6. Support from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries for a CFM meeting on Kashmir is crucial, considering they control the 57-member OIC. Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to accept Pakistan’s request has reportedly frustrated Prime Minister Imran Khan. To drum up support, he has visited Malaysia to seek support from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on the issue. Mohamad has been speaking against the Kashmir lockdown at various fora, leading India to issue trade restrictions on palm oil import from Malaysia. India has been urging Malaysia to not internationalise the issue and treat it as an “internal” matter. https://thewire.in/diplomacy/kashmir-oic-pakistan-saudi-arabia
3. Missing sons: Feb., 7, 2020: Several Kashmiri mothers are awaiting the return of their sons who were picked up by the armed forces ahead of the August 5 announcement altering the constitutional status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The arrested men have been moved to faraway jails in various states across country. As per Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society ( JKCCS ), 412 people were charged under Public Safety Act (PSA), which allows preventive custody for two years without trial or charges, after August 5 last year and majority of them have been moved to jails outside the Valley. 80-year-old Zaina hobbles through room sits quietly in a corner and takes out a picture of her son and stares at it without blinking her eyes. After a while, she wraps a piece of cloth around the picture, kisses it, and puts it back. “They have expunged my heart. I am restless. He is the light of my eyes. I am suffocating inside,” she wails. She has not seen her son in past six months after he was picked up by armed forces from his home in Southern Kashmir’s Bello village.“Only god’s name is with me now. I do not know what to do. I am helpless,” she says. She was not home when her son, Lateef Ahmad Dar, was picked up by the Army from his home in Southern Kashmir’s Bello village. Next morning, she rushed to her home and headed straight to the Rajpora police station to see her son, “When I saw him, he pretended to be alright. His face was pale and his voice suggested he was unwell. We hardly talked. We looked at each other’s face and wept,” she says.The police officers there told her that he would be released soon. But that did not happen. Instead, he was first shifted to central jail and then to Agra, “I visited central jail, where I was thoroughly frisked, almost stripped. “They looked inside my clothes and asked me to remove my pheran (a knee-length dress that Kashmiris wear during winters). It was humiliating. I tolerated everything for my child. Even if I have go through the procedure thousands times for the sake of my child, I would not hesitate,” she says.She says she was then told that he would be released after August 15. “I was making arrangements for his return, but he did not come,” she says. 56-year-old Naseema looks downcast. She could not gather courage to meet her son in the police station. She says on August 4, the Army scaled the wall of their house and barged inside, “they locked me and my daughters inside a room and enquired about my son,” she says.The last she saw her 18-year-old son was when he opened their door and pleaded for their safety, “I have not seen him ever since,” she says.Her head becomes heavy and her heartbeat increases whenever she misses her son, “My veins tighten up and my head feels heavy. I weep day and night without letting any know about it. In fact, every member of my family weeps secretly,” she says.She says the thought of her son sleeping on a bare floor keeps her awake, “how can a mother enjoy a cosy bed when her child is sleeping on floor. It keeps me awake whole night,” she says. Naseema says her son has never been away from his home even for a single day. “He would not spend a day without me. None knows about his likes and dislikes. The mere thought about it tears my heart into pieces,” she says.He used to change his clothes thrice a day, “I have heard he doesn’t get good food and clothes there. What will he do there,” she says, knowing well that travelling to distant jail is a tough call for her. Atiqa, 55, sits on the verandah of her mud house with her gaze fixed at the door hoping that someday her son will open it and emerge from there. She says her son is the only person left in her life. Her husband died a decade ago and she was living with her son. He was the sole bread earner of the family. On August 5, Atiqa had sent him to run an errand to the market in Maisuma but did not return. Instead, somewhere between his home and the market, Faisal was picked up by police.“He went out to buy medicine for me but was picked up Central reserve Police Force on the way,” she says.Her son has been booked under the draconian Public Safety Act. Faisal Aslam Mir, 30, runs a business. According to his mother, he was detained for three days at a local police station and then shifted to the Srinagar Central Jail until August 21, after which he was moved to a jail in Agra in Uttar Pradesh.“I am only alive for my son. Otherwise, I have no other reason to live,” she says, with tears in her eyes. A few kilometers from the Southern Pulwama town, Sara Bano, in her late 40s, is inconsolable. “I am unable to bear your separation please come back. I am dying inside. I tell no one but I cry silently behind haystacks in the field, in the bathroom and in your room,” she wails. Fayaz, 26, was among hundreds slapped with the PSA and shifted to Bareilly in UP after he was charged for ‘stone-pelting’, as per his dossier. Fayaz was in the middle of his completing his PhD in Arabic, having completed his Master’s from the University of Kashmir. According to Sara Bano, Fayaz was falsely framed under prior charges and was “just keeping himself busy with a tractor — which was his part-time job”. It has been six months, and she has not only been able to visit her son even once. “Since the past six months, our son has not able to work or study. And as a result of him being jailed, our financial condition has worsened,” she adds.Rubeena, 45, remembers the last glimpse of her son before he was taken away by the Army from home in Karimabad area of Pulwama. “I only had half a glimpse of his face. I remember that from fear, his face had turned dark. That face still swims in front of my eyes,” she says. She tried to run after him but was scared away by the Army personnel. “They fired a few bullets at the door. I was scared. They took him away,” she says. Rubeena’s financial conditions did not permit her to meet him, “I am poor and cannot afford to travel outside,” she says, adding “all my savings have been exhausted.. Since the past four days, Rubeena has been running from pillar to post to gather money for her visit to her son. “My cow is sick and I don’t have money to even buy medicine for her. Only god’s name is with me,” she says.She believes her son was picked up by the Army for keeping long hair. “His hair was cut with a knife. How would have his hair harmed them?” she says, adding “He is innocent. What will government achieve by arresting him”.Jana, 75, says that she has no option but to only wait for the return of her son. “Even if I wish to meet him in jail, my health will not allow me to do so. I have problems in my back and knees,” she says. Gulshan, 70, is suffering from multiple ailments which prevent her from moving outside, “I have not seen my son in the last six months. I have problems in my back and knees and cannot travel long distances,” she says.In the absence of her son, she says, she is dying inside and often cries when she is alone. “I have no other option but to seek help from the god. I cry whenever I miss him. Why is government snatching our sons from us. Don’t they know how important a son for a family,” she says. Gulshan says she does not know what to tell her 5-year old granddaughter who wants to know where her father is. “I have no answers for her. And I am sure the government has no answers either,” she says.The other thing that is keeping her away from meeting her son is her family’s economic condition. “A visit costs Rs 10,000-20,000. Where will I be able gather so much money from? He was the only source of income for the family,” she says. All the mothers have requested government to release their sons immediately as they are old and infirm and not in a condition to travel long distances, just to catch one glimpse of them. https://www.newsclick.in/Kashmir-Missing-Youth-Mothers-Article-370
4. Muslim Youth killed : Feb., 7, 2020: “Jaipur se hum ek ek Kashmiri ko nikal denge,” (We will take every Kashmiri out of Jaipur) Sufyan Rafiq, the only eyewitness to Basit Khan’s beating told The Quint on Friday, 7 February, a day after Khan succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in Jaipur. A 17-year-old Kashmiri boy, Basit Khan, who was doing a part-time job in Jaipur to support his family was thrashed by a mob on the night of 5 February. Khan succumbed to his injuries at 8:30 pm on the night of 6 February and, by the afternoon of 7 February, his body was sent via a private ambulance to Kashmir. Basit belonged to a poor family from Kupwara in Kashmir. His father died in 2012. He was the oldest in the house, with three younger sisters and a brother. “The family has had to pay Rs 30,000 to get the body to Kashmir. They are very poor and he had come here to work to help the family financially. He was in class 11 and was doing part-time work at an events company to make some money.” Basit and Rafiq, both from Kashmir, went to work at an event on the evening of 5 February. When they returned, they got into a fight with a few other boys on the organising team. “Basit wanted to sit in front as he was tired. This enraged a boy from Mumbai and he held on to Basit’s collar. They started beating him up. One of the boys, Aditya, was repeatedly hitting Basit on the head,” Rafiq, an eyewitness to the beating, told The Quint. Rafiq said they held him down so he could not help Basit. “After beating him the driver dropped us a few kms away from our home. In the cab, the boys kept complaining about the increasing number of Kashmiri’s at work. After getting dropped, he and I walked and walked. He kept falling. As soon as we reached home he began to cry. Then he started vomiting. In the cab on the way to the hospital, he fell unconscious.”Rafiq said the doctors operated on him but said his chances of survival were meagre. He died at 8:30 pm on 6 February.His statement has been recorded by the Rajasthan Police and the accused have been booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC on 6 February.After Basit’s death on 7 February, the police incorporated the section 303 of the IPC (murder) into the FIR.https://www.thequint.com/news/india/kashmiri-boy-dies-after-being-attacked-assaulted-by-mob-in-rajasthan?fbclid=IwAR0RNhLGdmT409NdTZSve3Yy1nF0s9lQoiNTjj_8RHTH2Qjyy48FYsAiPrQ
5. BJP and Kashmir: Feb., 9, 2020: Article 370, adopted by the constituent assembly in 1949, was no ordinary provision. It reproduced a solemn compact negotiated over five long months, from May to October 1949, between prime minister Nehru and his deputy Vallabhbhai Patel on the one hand, and the prime minister of Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and his trusted colleague and brilliant lawyer Mirza Mohammed Afzal Beg on the other. What Prime Minister Narendra Modi did on Aug 5, 2019, went far beyond the abrogation of Article 370. It was the constitutional and political destruction of Kashmir. Not only was it robbed of its status and reduced to a ‘union territory’, but its entire political landscape was also altered drastically. Measures are afoot to redraw its electoral constituencies, engineer defections in its two major political parties the National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party, build up a new political front comprising the BJP’s touts and flunkies, and give primacy to Jammu. The touts include two senior leaders of the PDP. The bulk was put in jail. The entire exercise was based on the calculation that Kashmir’s leaders, press and political class would submit to the BJP’s plans. An atmosphere of fear was created all over Kashmir. The assumption that all would eventually submit, resigned to their fate, has been belied. That it was entertained at all reflects the poor opinion BJP leaders have of Kashmiris. Politicians were not put in jail because they were about to commit any crime; far from it. They were incarcerated for fear that they would reject the BJP regime’s sordid scheme and urge the people to do likewise. They were no terrorists. When in power as chief ministers, the PDP and NC’s leaders fully cooperated with New Delhi in combating the armed insurgency. It is total, popular rejection of the BJP’s scheme that prompted it to forcibly remove them from political activity How long can this oppressive setup last? How long can those senior leaders be placed under these forced restraints? It is a habit of rulers to sound their detainees about their future plans. That is how New Delhi created rifts among jailed Hurriyat leaders about two decades ago. But a different ballgame is being played today. Kashmiris are being asked to become accomplices in the murder of the political identity of their own ancient historic land with its vibrant past, rich culture and a record of revolt over centuries since Emperor Akbar extinguished Kashmir’s independence in 1586. Kashmiris never cease to invoke their history. They never will. The instrument that the BJP has deployed is of colonial vintage. The Criminal Procedure Code, 1898, itself had a hoary past. In 1973 it was ‘revised’ but this new code is no better. On Feb 5, the imprisoned ones completed six months of detention. They have refused to sign the bonds. An official told The Tribune: “The government can continue their detention beyond Feb 6 only after the advisory board recommends so. The J&K government detained nearly 6,000 political leaders after invoking Section 107 of the CrPC through its magistrates.” Nearly 1,000 persons, including three former chief ministers, are still under detention under Section 107 of the CrPC and the Public Safety Act. Had the police detained political leaders or others under Section 151 of the CrPC, they would have all secured bail given the charges against them, said a police officer. That is why this British-era law of Section 107 came in handy this time, he revealed. The plans do not reckon with public opinion, in Kashmir or elsewhere. As ill thought as the Citizenship Amendment Act, the scheme of Aug 5, 2019, will hoist the Modi government firmly on its own petard. https://www.dawn.com/news/1533154/destroying-kashmir
6. Youth arrested: Feb., 9, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian police arrested five youth during cordon and search operations in Badgam and Bandipora districts. Three of detained youth identified as Amir Shafi Dar, Shabir Ahmed Ganie and Mudasir Ahmed Khan were arrested from Badgam while two other youth Irfan Aziz Butt and Mohammad Asif Parray from Bandipora district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/09/indian-police-arrest-five-more-youth-in-iok/
7. LoC firing: Feb., 9, 2020: An ex-serviceman lost his life and his teenaged daughter and three other civilians were injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Saturday in “indiscriminate and unprovoked” shelling by Indian troops from across the restive Line of Control (LoC), officials said.The casualties occurred in Abbaspur tehsil of Poonch district, where Indian troops resorted to heavy shelling, using mortar and artillery, at about 3pm, the officials said, adding that the shelling continued till evening. "Indian troops resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation [the] LoC in Chirikot Sector. They targeted civilian population with artillery and mortar fire," the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. https://www.dawn.com/news/1533229/ex-serviceman-martyred-4-civilians-injured-in-indiscriminate-indian-shelling-along-loc?fbclid=IwAR0ibuGt2BmKNRxaaQWUtMtk-9uEOwleUMnC6M7XmTp9vDsK2ZsVvPum774
8. Leaders booked under PSA: Feb., 10, 2020: Akhtar became the sixth mainstream leader in Kashmir to be booked under the controversial PSA, which was enacted in 1978 to deal with rampant timber smuggling. Two other former chief ministers -- Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- were booked under the stringent law on Thursday. PTI | Last Updated: Feb 08, 2020, 05.35 PM IST The Jammu and Kashmir administration has slapped the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) on senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, officials said on Saturday. Akhtar became the sixth mainstream leader in Kashmir to be booked under the controversial PSA, which was enacted in 1978 to deal with rampant timber smuggling. While former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah was booked under the PSA in September last year, two other former chief ministers -- Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- were booked under the stringent law on Thursday. National Conference (NC) general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and PDP leader Sarah Madni have also been detained under the PSA. Several mainstream politicians were taken into preventive custody ahead of the Centre's announcement on abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 last year. Over 20 leaders have either been released or shifted to their residences and put under house arrest. 1 Comments Save National Conference (NC) general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and PDP leader Sarah Madni have also been detained under the PSA : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pdps-naeem-akhtar-sixth-mainstream-leader-to-be-booked-under-psa-in-kashmir/articleshow/74029158.cms?from=mdr
1. Youth martyred: Jan., 28, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred one Kashmiri youth in Kulgam district, today.The youth was killed during a cordon and search operation by the Indian troops in Arwani area of the district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/27/indian-troops-martyr-one-youth-in-iok-5/
2. Indian actions in IOK: Jan., 30,2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops continued massive cordon and search operations in Srinagar and several other areas of the territory, causing huge inconvenience to the residents.The troops continue to conduct these operations in Srinagar, Kupwara, Handwara, Rafiabad, Tujjar, Chandoosa, Pattan, Hajin, Chadoora, Kangan, Tral, Awantipora, Bijbehara, Shopian, Kulgam, Ramban, Kishtwar, Doda and other areas. The residents of several areas talking to media men said that the harassment, frisking, checking and door-to-door searches by the troops had made their life miserable. They said that the troops and police personnel during operations besides arresting youth were abusing and threatening inmates to stop supporting the liberation struggle. In the meanwhile, normal life remained badly hit in the Kashmir Valley due to the military siege and broadband internet shutdown on 178th consecutive day, today. .A website Indiaspend in a report quoting the estimate of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that since 5th August, 2019, a total of 144,500 people had lost their jobs in Kashmir’s tourism and handicrafts sector – mostly dependent on earnings from travelers. The report said that the overall job loss in the commercial space stood at 496,000. APHC-AJK leader and the Vice Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement, Abdul Majeed Malik, in a statement issued in Islamabad condemned the continued lockdown imposed by India in occupied Kashmir. Another APHC-AJK leader and Vice Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir People’s League, Syed Aijaz Rehmani, in his statement in Islamabad expressed serious concern over the plight of illegally detained Kashmiris languishing in different jails. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/29/indian-troops-continue-casos-in-occupied-kashmir/
3. PSA : Jan., 30,2020: Notwithstanding the criticism of the arbitrary use of the Public Safety Act (PSA) in Kashmir through 2019 – the year J&K was stripped of its special status – the law has been consistently invoked by authorities to keep people “out of circulation” in the restive region. A report by J&K Coalition of Civil Society (J&KCCS) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons’ (APDP) said 662 persons, including a former chief minister and sitting MP, were booked under the PSA in 2019. Of the total number of detentions, 412 were made after August 5 when the Centre scrapped key portions of Article 370 and followed with a massive clampdown and mass arrests to quell any protests. The 100-page report criticises the government for its ambiguity over the total number of detentions. “There is no clear statement (from the government) on how many (people) were booked under the PSA,” reads the report titled Annual 2019 Human Rights Review. After 1990, when the armed struggle broke out in the Valley, the PSA has been used rampantly to book people including separatists, their supporters and voices of dissent. In 2015, for the first time, the government disclosed in response to an RTI that 16,329 persons had been detained under the PSA since 1988. Almost 95% of the detainees were from Kashmir. The 2011 AI report described the PSA a “lawless law”, documenting how it was being misused to detain people without trial, depriving them of basic human rights by “circumventing” criminal justice to undermine accountability and transparency. Advocating its immediate abolition, the organisation said J&K authorities were using the PSA detentions as a “revolving door” – a detainee on being released by the court is immediately slapped with another PSA and the cycle continues till the authorities want him to be behind bars. “It is done to keep people the authorities cannot or would not convict through proper legal channels locked up and out of circulation,” said the report. In other words, the court quashed more than 81% of the detention orders that the Advisory Board had upheld. . https://thewire.in/rights/psa-detentions-kashmir
4. Three youth martyred: Feb., 1, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three Kashmiri youth in Jammu district, today.The youth were martyred after Indian troops intercepted a Srinagar-bound truck at Bann toll plaza on Srinagar-Jammu highway in Nagrota area of the district and fired at the vehicle. The troops cordoned off the area and started a search operation. Indian police and troops arrested two persons including driver of the truck. Earlier one Indian policeman was critically injured in an attack in the same area. The troops also launched cordon and search operations in several areas of Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Pulwama, Shopian, Islamabad, Kulgam, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch districts. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/31/indian-troops-martyr-three-kashmiri-youth-in-jammu/
5. January 2020 human cost Feb., 2, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their unabated acts of state terrorism martyred 21 Kashmiris in the last month of January. According to the data issued by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, during the month, 14 people were critically injured due to the firing of pellets, bullets and teargas shells by Indian troops and police personnel on peaceful protesters in the occupied territory. As many as 104 civilians, mostly youth and Hurriyat activists, were arrested and several of them were booked under black law Public Safety Act. The troops molested 3 women and ransacked and damaged 5 houses in the month. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/02/01/indian-troops-martyr-21-kashmiris-in-january-2/
1. Photojournalism: Jan., 21, 2020: An armed rebellion broke out against Indian rule in Kashmir in the early 1990s. \ Photojournalists have played an essential role in documenting the bloodshed and rights violations that followed. Over the past three decades, journalism in Kashmir has emerged as one of the strongest institutions challenging the Indian government, with Kashmiri journalists working relentlessly to keep the story alive. Being a female photographer in the field can be frustrating at times. People stare at me because they are not used to seeing a woman with a camera. The stories and perspectives of women have largely been ignored and buried in the Kashmiri and international media. They have hardly been spoken about - their losses, their resilience.I wanted to document the untold stories of women and to talk to them. I knew women in my neighbourhood wanted to speak. They were suffering, but would hide their faces and feel uncomfortable opening up to male journalists. It was stormy in the early hours of May 24, 2019, when I set out with other journalists to cover the funeral of prominent rebel commander Zakir Musa. For Kashmiris, the civil engineering student-turned-militant was a popular face of Kashmir's new generation of rebels. He was the founder of Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind, a rebel outfit that had pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda. The road to the house where the rebel was killed was a sea of mud. Puffs of smoke rose from the burned remains of the cement structure. Thousands of people had gathered around it. I found another way in. When Musa's body reached the funeral ground, I was in an attic, preparing for high-angle shots and standing on the edge of the roof. The noise from the slogan-shouting crowd seemed to shake my camera, but I was able to take some pictures of the body before it was taken away to be buried Then, before I put my camera away, I peeped into the viewfinder and saw the empty bed where the rebel's body had been. I took this picture. For me, the empty bed had a different story to tell, far more haunting than the story it told with a dead body on it. It was the void the frequent killings of fighters and ordinary women and men leave behind in their families. The bodies of Kashmiris killed by the Indian armed forces are not taken to the graveyard in a closed coffin. They are considered heroes or martyrs and are often carried out on metal beds or stretchers - taken from the hospitals where families have gone to identify them - so everyone can see them. This picture makes me think of how these beds carry the bodies of young men, women, children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers before they are gone forever. I think about families coming to kiss them for the last time on those beds. These beds share a connection of death and grief This picture also reminds me of my very first news assignment in August 2017. I had to meet the family of Firdous Ahmad Khan, a labourer killed in a gunfight in the southern Kashmiri district of Pulwama. I was worried that his family would not speak to me, or that security forces would stop me. I was afraid of failing to tell the story.But when I met Firdous' widow Ruksana, then 25 and soon to give birth to their second child, she hugged me and cried and told me about the pain of losing her husband. She was burdened and desperate to speak, and could open up to another woman. While her story made me extremely sad, I felt a responsibility to tell it. I watched Ruksana's two-year-old daughter embracing her father on a metal bed, kissing and touching his face for the last time before he was separated from them forever and another empty bedframe returned to the hospital. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/kashmir-empty-bed-signifies-life-lost-200114091520056.html
2. Youth martyred: Jan., 21, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred three Kashmiri youth in Shopian district, today. The youth were killed in a joint operation by the Indian Army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operation Group in Wachi area of the district. A house was destroyed when the troops used heavy weapons and inflammable chemical during the operation. Two of the martyrs were identified as Adil Sheikh from Zainapora and Waseem Wani from Urpora in Shopian district. The identity of the third martyred youth could not be ascertained. Indian police claimed that Adil Sheikh was formerly associated with Jammu and Kashmir police, who along with two others was killed during an encounter with the Indian forces. According to the last reports, the Indian forces had blocked all the entry and exit points and started house-to-house search operations in the area. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/20/three-kashmiri-youth-martyred-by-troops-in-iok/
3. Deradicalization camps : Jan., 22, 2020: Police chief in Indian-administered Kashmir has endorsed the view to set up deradicalization camps for youth in the region The idea was mooted last week by India's first Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat who claimed that children as young as 10-12 were being radicalized in Kashmir. Asked by a reporter whether he supported Rawat’s idea Director General of Police in Kashmir Dilbagh Singh said that it would be a “good sign, good development” if such a facility comes up in Kashmir. Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/kashmir-police-chief-seeks-deradicalization-camps/1708591
4. Two youth martyred: Jan., 22, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred two more Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today ( Monday) , raising the toll to five during the past two days. The youth were killed during a cordon and search operation launched by the personnel of Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force and Special Operation Group in Awanitpora area of the district. Earlier, an Indian soldier and a special police officer were killed and another was injured in an attack in the same area. Meanwhile, thousands of people defying restrictions participated in the funeral prayers of the three youth in Shopian and Pulwama districts. These youth were martyred by Indian troops in Shopian, yesterday. Anti-India, pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised on the occasion. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/21/two-more-kashmiri-youth-martyred-in-iok/
5. Daw Kadal massacre: Jan., 22, 2020: The families of the deadliest Gaw Kadal massacre continue to wait for justice to the victims on the 30th anniversary of the tragedy. Over 50 people were killed and hundreds others were injured when Indian troops had opened fire on peaceful protesters in Gaw Kadal area of Srinagar on this day in 1990. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Zamruda Habib and Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo in their separate statements paid homage to the martyrs. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/21/two-more-kashmiri-youth-martyred-in-iok/
6. Journalists and Clampdown Jan., 23, 2020:India's communication blockade on the back of its revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's autonomous status has forced several journalists into odd jobs. Muneeb ul Islam, 29, found himself running short of money as winter began to set in Kashmir. As the only bread-winner in his family, he had to take care of expenses at home. But most importantly, he had to take care of his pregnant wife’s medical expenses. She requires frequent medical check-ups, due to miscarriages she suffered in the past. Before he went to sleep on December 2, Muneeb mulled over ways to arrange money. The money he had borrowed from friends and relatives had been spent on household expenses. He had tried to work as a salesman once, but with everything shut thanks to India's crackdown in Kashmir, that option was a non-starter. On the morning of December 3, Muneeb put on his shoes and left his home in Anantnag district. He did not tell his family where he was going. By that afternoon, Muneeb had found means to earn: carrying bricks at a construction site. For a day’s work, he was paid around $6.5. He continued to work as a labourer for several days: carrying bricks to helping carpenters and masons at construction sites in different villages of south Kashmir, Muneeb did everything he could to earn money. When he managed to make around $25, he took his wife to a doctor and bought her medicines that would last for the next two weeks. A few days later, a Valley-based weekly magazine printed his photo on the cover at an under-construction site, which was widely circulated, where was pictured carrying bricks. Muneeb’s profile as a labourer was indeed worth a cover story. For the past four years, he had been working as a photojournalist in Kashmir’s southern region. He has documented dozens of gun battles between militants and Indian forces, protests and other aspects of the conflict that rages in the Kashmir Valley. His work has featured both in international and national publications. But when the government of India annexed disputed Jammu and Kashmir and revoked its autonomy, it put the entire region under a strict lockdown for several weeks, fearing reprisals for the decision it had taken without consulting Kashmiris, their elected leaders or other stakeholders. There were no means of communication and no permission for moving around. Even the movement of journalists was restricted. Everything had come to an absolute standstill. Almost four months passed. With businesses and the internet shut, the money people had saved began to wear thin. For those with medical patients in their families, the financial constraints began to hit sooner, and harder. Journalists were among those worst hit. In the absence of internet access, media professionals like Muneeb could not research, pitch and file stories. “There was no way I could carry on with my profession,” says Muneeb. In the first weeks after August 5, the internet was only available at a government-run media facilitation centre, some 50 kilometres from where Muneeb lived. Since there was no public transport, it would take him a full day just to access the internet — access was given for a few minutes at a time — given the fact that the media facilitation centre only had a few computers for nearly 200 journalists. A few weeks later, when the internet was made available at a government office in his district, he went there to pitch photos to a Delhi-based news website. But when he reached, he found that only a select crop of journalists, who he says were in the good books of the Indian government, were allowed to access the internet. But he kept visiting, in hope. He says he could not visit Srinagar’s media facilitation centre every time to access the Internet because it cost him more than $6.5 a day to rent a cab – the same amount he earned as a labourer for one day. “If I am to spend so much of money on just accessing internet, how much will I be able to earn from a story?” he asks, adding that with the contacts he had, his photo stories would get him somewhere between $25-50.The more he tried to work on stories, the more dejected he became.“At the government office where the internet was available, some low-rung government officials would ask me to show them the photos I had to email. How can a government official judge my photo story?” Muneeb says. On top of that, Muneeb says, he was not allowed to send photos himself. “They would ask for photos in flash drives, our email ID and passwords. Then they would email our stories on our behalf. That was humiliating and a breach of privacy,” Muneeb says. Muneeb chose to ditch the camera and work as a labourer. So did several other journalists in Muneeb’s vicinity, who asked not to be named for this story. One of his friends, who has been writing for a Delhi-based newspaper for the last seven years, also worked as a labourer. To his luck, it was autumn, the apple harvesting season, so he was hired by his uncle to pick, carry and pack apples. Since he had no experience in tending to orchards, he was not able to earn much. But he continued anyway. “Anything those days was too much.” Muneeb’s neighbouring village is home to another journalist, Rashid (name changed). He was in charge of the Kashmir bureau for a Delhi-based publication for the last five years. But when the internet stopped, he could not send any stories across. He also suffered the double-whammy of having his salary withheld since September. When he faced a cash crunch, he began looking for alternatives. He set up a small shop with a printing machine where he printed brochures, cards, posters etc. But his alternative did not bring him much relief as orders for printing, during this tough time in Kashmir, were rarely placed.There are others: a photojournalist works at a pharmacy, another helps his brother in his spice business while another sells groceries. “Shopfronts are the points where everyone comes to discuss politics. Since people around know I am a journalist, they often seek my opinion,” one of the journalists, who is now a salesman, says. “But I am so cut off from the news that I have often nothing to say.” Most of these journalists, who took up odd jobs to bear the expenses at home, say that if the internet is not restored, they will have to give up the profession forever and start looking for new career options. “The passion for clicking pictures and telling stories won’t leave me, but the priority is to feed my family,” another journalist said. But Muneeb does not want to give up his career in journalism. He has earned a name in the field, and people in Kashmir’s media circle know him. But he still has regrets.“I should have chosen something else for my career. Something more secure. But now it is as it is. Internet services in Kashmir have been almost entirely shut since the night of August 4. It has been described as one of the longest shutdowns in a democracy. The government recently 'eased' communication but mobile internet and social media are by and large still blocked with limited broadband service available in parts of the Kashmir Valley.The fate of Muneeb and the lives and careers of others like him, still hang by a thread. https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/meet-the-journalists-whose-jobs-vanished-after-india-s-kashmir-crackdown-33118
7. Youth martyred: Jan., 23, 2020: occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred one Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today (Wednesday) The youth was killed during a search and cordon operation by the Indian troops in Awantipora area of the district. The operation was going on from two days in the area. An Indian soldier and a Special Police Officer (SPO) were killed in an attack in the same area on Tuesday https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/22/indian-troops-martyr-youth-in-iok-5/
8. Youth martyred: Jan., 26, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today (Saturday) .The troops martyred the youth during a siege and search operation at Hariparigam in Tral area of the district. Earlier, three Indian soldiers were injured during an attack in the same area. The military operation was going on when the last reports came in. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/25/indian-troops-martyr-three-youth-in-iok-9/
1. Youth martyred: Jan., 13, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today. The youth were killed by the troops during a cordon and search operation in Gulshanpora area of Tral in the district. Police claimed that the youth were killed during an encounter with the troops. The martyred youth were identified as Umer Fayaz Lone, Faizan Hamid and Adil Bashir Mir. . https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/12/indian-troops-martyr-three-youth-in-iok-8/
2. Youth martyred: Jan., 13, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, this morning. The youth were killed by the troops during a cordon and search operation in Tral area of the district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/12/indian-troops-martyr-two-youth-in-pulwama-2/
3. Human rights: Jan., 14, 2020: In a statement, a group of human and civil rights lawyers of South Asian descent have expressed grave concerns about “ongoing legal abuses and human rights atrocities” in India. Their statement covers the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens, and the way protests against the two have been cracked down on by the government, as well as the Central governments actions in Kashmir. “The crisis unfolding in India today is rooted in a long history of impunity and failed democratic institutions,” the signatories have said. They say that India has not been able to keep its minorities safe, and violence against the marginalised has become commonplace. “The BJP and Prime Minister Modi have built upon this troubled history with a Hindutva nationalist agenda,” they continue. To counter this, they argue, US lawmakers must raise their voice and take action, by condemning the CAA and NRC, and also demanding that legal observers and foreign journalists be allowed complete access in Kashmir. https://thewire.in/rights/caa-nrc-kashmir-india-fundamental-rights
4. Youth martyred: January 15 , 2020: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred one more Kashmiri youth in Doda district of Jammu region, today The troops martyred the youth identified as Haroon Hamad during a cordon and search operation in Gundara area of the district. “The operation is going on in the area. However, body has not been recovered so far,” a police officer told media men. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/15/indian-troops-martyr-one-kashmiri-youth-in-doda-2/
5. HRW: Jan., 16,2020: The New York-based Human Rights Watch has criticized the Indian government for gross human rights violations including arrests, torture and communication blackout after abrogation of Kashmir’s special status in August, last year. Human Rights Watch in its World Report 2020 posted on its website said, Indian authorities also failed to protect religious minorities, used draconian sedition and counter-terrorism laws to silence peaceful dissent, and invoked foreign funding regulations and other laws to discredit and muzzle nongovernmental organizations, critical of government actions or policies. “The Indian government has tried to shut down Kashmir, hiding the full extent of the harm caused there,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch in a press release. “Instead of addressing growing attacks on minorities, Indian authorities bolstered their efforts to silence critical voices in 2019,” she added. The report said, “Prior to its actions in Jammu and Kashmir, the government deployed additional troops …, shut down the internet and phones, and arbitrarily detained thousands of Kashmiris, including political leaders, activists, journalists, lawyers, and potential protesters, including children. Hundreds remain in detention without charge or under house arrest to prevent protests.” It said that the Indian government blocked opposition politicians, foreign diplomats, and international journalists from independent visits to occupied Kashmir. “The Indian government’s actions in Kashmir have led to loss of livelihood and access to education. The repression resulted in international criticism including in the United States’ Congress, the European Parliament, and the United Nations Human Rights Council. Throughout the year, UN experts have raised concerns over a series of issues in India, including extrajudicial killings, potential statelessness of millions in Assam, possible eviction of tribal communities and forest-dwellers, and the communications blackout in Kashmir,” the report added. The report said that the February 14 Pulwama attack in which over 40 Indian troops were killed, led to military escalation between India and Pakistan. Following the incident, Kashmiri students and businessmen in different parts of India were harassed, beaten, and even forcibly evicted from rented housing and dorms by BJP supporters. In the 652-page World Report 2020, its 30th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in nearly 100 countries. The report said that despite numerous independent recommendations, including by United Nations experts, the India government did not review or repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives soldiers effective immunity from prosecution for serious human rights abuses. The law is in force in occupied Kashmir and in several states in northeast India. The HRW said that in November, following a petition by child rights activists, the Indian Supreme Court sought a detailed report from the juvenile justice committee of occupied Kashmir High Court on the detention of children and other abuses during the lockdown imposed since August. The committee earlier submitted a police list of 144 detained children, the youngest being 9 . https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/15/hrw-condemns-indian-government-over-atrocities-in-iok/
6. Proving death: Jan., 16, 2020: On an unusually tense afternoon when Indian-administered Kashmir was under full lockdown, Osaib Altaf Marazi, made a fatal decision. The 17-year-old boy, who loved to travel and take selfies, left home to play cricket with his neighbourhood friends on August 5 last year - the day New Delhi stripped Kashmir of its autonomy. He never returned. Osaib's body was later fished out of the nearby Jhelum river. Saleema Bano, Osaib's mother, has struggled to come to terms with her youngest son's death. For five months, she has broken down almost every day. "He was a beautiful boy," she said. "Everyone asks me to endure but how can I forget my son who would be in front of my eyes every hour of the day." Saleema remembers the day vividly. "I told him to have lunch first and not to go out but he insisted he will be back soon," she said. That was the last time Saleema saw Osaib. The events that followed forced her family to embark upon a traumatic quest to even prove his death and seek a death certificate. After four months of denial, Kashmiri police finally admitted that Osaib's death had been the first in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution that had granted special status to the Muslim-majority region. On August 5, roads across Kashmir were blocked and checkpoints, manned by Indian paramilitary troopers, were set up. A tense atmosphere descended upon the region as phone networks, internet services and TV channels were blocked. The crackdown seemed designed to prevent Kashmiris from protesting against New Delhi's decision to scrap Kashmir's limited autonomy. The Marazi family mourned Osaib's death as Kashmir endured the longest internet shutdown imposed by a democracy. Suhail Ahmad Marazi, Osaib's older brother, was not home on August 5. He later gathered witness accounts of what happened to his brother in the moments before his death. Osaib had been with his friends and together they walked a short distance from his home in Palpora village on the outskirts of Srinagar, the main city in the region, when they found themselves surrounded by paramilitary forces. "They were 10 boys. As they reached the middle of a footbridge they saw CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] personnel running after them from both the sides. They were scared and jumped into the river," Suhail told Al Jazeera. Osaib did not know how to swim. "The other boys who were present at the spot told us that Osaib held to the edge of the bridge for [a] few seconds before the armed men hit him with a stick on his head and hands and he slipped into [the] waters. It was a murder," he said. At home, Saleema was doing chores when boys from the neighbourhood came running and knocked at her window. "They said Osaib had been martyred," Saleema recalled, overcome by emotion. "I wait for him every day and call his name every time when I serve the dinner. He was afraid to sleep alone," she said. "I just cannot forget his face for a second." Osaib's body was handed over to the family for burial but the hospital refused to issue a death certificate. Officials at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital in Srinagar asked the Marazi family for a First Information Report (FIR), a police complaint, to certify Osaib's death. It was the start of a months-long battle to secure a death certificate. "From the hospital, I went to one police station and then another and both said that they will not be able to register the FIR as the area does not come under their jurisdiction," Suhail said. "It was a helpless situation." In September, after two child rights activists, Enakshi Ganguly and Shanta Sinha, filed a petition in India's Supreme Court to investigate cases of rights violations involving children in Kashmir, the court tasked the juvenile justice committee with investigating cases involving minors who were being detained in the region. In the midst of their struggle to prove Osaib's death, his family was shocked by a written submission by police to the juvenile justice committee admitting that they had detained 144 minors. But the police dubbed Osaib's death "baseless". "Osaib Altaf, the incident as reported has been found to be baseless as no such death has been reported to the police authorities as per verification report received from the field formations," the police report said. The family then approached the lower court to request the FIR. "We approached the court because how can they deny our child's death? It is very devastating for us that we struggled to prove that he died," Suhail Marazi, said. "While we were mourning at home, every week we had to go to the court as well." Last month, the police finally submitted a report to the court admitting Osaib's death by drowning. "It is prayed that on 05-08-2019, the deceased Osaib Marazi aged about 24 years allegedly drowned in river Jhelum," said the status report submitted by the Parimpora police station to the court. Osaib's school records show he was 17, not "about 24" as the police claimed. He was a grade 12 student at a local school. "No one gets justice here and we do not hope for it either. But we want that we should be provided the death certificate," said Suhail, adding that they will continue to fight for the certificate. "Our neighbour Danish was killed the same way in 2016, and even they did not get any justice. They [the police] have found a new way to kill children in Kashmir." Authorities in Kashmir, who now come directly under India's interior ministry, have denied any killings took place in the wake of the August 5 decision. But local human rights group Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) said, in its 2019 human rights review, that six civilians had been killed by the Indian armed forces. The list included 17-year-old Asrar Firdous Khan from Soura, Srinagar, who was playing cricket with his friends on August 6 when soldiers shot him in the head several times with pellets, according to his family. Asrar's medical records showed his death occurred due to pellet injuries to his skull, but the police refuted that, saying he was killed when a stone was thrown at him. The police did not specify who threw the stone. While Osaib's family continues to struggle for acknowledgement of his death, Saleema struggles with her pain and longing. "I want to tear my heart open to find my son. It seems the light of my eyes has gone away." https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/kashmir-family-harrowing-quest-prove-son-death-200116065122901.html
7. De-radicalization camps for children: Jan., 18, 2020: Top Indian general had suggested putting young Kashmiri children in “de-radicalization camps” The statement, which referred to Gen Rawat's remarks at the Raisina Dialogue 2020, added that as a perpetrator of “unabated state-terrorism in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOK)”, India is in no position to pontificate on the issue of terrorism. https://www.dawn.com/news/1528918/fo-condemns-indian-generals-remarks-on-sending-kashmiri-children-to-deradicalisation-camps. Concentration camps: Jan., 18, 2020: In occupied Kashmir, India has planned to set up Nazi type concentration camps for the Kashmiri youth to starve, torture and kill them. A clear indication of the plan has been given by warmonger former Indian Army Chief and incumbent Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, while addressing a conference in New Delhi. He said that young Kashmiri children are being radicalized and they need to be identified and put in de-radicalisation camps. Rawat also claimed that Indian forces could not be blamed for injuries caused by pellet guns and that radicalised stone-pelters were “more dangerous” than the pellet guns. By emphasizing the need to deal with heavy hand in occupied Kashmir, General Rawat has pointed towards the Indian design to step up state terrorism in the territory. All Parties Hurriyat Conference and other liberation organizations in their statements have said that in the name of de-radicalization, the Kashmiri youth would be tortured in new camps. They said that General Bipin Rawat’s warning was a depiction of India’s militaristic approach towards the Kashmir dispute and was aimed at making the Kashmiri youth to shun their struggle. The organizations said New Delhi is using all brutal methods including torture to crush the Kashmiris’ liberation movement and bully them into accepting its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. They pointed out that despite killing over 95,000 innocent Kashmiris since 1989, Indian troops have failed to subdue the Kashmiri people’s resolve for securing freedom from the Indian yoke. Meanwhile, as the Juma congregational prayers culminated, people took to the streets in Srinagar, Badgam, Pulwama, Tral, Doda and other areas and held forceful anti-India demonstrations. The protesters raised high-pitched pro-freedom and anti-India slogans https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/17/india-plans-nazi-type-concentration-camps-in-iok-2/. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXYZPJ03p2U
8. Indian occupied Kashmir: Jan., 19, 2020: Kashmir has been under a lockdown for five months. Fearing that Kashmiris might protest the revocation of autonomy provided to Jammu and Kashmir state under India’s constitution, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi clamped down. Since the restrictions in August, the government has taken slow, reluctant steps to ease some of them, but is still falling far short in upholding Kashmiri rights. Many of the thousands arbitrarily arrested – lawyers, shop owners, traders, students, rights activists – have now been released, but reportedly only after promising not to criticize the government. Some senior Kashmiri political leaders, including former chief ministers, remain in custody. Police admitted at least 144 children had been detained, and now the chief of defense staff has spoken of putting children in “deradicalization camps.” The government had also blocked phone lines and access to the internet. The government was so fearful of criticism and dissent that it curtailed Kashmiris’ ability to share news of births or deaths, call their doctors, order supplies, research term papers, file taxes, and trade apples and walnuts. While authorities started gradually restoring landlines and some mobile phone services, it denied internet services. After the Supreme Court said on January 10 that access to the internet was a fundamental right, the authorities relented – only to set up government-controlled internet kiosks, with firewalls permitting only some websites and forbidding social media. This violates free expression rights and hardly complies with the principle laid down by the court that “the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of internet enjoys constitutional protection.” The costs of the government’s policies have been staggering, and the attempt to avoid criticism has not worked. The United Nations has expressed concern, as have numerous foreign governments. Indian authorities have sought to justify their rights violations on the grounds of national security. Maintaining law and order is a critical state function, but it’s necessary to protect civil liberties as it is carried out. India needs to do better in Kashmir. https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/01/17/india-failing-kashmiri-human-rights
Weekly update 19: Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Jan., 7, 2020 to Jan., 13, 2020
1. JHU: Jan., 7, 2020: We went through the DDA Munirka flats complex to get to JNU. The gates of the colony were locked towards the JNU side. At the gate, we saw four-five young men, with lathis, on two-three bikes. Two ambulances also came through Munirka. When the colony’s gates were opened to let them through, we also exited on foot. All street lights from the Munirka DDA gate till beyond the JNU gate on Baba Ganganath Marg were switched off. It was pitch dark. Outside the gate, a huge crowd was raising anti-JNU slogans, saying ‘Desh ke gadarron ko, goli maro salon ko (Shoot the traitors of the country)’; ‘Urban Naxal wapis jao and desh chorho (Urban Naxals go back, leave the country)’. The crowd must have been at least 500-600 strong, and several had masked their faces. There was large deployment of police outside JNU. As we were taking some photos and videos, people started shouting at us. Around 9- 9:15 pm, an ambulance came from Vasant Kunj side with the sirens on. As the ambulance tried to turn right towards the gate, the crowd surrounded it and started banging on it. They banged their fists on the bonnet and kept shouting at the medical personnel inside, even as they were holding up their ID cards to show that they were doctors and medical staff. The crowd broke the glass of the ambulance, hurled abuses and threatened anyone trying to record a video of the attack. They forced the ambulance to turn around. It made a U-turn and exited towards Vasant Kunj. Our team of doctors, nurses & medical volunteers who reached JNU to give first aid to injured students & teachers, was attacked by hundreds of goons. Mob manhandled doctors, nurses & threatened them. Our ambulance’s glass & windows broken, this is totally inhuman & insane. Shortly after that, we saw Yogendra Yadav addressing the media outside the gate and he was being heckled and shouted at. Suddenly he was pulled down and disappeared from view. We tried to make our way through the crowd to get to him (we were on the other side) but it was impossible. It appeared like he was dragged to the left and towards the divider (towards Munirka). while speaking to JNU teachers, a police inspector (no nameplate) dragged me and ABVP/RSS group (incl Prof Mishra, Sanskrit Dept) pushed me,pulled my muffler. I fell down, minor injury. Police contd to push me out after I got up. It is important to note that even though police personnel were present in large numbers, they did not intervene to prevent the attack on the ambulance or on Yogendra Yadav. It continued to be pitch dark through all of this. Around 10:30 pm, CPI leader D. Raja and Annie Raja arrived. Shortly after that, a crowd gathered and started aggressively shouting slogans against all of us. Yogendra Yadav was heckled and pushed away again. D. Raja, Annie Raja, Rakhi Sehgal and the two of us were cornered by the crowd, which kept shouting ‘Urban Naxal go back, wapas jao, wapas jao‘ ‘desh chorro‘, ‘jhootha, jhootha (lies, lies)’ etc. Some people within the crowd covered their faces and started shoving, pushing and twisting the arms of women and students who had reached the spot. The aggressors claimed to be students, but they could not name the school/centre they were studying at the university. Some were smelling strongly of alcohol. At several points, they pushed and almost caused a stampede. The most aggressive of the lot was a young man in a white sweatshirt with a blue cap. In the commotion, one young man fell and broke his glasses. Several people pleaded with the police to come and help as we were cornered, but no police persons came to the spot. Finally, some students and those who had come out in solidarity managed to get between the aggressive crowd and us and took us closer to the main gate. At this stage, police in riot gear also appeared. We saw the police open the pedestrian side of the JNU main gate and some men, with helmets or faces covered, exited the campus. Around 11:15 pm, the street lights were finally turned on. At some distance, behind us, opposite the main gate (on the far side of the road) we could see 60-70 people were gathered. One of them had a walkie talkie (they were not dressed in police or security personnel uniform). After some discussion, they all dispersed. When the lights came on, the aggressive crowd had dispersed and only students and those who had come in solidarity remained. They formed a large ring at the gate. The police did not allow any of us to enter the campus. Through the gate, we were able to speak with several JNU faculty members, including Ayesha Kidwai, Nivedita Menon, Atul Sood and others. The JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) addressed the students through the gates. https://thewire.in/rights/jnu-violence-eyewitness-account-main-gate
2. Indian Supreme Court: Jan., 10, 2020: Besides the petition by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, the apex court had heard the petitions filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, and few intervenors questioning restrictions in the valley. The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the \ Jammu and Kashmir administration to review all the restrictions pertaining to Internet services in the region. Internet shutdown is in force the Union Territory (UT) from August 5, 2019. A three-judge Bench led by Justice Ramana said the temporary suspension of Internet and curtailment of basic freedoms of citizens should not be arbitrary and was open to judicial review.The court noted that the freedom to use the Internet was a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of free speech, and trade and commerce through Internet was protected under Article 19(1)(g). It said restrictive orders under Section 144 of the CrPC was not a tool to repress legitimate expressions of citizens. It ordered the UT authorities to publish every order made under the section to enable challenges by affected persons. “Magistrates, while passing restrictive orders under Section 144 CrPC, should apply their minds and have a sense of proportionality between danger to security and liberty of citizens. Repetitive order without giving reasons and not based on material facts will be violative," the judgment authored by Justice Ramana stated. The Central government had referred to terrorist violence in the Kashmir Valley and said that for the past so many years terrorists were being pushed through from across the border, local militants and separatist organisation had held the civilians captive in the region and it would have been “foolish” if the government would not have taken preventive steps to secure the lives of citizens. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/review-suspension-of-internet-in-jk-supreme-court/article30531478.ece
3. SC judgment: an., 11, 2020: Indian Supreme Court finally pronounced its judgment on a clutch of petitions challenging the shutdowns. But though the 130-page judgment delivered by Justice N.V. Ramana, R. Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai makes a strong case for limiting the government’s power to restrict a citizen’s access to the internet, it has no explanation for why the court could not strike down restrictions which it found “unreasonable”.The bench made it clear that an order suspending internet services indefinitely is impermissible under the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules, 2017, and that suspension can be resorted to only for temporary duration. “Any order suspending [the] internet issued under the Suspension Rules, must adhere to the principle of proportionality and must not extend beyond necessary duration,” the bench held The bench also made it clear that the state’s power under Section 144 CrPC – restricting a citizen’s freedom to move and assemble – could only be used to prevent danger, if it is in the nature of an “emergency” and for the purpose of preventing obstruction and annoyance or injury to any person lawfully employed. More important, the power under Section 144, the bench clarified, cannot be used to suppress the legitimate expression of opinion or grievance or exercise of any democratic protest https://thewire.in/law/sc-judgment-kashmir-internet-shutdown-why-it-falls-short-of-expectations
6. US State Department: Jan., 13, 2020: The US State Department on Saturday said that it is concerned about the detentions in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Internet shutdown in the region. It also said that it considers the trip of foreign envoys to Jammu and Kashmir an important step but still remains concerned and that it is closely following the envoys' trip. “We remain concerned by detention of political leaders and residents, and Internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy," said US State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on Saturday. https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/concerned-about-jammu-and-kashmir-detentions-internet-shutdown-us-state-department/story/393638.html
1. Right of return law scrapped: Dec., 31, 2019: India has scrapped a 37-year-old law in Jammu and Kashmir that permitted the return of its residents who fled to Pakistan from 1947-1954, says a government notification. the government has announced the scrapping of further 152 laws, that also included the Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Permit for Resettlement in the State Act. The law adopted by the state legislature in 1982, though never operational, was providing a glimmer of hope for Kashmiri Muslim migrants to return and resettle in their homes. Many divided families living in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Pakistan were awaiting operationalization of this law over the past 37-years to return to their homes. "Closing doors on thousands of Muslim families and at the same time granting citizenship in Kashmir to Hindus who had fled under similar circumstances, clearly indicates that abolition of this law is motivated by ideological and religious reasons," said Wasim. "Abolition of this law is also in sync with their vicious policy of undermining the Muslim-majority character of Jammu and Kashmir. History testifies to the fact that Jammu had a sizeable population of Muslims who were driven out by murderous mobs https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/india-doors-shut-for-return-of-muslim-migrants-of-kashmir/1688002
2. HR in IOK: Dec., 31, 2019: This report on the situation of human rights in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir (Read as Indian Occupied Kashmir) covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2019. Violence in J&K in 2019 saw similar trends as witnessed during the last decade. The year witnessed the killings of at least 366 killings in different incidents of violence. The year witnessed extrajudicial executions of at least 80 civilians in J&K, besides killings of 159 militants and 129 armed forces. Among 80 civilians killed in 2019, 12 are women. In 2019, as in the past, children continued to be victims of state violence in J&K as 8 children were killed in various incidents of violence. Besides becoming victims of extra-judicial executions, children also faced illegal and unjust detention, ill-treatment, including torture, at the hands of armed forces during detention and fear of further reprisals. The year also saw targeted violence against non-local workers post the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, during which at least 14 non-local workers were killed by unidentified gunmen and several others were injured. Out of the 80 civilians killed this year, 19 were killed by armed forces, 17 were killed in cross LOC shelling between Indian and Pakistani armed forces (We have not been able to ascertain the number of killings of civilians in Pakistan administered Kashmir.) While 28 civilians were killed by unidentified gunmen, 6 were killed by militants, 7 were killed in explosions, one person died after being allegedly hit by a stone and one person (a non-local) died in cross-firing between armed forces and militants. While the government of India has refused to acknowledge any civilian killing, the documented cases of killings by JKCCS and APDP post August-5 at the hands of state forces state otherwise. JKCCS and APDP have been able to document at least six killings at the hands of the Indian armed forces following the abrogation of the Article 370 on August 5. Firing of pellets and teargas shells resulted in at least 6 deaths in 2019. This year 4 people died due to pellet injuries and 3 died due to inhalation of excessive tear and pepper gas. 2017, Indian armed forces carried numerous encounters with militants in different areas leading to killings, severe injuries and destruction of civilian property. A total of 87 encounters took place in Jammu and Kashmir leading to killings of 150 militants and 29 personnel from Indian armed forces and J&K Police. In 2019, at least 195 Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) and Cordon and Search Operations (CADO’s) were conducted in J&K which resulted in the killing of 159 militants. The frequent instances of CASOs have led to multiple human rights violations of the civilian population, including harassment, molestation, detention and use of excessive and indiscriminate force. According to the data compiled by JKCCS and APDP, at least 87 encounters took place between Indian armed forces and the militants following CASOs in the year 2019. During CASOs, vandalism and destruction of civilian properties was reported through-out the year. While the Government of India claimed in Parliament on November 20, that ‘5,161 persons were detained since August 5 out of whom 609 were under detention while rest were released’, – there is no clear statement on how many were booked under PSA. As per data obtained by JKCCS and APDP through J&K High Court Registry, as many as 662 fresh Habeas Corpus petitions (challenging detentions under PSA) were registered in 2019 out of whom the majority (412) were registered post August 5, 2019. There continued to be no trace of the fate of more than 8000 disappeared persons in Jammu and Kashmir and the families of these victims suffer incessantly as the Government and its institutions could not provide any relief to these families. Neither any enquiry nor any policy has been introduced to establish truth behind the thousands of victims of enforced disappearance in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2019, media continued to be at the receiving end of the pressure, intimidation and harassment by the authorities, with several incidents of beating and thrashing of journalists. Besides physical assaults, journalists in 2019 also faced reprisals for filing stories on contentious issues. Following a precedent set in the previous years, the government trampled people’s right of religious freedom in the disguise of maintaining peace and order. In 2019, no prayers were allowed in the historic Jamia Masjid for 24 Fridays. The Jamia Masjid was kept under complete lockdown from August 5 to December 18, for 19 consecutive weeks. During the month of Ramadhan, congregational prayers on two Fridays were not allowed. A centuries old tradition of Khoja Digar, a special prayer held at Naqshband Sahab shrine in old Srinagar City, was disallowed for the first time this year on November 2. On the occasion of Eid Milad, which is traditionally celebrated in Kashmir by thousands of people observing night long prayers in Hazratbal shrine, only a small gathering of people was allowed as restrictions were put in place to prevent people from reaching to the shrine and assembling in large congregation. In 2019, the right to access information continues to be severely restricted in J&K as part of the ongoing counter-insurgency measures by the government of India as there were 55 instances of internet blockades recorded in the year 2019. Prior to the August 5 decision of the Indian government to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy, internet services were blocked a total of 54 times from January 1, 2019 to August 4, 2019. However, on the intervening night of August 4 and 5 –the government enforced the 55th internet shutdown of the year and which to date is the longest running (149 days till 31st December 2019) internet blackout not just in Kashmir but in the entire world. Serious cases of sexualized torture and gendered violence were reported post August 5. The Independent reported on September 1 a case of torture from Parigam area in Pulwama district in south Kashmir. Mohammad Yasin Bhat and 11 other men were detained during the cordon and search operation and tortured. They were stripped naked and kept in a queue on the main road. All of them were electrocuted in their genitals. When the physical torture ended, they were made to lie face down on top of each other, in a pile. Many cases of gender based violence were reported during cordon and search operations and night raids post August 5, some of which have been documented by JKCCS and APDP. In J&K, the destruction of civilian properties by armed forces personnel during encounters or while dealing with the protestors have been normalized. In the last few years – especially since 2016, the reports and allegations of destruction of property by armed forces shows no decline. While in the first quarter of 2019, at least 18 cases of destruction of civilian properties were reported in Jammu and Kashmir, in the next three months of April, May and June instances of destruction of civilian properties began to be reported less due to unknown reasons. Due to the restrictions and communication blockade enforced on August 5 by the authorities, the allegations of destruction and vandalism of civilian properties by armed forces during night raids were not reported. However, while surveying several areas in many districts of Kashmir valley, where it was possible to visit in light of restrictions imposed post August 5, people generally complained of destruction and vandalism of civilian property by forces personnel. JKCCS and APDP has documented several cases of vandalism and destruction of civilian properties at the hands of armed forces. Kashmiris living in India – be it students, businessmen or professionals, continue to remain prone to all kinds of harassment from state forces, right-wing student groups and from general public. In 2019, at least 43 incidents of attacks on Kashmiris across India were reported throughout India, with 42 of them alone in the first quarter of 2019, in the aftermath of the Pulwama bomb blast in which around 48 Indian soldiers were killed. In 2019, five political activists, and one relative of an elected Sarpanch, were killed in various incidents of targeted violence in J&K. While two were from Peoples’ Democracy Party (PDP), the rest of the three belonged to BJP, RSS and Congress respectively .Similar to last year, the trend of suicides and fratricides among Indian armed forces stationed in J&K saw an uptick as this year, 19 armed forces committed suicide while 3 CRPF personnel were killed in a fratricidal incident by a CRPF trooper in Udhampur district of Jammu. https://dnd.com.pk/jammu-kashmir-coalition-of-civil-society-confirms-rapes-killings-and-abduction-of-kashmiris-by-indian-army/178819
3. Human Rights review: Jan., 2019: In occupied Kashmir, a fresh report by Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) has revealed that as many as 662 persons were booked under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) in 2019, most of them after August 5. The report titled by Annual Human Rights Review 2019 by APDP and JKCCS revealed that 412 persons in the territory were booked under the PSA post August 5. A majority of these persons continue to remain detained in jails across India, it said. “As per data obtained by JKCCS and APDP through J&K High Court Registry, as many as 662 fresh Habeas Corpus petitions (challenging detentions under PSA) were registered in 2019 out of which the majority (412) was registered post August 5,” the report said. As per the report, those booked under the law are mostly youth, not older than 35 years of age. “The maximum number of PSA cases has been found within the age group 18-35 years old, forming about 58.6% of the total number. It is only within this age bracket that incidences of being booked twice with PSA have been observed,” it said. . According to the report, the highest number of PSAs in 2019 has been reported in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district where 105 persons have been detained under the law, 62 of them after August 5. In North Kashmir’s Baramulla district 95 persons were reported to have been booked with 51 of them after August 5. As per the data in the report, the highest number of persons booked after August 5 under the PSA belongs to capital city Srinagar. Amongst the total of 87 persons detained, 70 have been booked after August 5. . Nearly 37.4% of the detainees, the report claimed, in PSA related cases have been moved to jails in various states across India. The location of about 45% of the detainees, however, the report pointed out, remains “unknown”. “Of the two unreleased juveniles, a 17-year-old is being held at District Jail Agra, and the other unreleased juvenile, 15-year-old is being held in Central Jail Srinagar,” the report added. In response to a petition filed in Supreme Court of India regarding the arrests of minors in Kashmir, the Juvenile Justice Committee of Jammu and Kashmir High Court had said that 144 boys, including a 9-year-old kid were arrested by Indian forces post Article 370 abrogation on August 5’. However, the report stated that scores of minors have been arrested “illegally and without any charges”. The number of 144 detentions of minors submitted in Supreme Court by the Juvenile Justice Committee of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, the report said, is an “under-estimation of the actual figure of minors kept under detention, including illegal detention.”“Many detentions of minors were not included in the JJC report, partly because the minors were reportedly detained for many days in the police stations without any formal charges brought against them,” the report added. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/12/31/662-persons-booked-under-psa-in-iok-in-2019-report/
4. Kashmiri identity: Jan., 3, 2020: All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader, Bilal Siddiqui has said that India is hell bent upon robbing the Kashmiris of their civilizational, cultural and religious identity. In a media interview in Srinagar, today, Bilal Siddiqui pointed out that the controversial Indian laws, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens, had proved that BJP-led Indian government intends to make the survival of the Muslims impossible not only in the occupied territory but also in whole of India. He said such moves have vindicated the struggle of the Kashmiri people against New Delhi’s brutal repression and added that they would in no case reconcile with the Indian occupation. Bilal Siddiqui said that in order to cripple the Kashmiris economically, the Indian government was deliberately disallowing trucks laden with perishable goods especially apples to reach to Indian markets by halting their movement on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway every now and then Two Indian troops were killed, today, in an attack in Rajouri district of Jammu region.The troops came under attack when they launched a cordon and search operation at Khari Thrayat in Nowshera area of the district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2020/01/01/india-hell-bent-upon-robbing-kashmiris-identity/
5. Fascist attack on HU: Jan., 6, 2019: Several students and teachers have been injured they were attacked by members of right-wing students' group in New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday. Witnesses said violence followed a public meeting organised by the JNU Teachers Association in connection with a rise in hostel charges for the students announced some weeks ago. The JNU Students Union said its president, Aishe Ghosh, and many other students were injured in stone-pelting and attacks by members of right-wing students' group Akhil Bharatiya. Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Videos on social media appeared to show a group of several masked attackers roaming the campus wielding batons as students screamed . Masked goons roaming freely with sticks and Police did NOTHING to stop them. News channels also showed groups of masked people said to be from outside the campus - which student bodies blamed on each other's factions - brandishing rods and sticks, targeting students and teachers and vandalising property."When the violent mob began beating up students and teachers, we went closer to the aid of those injured and to also know what was happening, but they attacked us as well. We had to literally run for our lives," one student, who wished to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera. Another student, who also did not wish to be named, said: "There was such an environment of fear. They were not asking about anything but were beating up everyone and chasing us." "Students were forced to lock their doors and female students switched off the lights of their rooms in order to escape the violent mob," she added. Local media reported that 20 to 30 "What we see today is possibly the culmination of what has been happening for the past few years. Earlier there was an intellectual destruction of JNU, now we are looking at the physical destruction of JNU." https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/delhi-students-teachers-injured-clashes-jnu-200105180840606.html
1. Economy: Dec., 24, 2019: The internet shutdown in India's Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, which shows no signs of abating and has been the longest lockdown in a democracy, is taking a toll on the local economy and has led to the loss of thousands of jobs, according to rights groups and analysts. Access Now, a global digital rights group that has been monitoring the situation in Kashmir, told VOA the "loss of connectivity in the valley" because of the shutdown has been "devastating to the local economy." "India’s internet shutdown in Kashmir is the longest ever in a democracy," Raman Jit Singh Chima, Access Now’s senior international counsel and Asia Pacific policy director, told VOA. “You have redefined the definition of normalcy, the J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] definition of normalcy now prevails in the rest of the country. This is uncaring and unthinking government,” Indian National Congress said on twitter this week in reference to what’s happening in Kashmir and the passage of a recent . Some analysts, however, say the internet lockdown is largely designed to prevent collective political protests. "The stated reason [by the Indian government] was to contain possible terrorist attacks. In my view, it is largely designed to prevent collective political protests of any sort,” Sumit Ganguly, a professor of political science and the Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilization at Indiana University, told VOA . "As I see [it], the real reason for [the] internet shutdown is not to restrict communication within Kashmir Valley, but to restrict Kashmir’s communication with [the] outside world," Swain said, adding the government is more concerned about its global image as a democracy. "By taking away the internet, [the] regime is also controlling the local media and its publication as the journalists are dependent on [the] regime’s mercy to communicate with [the] outside world and to contact with their offices," Swain said . Sheikh Ashiq, the president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told VOA that there has been a rapid rise in unemployment and a significant drop in Kashmir’s cottage industry. "Our handicraft sector, that is solely based on the internet, is at a standstill. As a result, 50,000 artisans are jobless,” Ashiq said, adding that the export of its heritage industry handicrafts had declined by 62%. Experts say the action against Kashmir has led to losses in tourism, health care, education and in the communications industries. "The state economy has lost more $1.5 billion due to [the] lockdown. Several companies, whose operations were internet-dependent, have been closed," Swain said. The internet lockdown "has affected education, health service and even regular movement of the people, creating a severe humanitarian crisis. Business, particularly fruit trade and tourism, have [been] affected severely," he added . Young Kashmiri entrepreneurs like Muheet Mehraj see a bleak future in Kashmir, as the internet shutdown has placed a cloud over future employment prospects. "If something doesn’t change for the better with time or our internet isn’t resumed, then I don’t understand what I am going to do in the future," Mehraj told VOA.Many businesspeople told VOA they have been forced to leave Kashmir to earn an income. Syed Mujtaba, the owner of Kashmir Art Quest, shifted his business to Delhi because of the lockdown."Eventually, my family and my own logic told me it was best to leave Kashmir," Mujtaba told VOA https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/kashmir-internet-shutdown-takes-toll-economy
3. Press clampdown: Dec., 30, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, the Modi-led Indian communal government has enforced a total communications blackout, snapping telephone services, including mobile and broadband internet after it revoked Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into Union Territories on August 5, Indian newspaper, The Telegraph reported.. The communications blackout has created an information black hole in occupied Kashmir and the local press bore the brunt of the blockade as its functioning was crippled, the newspaper said. “The authorities also snapped the broadband internet connection at Kashmir Press Club on August 5. This move meant that the over 200 club members belonging to the local journalist fraternity could not file their reports.” The Telegraph reported that later, a limited internet facility was provided at a makeshift media centre set up by the information department in a Srinagar hotel. The media centre was then moved to two small rooms of the information department where hundreds of journalists had to jostle for space to get a few minutes of internet access. “I haven’t been able to call officials and/or sources for months. At the media centre we had to wait in queues for long simply to mail our stories,” said a local journalist. “It’s frustrating and humiliating. It is very difficult to continue working in these circumstances,” he deplored. Another local journalist said how many like him had been forced to travel to New Delhi, India, frequently to access the internet and continue filing stories. Kashmir Press Club’s elected board raised the issue of the communications gag with the authorities on several occasions, urging them to restore internet for journalists and media outlets, including newspaper offices and the club. “But all these efforts have proved to be futile as these services have not been restored to journalists for over four months now.” What got published in prominent local English dailies was a reflection of the censorship and government pressure on the press. For example, Greater Kashmir, the largest circulated daily published from Kashmir, avoided publishing editorials on the emerging situation for months after August 5 when the government revoked the special status and bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union Territories. There was little or no coverage of how people suffered in the weeks after the communication blockade and clampdown was imposed. Its edit page did not carry opinion pieces on the situation in Kashmir post-August 5. In fact, the paper was published without an editorial page for several days. Since then Greater Kashmir has not published a single opinion piece in its edit page on the revocation of Article 370 and the subsequent clampdown in the valley. The only opinion piece it did publish, in the third week of the clampdown, argued, curiously, in favor of the revocation of the special status. Apart from that day, leading articles, columns and editorials steered clear of commenting on the clampdown and the humanitarian crisis in the valley because of the communications shutdown. Instead it wrote and commented on “The Subtle Secrets of Nature (August 9), “Vistas’s of Botox Therapy in Medicine (August 17), “Macbeth and the Moral Universe (August 22), and “Poetry and Journalism” (August 23).
Big Brother diktats.Other prominent dailies of Kashmir also adopted a soft editorial line post-August 5. There were no reports on the effects of the total communication shutdown on everyday lives of people, arrests of thousands of local youths, torture of youths in southern Kashmir, crippling of healthcare and other emergency services. The front pages carried reports based on the government version of events culled from official press releases. What was not covered in the local press said a lot about the curtailment of the freedom of the press. The editor of a prominent local daily said the clampdown was also meant for local journalists, who were prevented from adhering to an independent line while covering Kashmir post- August 5. He said a senior police officer visited his newspaper office in August after a photo essay on the ground situation in Kashmir had been published. The officer then went on to advise editors against publishing such photo features. After that “reprimand”, no prominent English daily published photo essays on life in the valley. Online editions of most local dailies remained suspended for more than three months since August 5 after internet services were snapped across the valley. Only one local daily, Kashmir Monitor, updated its web edition by accessing the internet from outside the state. The authorities also snapped the broadband internet connection at Kashmir Press Club on August 5. This move meant that the over 200 club members belonging to the local journalists’ fraternity could not file their reports. Later, limited internet facility was provided at a makeshift media centre set up by the government information department in a Srinagar hotel. The media centre was then moved to two small rooms of the information department where hundreds of journalists had to jostle for space to get a few minutes of internet access. “I haven’t been able to call officials and/or sources for months. At the media centre we had to wait in queues for long simply to mail our stories,” said a local journalist. “It’s frustrating and humiliating. It is very difficult to continue working in these circumstances.” Another local journalist said how many like him had been forced to travel out of Kashmir (New Delhi) frequently to access the internet and continue filing stories. Other Kashmir journalists, working for Delhi-based papers and magazines, had to send their stories in pen drives via a friendly face or acquaintance traveling to New Delhi. At times, the authorities also resorted to intimidation. On the night of August 14, Irfan Malik, a reporter with Greater Kashmir, was picked up by police from his home in South Kashmir’s Tral district and locked up in a local police station. After his arrest created a furore, he was released on August 17. No reason was given for his arrest. On August 31, Journalist and political analyst Gowhar Geelani was stopped at New Delhi airport before he could board a flight. He was traveling to Germany to attend a conference. A few months ago, senior journalist and editor of an Urdu newspaper Ghulam Jeelani Qadri (62) was detained by police after he was picked up from his residence in Srinagar soon after he’d returned from office in the evening. Qadri was arrested in connection with a case dating back to 1992. He was released on bail the next day following a court appearance. Another Kashmiri journalist, Asif Sultan, remains in detention since August 2018. He’d written a story for a local magazine on militant commander Burhan Wani who was killed in an encounter on July 8, 2016. Intelligence agencies and police have summoned and questioned several other journalists about the source of reports filed after August 5. This has created an atmosphere of fear among local reporters and editors. According to a report titled, “Kashmir’s Information Blockade” released on September 4 by the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) and the Free Speech Collective (FSC), the continued communication shutdown in Kashmir has resulted in “throttling of independent media”.The two-member team from NWMI and FSC spent five days in Kashmir (from August 30 and September 3) to determine the impact of the communications crackdown on the media in Kashmir. The team spoke to more than 70 journalists, correspondents and editors of newspapers and news websites in Srinagar and South Kashmir, including members of the local administration and citizens.“Our examination revealed a grim and despairing picture of the media in Kashmir, fighting for survival against the most incredible of odds, as it works in the shadow of security forces in one of the most highly militarized zones of the world and a myriad government controls,” the report said.
“The team observed a high degree of surveillance, informal ‘investigations’ and even arrest of journalists who publish reports considered adverse to the government or security forces; controls on the facilities available for print publication, government advertising to select publications, restrictions on mobility in select areas including hospitals and the most crippling communications shutdown of all time. Significantly, there is no official curfew, no official notification for the shutdown,” the report noted. Free flow of information has been blocked and journalists continue to face severe restrictions in all processes of news gathering, verification and dissemination, according to the report, leaving behind “a troubled silence that bodes ill for freedom of expression and media freedom.” As Kashmir looks at the New Year, both broadband and mobile internet and the entire social media network, which was also useful for local journalists for newsgathering, continues to remain blocked for about five months now. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/12/29/press-in-occupied-kashmir-forced-into-silence/
1. Gilani Sahib: Dec.,17, 2019: The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani has reiterated the Kashmiris’ resolve to continue the ongoing struggle until the last Indian soldier withdraws from the Kashmiri soil adding that he is sure that the resistance movement will finally force India to concede defeat. Syed Ali Gilani in a message to the Kashmiri people said, “The overwhelmingly growing public participation in the resistance movement further increased Indian state’s sense of insecurity and in utter desperation and frustration, and in flagrant violation of the international law, the Government of India finally made the illegal, immoral, inhuman and undemocratic announcement of annexing Kashmir into the Indian union.” To implement the decision of Aug 5, he said, India put the entire Kashmir region under an unprecedented and indefinite security lockdown and communications black out. “Schools, colleges universities, markets and mosques, everything was shut. Telephone, mobile and internet services were suspended. More than 18 thousand people were arrested and thrown into police lock ups and prisons.” Gilani said that thousands of children youth and elderly were brutalised and women were assaulted in their homes and those protesting these excesses were issued naked threats of rape. The ailing leader pointed out that despite all these brutalities and excesses, Kashmiri people continued their resistance delivering a strong message to the whole world that their resolve remains unbroken and they will never give up their demand for freedom.Warning of India’s future designs, Gilani said, “Our Muslim-majority character will be targeted and assaulted at every level and our right to live as Muslims will be taken away from us. There is also a strong possibility that our mosques, khanqahs and seminaries would no longer remain safe and may suffer the same fate as Babri Majid.” At the end, he said, “Advanced old age and ill health may not grant me more respite to communicate with you again. It has been my longstanding wish that I be buried in the graveyard of Baqee, so that on the day of Judgement I meet my Lord in the company of those great personalities whose footprints serve as lighthouses for the Muslim Ummah and following whom I have tried, to the best of my abilities, to defend the Kashmir part of Muslim Ummah and strive for the Iqamat e Deen.” https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/12/17/resistance-till-last-indian-soldier-quits-kashmir-gilani/
2. Economic Losses: Dec., 19, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, the Kashmir Chamber and Industry has said that the economy of the territory suffered a loss of Rs 178.78 billion in four months after imposition of lockdown by Indian government on August 5. A report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of International Migrants Day, today, revealed that the Indian atrocities since 1947 have rendered over 3.5 million Kashmiris migrants. The report added that the unabated Indian state terrorism during the past thirty years had forced over forty thousand Kashmiris to migrate and live outside the occupied territory as refugees and migrants. . https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/12/18/iok-economy-suffered-rs-178-78-billion-loss/
3. LoC Violation: Dec., 20,2019: At least two civilians were martyred and two others including a woman injured as Indian forces violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday Three soldiers of Pakistan Army also got injured in exchange of firing between the two forces. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2121450/1-two-civilians-martyred-india-violates-ceasefire-along-loc/
1. Religious freedom in Kashmir: Dec., 11, 2109: For years Romi Jan’s mornings would begin with the plaintive call to prayer that rang out from the central mosque in disputed Kashmir’s largest city. The voice soothed her soul and made her feel closer to God. Not anymore. For nearly four months now, the voice that would call out five times a day from the minarets of the Jamia Masjid and echo across Srinagar has been silent, a result of India’s ongoing security operations in this Muslim-majority region. “The mosque closure is a relentless agony for me and my family,” Jan said. “I can’t tolerate it, but I am helpless.” last summer India began pouring more troops into its side of Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety. It implemented a security lockdown in which it pressed harsh curbs on civil rights, arrested thousands of people, blocked internet and phone service, and shuttered important mosques. While some of the conditions have since been eased, some mosques and Muslim shrines in the region either remain shuttered or have had their access limited. Muslims say this is undermining their constitutional right to religious freedom and only deepening anti-India sentiment. The centuries-old Jamia Masjid, made of brick and wood, is one of the oldest in this city of 1.2 million, where 96% of people are Muslim. When it’s open, thousands of people congregate there for prayers. In June, the U.S. State Department said in a report that religious freedom in India continued a downward trend in the year 2018. India’s foreign ministry rejected the report. In August, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation raised concerns about India’s lockdown in Kashmir and called for authorities to ensure that Kashmiri Muslims could exercise their religious rights.The ongoing restrictions in Kashmir have also included gatherings at Muslim shrines and religious festivals.In August, worshipers were told to host the prayers for the festival of Eid-al-Adha inside small neighborhood mosques rather than in the large outdoor gatherings that are normal. In September, authorities banned the annual Muharram processions that mark the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson. Last month, during the yearly celebration of the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad, authorities blocked all roads leading to Dargah Hazratbal, the region’s most revered Muslim shrine. Only a few hundred devotees were allowed to pray there — far fewer than the tens of thousands the event has been known to draw. Restrictions on such gatherings are particularly galling to Kashmiri Muslims because they have long complained that the government curbs their religious freedom on the pretext of law and order while promoting and patronizing an annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath Shrine in Kashmir that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. Sheikh Showkat, a professor of international law and human rights at the Central University of Kashmir, warned that such a duality in policy sent a clear message that the government no longer remains impartial toward different religions and further alienates the people of Kashmir. “It no way augers well for any peace,” he said. “Whether it triggers further radicalization or not, it definitely infuriates people about the safety and security of their faith. It can also snowball into a mass mobilization against the state.”
2. Economic impact: Dec., 11, 2019: Uncertainty in Kashmir has made the cross-continental journey of walnuts and apples from the US or Chile a better deal for many traders despite sky-high tariffs because militants in the valley have attacked fruit-laden trucks, while restrictions on the Internet have made buyer-seller communication difficult. This is great news for US suppliers, who feared losing business as India imposed retaliatory tariffs on several commodities including walnuts and almonds after the Trump administration.. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/us-chile-big-winners-as-kashmir-walnuts-lose-crunch/articleshow/72449804.cms
3. Kashmir Economy: Dec., 12, 2019: Indian Authorities also cut all communications and imposed a curfew. The continued internet shutdown has severely affected businesses and resulted in unemployment, mostly in the export business, the information technology sector, and the hospitality and tourism industries According to the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), the region's main trade body, the lockdown has resulted in economic losses worth at least $1.5 billion (€1.35 billion) for the region since August 5. The KCCI plans to file a legal complaint against the federal Indian government for the financial losses. Nasir Khan, senior vice president of the KCCI, told DW that the trade body would ask the court to appoint an external agency to assess the damages. Muneeb Mir, a young entrepreneur in Srinagar, told DW that he is contemplating shutting down one of his businesses after suffering a big financial loss. "There is hardly any business growth, and a series of setbacks has shattered our confidence," he said. Similarly, the hotel business in Kashmir has also been affected due to a lack of touristic activities in the region. Despite the government's assurance, the economic situation in Jammu and Kashmir has so far not shown any sign of improvement. And Kashmiri businessmen, especially restaurant owners, tour and travel operators, young entrepreneurs and information technology professionals, are facing a difficult time. The tourism industry, which is considered the region's economic backbone, has remained stagnant since August. The KCCI says that New Delhi's narrative of Kashmir development is "deceptive." "The Indian government cannot blame political parties and other groups for the situation in Kashmir. No one is issuing protest calls here. The prevailing atmosphere of uncertainty is a result of the government's own actions," the KCCI argued. To make matters worse, the early snowfall in Kashmir has further paralyzed business activities. Officials say that a large number of orchards have been affected by the snowfall in Northern Kashmir alone, negatively impacting the region's rural economy. https://www.dw.com/en/kashmirs-economy-suffers-due-to-continued-lockdown/a-51611520
4. Citizenship bill: Dec., 12, 2019: India's parliament on Wednesday passed a contentious bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from some countries, as hundreds of troops were deployed in the northeast which has been hit by violent protests. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. The legislation was passed 125-105 by the upper house, after the lower house voted in support of it just after midnight on Tuesday. It will be sent to the president to be signed into law, with his approval seen as a formality. Opponents of the legislation have threatened to challenge it in the Supreme Court, saying it violates the principles of equality and secularism enshrined in the constitution. For Islamic groups, the opposition, rights groups and others this is part of Modi's Hindu-nationalist agenda to marginalise India's 200 million Muslims — something he denies. Besides stoking concern among Muslims, the proposed changes have also led to demonstrations in the northeastern states where residents are unhappy about an influx of Hindus from neighbouring Bangladesh who stand to gain citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). In a third day of protests in the far-flung region, several hundred troops were deployed in Tripura state and in Guwahati, Assam's biggest city, a senior army official said. Police fired tear gas in different parts of Guwahati as several thousand demonstrators attempted to barge past security barriers to converge on the adjoining state capital Dispur. Tripura and parts of Assam suspended mobile internet services, with Assam wanting to avoid social media posts that could “inflame passions”. Gatherings of more than four people were banned for 24 hours. ,” local activist Akhil Gogoi said ahead of the upper house vote. Derek O'Brien, an opposition lawmaker in the upper house, on Wednesday said the legislation bore an “eerie similarity” to Nazi laws against Jews in 1930s Germany. “In 1935 there were citizenship laws to protect people with German blood ... today we have a faulty bill that wants to define who true Indian citizens are,” he said. Many Muslims in India say they have been made to feel like second-class citizens since Modi stormed to power in 2014. Several cities perceived to have Islamic-sounding names have been renamed, while some school textbooks have been altered to downplay Muslims' contributions to India In August, Modi's administration rescinded the partial autonomy of Muslim-majority occupied Kashmir and split it into two. A citizens' register in Assam finalised this year left 1.9 million people, many of them Muslims, facing possible statelessness, detention camps and even deportation. Modi's government has said it intends to replicate the register nationwide with the aim of removing all “infiltrators” by 2024. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom on Monday termed the bill as a “dangerous turn in the wrong direction”. https://www.dawn.com/news/1521685/india-passes-contentious-citizenship-bill-excluding-muslims-amid-violent-protests
5. Conference: Dec., 12, 2109:. Barrister Tramboo recalled that since 5 August 2019, occupied Kashmir is under blockade meaning cut-off from rest of the world. He expressed deep anguish that the lockdown has caused; (i)Immense human rights misery: 8 million Kashmiris are imprisoned in their homes by 800,000 Indian troops depriving them of right to liberty, food, assembly and expression; arresting and detaining thousands of young Kashmiris across India; (ii)No health care: Blockade has collapsed health care apparatus altogether there causing deaths particularly relating to pregnant women and due to absence of life-saving drugs such as chemotherapy and dialyses; (iii)No education: All schools and colleges are closed since 5 August 2019, depriving all Kashmiri school and college going boys and girls of right to education with no examinations in place; and (iv) Economic blockade; Kashmir’s economy is reliant on its handicraft, agriculture and tourist industry; lock out has cost US $4 billion economic loss to Kashmir resulting in economic chaos. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/12/11/2020-commission-kashmir-launched-for-realising-kashmiris-birth-right/
6. India and democracy: Dec., 13, 2019: https://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2019/12/11/amanpour-kashmir-dexter-filkins-rana-ayyub.cnn How two reporters snuck into Kashmir The New Yorker's Dexter Filkins and Indian journalist Rana Ayyub teamed up to sneak into the contested territory of Kashmir. They discuss with Christiane what they found.
1. Quelling protest: Dec., 3, 2019: By August, New Delhi had begun to set up the security apparatus and other measures to enable the passage of Article 370 in parliament. The Valley had been more or less reined in, if not tamed by then. New Delhi had succeeded in telegraphing the message of a no-holds-barred reprisal should anyone hinder its agenda. When on Aug. 5, at around 11AM, union home minister Amit Shah announced the repeal of Article 370 in parliament, Kashmiris had been snapped from the world. There were no phones and no internet. Thousands had been arrested, many of them shifted to jails across India. Almost all major leaders across the mainstream-separatist divide, including three former chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti, were under house arrest. Disconnected from one another, Kashmiris could only react to Shah’s announcement in disbelief. Their ability to organise had been broken. There was no leader active on the scene, no functional political or social organisation which could do this. Even if there were, they couldn’t communicate. Militant leaders, for instance, couldn’t use social media to convey their messages and provoke the people.Though the newspapers began coming out after a gap of a few days, they published little on the ongoing situation. Chary of having to take a position on the issue, they went without editorials. Their opinion pieces spoke about health, environment, and international issues. To pre-empt spontaneous mobilisation, security personnel in significant numbers were stationed along streets and at the entry and exit points of Srinagar and other major towns. In volatile south Kashmir, where the government apprehended a forceful reaction, mass arrests were complemented by the arbitrary use of torture against youth, according to reports. Youth were randomly picked up from their homes during nocturnal raids or called to security camps and beaten, according to published reports. In one chilling case at village Heff Shirmal in Shopian, the shrieks of a person being tortured were allegedly relayed on a loudspeaker to the surrounding villages. This didn’t completely prevent protests though. Without anyone calling for it, Kashmir has been observing a shutdown ever since. Public transport is largely off the roads. By the government’s own admission, there were more than 300 instances of “law and order issues.” One of the biggest protests was taken out by people at Anchar, in the outskirts of Srinagar, and saw participation from around 10,000 people. It was, however, stopped before it could enter the densely settled, barricaded parts of the main city. Subsequent attempts in Anchar were similarly thwarted, and so were those from the other areas. Protesters were allegedly shot at with pellet guns, leaving scores injured. Many who were hit in their eyes were partially blinded. Three and a half months later, as Kashmir anxiously looks forward to the future, businesses are tentatively re-opening and public transport is returning to roads. Does it mean normalcy? Far from it. Kashmir remains without internet and prepaid mobile phones. Leaders continue to be under detention. The lockdown remains intact, though security personnel don’t forbid normal movement of vehicles and people. All kinds of protests are strictly barred, including silent marches—around two dozen women who tried to hold one in October were quickly hauled off to a lock-up and released only after signing a bond that they won’t repeat it. Given New Delhi’s nervousness about an organised mass resistance at a time when the world’s attention is focussed on Kashmir, it looks unlikely that the region will be allowed to have a normal political and civil society activity anytime soon. https://qz.com/india/1760086/modi-shahs-plan-to-stop-kashmir-protests-after-article-370-move/
2. Plebiscite: Dec., 5 , 2019: A respected American weekly magazine has carried a damning article in its latest issue about Indian Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s virulent push to promote Hindu nationalism in India that targets Muslims and other religious minorities, his illegal annexation of Jammu and Kashmir and the repressive lockdown of the disputed state. “The change in Kashmir upended more than half a century of careful politics, but the Indian press reacted with nearly uniform approval,”wrote Dexter Filkins, a staff writer of The New Yorker who recently sneaked into the curfew-bound Kashmir along with an Indian journalist Rana Ayyub, whose book, “Gujarat Files,” about a massacre of Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat, has made her a target of Hindu nationalists. “Ever since Modi was first elected Prime Minister, in 2014, he has been recasting the story of India, from that of a secular democracy accommodating a uniquely diverse population to that of a Hindu nation that dominates its minorities, especially the country’s two hundred million Muslims,” Filkins said in an in-depth article in which he also highlighted the courageous struggle of Ms. Ayyub in getting the truth out about Modi and his associates decisive move to subdue minorities and to turn India into a Hindu country. “Modi and his allies have squeezed, bullied, and smothered the press into endorsing what they call the ‘New India’,” he wrote, citing a number of instances about how much of the Indian media now supports the prime minister’s oppressive policies, ignoring his failures and covering up his lies, especially about the Balakot operation.“Kashmiris greeted Modi’s decision with protests, claiming that his real goal was to inundate the state with Hindu settlers. After the initial tumult subsided, though, the Times of India and other major newspapers began claiming that a majority of Kashmiris quietly supported Modi—they were just too frightened of militants to say so aloud. Television reporters, newly arrived from Delhi, set up cameras on the picturesque shoreline of Dal Lake and dutifully repeated the government’s line,” said The New Yorker article, entitled: Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India. Although foreign journalists are banned for entering occupied Kashmir, Filkins clad himself in Indian dress and took the Srinagar-bound flight from India along with journalist Rana Ayyub. They dodged past the heavy Indian security at the airport and got into a taxi to the city two weeks after the August 5 crackdown. “Even from a moving car, it was clear that the reality in Kashmir veered starkly from the picture in the mainstream Indian press,” he wrote. “Soldiers stood on every street corner. Machine-gun nests guarded intersections, and shops were shuttered on each block. “Apart from the military presence, the streets were lifeless. At Khanqah-e-Moula, the city’s magnificent eighteenth-century Mosque, Friday prayers were banned. Schools were closed. Cell-phone and Internet service was cut off. “Indian intelligence agents are widely understood to monitor the rosters of local hotels, so Ayyub and I, along with an Indian photographer named Avani Rai, had arranged to stay with a friend. “When we got there, a Kashmiri doctor who was visiting the house told us to check the main hospital, where young men were being treated after security forces fired on them. The police and soldiers were using small-gauge shotguns—called pellet guns by the locals—and some of the victims had been blinded. ‘Go to the ophthalmology ward,’ the doctor said.“At the hospital, we found a scene of barely restrained chaos, with security officers standing guard and families mixing with the sick in corridors. While I stood in a corner, trying to make myself inconspicuous, (Ms) Ayyub ran to the fourth floor to speak to an eye doctor. After a few minutes, she returned and motioned for me and Rai to follow. ‘Ward eight,’ she said. Thirty gunshot victims were inside.“As the three of us approached, a smartly dressed man with a close-cropped beard stepped into our path and placed his hand on (Ms.) Ayyub’s shoulder. ‘What are you doing here?’ he said. Rai looked at me and quietly said, ‘Run.’ I turned and dashed into the crowd. The bearded man took (Ms.) Ayyub and Rai by the arm and led them away. When (Ms.) Ayyub and the photographer were detained at the hospital in Srinagar, I found a hiding place across the street, screened by a wall and a fruit vender; (Ms.) Ayyub would have faced serious repercussions if she was found to have snuck in a foreigner. After about an hour, they emerged. (Ms.) Ayyub said that an intelligence officer had questioned them intently, then released them with an admonition: ‘Don’t come back.’ “The next morning, we drove to the village of Parigam, near the site of the suicide attack that prompted Modi’s air strikes against Pakistan. We’d heard that Indian security forces had swept through the town and detained several men. The insurgency has broad support in the villages outside the capital, and the road to Parigam was marked by the sandbags and razor wire of Indian Army checkpoints. For most of the way, the roads were otherwise deserted.“In the village, (Ms.) Ayyub stopped the car to chat with locals. Within a few minutes, she’d figured out whom we should talk to first: Shabbir Ahmed, the proprietor of a local bakery. We found him sitting cross-legged on his porch, shelling almonds into a huge pile. In interviews, (Ms.) Ayyub slows down from her usual debate-team pace; she took a spot on the porch as if she had dropped by for a visit. Ahmed, who is fifty-five, told her that, during the sweeps, an armored vehicle rumbled up to his home just past midnight one night. A dozen soldiers from the Rashtriya Rifles, an élite counter-insurgency unit of the Indian Army, rushed out and began smashing his windows. When Ahmed and his two sons came outside, he said, the soldiers hauled the young men into the street and began beating them. ‘I was screaming for help, but nobody came out,’ Ahmed said. ‘Everyone was too afraid.’“Ahmed’s sons joined us on the porch. One of them, Muzaffar, said the soldiers had been enraged by young people who throw rocks at their patrols. They dragged Muzaffar down the street toward a Mosque. “Throw stones at the mosque like you throw stones at us,” one of the soldiers commanded him. “Muzaffar said he and his brother, Ali, were taken to a local base, where the soldiers shackled them to chairs and beat them with bamboo rods. “They kept asking me, ‘Do you know any stone throwers?’—and I kept saying I don’t know any, but they kept beating me,’ he said. When Muzaffar fainted, he said, a soldier attached electrodes to his legs and stomach and jolted him with an electrical current. Muzaffar rolled up his pants to reveal patches of burned skin on the back of his leg. It went on like that for some time, he said: he would pass out, and when he regained consciousness the beating started again. “My body was going into spasms,” he said, and began to cry. After Muzaffar and Ali were released, their father took them to the local hospital. “They have broken my bones,” Muzaffar said. “I can no longer prostrate myself before God.” “It was impossible to verify the brothers’ tale, but, as with many accounts that (Ms.) Ayyub and I heard in the valley, the anguish was persuasive. “I am a slightly more civilized version of these people,” (Ms.) Ayyub told me. ‘I see what’s happening—with the propaganda, with the lies, what the government is doing to people. Their issues are way more extensive—their lives. But I have everything in common with these people. I feel their pain.’‘One afternoon, Ayyub and I walked through Soura, a hardscrabble neighborhood in Srinagar’s old city which has been the site of several confrontations with security forces. By the time we got there, the police and the Army had withdrawn, evidently deciding that the narrow streets left their men too vulnerable. The locals told us that they regarded Soura as liberated territory and vowed to attack anyone from the government who tried to enter. Every wall seemed plastered with graffiti. One bit of scrawl said, “Demographic change is not acceptable!” The Kashmiris we met felt trapped, their voices stifled. ‘The news that is true—they never show it,’ Yunus, a shop owner, said of the Indian media. Days before, his thirteen-year-old son, Ashiq, had been arrested and beaten by security forces, just as he himself had been thirty years before. ‘Nobody has ever asked the people of Kashmir what they want—whether to stay with India or join Pakistan or become independent,’ he said. ‘We have heard so many promises. We have lifted bodies with our hands, lifted heads that are separate, lifted legs that are separate, and put them all together into graves.’ “Many Kashmiris still refuse to accept Indian sovereignty, and some recall the promise, made by the United Nations in 1948, that a plebiscite would determine the future of the state. Kashmir was assigned special status—enshrined in Article 370—and afforded significant powers of self-rule. For the most part, those powers have never been realized. Beginning in the late eighties, an armed insurgency has turned the area into a battleground. The conflict in Kashmir is largely a war of ambush and reprisal; the insurgents strike the Indian security forces, and the security forces crack down. Groups like Human Rights Watch have detailed abuses on both sides, but especially by the Indian government. “The R.S.S. and other Hindu nationalists have claimed that the efforts to assuage the Kashmiris created a self-defeating dynamic. The insurgency has stifled economic development, they said; Article 370 was curtailing investment and migration, dooming the place to backwardness. Modi’s decision to revoke the article seemed the logical endpoint of the R.S.S. world view: the Kashmiri deadlock would be broken by overwhelming Hindu power.“As (Ms.) Ayyub and I drove around Kashmir, it seemed unclear how the Indian government intended to proceed. Economic activity had ground to a halt. Schools were closed. Kashmiris were cut off from the outside world and from one another. “We are overwhelmed by cases of depression,” a physician in Srinagar told us. Many Kashmiris warned that an explosion was likely the moment the security measures were lifted. ‘Modi is doing what he did in Gujarat twenty years ago, when he ran a tractor over the Muslims there,’ a woman named Dushdaya said. “The newspaper columnist Pratap Bhanu Mehta wrote that, in Kashmir, ‘Indian democracy is failing.’ He suggested that the country’s Muslims, who have largely resisted radicalization, would conclude that they had nothing else to turn to. ‘The B.J.P. thinks it is going to Indianise Kashmir,’ he wrote. “Instead, what we will see is potentially the Kashmirisation of India: The story of Indian democracy written in blood and betrayal.” Filkins, the New Yorker staff writer, then moved to Srinagar with Rana Ayyub where they visited the neighborhood of Mehju Nagar, which many young men have left to join the militants. “The talk on the street was of a couple named Nazeer and Fehmeeda, whose son, Momin, had been taken away in the crackdown. Armed men from the Central Reserve Police Force came to the door late one night. A masked civilian—evidently an informer—pointed at Momin. The soldiers took him away,” he wrote. “We found Fehmeeda at her house, kneeling on the floor of an unadorned main room. The morning after the raid, she told us, she went to a C.R.P.F. base, where her son was being held. He told her that he’d been beaten. ‘I begged them to give him back to me, but they wouldn’t consider it,” she said. When Fehmeeda returned the following day, the police told her that Momin had been transferred to the city’s central jail. But guards there said that he’d been transferred to a prison in Uttar Pradesh, on the other side of the country. ‘There’s no use crying, Auntie,’ they told her.“Fehmeeda said she was not told what charges had been filed against Momin; Indian antiterrorism law allows the security forces to detain any Kashmiri for any reason, or no reason, for up to two years. In the three decades that Kashmir has been in open rebellion, tens of thousands of men have disappeared, and many have not returned. “I must accept that I will not see him again,” she said.At Fehmeeda’s house, her friends had gathered around her, while men from the neighborhood stood outside open windows. Ayyub sat facing her, their knees touching. As Fehmeeda spoke, some of the men talked over her, and each time (Ms.) Ayyub told them to shut up: “Don’t scold her, Uncle, she has problems of her own.”,“Fehmeeda had begun stoically, but gradually she lost her composure. (Ms.) Ayyub gripped her hands and said, ‘Your son will return to you. God is very big.’ Fehmeeda was not consoled. Momin, a construction worker, had paid for the entire family’s needs, including her medicine for a kidney ailment. Fehmeeda’s thoughts began to tumble out in fragments: ‘I told him, don’t throw stones, somebody took him, somebody was paid—’ Then she started to sob and heave. (Ms.) Ayyub began to cry, too. ‘I can’t take any more,’ she said. ‘This is too much.’ “(Ms.) Ayyub said goodbye to Fehmeeda, promising to return with medicine for her kidneys. (A few weeks later, she did.) We were both gripped by a sense of foreboding, that we were witnessing the start of something that would last many years. ‘I feel this as a Muslim,’ Ayyub said. ‘It’s happening everywhere in India.’ “We rode in silence for a while. I suggested that maybe it was time for her to leave India—that Muslims didn’t have a future there. But Ayyub was going through a notebook. ‘I’m not leaving,’ she said. ‘I have to stay. I’m going to write all this down and tell everyone what happened’.” A large part of the huge article was devoted to journalist Rana Ayyub’s investigative work had once gone undercover to expose the ruling BJP’s ties to sectarian and extrajudicial violence against the Muslim minority. the article also carries details of the rise of Narendra Modi from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of power and his ruthless machinations and intrigues to push forward his anti-Muslim agenda and turn India into a Hindu state. Filkins wrote, “A feeling of despair has settled in among many Indians who remain committed to the secular, inclusive vision of the country’s founders.” “Gandhi and Nehru were great, historic figures, but I think they were an aberration,” Krishna Prasad, the former Outlook editor, told Fikins. “It’s very different now.The institutions have crumbled—universities, investigative agencies, the courts, the media, the administrative agencies, public services. And I think there is no rational answer for what has happened, except that we pretended to be what we were for fifty, sixty years. But we are now reverting to what we always wanted to be, which is to pummel minorities, to push them into a corner, to show them their places, to conquer Kashmir, to ruin the media, and to make corporations servants of the state. And all of this under a heavy resurgence of Hinduism. India is becoming the country it has always wanted to be. https://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/521586-Kashmiris-committed-plebiscite-rejecting-India/%27s-sovereignty-
3. Land grab: Dec., 5, 2019: The government has started identifying land in Jammu and Kashmir for companies from outside the erstwhile state who have shown willingness to invest in the region since the reading down of Article 370 of the Constitution. A senior government official said so far around 17,000 kanals of state land has been earmarked in regions of Jammu and Kashmir. Ravinder Kumar, managing director of the State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) said at least 10,000 kanals of land has been identified in Kathua and Samba districts of Jammu and another 5,000 to 7,000 kanals have been earmarked in Ganderbal, Kupwara and some other districts of Kashmir.“There is some land in Vessu (in Anantnag) also,” Kumar told the Wire, adding that the process for identifying land has been ongoing for some time now. According to Kumar, the government has issued directions to all district commissioners, both in Jammu and Kashmir, to submit details about the state land available in their jurisdictions.“We have enough land in both the regions,” he said. While Article 370 gave special status to J&K in the Union of India, the Article 35A empowered the erstwhile J&K state assembly to define the state subjects and grant exclusive rights to them. This also prevented outsiders from buying land, owning property or applying for jobs in Jammu and Kashmir. On August 5, the Centre read down both the Constitutional provisions and bifurcated the state into the two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. The two units https://thewire.in/business/jammu-and-kashmir-land-investment
4. WhatsApp: Dec., 6, 2019: On Wednesday, Kashmiris began disappearing from WhatsApp Citizens of the disputed geographical territory, whose autonomy the Indian government revoked in August, abruptly and inexplicably began departing WhatsApp groups in which they had long participated, leaving behind only a “[Phone number] left” message. Some observers suspected that the Kashmiris who disappeared from their WhatsApp groups this week did not do so on their own and may not even know anything has changed. After 4 months of total communication blackout, @WhatsApp is automatically deleting Kashmiris from groups.#Kashmir 4 months of inactivity, WhatsApp accounts from Kashmir are getting deleted. Weird to see individuals you haven't spoken for all these months 'leave' WA groups whereas in reality an important part of their digital imprint - images, videos, texts & memories attached - vanishing. “I initially thought that internet services had been restored in Kashmir and maybe these people were just removing themselves from WhatsApp groups on their own,” Mudasir Firdosi, a London-based Kashmiri doctor who is in half a dozen WhatsApp groups with friends and family in Kashmir, told BuzzFeed News. “But I quickly realized that’s not the case.” I know they would not have been able to see my messages anyway, but this is heartbreakingly symbolic. Shahnawaz Kaloo, a Kashmiri doctor who lives in New Delhi and is part of half a dozen WhatsApp groups with friends and family who live in Kashmir, told BuzzFeed News that Kashmiris who were entirely cut off from the internet were automatically evicted from every WhatsApp group that he was in with them. “It didn’t happen with people that used the internet [because they traveled out of Kashmir or briefly got internet access somehow].”Suhail Lyser, a Kashmiri student who lives in Dehradun, a city in northern India, told BuzzFeed News that he saw more than 150 Kashmiris in a WhatsApp group that shared news and updates about the region that he was part of suddenly get kicked out of the group. Suddenly all my contacts from Kashmir are ‘leaving’ the #Whatsapp groups, and their WhatsApp accounts are getting lost. Remember there is NO internet in #Kashmir from the last 4 months. What kind of sinister moves are these? @facebook @WhatsApp @UNGeneva @UNHumanRights “When I first saw what was happening, I thought it was the government of India that was doing this,” he said. In February, Nasir Khuehmi, a 21-year-old student, set up a WhatsApp support group for Kashmiri students around the country who faced violence and backlash in the wake of an attack by a suicide bomber in Kashmir’s Pulwama district, in which 40 Indian paramilitary personnel were killed. On Wednesday, the group, which had hundreds of young Kashmiris, emptied out instantly.“I was shocked and disappointed,” said Khuehmi. “It was heartbreaking.”
1. Two tragedies: Nov., 25, 2019: Travelling South, from Srinagar to Kakapora and then to Rahmoo village, the red and white walls surrounding the army garrison in Badamibagh cantonment are among the first things you notice. Attentive troopers with guns, fingers on the trigger, ready to shoot as and when and if needed, like they would at the Line of Control. Except, this is in the outskirts of Srinagar, the capital . A right turn from Kakapora main town leads us to series of villages. The walls of the villages are painted with graffiti eulogising their Shaheed (martyrs). For the Indian government, of course, these Shaheeds are terrorists. Interestingly, the graffiti has been, for the time being, left untouched by the security forces even though every village has an army or a CRPF camp. Ashraf is lying down on a mattress and wearing dark glasses (a scaringly familiar sight in Kashmir). Before August 24, 2016, it would have been nigh impossible to find him at Home during the day, as he was dividing his time between studying and working at Airtel. When not studying for his graduation, Ashraf worked with the telecom major as a field officer, recovering outstanding bills from customers. But after the encounter of Burhan Wani, the region was united in protests, and Ashraf was no different. “That day people were protesting at Prichoo, Pulwama and I was also a part of it. We were peacefully registering our protest and I had even asked a police offer to let us do peaceful protest but he didn’t allow it. Soon, the arguments lead to stone pelting between protesters and security forces,” recalls Ashraf. Ashraf tried to move towards a corner in order to look for a safe corner. But one of the officers from a CRPF vehicle started firing at the protesters, leading to the death of two people and injuring six. Ashraf was one of the injured that day, and like thousands of others in Kashmir, his life has never been the same again. The local people picked Ashraf and took him to District hospital Pulwama, where security forces again fired at the car. So, the locals had no option but to drive to SMHS hospital in Srinagar. Mercifully, they were not attacked again by security forces on the way to Srinagar.. After crossing nine villages, you are ‘welcomed’ to Rahmoo village by a big flex with pictures of more Shaheeds. A left turn from the main village road takes me to a mud house in the corner of a field, hiding behind a Tin gate. This is the house of 28-year-old Mohammad Ashraf Wani. “I was hit by a bullet in the back which pierced my liver, touched one of my lungs and came out through the chest,” he said. And yet, Ashraf, who was on a ventilator for the next six days, was discharged two weeks later and advised to rest for three to four months. It is obvious that his survival could be termed miraculous, but this was not the end of Ashraf’s pains. On October 31, 2016, as he was still recuperating from the bullet wounds, the early morning witnessed another round of protest in the village. According to Ashraf, security forces hit hard, vandalising local properties and beating residents. Ashraf still carried bullet wounds and did not want to be found out by the security forces. So, he tried to move to a nearby hill- Lidergan, surrounded by a dozen houses, hoping it would be safe there. “That day, the security forces, including the J&K police, were beating everyone. They beat one girl so much that she was unconscious for two days,” he says. As he climbed the hill, security forces, who were chasing other youths, also climbed the hill and fired pellets indiscriminately, along with tear gas shells on people. Finding it difficult to move, he tried to hide behind a tree, but policemen aimed his pellet gun at him and fired, leaving Ashraf in a pool of blood. He was bleeding all over: legs, chest, hands, face to eyes, the tiny little lead pellets were everywhere in his body. Few pellets even made their way into the heart. For the next one week, he remained unconscious: when he woke up in the hospital, he realised he had lost vision in both his eyes. After a few surgeries, doctors were able to restore some vision in his left eye but the right eye is still blank. Even after six surgeries, pellets remain all over his body and Ashraf, a budding student and an employed person, has been left to recover from bullet and pellet injuries. For his mother Rahti Begum, 51 Ashraf getting shot wasn’t the first tragedy the family had seen. In 2005, Ashraf’s father had died after a tree fell on him, leaving the responsibility of feeding and providing education of four siblings on Ashraf’s shoulders. “He had dreams which crashed after the death of his father. He wanted to join Indian navy but he left education so as to earn enough to support the education of his three sisters and one brother,” Rahti says with a grim face. He worked as a labourer- picking apples from orchards, cutting grass and loading apple boxes in the truck to support his family, but never gave up education. When he got a job in Airtel, earning Rs 12,000 a month, he enrolled for graduation. He was supposed to appear in the final year exams of graduation this year, but he couldn’t make it because he didn’t have the vision in his left eye. Now Ashraf, usually stays most of the time at home, confined to his own room, usually venturing out for prayers. He can’t work, study or play his favourite sport- cricket. “I feel like I am a burden now. Every evening, I cry my heart out,” he says. The family has spent more than 8 lakh on Ashraf’s treatment, most of which has been donated by his friends and the other residents. Besides the family had to take a debt of 3 lakh rupees from a local trader and more is required for continuing his treatment. “The pain of pellet, bullet wounds is nothing compared to the helplessness of not being able to help my family,” says Ashraf. http://twocircles.net/2017mar05/405821.html?fbclid=IwAR3T7YUxer5PlLIsA3US_tWoBmgF1LdXIWIeIJDuruv_v5ecpvM0dCqI0hs
2. Youth martyred: Nov., 26, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred three youth in Pulwama district.. According to Kashmir Media Service, the troops martyred the youth during a cordon and search operation in Drabgam area of the district. Several people were injured when Indian troops used brute force and fired bullets and pellets on mourners in different areas of Pulwama. The killings triggered massive anti-India protests across the district. More details are awaited. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/11/26/indian-troops-martyr-two-youth-in-iok-17/
3. Video: Nov., 27, 2019: Three sisters narrate, 25 masked men smashed their window and barged into their house and grabbed their father Abdul Hameed Karim,, an administrator in the postal services. They took their mother Uncle and father to unknown location, . They destroyed everything owned by the family . The girls fear that they might not see their father again. SHO denied any involvement. A video prepared by a Western source details all this.
4. Israeli model: Nov., 28, 2019: Pakistan’s government has expressed outrage over comments by India’s consul-general in New York, who suggested at a recent event that India should build Hindu settlements in Kashmir like those constructed by Israel in the Palestinian territories. “It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it,” said the consul-general, “It has been apparent all-along that encouraged by the international community’s inability or unwillingness to address the situation in the Occupied Palestinian territories, India is now following the same colonial .“have only validated the fears of Kashmiri Muslims that the real intent behind abrogation of special legislations was not development, but changing demographics.” The remarks “reflect a new brazenness with which Indian officials are stating their agenda of a settler-colonial state and forced demographic change in Kashmir.” strategy,” https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/pakistan-hits-back-at-indian-diplomat-s-israel-model-for-kashmir-remark-31730
5. Kashmiri women: Nov., 28, 2019: Ahmad, a class 7 student, was equally afraid. The police first dragged his sister by the hair, and then thrashed her in front of Ahmad. His cousin's sister, Soliha Jan, couldn’t bear the scene and tried to intervene. The police didn’t budge and turned towards Soliha and beat her up as well. They kicked her in the stomach and also hit her back, they say as her family recalls the horrifying day in August. “Soliha vomited blood through her mouth and then fainted,” her mother said. She then took her to a city hospital where she underwent an X-ray. After a few more tests, the doctors advised that she be admitted to the emergency ward While most of the detainees ahead of the revocation of Kashmir’s autonomy were men, the valley’s womenfolk also bore the brunt of state violence in multiple ways. For Soliha and her family, that day was the worst amidst the enforced clampdown, “I thought my daughter died when I saw her lying on the road,” her mother said. It took two weeks for her to recover. The 16-year-old girl hadn’t expected such harassment from the local police, “they don’t differentiate, didn’t even realise that I was a girl,” she said. For the last three months, Soliha has been suffering from nightmares of that incident and is finding it hard to focus, “my exams are coming, and I haven’t been able to study.”Since the incident took place, the family is afraid to talk to media. “We fear that they will intimidate us if we will speak about it.” Such was the fear that during their conversations with TRT World, the brother of the victim stood guard outside his home, fearing that police might catch on and they'd be harassed. But it wasn’t torture alone. Kashmiri women also have to face the burden of navigating India’s tiring legal system to seek the release of their sons. When the Indian government clamped down on communication in Kashmir, families, and mothers of detainees had to visit several jails to find where their sons had been put up. A group of activists from India-including a social activist, Kavita Krishnan, travelled to Kashmir in August, after the abrogation of Article 370, and spoke to Indian media saying, “there was feeling a sense of betrayal, and people were angry at being denied the special status. The misery of residents was further aggravated as there was no communication, and the people were made to live like in an open jail, the activists claimed.” After Shakeela Bano’s son Shahid*, a 16-year-old from Srigufwara Anantnag, was detained by police in Anantnag and shifted him outside of Kashmir, she lost all hope that her son would be released anytime soon.“My son is a kid, how can any justice system in the universe put a minor under the Public Safety Act?” she asked.On August 4, Shahid was picked up by police who assured the family that he will be released the next morning. When the family went to the police station the next day, the same day Kashmir's autonomous status was revoked, police told them that they had shifted Shahid to Central jail Srinagar, 80kms from their place. After four days, he was shifted outside Srinagar into India proper, without informing the family. Shahid's PSA dossier shows that he was detained on charges of being affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist organisation after he completed his 12th class examination. But the irony in his case was that he hadn’t even attended his 12th class board examination. “When I came to know that our son was shifted outside Kashmir, darkness fell before my eyes. Everything seemed blurred,” said Bano. Shahid's family had to file habeas corpus in the high court, and on September 20, the Supreme Court of India directed the Juvenile Justice Committee of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to examine allegations that children have illegally been detained. On October 1, the PSA of Shahid was revoked, and he was released on 29th September, two months after his initial detention. Bano, sitting next to her son, stares at him helplessly. She fears that her son will not be able to live the life he could before. Shahid, who is attending his 12th class board exams, now sits in his room but doesn’t study, “I don’t feel like studying now, I don’t want to remain confined in my room. I cannot believe that I am finally free,” he said. The restrictions imposed by the Indian government have taken a heavy toll on access to healthcare and prevented many from reaching hospitals for urgent care. Dr Omar Salim, a doctor from Kashmir, protested in August outside a government hospital in Srinagar against the restriction on phones and internet in Jammu and Kashmir. He felt the blackout was preventing patients from receiving government health benefits. Ameena Jan, a 30-year-old from the summer capital of Kashmir recently had to walk 10 kilometres to reach a hospital for a checkup. Jan who is eight months pregnant couldn’t take her husband along instead her mother had to walk with her amid teargas shelling which was going in her area at that time, “it is impossible for men to leave this place and go somewhere, when police see that they are from Soura, they arrest them.” Doctors have told Jan that she is anaemic and has to take proper care of her health, otherwise, it could lead problems for her baby, “but since the situation had turned bad in Kashmir, I had no other way but to skip going to the hospital.” For Jan, also having a proper diet in these conditions when her husband is not able to earn anything is impossible. A few weeks before when Jan had a checkup at the hospital, the tests revealed that the umbilical cord had got stuck around the fetus’ neck. Jan is apprehensive that the condition she faced was because of her situation.“My heartbeat would increase every time clashes would occur.” She also harboured fears that the army and police might barge into her home and take her husband when any clashes occur in the area.She is now terrified about the prospect of going into labour.“I feel like we won’t be allowed to reach the hospital on time,” she said. For all her life, Kulsum Jan has been planning for her wedding.Kulsum's wedding date happened to be just three days after the Indian government's moves to annex Kashmir. “It was not possible to cancel the event on the last moment,” Kulsum says. She of course had no idea that situation would become so unmanageable, Kulsum had to borrow a dress from her cousin for her special day, “my cousin got married three days before the article was scrapped, I had no other way but to wear her dress on my marriage,” she said. Earlier when she sent her cousin to get a dress (lehanga) from somewhere, he got stuck between police and stone-pelters and Kulsum then had to skip out on the idea of getting a new dress. The 23-year-old couldn’t even invite her cousins from other districts. “Because of the communication blackout, it was impossible to call them or even go to their place.” Women in Soura say that the males were not able to travel anywhere because of the fear of police and army, “Any male who held an identity card of Anchaar area was either arrested or assaulted,” said Kulsum. Her groom had to ask permission from authorities when to visit Anchaar to take his bride. Humaira, another bride faced a similar situation saying she had no idea when her bridegroom might arrive. “I wasn’t prepared when he arrived. I wasn’t happy at all. I was more concerned about his safety than about our wedding,” she said. https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/this-is-how-women-are-suffering-under-india-s-kashmir-crackdown-31692
6. OIC on Kashmir: Nov., 30, 2019: “Pakistan welcomes the holding of OIC’s Human Rights Commission’s first-ever ‘Open Discussion’ on the worsening human situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, as part of its 16th Regular Session held in Jeddah on November 25-28,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Friday. The session, held under IPHRC’s “Standing Mechanism to Monitor Human Rights Situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir”, was attended by all the commission members and a large number of the representatives of the OIC member and observer states. Addressing the situation in IOK in all its dimensions, the commission strongly condemned the blatant violation of human rights in the territory. “There are credible reports of inflicting collective punishment. The systematic and systemic human rights violations have a well-defined pattern tantamount to ethnic cleansing and genocide of Kashmiris.” The commission reaffirmed the right of self-determination of the people of occupied valley under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. It reiterated that India’s steps of August 5 were illegal and void.It condemned the continued use of pellet guns that killed and maimed innocent and unarmed civilians. The commission also reiterated its endorsement of the recommendation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a Commission of Inquiry under the UN auspices to comprehensively investigate all the allegations of human rights violations. The commission assailed India for not allowing a fact finding visit to the IOK despite repeated requests by the IPHRC, OIC and UNOHCHR. It agreed to undertake a visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to meet the refugees, political parties and other civil society representatives from Indian Occupied Kashmir, after India’s repeated denial of allowing a fact-finding mission to the occupied territory. The commission demanded India to allow the OIC and ICRC to establish a ‘humanitarian corridor’ in IOK to reach out to the besieged population for provision of basic food and medical supplies. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2109021/1-pakistan-welcomes-oics-principled-stance-kashmir-issue/
7. Kashmiri Pundits: Nov., 30, 2019: A Delhi-based Kashmiri Pandit organisation, while reacting to a statement of an Indian diplomat in the US for comparing Kashmir with Israel, has said that it is very unfortunate that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is misusing plight of their community to score points over the Kashmir dispute. India’s Consul General in New York City, Sandeep Chakravorty, addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Pandits said that the Modi government would follow Israeli model to settle Hindus in occupied Kashmir. Condemning the remarks of Chakravorty, the Kashmiri Pandit outfit, Reconciliation, Return & Rehabilitations of Jammu & Kashmir Migrants, in a statement in New Delhi said, “If the ruling BJP-led Indian government is thinking in these terms then it is highly unfortunate.” It described Chakravorty’s opinion as fissiparous and narrow-minded. The outfit said, “Kashmiri, irrespective of religion, used to live together as one society. Our language, culture and way of living are similar. We cannot be separated.” It appealed all not to make such kind of statements which can vitiate the atmosphere. “We urge the Indian government to punish such individuals and organizations, which time and again give such statements and try to disrupt the communal harmony of Kashmir,” it added. The organisation’s Chairman, Satish Mahaldar, in a media interview in New Delhi said that BJP was playing a dirty game in Kashmir and they were just trying to expose it. He claimed that the Indian government was not doing anything to encourage inter-community dialogue and interaction. “Instead, such statements are bound to deepen differences and ill-will,” he deplored. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/11/30/bjp-misusing-kashmiri-pandits-plight-says-outfit/
1. Blindness in Kashmir: Nov., 21, 2019: The Lancet published an editorial expressing concern about the physical and mental health of Kashmiris. Pointing to “gross human rights violations by state security forces and armed groups,” in the region—often described as the world’s most militarized zone—it lamented the suffering of civilians caught between militants and tens of thousands of Indian troops British Medical Journal published a letter from 18 Indian doctors observing that the communications blockade imposed by the Indian government had led to “a blatant denial of the right to health care and the right to life” in the Kashmir valley. An American optometrist of Kashmiri origin, I was plunged into the conflict in 2016 when I arrived in Srinagar, the region’s capital, for a family vacation. Thousands of people were on the streets demanding freedom from Indian rule, and security forces were responding to stone-throwing youths by firing so-called pellet guns. Often used for hunting wildlife and pest control in the West, these supposedly non-lethal weapons are in fact a type of shotgun. Each cartridge releases between 300 to 600 lead-based pellets, each of which can easily penetrate soft tissues and damage internal organs.When used at close range, the tissue damage is similar that of a bullet from a low-velocity conventional firearm and can result in permanent disability or death. I visited hospitals to understand what was going on. I saw patients with more than 100 pellets in their abdomen or skull. A fourteen-year-old girl who was looking out of her bedroom window became unrecognizable within seconds due to hundreds of pellets covering her entire face and penetrating her skull. A 24-year-old’s left eyeball fell out of his eye socket.India’s Central Reserve Police Force would eventually admit to using over 1.3 million pellets in just the first thirty-two days of those summer protests. This indiscriminate use of supposedly non-lethal weapons resulted in over ninety deaths and 15,000 injuries that summer. Over 500 of these wounds resulted in vision loss in one or both eyes. This harrowing exposure prompted me to aid the U.S. based non-profit, Revive Kashmir, in starting Project Noor, which aids those visually impaired by pellet guns. My team members and I began with basic training for day-to-day survival in 2017. We taught patients how to eat, use their phone, and walk with assistance. Hearing the patient’s stories convinced me, however, that we needed to do more. Teenagers, many of them villagers, had been robbed of the careers to which they aspired and instead felt like a financial and emotional burden on their already struggling families. Those who were studying had had to drop out of school and none of those working could continue. Eventually, Project Noor expanded to provide not only eye care and rehabilitation services, but also counseling and financial help to pellet-gun injured victims in the Kashmir valley. In the years since, the number of deaths, injuries and blindness of innocent civilians, mostly children and young adults, has steadily increased. The Lancet editorial noted that 1253 people had been blinded by pellet guns between 2016 and 2018. The damage has been compounded by a lack of resources for the visually impaired. The traumatic injuries and deaths have also caused lasting psychological harm and left many victims depressed and suicidal. Various other international and national non-profit organizations have come forward to aid patients with pellet injuries with surgical costs, medications and financial support. But all of these efforts have been put to a halt by the state of siege imposed on the eight million Kashmiris. For more than three months, a complete lock-down of the region, an increase in armed forces in an already heavily militarized zone, and suspension of telephone and internet use has prevented any aid from reaching the people. Despite the communications shutdown, it is clear that human rights violations and pellet-gun injuries continue to happen. Medical supplies have become scarce, hospitals are difficult to reach because of barricades across the main roads, and the administration has reportedly stopped issuing death certificates. In consequence, we may not ever know how many Kashmiris are dying. Given this harrowing reality, I am profoundly saddened that so many of my colleagues in the medical profession have chosen to ignore their Hippocratic oath and instead defend a regime that inflicts such grievous harm on civilians. When will this regime and its supporters stop turning a blind eye to the unnecessary human tragedy in Kashmir? https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/blindness-in-kashmir/
2. Stone pelting: Nov.,21, 2019: The Home Ministry on Tuesday said security forces had arrested 765 people in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution for their alleged involvement in stonepelting incidents . https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/765-arrested-in-j-k-for-stone-pelting-since-abrogation-of-article-370/articleshow/72124903.cms
3. Sen. Warner: Nov., 23, 2019: Sen. Mark Warner To:firstname.lastname@example.org. Nov 22 at 10:02 PM .Dear Mr. Rashid, Thank you for contacting me about the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and reports of disturbing humanitarian conditions. Following the repeal of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5, 2019, I have heard from a number of constituents – many of whom have personal connections to, or family in the region – expressing concern over ongoing conditions. While I understand that India has legitimate security concerns in this region, I am disturbed by actions taken by India following the repeal that among other things, restricted communications and movement within J&K for its residents. I have been closely monitoring the situation in J&K in my roles as Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus. I have shared concerns with both the U.S. State Department and the Government of India, and I will continue to push for transparency, access for international journalists and human rights observers, the lifting of communication restrictions and an inclusive political process. I have long been a strong advocate for the U.S.-India partnership, which is rooted in our shared values and security interests. It is critical that India live up to its democratic principles by allowing freedom of press, information, and political participation. I appreciate you contacting me about Jammu and Kashmir. I will continue engaging on this situation, and encourage you to reach out with any further concerns. Sincerely, MARK R. WARNER United States Senator
5. Visitors account: Nov., 23, 2019: DER SPIEGEL has met with more than a dozen people in Kashmir, and their reports are shocking and sometimes contradictory. Some fear the Indian state. Others are hoping for protection. All, however, are afraid of what may be on the horizon. One says: "We are experiencing the calm before the storm." There's a village full of broken windowpanes in southern Kashmir. Residents say soldiers throw stones through the windows at night, and claim fearful residents switch off their lights after sundown and barricade themselves in the darkness of their homes. Almost nobody in the town is willing to speak openly with journalists. There is a strong atmosphere of paranoia, with many apparently wondering if the foreigner really is who she says she is -- and not a spy. The woman who finally does invite us into her home declines to provide her real name. She is 44 years old, wears a headscarf and asks to be identified as Sakina. When talking about her son, she breaks down repeatedly. She shows a photo of a young man of around 20 with long black hair and a beard. Sakina: "We were too afraid to see what was going on."“It was the night of August 7. We could hear noise from outside, but we were too afraid to see what was going on. Instead, we went to bed, my daughter and I slept in the kitchen and my father and my son in a room at the front of the house. It must have been around three in the morning when five or 10 soldiers began hammering on our door.They stormed into my son's room and pulled him out of bed. We wanted to know what he had done and where they were taking him. But we didn't get an answer. The soldiers locked us in and fired two shots. One of the shots hit the ground right here by the door, I can show you the spot. Since my son has been gone, I feel numb. I'm cold and I shiver, even when the sun is shining. The army forced its way into my home and took away my child." Sakina's son wasn't the only one arrested by the soldiers. In the days both before and after Kashmir's autonomy was revoked, the army arrested men they considered potential troublemakers. According to reports, a total of more than 4,000 were taken into custody. Some were flown out of the region. Sakina's son is locked up in Agra, a city in northern India located around 700 kilometers (400 miles) away.Two laws have essentially given security forces a free hand. According to the Public Safety Act, people in Kashmir can be held in custody for up to two years without trial, while the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act gives soldiers de facto immunity. There have been numerous, serious allegations made against the army, including rape, torture and murder. But according to the human rights organization Amnesty International, not a single member of the security forces has yet had to answer for them before a civilian court https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/deathly-silence-an-inside-look-at-kashmir-a-1296450.html
1. Two Young men martyred: Nov., 11, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops , martyred a Kashmiri youth in Bandipore district, today, taking the toll to two within 12 hours. The youth was killed during cordon and search operation in Lawdoora area of the district. The operation was going on till the last report came in. Earlier In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops terrorism martyred a Kashmiri youth in Bandipora district, today. The troops martyred the youth in a fake encounter during a cordon and search operation in Lawdara area of the district. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/11/11/indian-troops-martyr-another-youth-in-bandipre/
2. Hindutva pop: Nov., 12, 2019: Some of the most violent expressions in Hindutva pop focus on Kashmir, the Muslim-majority territory that is disputed by Pakistan and that was in August. Popular lyrics call for harsher action against Pakistan and separatist Kashmiri militants, and for forced conversions and a Hindu settlement campaign in Kashmir. During Hindu festivals, the processions have started in shows of intimidation. Most of the songs prominently feature the call of “Jai Shri Ram!” Meaning “Hail Lord Ram,” a major Hindu god, it has become the battle cry for Hindu nationalists. Mobs have attacked Muslims who refuse to chant it along with them.https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/10/world/asia/india-hindutva-pop-narendra-modi.html
3. Hospitals: Nov., 13, 2019: Attendants and patients Monday alleged that hospital authorities don’t operate Central Heating System round the clock in the hospitals as a result they shiver in present harsh chilly conditions. Principal, Government Medical College had directed all its associated hospitals to run Central Heating System after the snow furry that brought temperatures almost below to freezing point. Reports said that some of the hospitals including Lal Ded and JVC Bemina run heating system only for two hours in a day. https://kashmirobserver.net/2019/11/11/heating-system-for-2-hrs-only-attendants-patients-shiver-in-hospitals/amp/?fbclid=IwAR1zCTwQHBZYjgHKoPUuUmTTZLrhTV43r7fPwUDw3BwbJFI5eQIkFhUAkPY
4. Fake news: Nov., 14, 2019: One of the purposes of these websites is to influence public perceptions on Pakistan by multiplying iterations of the same content available on search engines, a study by NGO EU DisinfoLab has found. As many as 265 fake local news websites in more than 65 countries, including the US, Canada, Brussels and Geneva, are managed by Indian influence EU DisinfoLab has uncovered links between zombie companies, dormant media outlets, and legally non-existent organisations, lobbying the EU and also the UN by constantly targeting Questionable news portals mentioned in the investigation include Times of Los Angeles, Times of Portugal, New Delhi Times, New York Journal American, and Times of North Korea. EU DisinfoLab’s investigation demonstrates how this network of think tanks, NGOs, and media outlets has already translated into a set of EU parliamentarians visiting the Kashmir valley on Oct. 30. The visit was perceived by some as a sign of validation for the government’s move. It came amidst international attention on curbs on free speech and allegations of human rights violations in the Kashmir valley. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/265-fake-news-websites-in-over-65-countries-managed-by-indian-influence-networks-study/article29967820.ece?homepage=true , https://qz.com/india/1747796/fake-media-outlets-boosted-indian-kashmir-stand-in-eu-says-ngo/, . https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/265-fake-news-websites-in-over-65-countries-managed-by-indian-influence-networks-study/article29967820.ece?homepage=true
5. Tom Lanton Human Rights Commission: Nov., 15, 2019: Vast majority of people in India are not engaged in violence, India has imposed restrictions across the board, depriving people of incomes and religious and civil liberties. Assam is also of concern US India ties are based on freedom and democracy India seems to be moving away from these objectives. Minorities are feeling grossly unsafe in India People in IOK unable to go to mosques and also celebrate religious holidays. 10000 or mire have been arbitrarily been detained. International community and Congress should ensure the resolution of the dispute according to the WISHES OF THE KASHMIRI PEOPLE. Demographic changes are now the Indian policy. Congress to support a resolution that demands end of the siege and resolution of the dispute as per the wishes of the Kashmiri people. India today more accurately resembles an authoritarian regime rather than a democracy. There is yet to be justice for 2001 Gujarat massacres and other such incidents. UNHRC report on Kashmir lists all that India needs to do. Repeal AFSPA , PSA and other such laws. International journalists and UN should be allowed in . Restrictions should be lifted. Indian actions in IOK has compromised India’s quest to become a permanent member of UN Security Council. .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPSDc_X3GYM#action=share
6. Tom Lantos HRC: Nov., 15, 2019: The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bi-partisan commission, held the hearing on Thursday to examine the human rights situation in Kashmir in its historical context, a statement issued at the Commission’s website said. India had on August 5 revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by repealing Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and announced its division into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. These two UTs came into existence on October 31. India had also put the occupied territory under severe military siege and communications blockade on August 5. Indian-American Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal, at the hearing said that she was deeply concerned by Indian government’s actions in Kashmir. “To detain people without charge, severely limit communications and block third parties from visiting, is harmful to our close and critical relationship,” the Democrat said. She was joined by other Democrats Sheila Jackson Lee, David Trone and David Cicilline, who criticised India’s actions after scrapping Kashmir’s special status. Arunima Bhargava, commissioner from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), said that the rights of Muslim communities were being curtailed because of Indian government’s actions. “Throughout the country, political and community leaders are promulgating an ideology that suggests that to be Indian is necessarily to be Hindu and views India’s religious minorities as subordinate or foreign,” she told the hearing. “India’s religious minorities currently stand at a precipice. If the Indian government continues on its current trajectory, their livelihood, rights, and freedoms could be in serious danger,” she pointed out. On occupied Kashmir, Bhargava said, “USCIRF is concerned about reports starting in August that the Indian government restricted freedom of movement and assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, limiting people’s ability to attend prayers and participate in religious ceremonies; forestalling any large gatherings, including for religious purposes; and for certain communities, curtailing access to healthcare and other basic services.”She said mobile and internet services were denied to Kashmiris and healthcare was withheld by the Indian government. “USCIRF has also seen reports of mosques being closed; imams and Muslim community leaders arrested and detained; and violence and threats towards residents and businesses in particular,” she told the Commission. Bhargava, who is of Indian descent, said the restrictions in the region impacted the ability of people to “practice their faith”, visit their places of worship and exercise their rights. She claimed this was targeted at a certain community.. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/11/15/2nd-congressional-hearing-us-lawmakers-express-concern-over-indias-actions-in-iok/
7. Amnesty International: Nov., 16, 2019: India's federal investigation agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has raided the local offices of human rights group Amnesty International in an investigation into alleged violations of foreign funding rules. The raids were conducted at Amnesty International's offices in Bengaluru and New Delhi after the CBI registered a case against the group based on a complaint from India's Ministry of Home Affairs, the statement added. Amnesty International, which has criticised some actions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in the past, was also accused of violations of foreign funding rules last year. "Over the past year, a pattern of harassment has emerged every time Amnesty International India stands up and speaks out against human rights violations in India," the group said in a statement. Amnesty International accused Modi's government of violating human rights in Indian-administered Kashmir after it revoked the constitutional autonomy of the disputed state in August and came down heavily on protesters in the aftermath. The rights group also criticised the government's recent move to revoke the overseas Indian citizenship of British writer Aatish Taseer, calling it "discrimination based on gender and ethnic or national origin". Amnesty International India's office was raided and its bank accounts were frozen by the ED last year. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/amnesty-international-offices-india-raided-federal-police-191115172007201.html
8. Sifton: Nov., 17, 2019: John Sifton said this in a written submission to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, which conducted a hearing on human rights in Kashmir on Thursday. He said that the focus of his testimony was how the US government could most effectively voice its concerns about these issues to the government of India. John Sifton stated that since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won national elections in May, this year, and returned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a second term, government authorities have continued harassing, and sometimes prosecuting, outspoken rights groups, human rights defenders and journalists for criticizing the government, while failing to credibly investigate increasing numbers of mob attacks, often led by BJP supporters, against religious minorities and other vulnerable communities. John Sifton said that the 14 February Pulwama incident, in which over 40 troops were killed, led to a military escalation between India and Pakistan. He said, following the incident, Kashmiri students and businessmen in various parts of India were harassed or beaten up, even forcibly evicted from rental housing and dorms. John Sifton in his testimony maintained that on August 5, the Indian government revoked the special status of Kashmir. “Thousands were detained without charge, including former chief ministers, political leaders, opposition activists, lawyers, and journalists, and the internet and phones were shut down. There were severe restrictions on movement and public gatherings were forbidden. The government said these measures were necessary to prevent loss of life during violent protests, but there were still credible, serious allegations of beatings and torture by security forces.” He said while a number of restrictions have since been lifted, hundreds remain in detention and mobile phone services and internet access are still limited. Many parents are still too scared for the safety of their children to send them to schools or colleges, he added. The HRW official said India has advanced a narrative that its main purpose in revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, a longtime goal of the BJP, was economic development. “So far, however, we have only seen an intensification of the repression of Kashmir’s population,” he pointed out. He said there has been a spike in protests in occupied Kashmir in recent years. He said, Indian forces have often used excessive force to respond to protests, including using pellet-firing shotguns as a crowd-control weapon, which have caused several deaths and many serious injuries. “Indian troops have seldom been held accountable for human rights violations that have occurred during counter-insurgency operations. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) continues to provide Indian soldiers effective immunity from prosecution for serious human rights abuses. Since the law came into force in Kashmir in 1990, the Indian government has not granted permission in any case to prosecute forces’ personnel in civilian courts,” he deplored. John Sifton said, the Indian government has also repeatedly imposed internet shutdowns in Kashmir, restricting mobile and broadband internet services. He said, there have already been 55 instances of shutdowns in the territory in 2019. “This is the legacy of abuses that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered. Successive Indian governments have not been willing to confront these problems. And here we come to the crux of the issue: until the Indian government acknowledges and addresses how their own abuses impact the situation, problems in Kashmir are likely to endure,” he remarked. The HRW official said this is where Congress can act. He said members of Congress should communicate to Indian government officials that their actions in Kashmir are adding to the human rights problems. “Members of Congress should challenge Indian officials to reexamine their rights-abusing practices in Kashmir. US officials should insist that political leaders and others arbitrarily detained are released, that restrictions on communications are lifted, and that independent observers, including diplomats, foreign journalists, and rights activists, are able to travel freely in Kashmir,” he maintained. On human rights violations in India, John Sifton said, since the BJP first came to power in 2015, Indian authorities have been increasingly using sedition and criminal defamation laws to stifle dissent in India. Journalists have been harassed, and at times detained, for their reporting or critical comments on social media, and faced increasing pressure to self-censor – including on matters connected to Jammu and Kashmir, he said. “At the same time, the authorities have failed to properly prosecute or end political patronage to pro-BJP interest groups that have engaged in threats and violent attacks to shut down speech that “offends” them. Mob violence against minorities, especially Muslims, by extremist Hindu groups affiliated with the BJP have continued amid rumors that they traded or killed cows for beef. Since May 2015, 50 people have been killed and over 250 injured in such attacks. Muslims were also beaten and forced to chant Hindu slogans. Police have largely failed to properly investigate the crimes, stalled investigations, ignored procedures, and filed criminal cases against witnesses to harass and intimidate them,” he said. “India has continued to lead the world with the largest number of internet shutdowns as state governments resorted to blanket shutdowns, either to prevent violence and social unrest or to respond to ongoing law and order problems. As of November, authorities in India had ordered 85 shutdowns,” the Congressman added. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/11/16/human-rights-under-threat-in-iok-india-us-lawmaker/
9. Indian extremism: Nov., 18, 2019: a former Indian military general for supporting rape of Kashmiri women during a TV debate, where he can be heard saying “death in return for death, and rape in return for rape During a high-decibel debate on the Kashmiri Pandit exodus on , Major General (retd) SP Sinha screamed, “Maut ke badle maut [death for death], balatkar ke badle balatkar [rape for rape . he did an instant poll on the channel and some from the audience, which included women, can be heard supporting him. This is not the first instance where an Indian political leader made a such statement. Earlier in the July, BJP’s women wing leader encouraged “Hindu brothers” to gang-rape Muslim women openly in the streets. “Muslim mothers and sisters should have their honour looted as there is no other way to protect India,” said Sunita Singh Gaur in a Facebook post. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2101409/1-watch-indian-ex-army-general-supports-death-death-rape-rape-iok/
10. Indias secret war in Kashmir: Nov., 18, 2019: HRW report “INDIA'S SECRET ARMY IN KASHMIR New Patterns of Abuse Emerge in the Conflict” Alongside Indian security forces, operating as a secret, illegal army, have been state-sponsored paramilitary groups, composed of captured or surrendered former militants described as "renegades" by the Indian government. Many of these groups have been responsible for grave human rights abuses, including summary executions, torture, and illegal detention as well as election-related intimidation of voters. The extrajudicial killings, abductions and assaults committed by these groups against suspected militants are instead described as resulting from "intergroup rivalries." But civilians have also been their victims, and the militia groups have singled out journalists, human rights activists and medical workers for attack. They have been given free rein to patrol major hospitals in Srinagar, particularly the Soura Institute, the Sri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital and the Bone and Joint Hospital. They have murdered, threatened, beaten and detained hospital staff; in some cases these abuses have occurred in full view of security force bunkers or in the presence of security force officers. They have also removed patients from hospitals. These abuses constitute clear violations of medical neutrality., In some cases, attacks by these paramilitary groups appear to have been carried out on orders from security officers, Violations of human rights and humanitarian law by the regular security forces - the army, the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) - have also continued. These violations include the deliberate killing of detainees in the custody of the security forces in Kashmir and reprisal killings of civilians. Human rights groups and press accounts have registered reports of such killings every month, but there is no sign that security personnel have been prosecuted in a single case of summary execution. In the few high-profile cases in which courts-martial have taken place, soldiers have been prosecuted for abuses, such as the excessive use of force, which fall short of murder. Security personnel in Kashmir have also been responsible for rape as a counterinsurgency tactic. In response to international attention to the problem, the Indian government has made public a number of prosecutions of members of security forces for rape. However, reports of rape and other sexual assaults in Kashmir persist. In many cases, these incidents are never investigated by judicial and medical authorities competent to determine culpability. The government of India should disarm all state-sponsored militias not established and regulated by law and prosecute members of such groups who have been responsible for extrajudicial killings, assaults and other abuses. Other crucial steps include the following: The government of India should establish a civilian review board to oversee any rehabilitation program for surrendered militants. This review board, which should be headed by a civilian and include other civilian representatives, should have access to records on surrendered weapons and vocational training programs to ensure that the former militants are not compelled to serve in state paramilitary forces not established and regulated by law or induced to take part in security operations that violate international human rights and humanitarian law; The Indian government should permit the U.N. Working Group on Disappearances, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Summary or Arbitrary Execution to conduct investigations in Kashmir; The government of India should ensure that all reports of extrajudicial executions, deaths in custody, torture and rape by security forces and unofficial paramilitary forces in Kashmir are investigated promptly by a judicial authority empowered to subpoena security force officers and official registers and other documents. Security personnel, including police, army and paramilitary, responsible for these abuses should be prosecuted in civilian courts. Only with such trials and appropriate punishments will these forces receive the clear, unequivocal message that human rights violations are not condoned by their superiors. Those found guilty of abuse should be punished regardless of rank. The punishments should be at least as severe as those specified under civilian law. The results of these investigations and the punishments should be made public as a means of giving the people of Kashmir a reason to believe in the government's commitment to justice and the rule of law; Although the government of India has promised since 1993 to establish a centralized register of detainees accessible to lawyers and family members, this has never happened. In addition, security personnel continue to defy court orders to produce detainees in court. The government of India should take stern and swift action against all officers who have obstructed or ignored judicial orders to produce detainees. All places of detention should be made known to the court and be subject to regular inspection by a magistrate. In addition, the securityagencies should require that arresting officers provide signed receipts for all detainees to family members, village elders or persons of similar status. The receipt would be retrieved when the person is released; In previous reports, Human Rights Watch has urged the government of India to provide police training, perhaps after consultation with international experts, on gathering adequate evidence for rape prosecutions. Explicit prohibitions against rape should be included in training for all enlisted men and officers in the police, paramilitary and military as a way of sending a clear signal that rape is not tolerated by the state. Medical workers who have examined and treated rape victims should be protected from abuse. Medical facilities, including private licensed physicians, should be encouraged to give testimony and introduce physical evidence in court with regard to rape and other forms of sexual and physical abuse; State authorities and the headquarters of the army and paramilitary operations in Kashmir should issue public statements affirming the security of human rights monitors. The statement should include explicit guarantees for the security of human rights monitors to investigate incidents of abuse, record the statements of witnesses, publicize their reports and petition the courts; State and military authorities should also issue public statements affirming the security of medical personnel and institutions and affirming the neutrality of hospital premises. Security personnel should be trained in the principles of medical neutrality and those violating those principles should be prosecuted. https://www.hrw.org/reports/1996/India2.htm
1. Economic losses: Nov., 6, 2019: "We don't do much business these days. We have only a few hours to work…I close shop by 11 a.m. [local time (0530GMT)] and then leave for home," said Yaseen, who sells Kashmiri shawls in Srinagar. "For the rest of the day, I keep my shop closed to protest against the Indian government’s decision.” We believe there is a business loss of Rs 10,000 crore [$1.4 billion] due to the lockdown in Kashmir since Aug. 5. There has also been a loss of jobs for more than 100,000 people. Kashmir’s business sector is bleeding at the moment. The tourism and IT sectors are mostly dependent on the internet, and right now, they are suffering badly because there is no internet," said Aashiq The absence of an internet connection has dealt a severe blow to the region’s tourism and IT sectors, said Sheikh Aashiq, president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/daily-life-in-kashmir-suffers-amid-lockdown/1636018
2. Ai: Oct., 6, 2019: For the past three months, about 8 million people in the disputed territory of Kashmir have been under a “lockdown” imposed by the Indian government, according to Amnesty International. The organization says Kashmiris have been subjected to curfews, phone and internet shutdowns, arbitrary detention, deadly force against protesters and a lack of medical coverage. “The story of Kashmir is the story of a brutally oppressed pro-democracy struggle,” Mir said. “It is a slave revolt. It is a classic struggle of indigenous people against an ideologically-motivated, brutal, limitless occupation. This is not just violence against people's bodies, it’s violence against people's psychology. It’s violence against children. It’s crimes against people's future.” The audience watched several news videos detailing the human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian government in the region https://kjzz.org/content/1284766/tempe-activists-send-message-indian-government-free-kashmir
3. Women: Nov., 7, 2019: A mother unable to get updates from the hospital about her premature newborn. A bride who couldn't have the wedding of her dreams. The photojournalist who risks double harassment by security forces due to her profession and her gender. Life has been a struggle for ordinary Kashmiris Kashmiri women are suffering from the lockdown in their own less visible way. Zahida Jahangir's son was born premature and weak. He was rushed from the clinic where he was born to the neo-natal intensive care unit in a children's hospital across town. The lockdown made it nearly impossible to visit her son or even communicate with the hospital. Zahida was separated from her son for the first 20 days of his life, and though he is now healthy, the experience has created what she says is a pain only a mother could know and left her with regrets that will last a lifetime. Kulsuma Rameez's wedding was scheduled for during the lockdown and she was unable to go shopping for the wedding dress she dreamed of. Instead she was married in a borrowed dress at a small ceremony attended by a few relatives and neighbors. After the ceremony, she had to walk to her new home as the roads were blocked. Photojournalist Masrat Zahra was covering the first Friday protest since the lockdown when a police officer threatened to kick her. She notes that Kashmiri women can't leave their homes without a male companion out of fear they'll be harassed by soldiers. Nevertheless, she is undeterred. Ateeqa Begum has lived alone ever since her only son 22-year-old Fasil Aslam Mir, the family's sole breadwinner, was detained on his way home after fetching medicines for her on the day the lockdown began."My son has been shifted to a jail in an Indian city and I have no means to travel there to see him," she said.A doctor at a hospital in Indian Kashmir's main city, Sabahat Rasool says she's seen the lockdown forever alter lives. She tells the story of a pregnant woman who refused to be admitted to the hospital because she had no way to tell her family that she wouldn't be coming home and didn't want them to worry that she had been kidnapped. She was brought in unconscious the next day."She survived but lost her unborn baby," Sabahat said.https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/11/06/world/asia/ap-as-kashmir-women-photo-gallery.html
1. Youth martyred: Oct., 30, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred a Kashmiri youth in Islamabad district. The troops martyred the youth in a fake encounter during a cordon and search operation in Bijbehara area of the district. On the other hand, Indian troops resorted to indiscriminate firing after an army bunker was attacked by unidentified gunmen in Drubgam area of Pulwama district. The troops cordoned off the area and launched searches to nab the attackers. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/10/30/indian-troops-martyr-youth-in-iok-3/
2. Blinded children: Oct., 30, 2019:“Watching cartoons on TV, playing with my friends on the street, reading books for hours — this is what I dream of now,” says nine-year-old Asif Ahmad Sheikh, a Class 5 student from Anantnag.“I used to teach sewing and tailoring to girls in my village, but not anymore. Because of the injuries, I could not write my class 10 board exam,” says 17-year-old Ulfat Hameed, a Class 10 student from Baramulla.“When I went to a hospital in Srinagar, there were so many people that the doctors sent me back home as they did not have beds available,” says Bilal Ahmad Bhat, 17, another student from Baramulla. https://www.dawn.com/news/1513749?fbclid=IwAR2UMEnMz84kpK9IbkgtIEyefxDn0cQKR1AdKVReUfVraG8a_96vMZuIt5c
1. LoC violations: Oct., 21, 2019: Nine soldiers of the Indian Army were killed and several others injured as the Pakistan Army responded to New Delhi’s unprovoked ceasefire violations along the Line of Control,. DG ISPR Major said Pakistan destroyed two Indian bunkers after Indian forces deliberately targeted civilians in Jura, Shahkot and Nousheri sectors. one Pakistani soldier and three civilians were martyred in the exchange of fire, while two soldiers and five civilians suffered injuries. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2083613/1-nine-indian-soldiers-killed-several-injured-loc-exchange-ispr/
2. Undeclared War: Oct., 21, 2019: PM AJ&K said that India had imposed an undeclared war on the liberated territory by pounding over a dozen villages from Noseeri to Nagdar in Neelum valley, Leepa and Khuairatta sectors of Kotli district. the international community, including the United Nations, should take strict notice of India’s aggression. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2083715/1-india-imposed-undeclared-war-loc/
3. Clamp down: Oct., 22, 2019: I have witnessed multiple clampdowns in my 10 years as a journalist in Kashmir, but this year has been the worst. Life was turned upside down, for everyone. The silence of a caged and disempowered people is a silence of simmering rage. All communication channels were blocked. A silence spread over the Kashmir Valley and the struggle to tell the story began .With bits and pieces of information, journalists began to write stories, but there was no way to send them to anyone. For the first two weeks, some journalists, including myself, sent flash drives containing stories, photographs and video footage to New Delhi via passengers flying out of the region..A few newspapers managed to publish, despite having no phones, internet or distribution network. Everything was disrupted. In Kashmir, no news is not good news. For civilians in Kashmir, normal life is non-existent. https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3033708/reporting-silence-siege-kashmir
4. US hearings: Oct., 23, 2019: The United States on Tuesday renewed calls on India to ease its clampdown in Kashmir as several lawmakers voiced anger at actions by a country that usually enjoys strong US support. Alice Wells, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia, said that the United States “remains concerned” about the impact of India’s actions in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. “We have urged Indian authorities to respect human rights and restore full access to services, including internet and mobile networks,” she told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. Representative Ilhan Omar, a prominent first-term Democratic lawmaker and one of the few Muslims in Congress, charged that Kashmir is part of a pattern against Islam by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Brad Sherman, Chairman of the panel, said that the hearing will focus on the occupied valley where thousands of people had been detained ever since India revoked Article 370.. “Many political activists have been arrested and daily life, the internet, and telephone communications have been interrupted,” said Sherman in a statement. He said that food, medicine and other essentials will also be reviewed in the hearing. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about human rights in Kashmir in recent months. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/544767-us-voices-kashmir-concern-as-lawmakers-raise-tone-on-india
5. Youth martyred: Oct., 23, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today. The troops martyred the youth during a cordon and search operation at Rajpora in Tral area of the district. The operation continued till last reports came in. On the other hand, a Junior Commissioned Officer of the Indian Army was killed after being fired upon by unidentified gunmen in Nowshera area of Rajouri district, today. Soon after the attack, the troops cordoned off the area and launched searches to nab the attackers. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/10/22/indian-troops-martyr-three-kashmiri-youth-in-pulwama/
6. Kashmir lockdown: Oct., 24, 2019: There was an eerie silence on the drive toward the Shopian district in southern Kashmir, as stray dogs and cattle walked past on a recent overcast afternoon. But the silence was suddenly shattered as a convoy of heavily armed vehicles passed by shielding top officials of the paramilitary forces. When these trucks show up around these parts, children and young men disappear. As we arrived in Shopian on Oct. 17, a local resident of this fertile apple-growing region led us to the house of Firdaus Jaan, whose two grandsons, Junaid, 13, and Ahmed, 22, were picked up by the paramilitary forces on Oct. 14, joining the thousands of young men and minors who have been arbitrarily detained amid a brutal crackdown in Kashmir since the Indian government revoked the special autonomous status of the region on Aug. 5. Jaan, 92, tried to protect her grandson Junaid, who cried as 20 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men dragged him out of the house. She would not let go of him until an officer hit her with a stick. Jaan said the paramilitary forces entered the village by the hundreds and rounded up young men and children. Soon they began beating them, along with older residents, asking about the whereabouts of militants who had burned a migrant laborer’s apple truck. Jaan’s neighbor Mohammed Yusuf Butt, who has acres of apple orchards, was despondent, suicidal. That same night his son, Shikir Ahmed Butt, went to the police station to inquire about the apple truck that had been burned. The Shopian police detained him and told his father that they would be slapping the draconian Public Safety Act against his 30-year-old son. The act allows for detention for up to two years without trial or due process. “They have taken my only son, my apples are rotting in the farms, and then they accuse us of shielding militants,” Mohammed told me. “First they took away our rights, now they accuse us of shielding militants.”Thirty minors were picked up in Shopian on Oct. 14, according to residents interviewed. Gulshan, 50, kept approaching the Shopian police station, where her husband was begging for the release of their two sons, Raees Ahmed, 11, and Liyaquat Ahmed, 14. They both attend a school in Srinagar but had come home to help the family with the apple harvest. “We are scared to send our children into the orchard, the CRPF is camping there, they see our children and detain them,” Gulshan said. She doesn’t know whom to fear more: the militants or the military forces. When I arrived at the Shopian police station to verify the claims of the family, Nazeer Ahmed, the second in command, told me he had no idea about the arrests; his phone had not been working for four days, he said. His colleagues exchanged smiles. Under constant surveillance and facing brutal repression and arbitrary detention, Kashmiris seem to be in constant mourning. In the streets in downtown Srinagar, some families sat quietly mourning the absence of their children. Mudassir Majeed, a 19-year-old studying business administration, arrived home on Aug. 4 to help his father, a sheep trader. The next morning, as he was helping his father herd the sheep from the truck, paramilitary forces dragged him into a van. When his father reached the police station, he was told his son had been sent to jail in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and they cited the Public Safety Act. “I dread when my son comes out, they will label him a terrorist,” Mudassir’s father told me. Nusrat Jahan, a doctor at the largest government hospital in Srinagar, tells me the population is suffering from borderline depression. “I have choked in the bathroom when cancer patients scream in pain and there is no morphine available to administer,” he said. “I have treated pellet injuries on 10-year-olds, and it feels as if I was operating on my own son. Our anger is spilling over. Ask the psychiatric ward. Patients are asking for drugs that can kill them in their sleep.”On Oct. 19, I visited houses in Khanyar and Rainawari in Srinagar. The areas are known for their protests, and every household told me of a detained child. Mubasshir Peer, a chemist who lives in Rainawari, told me that more than 300 children were picked up on the night of Oct. 18, a few weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at the United Nations. I was also able to interview Mohammad Shafi, one of the most senior members of the National Conference, a political party whose leaders have been under house arrest since Aug. 5. “Even if there is a day when the democratic process is ushered in Kashmir, what will any of our parties promise the people of Kashmir?” he asked. “That New Delhi will take decisions on their behalf while they lock Kashmiris down like lambs. Look at this government, it arrested an 80-year-old academic yesterday who just sat on the street with a placard.” He was referring to the arrest of 18 female academics and activists, including the wife of the former chief justice, Hawa Bashir, who sat on a silent protest in Srinagar to ask for the return of civil liberties. The women, including an 82-year-old academic with a pacemaker, were taken to jail and then released a day later on the condition that they would neither protest nor speak of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. It all reinforces the distressing silence in Jammu and Kashmir. When I asked people why they weren’t going to work, their response was fear. A government employee told me Kashmiris are keeping their children indoors. “We fear that they will take our children away,” he said. "I can tell you this is the apocalypse Kashmir feared. We are all lifeless here.” His 18-year-old nephew, Saquib Nazeer, has been lying in a hospital with 174 pellet wounds, including four in his heart, he told me. He is on life support. Kashmiris are avoiding Indian TV. The news reports showing “normalcy” fill them with rage. I watched as a journalist from the channel India Today talked about a new era of peace in Kashmir. (The same journalist was called out on Twitter a week ago for anchoring a 30-minute program praising a genocidal speech by a member of the paramilitary force). Kashmiri radio just plays songs — the announcers have been off the air since Aug. 5. Newspapers don’t publish editorials — only the official version of the story makes it to print. As I wrote this, “Boycott all Muslims” was trending in Indian Twitter. Most tweets are amplified by followers of Modi and his ministers. Some ask for a genocide against Muslims, others ask for the blood of Kashmiris. I think about the words of Nusrat Jahan, the doctor. Soon all Kashmiris could be either in jails or mental asylums. The world’s apathy — and the apathy of many Indians — is only perpetuating a climate of fear, silence and repression the region hasn’t witnessed in decades. But it’s time to take notice. On Tuesday, participants at a U.S. congressional hearing about human rights in South Asia singled out India’s actions in Kashmir. Francisco Bencosme, Asia Pacific advocacy manager at Amnesty International, said his organization had documented “a clear pattern of authorities using administrative detention on politicians, activists and anyone likely to hold a dissenting opinion before and after Aug. 5” in Jammu and Kashmir. More of us need to speak up. The world must hear the deafening silence from Kashmir. Looking the other way for strategic relations is not an option. Kashmir and her children are waiting for justice. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/23/indias-crackdown-kashmir-has-paralyzed-silenced-entire-communities/
7. AI submission: Oct., 24,2019: Amnesty International USA Submitted to the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation House Foreign Affairs Committee For a hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia: Views from the State Department and the Region” October 22, 2019 India The Government of India is desperately trying to crush dissenting voices and human rights work in India. The raid and subsequent freezing of accounts of Amnesty India is a recent evidence of a pattern of demonizing and criminalizing organizations and individuals, who have raised their voices against human rights violations. On 25 October 2018, Amnesty India endured a ten-hour-long raid as a group of officers from the Enforcement Directorate, a financial investigation agency under the Ministry of Finance, entered the premises and locked the gates behind them. Some of the staff were ordered to not leave, shut their laptops and not use their mobile phones. Most of the documents asked for during the search were available in the public domain or were already filed with the relevant government authorities. Details of our current structure, which was the focus of much of the questioning, have been available on our website since 2014. This action was taken in the absence of a formal complaint— a clear violation of fair trial guarantees. With their accounts frozen, Amnesty India’s vital human rights work was significantly set back. The Indian government is also attempting to tarnish Amnesty International’s reputation in India through selective leaks of evidence gathered during the investigations by the authorities to certain pro-government media outlets effectively weaponizing the media against it. Not only this, other organizations and individuals who work on human rights and justice are being targeted in a chillingly similar manner leading to arbitrary arrests or fear of reprisal. India’s 2010 Foreign Contributions Regulation Act was ostensibly introduced to address concerns about the risks to the “national interest” posed by foreign funding and foreign organizations. The Law lists individuals and organizations that are barred from receiving foreign funds; it requires licenses to be renewed every five years and provides for suspension of licenses and freezing of bank accounts during investigations. In practice, it has been used to target organizations who criticize the government and demand accountability. For example, groups who have criticized infrastructure and mining projects and those seeking justice for the anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 faced repeated questions about their work, threats of investigations and blocking of foreign funding. In 2014, an Intelligence Bureau report leaked to the press accused “foreign funded” NGOs like Greenpeace, Cordaid, Amnesty International and ActionAid of “serving as tools for foreign policy interests of western governments”, of having a negative impact on the country’s economic development and of being part of a “growth retarding campaign” to discredit India at international forums. In 2016, the government cancelled the licenses of thousands of NGOs for allegedly undertaking “activities not conducive to national interest”. We also note that those who work with and for advancing the rights of […] Dalits, Adivasis, LGBT communities and women, are being systemically targeted as well, in such raids across India. Often, this has resulted in arrests of key activists and journalists. Ten prominent activists, including Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen and Arun Ferreira, were arrested under draconian anti-terror legislation in Bhima Koregaon, Maharashtra state. A Dalit activist, Chandrashekar Azad “Ravan”, was held in administrative detention for 10 months without charge or trial. Women human rights defenders, who face reprisals for their human rights work and are subjected to gender-based discrimination, faced a torrent of online violence and abuse in India this year. Journalist Rana Ayyub and activist Gurmehar Kaur were threatened with sexual violence for exercising their right to freedom of expression. And offline, the civic space continued to shrink as the central government used the controversial Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 as a political tool to harass organizations critical of its views and actions. On June 18, 2019, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a criminal case against the Lawyers Collective for allegedly violating the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). Indian authorities have cited financial ‘irregularities’ and activities that are against ‘public interest’ and ‘national interest’ to cancel NGOs’ foreign funding licenses under the FCRA. Some organizations that have been targeted using this law are the Lawyers Collective, People’s Watch, Sabrang Trust and Navsarjan Trust, whose licenses remain suspended or cancelled. While the FCRA makes it extremely difficult for rights organizations to access funding, companies and political parties receiving foreign funds are held to far less restrictions and rarely face repressive consequences. Amnesty International India’s interactive website ‘Halt the Hate’ has found that reports of alleged hate crimes have witnessed the steepest rise in numbers since 2016. In the first six months of 2019 alone, 181 incidents of alleged hate crimes have been recorded by the website, nearly double than previous three years’ half-yearly counts. This highlights a very alarming trend in the country. Between January and June 2019, over two-third of the victims suffered harm on account of their Dalit identity followed by their Muslim (40), Adivasi (12), Christian (4) and their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity (6). Some of the alleged hate crimes against Dalits related to denial of access to public property such as roads, water, crematorium, schools etc. Cowvigilantism related hate crimes and honor killing were reported in 17 cases. In Assam, more than 1.9 million people have been left out from the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was published late August. Amnesty International expresses its deep concerns about the functioning of the 100 or more Foreigners Tribunals, which will decide whether those excluded from the NRC list are Indian citizens or not. Amnesty International has strongly urged the Assam Government to ensure that the Foreigners Tribunals function with utmost transparency and are in line with the fair trial standards guaranteed under national and international law. Instances of the Foreigners Tribunals declaring citizens as ‘irregular foreigners’ over clerical errors—such as minor differences in spellings of names or age in electoral rolls, or slight contradictions between answers given in cross-examinations and what is written in the documents—are appallingly common. Assam is on the brink of a crisis which would not only lead to a loss of nationality and liberty of a large group of people but also erosion of their basic rights – severely affecting the lives of generations to come. Amnesty, in its 2018 briefing, ‘Between Fear and Hatred: Surviving Migration Detention in Assam’ documented the inhumane conditions of the detention centres in Assam and the ill-treatment suffered by persons declared as foreigners and held in these detention centres. Many persons Amnesty spoke to in 2018 reported that fellow detainees were suffering from mental health problems. The facilities for treatment of mental health disorders within the prisons are highly inadequate. It also found that detainees face indefinite detention in overcrowded prisons where there is no segregation of detainees from convicts and undertrial prisoners. Former detainees interviewed by Amnesty had also said that the prisons were overcrowded with hardly any space to move or even turn around. Currently, there are 6 detention centres across Assam, and the state government is planning to set up 10 more centres. The Assam government in July 2019 had said that 25 people who were declared as foreigners died in detention due to illness. As many as 25 of these deaths occurred in the last three years. In a recent television interview, Union Home Minister, Amit Shah said there will be a nation- wide National Register of Citizens (NRC) before 2024. The extension of NRC risks the mirroring of discrimination and arbitrary deprivation of nationality, as observed in Assam to the rest of India which stands to result in wide-scale statelessness. Amnesty International India calls on the government to adhere to international human rights norms and stop the use of NRC as a political tool to render people, who have been living in India for decades and have established strong links with the country, stateless. On August 5, 2019, the Government of India unilaterally revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Article 370 guaranteed special autonomy to Jammu & Kashmir and gave it independence over matters excluding foreign affairs, defense and communication. This was followed by the enactment of the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act that aims to bifurcate the state of Jammu & Kashmir into two separate union territories on 31 October 2019. Union territories, as opposed to states, are governed by the central government. All these amendments and changes were made amidst a complete communication clampdown, curfew on movement and mass detentions of political leaders in the region. In September and October 2019, Amnesty International spoke to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, including those detained in the context of the larger clampdown, as well as with the lawyers representing detained persons; medical professionals working in both government and private hospitals in the capital city of Srinagar; journalists and editors of local media; and representatives of the regional political parties. Amnesty International reviewed photographs and documents presented as evidence of many specific events described during the interviews. At the time of conducting these interviews, while both mobile phone and landline services were restored in the Jammu region, only landline services were restored in Kashmir. Amnesty International documented a clear pattern of authorities using administrative detention on politicians, activists and anyone likely to hold a dissenting opinion before and after August 5. While the Central Home Ministry claims it has no information on the name and locations of detainees, media reports suggest that the number of detentions runs in thousands. The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) police recently accepted that about 144 children, as young as nine, have been taken into custody. In wake of the Block Development Council elections slated to be held on October 24 in Jammu Kashmir, few political detainees were released by the authorities on the condition that they must not indulge in any political activities and speeches. Political leaders are made to sign bonds for their release from detention undertaking that they will not make any comment/issue statement/make public speech/hold or participate in public assembly for a period of one year. Political speech cannot be prohibited under international law unless it constitutes a direct threat to public order, which has not been adequately demonstrated by the Government of India. These conditions also place unwarranted restrictions on political leaders, especially when most of them have been advocating for peace in the region. For instance, the last words of Omar Abdullah, the former chief minister of J&K before he was placed on house arrest, were a request for the public to maintain calm and not to take the law into their own hands. Moreover, the blanket nature of this condition does not fulfil the conditions of legality and proportionality as required under the international law. Instead, it stifles public debate and hampers political discourse. The cases documented by Amnesty international India clearly show the government’s witch-hunt to curb dissenting voices in Kashmir, including those of duly elected leaders which is against the representative and participative thread of India. An atmosphere of fear and reprisal has ensured silence from many quarters. This has been compounded through arbitrary detentions often without any kind of documentation, access to lawyers and recourse to justice. Amnesty International interviewed 5 young men who had been arbitrarily picked up by the security forces during raids in separate incidents since August. All of them reported use of excessive force by the security forces during their detention. Several of these cases amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, absolutely forbidden under international law. Amnesty International was told that after the story of their torture was telecasted by the international media channel BBC in early September, security forces went back to the homes of those tortured. Their homes were raided and their families were threatened of consequences in case they talk to anyone. Amnesty International during its research observed that the reality on the ground in Kashmir is very different from the narrative of ‘normalcy’ set forth by both the government and national news in India. One of the main reasons for this was the complete dependency on the government information in the absence of ground reports from local Kashmiri media. In several interviews with local journalists, editors and publishers conducted by Amnesty International India, it was repeatedly expressed that they felt threatened, intimidated or coerced into silence leading to the stark absence of voices from Kashmir. Amnesty International India believes that the intimidation and coercive attacks from security forces faced by journalists in Kashmir severely affects their independence in reporting and verifying the events unfolding in Kashmir since August 5, 2019. Freedom of press is crucial for holding institutions accountable and the present situation raises grave concerns of human rights violations that may occur yet remain unreported due to Government of India's near-total control over information coming out of Kashmir. Most importantly, this clampdown is effectively silencing the truth.
8. US House hearings Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k8UH4v-mv4. US House hearings on human rights in South Asia, Vol II; Ms. Kaul: .RSS is akin to Nazis: Kashmir is not a communal issue it has been communalized; Jummu massacre is an enlarged version of Janllianwala massacre; the question is about the consent of the people; Ms. Chatterji- Hindu majoratism is driving events in Kashmir; Shan and Modi were part of Gujarat massacre they have not apologized; the intent of this change is potentially genocidal; Mr. Bencosme- India threatened AI and raided offices etc. other NGO were also targeted; they have documented human rights violations in Kashmir; they have documented health issues n Kashmir; Dr. Mahmood- Kashmiri have been imprisoned by India; we are facing a very brutal regime; mental health is threathened; Ms. Houlahan- there have been numerous violent gender based incidents including rape and group rapes ; Mr. Levin- situation is very dire in occupied Kashmir; Assam tribunals do not meet international standards; Ms. Wild- no justification for the clamp down ; something has been hidden ; 370 abrogation is not a step to better women rights; union territory is a step backwards; Ms. Omar- Indian actions are wrongly termed as for the betterment of women rights; Mr. Lieu: violence against Christians is State sponsored; all other religions are persecuted; when the State sues violence and is also upholding justice is exactly why Kushneris want the matter to be internalized; Ms. Jayapal: laws are used to arbitrarily hold people or even kill people
Weekly update 7 : Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Oct., 15, 2019 to Oct.,21,2019
1. Afaan: Oct., 15, 2019: Afaan, spent a fortnight in a prison in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK), after police booked him under a stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). He was charged of protesting against Indian decision of revoking the special status to the region. A fortnight in a prison cell has completely changed Afaan, says his father Manzoor Ahmed Ganai. The Juvenile Justice Committee of the State High Court has confirmed the arrest of 144 juveniles. “He (Afaan) is very depressed and frightened. His whole body aches and there are visible scars on his back,” Ganai, toldA report prepared by the IOK Coalition of Civil society (JKCCS) and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), mentions how the detention of children was adding to the chaos. .https://tribune.com.pk/story/2080010/torture-detention-children-adds-rage-kashmir/
2. Women’s protest: Oct., 16, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops arrested several women after subjecting them to brute force during an anti-India demonstration in Lal Chowk area of Srinagar, today.. A large number of women including rights activists and leading academicians carrying placards gathered at the Pratap Park in Srinagar. As they started the march, the police swooped in on them and arrested several women including the daughter and the sister of former puppet Chief Minister of occupied Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, during the protest against the revocation of Kashmir’s special status. Ms Hawa Bashir, the wife of former Chief Justice of IOK High Court, Bashir Ahmed Khan, was also among the detainees. The protesters were dragged and subjected to torture by the police. This was the first anti-India protest of its kind in Lal Chowk area, the center of Srinagar, after 5th August 2019. https://kmsnews.org/news/
3. Detentions: Oct., 17, 2019: Wani is one of thousands of people reportedly detained in mass arrests in the disputed Himalayan region, which has faced a security crackdown since India’s prime minister, Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, revoked the Muslim majority state’s semi-autonomous status in August. Wani’s parents traveled around 1,000km (620 miles) by bus to visit him in Agra central jail last week. “You have no idea how I arranged the money for the travel,” his father, Ghulam Nabi Wani, said. “He has changed so much physically, he has become weak and he shivers while talking.” https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/oct/16/kashmir-families-live-in-fear-as-loved-ones-are-detained-far-from-home #FReeKashmir #SaveKashmir
4. Youth martyred: Oct., 17, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, Indian martyred three Kashmiri youth. The youth were killed in a fake encounter by the troops during cordon and search operations in Pazalpora area of Islamabad district. The martyred youth have been identified as Nasir Chadro, a resident of Arwani, Aaqib Ahmad Sheikh of Redwani and Zahid Ahmad from Bijbehara. https://kmsnews.org/news/
5. Children: Oct., 19, 2019: Children in Kashmir are prevented from accessing urgent medical care. Basic necessities — including baby food, milk and medicines are in short supply. Parents are not sending their children to school for fear they will be injured, detained or killed and have no way of communicating with them. Armed forces have illegally detained Kashmiri children and abused them, physically and sexually. Children have been shot in the eye by soldiers firing pellet guns and even marble slingshots. A 17-year-old boy recently died of tear gas and pellet gun injuries. Women in labor cannot access obstetric care for safe delivery, putting their newborns at risk. Fathers are randomly detained by the military; many disappear, leaving children behind. Local children’s organizations are being paralyzed by the blackout and lockdown while international organizations tasked with promoting children’s well-being, like UNICEF and Save the Children, have yet to initiate meaningful programs to address this crisis https://www.insidesources.com/children-are-the-largest-casualty-of-the-kashmir-crisis/
6. Fear: Oct., 19, 2019: Kashmiris are afraid to talk to the media and other outsiders, this is because if they do talk the Armed Forces either send to jail a family member or use violence. According to a report from Frontline People in the hinterland underscored the point that the forces had warned them of “reprisals” if they talked to the media about the “cycles of night raids and illegal detentions, including that of minors” Recently, a Turkish state international news channel came out with a report of torture of a 26-year-old boy from Hirpora village in Shopian, 65 kilometres south of Srinagar. As per this report, the boy was blindfolded, pushed into a vehicle and taken to the Army’s 66 Rashtriya Rifles B Company camp at Chowgam. At the camp, the report said, he was “stripped naked, waterboarded and forced to drink copious amounts of a horribly smelly liquid” before the soldiers tied him to a pole and inflicted blows on him and administered electric current. https://frontline.thehindu.com/dispatches/article29724488.ece?homepage=true
Weekly update 6 : Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Oct., 8, 2019 to Oct.,14,2019
1. Youth martyred: Oct., 10, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred two Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district, today.The troops martyred the youth identified as Ufaid Farooq Lone and Abbas Ahmad Butt during a cordon and search operation in Awantipora area of the district. Violent military operations are going on in Ganderbal, Bandipore, Kupwara, Baramulla, Srinagar, Islamabad, Kulgam, Shopian, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar and other areas of the territory for the past 12 days. https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/10/08/indian-troops-martyr-youth-in-iok-2/
2. LoC killings: Oct., 10, 2019: The Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to record a strong protest against the "unprovoked ceasefire violations" by Indian forces along the Line of Control (LoC) on October 6 and 7. An elderly woman had died and three other civilians had sustained injuries in the firing in Chirikot sector along the de facto border. https://www.dawn.com/news/1509718/pakistan-summons-indian-envoy-to-protest-killing-of-civilian-in-loc-ceasefire-violation
3. Apple: Oct., 11, 2019: Farmers in Indian-administered Kashmir say restrictions on communication and movement are having a devastating impact on their businesses. Communications lockdown has resulted in a major portion of the apple harvest to rot, the apple industry is the mainstay of the Kashmiri economy. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/kashmir-farmers-struggle-india-restrictions-191009144145230.html
4. UN: Oct., 12, 2019: Over 50 countries in the UN, including Turkey, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on Tuesday called on India to end human rights violations in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir."The worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian Administered Jammu & Kashmir, especially following decisions taken on August 5, 2019, requires urgent attention by the Human Rights Council and human rights mechanisms," the countries said in a joint statement. They also called for the immediate lifting of the curfew, ending the communications shutdown, and the release of political prisoners in Jammu and Kashmir. They also demanded were an immediate halt to the excessive use of force, especially the use of pellet guns, and unhindered access of human rights groups and the international media. They also asked for implementation of the recommendations of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) Kashmir reports, including establishment of a UN commission of inquiry to investigate "egregious human rights violations.". https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/un-asks-india-to-end-rights-breaches-in-jammu-kashmir-/1578339
Weekly update 5 : Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Oct., 1, 2019 to Oct.,7,2019
1. Minors detained: Oct., 2, 2019: Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir have detained 144 minors, including a nine-year-old, since the government removed the region's special status in August, a police list seen by AFP showed on Tuesday. Sixty of the minors are under 15, according to the document submitted to a committee appointed by India's Supreme Court to look into allegations of illegal detentions. Reasons given by the police for detaining the minors include stone pelting, rioting and causing damage to public and private property, the committee said in its report. https://www.dawn.com/news/1508397/9-year-old-among-144-minors-detained-in-occupied-kashmir
2. Youth martyred: Oct., 2, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops martyred one more Kashmiri youth in Ganderbal district, today. The troops martyred the youth during a cordon and search operation in Ganderbal town. The operation which was jointly launched by the Indian Army and paramilitary forces on Friday continued till last reports came in. Seven youth including three in Naranag area of Ganderbal district were killed by the troops on Saturday. Meanwhile, according to the data compiled by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, the troops martyred 16 Kashmiris including a woman and two young boys during the last month of September. Of those martyred six youth were killed in fake encounters. The killings rendered one woman widowed and two children orphaned. During the period, 281 people were injured due to the firing of bullets, pellets and teargas shells on peaceful protesters by Indian troops and police personnel. As many as 157 people including Hurriyat activists and youth were arrested. Twenty five residential houses were destroyed during siege and search operations during the month.https://kmsnews.org/news/2019/10/01/indian-troops-matyr-one-more-youth-in-iok/
3. Courts in limbo: Oct., 4, 2019: Thousands of people have been detained in Indian-administered Kashmir following a government move to strip the region of its special status. Worried family members have been flocking to the courts - but to little avail, reports BBC Hindi's Vineet Khare . Without a lawyer, Mr Lone is unsure of how to proceed - he has already submitted a habeas corpus petition to quash the charges against Shabbir. Habeas Corpus, which translates from Latin to "you may have the body" is a writ that traditionally requires a person detained by authorities to be brought to a court of law so that the legality of the detention may be examined. More than 250 petitions have been filed since 5 August, but none are being heard as the court has assigned only two judges to hear them. Apart from a lack of lawyers, the court is down to nine judges from the usual 17. "I don't know what else to do," said a despondent Mr Lone, adding that he is now taking care of Shabbir's family - his wife and two young children - and their 80-year-old mother. Tariq (name changed) who was also at the Srinagar court, said he was looking for a lawyer to represent his father-in-law who was arrested on 7 August. He said the 63-year-old was taken away by security forces close to midnight and spent several days at the local police station before being moved to Srinagar Central Jail. The dismal state of affairs in the Srinagar high court was raised in the Supreme Court, and even prompted chief justice Ranjan Gogoi to announce that he would visit Srinagar to see for himself if the situation was as bad as reported. He has not announced a date to do so as yet. But what it means is thousands of Kashmiris remain detained in prisons around the country. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49848899
4. US Senate: Oct., 5, 2019: In what could become the first step towards legislative action by American lawmakers against India on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has added an appeal to end what it calls a “humanitarian crisis” in Kashmir in its report ahead of the annual Foreign Appropriations Act for 2020.The amendment was proposed by Senator Chris Van Hollen, who visited Delhi this week as a part of a congressional delegation that discussed the Kashmir situation as well as India-U.S. bilateral relations, trade ties and defence purchases with key officials. According to the report, which was submitted to the Senate by Lindsey Graham, senior Senator and key Republican leader known for his close ties to President Donald Trump, the committee on Appropriations “notes with concern the current humanitarian crisis in Kashmir and calls on the Government of India to: fully restore telecommunications and Internet services; lift its lockdown and curfew; and release individuals detained pursuant to the Government's revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution.” What makes the report as well as the tough language on Kashmir more startling is that the document was submitted on September 26, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was still in the US, and came just a few days after his joint address at the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in Houston with Mr. Trump, as well as their bilateral meeting in New York. “This amendment, which was accepted unanimously by the bipartisan committee, is a strong expression of concern by the Senate about the situation in Kashmir and sends the signal that we are closely monitoring the human rights situation there, and would like to see the Government of India take those concerns seriously,” Mr. Van Hollen told The Hindu here, adding that he had “hoped to share his concerns privately” with Prime Minister Modi, but had not been able to meet him.. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/in-a-first-us-lawmakers-take-a-step-against-india-on-kashmir/article29598290.ece?homepage=true
5. Normalcy: Oct., 5, 2019: And for the hundreds and thousands of those of us who are made to sit caged in the Kashmir Valley, the rulers continue to sing that all's okay lullaby This, when everyone is getting caged for those caged. In 2018, Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) released a report titled - Terrorized: Impact of Violence on the Children of Jammu and Kashmir. This report is the assessment of the violence against children in Jammu and Kashmir in the last fifteen years (2003 to 2017).It also focuses on the grim reality that there are nil or near- nil legal and normative processes or practices protecting children's rights in Jammu and Kashmir, as minors have been booked under the repressive Public Safety Act (PSA). To quote from this report - "Children in Jammu and Kashmir are living in the most militarized zone of the world, with the presence of 7, 00,000 troopers, which exposes them to the risk of all grave six violations against children as laid out in United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child…The period from 2003 to 2017, witnessed not less than 318 killings of children (in the age group of 1 to 17) in various incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The killing of 318 children constitutes 6.95% of the civilian killings in last fifteen years, as 4571 civilians have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir in the same period (2003 - 2017). In the same period, i.e. from 2003 to 2017, at least 16,436 killings were recorded in Jammu and Kashmir, and the majority of them included alleged militants numbering at least 8537 killings. The numbers indicate that in the last fifteen years Jammu and Kashmir in an average year has witnessed at least 1,095 killings, which belies the government's claims of 'return to normalcy'…The pattern of killings of children in the fifteen-year period suggests that children were direct targets of state violence, as part of its stated offensive to curb uprising and militancy. At least 144 children were killed by Indian armed forces and state police in Jammu and Kashmir, which alone accounts for nearly half, i.e. 44.02 percent, of the total children killed. Most of the children, at least 110 of them, killed in state violence were shot dead in different incidents of violence, and not less than 8 children died due to injuries inflicted from pellet shot-guns fired by government forces. Twenty-seven children died to due drowning either caused due to the negligence of armed forces in Wular lake tragedy or being chased by government forces during a protest, where victims find no way of escape from the armed forces and forced to jump into water bodies, resulting in their death." In 2018, I heard the Head of the Journalism Department of the Islamic University of Science and Technology ( IUST, - situated on the outskirts of Srinagar, in Awantipora)), Dr Ruheela Hassan, speak at a seminar held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (Centre for Media Studies), focusing on the difficulties faced by the journalists in the Valley - To quote her from the report - " The struggle of media in Kashmir throughout its evolution is witness that the media in Kashmir has never enjoyed real freedom. Be it the Dogra Rule in 1924, nationalist government (1947-1953), Sheikh Abdullah (1948 - 1953), Ghulam Mohamad Bakshi (1953-1963), Ghulam Mohamad Sadiq (1964-1971), National Conference (1975-1982/1986-1990), media in Kashmir has never breathed in free air. At one time, the state was resistant to granting permission and when the permission was granted their freedom was curbed, strict laws and regulation like Jammu and Kashmir Press and Publication Act of 1932 were introduced and implemented to ban publications, seize printing presses, or demand heavy securities from the journalists…After India gained independence, it guaranteed freedom of speech and expression to all its citizens including the citizens of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, but nothing changed for the press. Older laws were amended and new laws were implemented to muzzle the press. …The inordinate circumstances in Kashmir from 1990s further worsened the scenario. Not only the freedom of expression was endangered, but there were now increased threats to the life of journalists. Their freedom of movement and right to assess information was also snatched. Several journalists lost their lives and many were put behind bars. Journalists also fought several battles with the state... Dr Ruheela Hassan had detailed, "a survey has revealed that 77% of the valley journalists said that they have faced restrictions of one form or other while performing their professional duties. 21 % of the valley journalists have been booked or summoned by the stake or national authorities (mostly booked under draconian laws like OSA, PSA, security of the state). 20 journalists killed.. Several kidnapped and illegally detained .More than 25 injured. 80% of valley journalists believe that no freedom of expression is enjoyed by them as guaranteed." http://www.kashmirtimes.com/newsdet.aspx?q=95173
Weekly update 4 : Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Sep., 24, 2019 to Sep.,30,2019
1. Samir Ahmed: Sep., 24, 2019: On 6 August, a graphic designer for the Rising Kashmir newspaper, Samir Ahmad, (in his early 20s) had remonstrated with a CRPF man near his home in the Manderbag area of Srinagar, asking him to allow an old man to pass. Later the same day, when Samir opened the door to his house, CRPF fired at him with a pellet gun, unprovoked. He got 172 pellets in his arm and face near the eyes, but his eyesight is safe. It is clear that the pellet guns are deliberately aimed at the face and eyes, and unarmed, peaceful civilians standing at their own front doors can be targets. (South Asian Wire). email@example.com
2. Children detained : Sep.,24,2019: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-india-49772269/the-detained-children-of-kashmir video of children being detained by Indian Occupation Forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir , https://tribune.com.pk/story/2063006/3-helpless-kashmiri-families-fear-children-occupied-valley-report/
3. Yawar Ahmad Butt: Sep., 25, 2019: In occupied Kashmir, a teenage boy lost his life after he was thrashed, humiliated and subjected to ruthless torture by troops at an camp in Pulwama district.The 15-year-old boy, Yawar , a resident of Chandgam, Pulwama was shifted to 's SMHS hospital in an condition where he succumbed .His members said that the boy was detained and beaten by the troops at the camp.He was asked to report to the camp next day. https://www.urdupoint.com/en/kashmir/troops-torture-claims-teenagers-life-in-iok-719222.html
4. Women: Sep., 26, 2019: team of 5 women visited Kashmir from September 17th-21st 2019. We wanted to see with our own eyes how this 43 day lockdown had affected the people, particularly women and children. The team consisted of Annie Raja, Kawaljit Kaur, Pankhuri Zaheer from National Federation Indian Women, Poonam Kaushik from Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan and Syeda Hameed from Muslim Women’s Forum. This Report is our chashmdeed gawahi (eye witness account) of ordinary people who have lived for 43 days under an iron siege.Shops closed, hotels closed, schools, colleges, institutes and universities closed, streets deserted was the first visual impact as we drove out from the airport. To us it seemed a punitive mahaul that blocked breathing freely. The picture of Kashmir that rises before our eyes is not the populist image; shikara, houseboat, lotus, Dal Lake. It is that of women, a Zubeida, a Shamima, a Khurshida standing at the door of their homes, waiting. Waiting and waiting for their 14, 15, 17, 19 year old sons.Across all villages of the four districts, peoples’ experiences were the same. They all spoke of lights, which had to be turned off around 8PM after Maghreb prayers. In Bandipora, we saw a young girl who made the mistake of keeping a lamp lit to read for her exam on the chance that her school may open soon. Army men angered by this breach of ‘curfew’, jumped the wall to barge in. Father and son, the only males in the house were taken away for questioning. ‘What questions?’, no one dared ask. The two have been detained since then. ‘We insist that men should go indoors after 6 PM. Man or boy seen after dusk is a huge risk. If absolutely necessary, we women go outside’. These words were spoken by Zarina from a village near Bandipora district headquarters. ‘In a reflex action, my four year old places a finger on her lips when she hears a dog bark after dusk. Barking dogs mean an imminent visit by army. I can’t switch on the phone for light so I can take my little girl to the toilet. Light shows from far and if that happens our men pay with their lives’. The living are inadvertently tortured by the dead. ‘People die without warning or mourning. How will I inform my sisters about their mother’s death?’ Ghulam Ahmed’s voice was choked. ‘They are in Traal, in Pattan. I had to perform her soyem without her children’. The story was the same wherever we went. People had no means of reaching out to loved ones. 43 days were like the silence of death. Public transportation was zero. People who had private cars took them out only for essential chores. Women stood on roadsides, flagging cars and bikes for rides. People stopped and helped out; helplessness of both sides was their unspoken bond. ‘I was on my bike going towards Awantipora. A woman flagged me. My bike lurched on a speed breaker. She was thrown off. I took her to the nearby hospital. She went in a coma. I am a poor man how could I pay for her treatment? How and who could I inform?’ These daily events were recounted wherever we went. At a Lalla Ded Women’s Hospital in Srinagar several young women doctors expressed their absolute frustration at the hurdles that had been placed in their way since the abrogation of Article 370. ‘There are cases where women cannot come in time for deliveries. There are very few ambulances, the few that are running are stopped at pickets on the way. The result? There are several cases of overdue deliveries that produce babies with birth deformities. It is a life long affliction, living death for parents”. Conversely, we were told that several women are delivering babies prematurely due to the stress and khauf (fear) in the present condition. “It feels like the government is strangling us and then sadistically asking us to speak at the same time,’ a young woman doctor said as she clutched her throat to show how she felt. A senior doctor from Bandipora Hospital told us that people come from Kulgam, Kupwara, and other districts. Mental disorders, heart attacks, today there are more cases than he could ever recall. For emergencies junior doctors desperately look for seniors; there is no way of reaching them on phone. If they are out of the premises, they run on the streets shouting, asking, searching in sheer desperation. One orthopaedic doctor from SKIMS was stopped at the army imposed blockade while he was going for duty. He was held for 7 days. Safia in Shopian had cancer surgery. ‘I desperately need a check up in case it has recurred. Baji, I can’t reach my doctor. The only way is to go to the city, but how do I get there? And if I do, will he be there?’ Ayushman Bharat, an internet based scheme, cannot be availed by doctors and patients. Women in villages stood before us with vacant eyes. ‘How do we know where they are? Our boys who were taken away, snatched away from our homes. Our men go to the police station, they are asked to go to the headquarters. They beg rides from travellers and some manage to get there. On the board are names of ‘stone pelters’ who have been lodged in different jails, Agra, Jodhpur, Ambedkar, Jhajjar.’ A man standing by adds, ‘Baji we are crushed. Only a few of us who can beg and borrow, go hundreds of miles only to be pushed around by hostile jail guards in completely unfamiliar cities.’ At Gurdwaras we met women who said they have always felt secure in Kashmir. ‘Molestation of women in rest of India about which we read is unheard of in Kashmir’. Young women complained they were harassed by army, including removal of their niqab‘. Army pounces on young boys; it seems they hate their very sight. When fathers go to rescue their children they are made to deposit money, anywhere between 20000 to 60000’. So palpable is their hatred for Kashmiri youth that when there is the dreaded knock on the door of a home, an old man is sent to open it. ‘We hope and pray they will spare a buzurg. But their slaps land on all faces, regardless whether they are old or young, or even the very young. In any case, Baji, we keep our doors lightly latched so they open easily with one kick’. The irony of these simply spoken words!. Boys as young as 14 or 15 are taken away, tortured, some for as long as 45 days. Their papers are taken away, families not informed. Old FIR’s are not closed. Phones are snatched; collect it from the army camp they are told. No one in his senses ever went back, even for a slightly expensive phone. A woman recounted how they came for her 22 year old son. But since his hand was in plaster they took away her 14 year old instead. In another village we heard that two men were brutally beaten. No reason. One returned, after 20 days, broken in body and spirit. The other is still in custody. One estimate given to us was 13000 boys lifted during this lockdown. They don’t even spare our rations. During random checking of houses which occurs at all odd hours of the night, the army persons come in and throw out the family. A young man working as SPO told us. ‘We keep a sizeable amount of rice, pulses, edible oil in reserve. Kerosene is mixed in the ration bins, sometimes that, sometimes koyla’.Tehmina from Anantnag recently urged her husband, ‘Let us have another child. If our Faiz gets killed at least we will have one more to call our own. Abdul Haleem was silent. He could see the dead body of his little boy lying on his hands even as she spoke these words. ‘Yeh sun kar, meri ruh kaanp gayi,” he tells us. A thirty year old lawyer from Karna was found dead in his rented accommodation. He was intensely depressed. Condolence notice was issued by Secy Bar Association. Immediately after that he was taken into custody. Why? We spoke to a JK policeman. All of them have been divested of their guns and handed dandas. ‘How do you feel, losing your guns?’ ‘Both good and bad’ came the reply. ‘Why?’ Good because we were always afraid of them being snatched away. Bad because we have no means now to defend ourselves in a shootout. One woman security guard said ‘Indian govt wants to make this a Palestine. This will be fought by the us, Kashmiris’. One young professional told us, ‘We want freedom. We don’t want India, we don’t want Pakistan. We will pay any price for this. Ye Kashmiri khoon hai. Koi bhi qurbani denge’. Everywhere we went there were two inexorable sentiments. First, desire for Azadi The humiliation and torture they have suffered for 70 years has reached a point of no return. Abrogation of 370 some say has snapped the last tie they had with India. Even those people who always stood with the Indian State have been rejected by the Govt. ‘So, what is the worth in their eyes, of us, ordinary Kashmiris?’ Since all their leaders have been placed under PSA or under house arrest, the common people have become their own leaders. Their suffering is untold, so is their patience. The second, was the mothers anguished cries (who had seen many children’s corpses with wounds from torture) asking for immediate stop to this brutalisation of innocents. Their children’s lives should not be snuffed out by gun and jackboots. As we report our experiences and observations of our stay in Kashmir, we end with two conclusions. That the Kashmiri people have in the last 50 days shown an amazing amount of resilience in the face of brutality and blackout by the Indian government and the army. The incidents that were recounted to us sent shivers down our spines and this report only summarises some of them. We salute the courage and resoluteness of the Kashmiri people. Secondly, we reiterate that nothing about the situation is normal. All those claiming that the situation is slowly returning to normalcy are making false claims based on distorted facts. https://www.change.org/p/india-the-kashmir-referendum-petition/u/25115588?cs_tk=Aii5nOAxkpYzCPB0j10AAXicyyvNyQEABF8BvMaYE8rynUgbgEtbSFOR62w%3D&utm_campaign=6e53293609bd451f8b5eda00bc5ecb4a&utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_update&utm_term=cs
Weekly update 3 : Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Sep., 16, 2019 to Sep.,22,2019
1. Electric shocks: Sep., 16, 2019: The soldiers came after midnight, Abid Khan says, his hands trembling, one of around two dozen young men in just one part of occupied Kashmir who say they have been tortured by the Indian army. Khan, 26, from Hirpora village in Shopian district, says he was dragged out and blindfolded along with his brother, who has learning difficulties, on August 14. “They gave electric shocks to my brother right on the road outside. I heard him scream painfully,” Khan told AFP, showing marks on his arms, legs and buttocks. Once inside the nearby Chowgam army camp, Khan said soldiers stripped him naked, tied up his legs and wrists, suspended him and beat him with rods. The camp major, Khan said, accused him of inviting Riyaz Naikoo from Hizbul Mujahideen — one of several armed groups fighting Indian rule — to his recent marriage. “I kept repeating that was not true,” Khan said. “Then they gave me electric shocks again on my genitals and wounds. One of them said 'I will make you impotent'.” After being released at dawn and barely able to stand, Khan says he kept vomiting for 10 days and only managed to start moving around again after 20 days.“I can't eat properly anymore,” he said. “I don't go into the room my wife sleeps in anymore [...] It's better to die with a bullet than undergo such torture.” People in Hirpora say they often hear screams from the army camp at night. Three other villagers told AFP they were also tortured. In total, around two dozen young men in the villages of Shopian told similar stories. “The army is making examples of two or three young men from each village,” said one resident of Shopian who has compiled a list. The pattern is often of soldiers raiding homes, taking identity cards and mobiles and telling young men to report to the camps to retrieve them. One 21-year-old, who declined to be named but shared with AFP photos of his wounds, said he has reported to the Pahnoo camp three times since August 27 and was abused each time. An officer accused him of giving food to Kashmiri fighters and then offered him money for information, he said. Another time, he was grilled about a former classmate who is now a fighter. “They gave me electric shocks inside a dark room for about two hours,” the man said, showing scars on his forearm. Obaid Khan, also 21, from Gugloora village said he had to go to the same camp to retrieve his ID and phone on August 26. “Eight soldiers kept beating me with rods for a long time. Before they let me go, they asked me to come back with names of stone throwers in my village,” he said, referring to protesters who clash with security forces. Sajjad Hyder Khan, a local official in Pinjoora village, told AFP he has seen a list of 1,800 people detained by police and soldiers from Shopian alone, one of the four districts in the southern Kashmir Valley. https://www.dawn.com/news/1505539/they-gave-me-electric-shocks-in-a-dark-room-screams-in-the-night-in-occupied-kashmir
2. HRW: Sep., 16, 2019: Human Rights Watch on Monday urged the Indian government to “immediately release detained Kashmiris who have not been charged with a recognizable offense”. HRW’s latest report, , documents the detention of over 4,000 Kashmiris, including politicians, activists, separatist leaders, lawyers, and journalists, who have been held in detention camps since India stripped occupied Kashmir off its special status on August 5. Approximately 400 elected officials and political leaders, as well as former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir belonging to the National Conference and the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party have also been detained. The human rights watchdog states that many detainees have not been allowed to contact their families or lawyers.“Anyone who has been detained in Kashmir without evidence of a crime should be immediately and unconditionally released,” According to an official document seen by Reuters, as of September 6, the authorities had arrested more than 3,800 people, and of them, 2,600 had been released. “The government should release a list of all detainees and their whereabouts,” the human rights watchdog urged .”The court also ordered Indian authorities to allow others, including the daughter of the detained former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, to visit their relatives.“The persecution of mainstream workers is shocking beyond belief,” Mattu told the media, adding “Several of my party men are under detention.” The Indian security forces have detained the family members of suspects, in cases when they failed to locate the suspects, citizens of the occupied valley told HRW. “This amounts to collective punishment, in violation of international human rights law,” the report states. The report asks the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council to urge India to end the collective punishment on Kashmiris and act on recommendations in the report of the UN high commissioner for human rights.“India is making a mockery of its human rights commitments by denying Kashmiris a voice in their future, jailing political leaders, and suspending basic freedoms,” Ganguly said. “The government’s heavy-handed measures are only making a bad situation worse.” https://tribune.com.pk/story/2057683/3-hrw-urges-india-immediately-release-detained-kashmiris/ #FReeKashmir
3. Torture videos: Sep., 18, 2019: In video recorded interviews, the victims allege that the Indian army subjected them to immense physical pain and psychological pressure. Khan, 26, said that on the night of August 13, Indian army soldiers tortured him inside a camp and filmed parts of it. He had passed out after being administered electric shocks. What happened during that unconscious state is what worries “What if they had committed be-satree and filmed that too? It is better to die in that case,” he said, using the Kashmiri expression be-satree that broadly defines various forms of sexual violence. He said a group of soldiers led by an officer entered his home in Hirpora, Shopian, about 65 kilometres south of Jammu and Kashmir's capital Srinagar. Several army vehicles were waiting on the road outside the house. A few soldiers grabbed his youngest brother Suhail, he said, and gave him an electric shock in the chest with the help of a handheld device. “Suhail passed out in the courtyard and was let off. They pushed me into a vehicle and took me to the camp, blindfolded,” said Abid. At the camp, designated as 66 Rashtriya Rifles B Company, at Chowgam, about eight kilometres from his home, Abid said he was stripped naked, water-boarded and forced to drink copious amounts of a “horribly smelly” liquid. “Two of them punched me in the gut until I vomited and urinated,” he said. Khan said his hands and ankles were tied with a rope. He was then hung from a pole. He said four soldiers took short run-ups and struck his buttocks, hips and back with batons. “As I struggled in pain, my wrists and ankles got bruised. The bruises became worse after every beating,” he said. Faded baton marks are still visible on his buttocks, 32 days after the beating. Khan showed these reporters a video of his swollen and blackened buttocks his family members had filmed the day after the torture.“They passed electric current through my body after dunking me in water. They did it several times. At one point, when I could take it no more, I feigned fainting. But another electric shock startled me. I prayed for death. Within no time I had passed out,” Khan said. After each brief reprieve, he said “worse would follow”. “When I regained consciousness, they hit my private parts with a stick.“One officer told me ‘I will end your life now.’ "He drew a red-hot iron rod close to my penis but stopped short of touching it. I cried a lot. His colleague told him ‘don’t do it. He has been married recently. After all she is our sister too’. They pulled skin near my private parts with a plier. It still hurts when I urinate. Once my entire body was bruised they rubbed salt into the wounds. These mountains are witness to my ordeal. They have heard my cries,” he said. Before the torture began, Khan said, an army officer told him that he had invited Riyaz Naikoo, the most-wanted Kashmiri rebel commander, to his wedding in July. The officer accused him of building a hideout for militants in his home, which stands in the middle of an eight-acre apple orchard. “I told him go and bulldoze my home to the ground and if you find there is a hiding place anywhere, set the entire thing on fire. But if there is none, build me a fresh house. The [army] Major became angrier. He wanted me to confess, anything,” Khan said. “He then told me to confess that Naveed Baba [a militan] has been hiding in the home of my neighbour Peer Sajad. I told him why would I falsely accuse somebody of something I know nothing about?” Khan said that on August 13 he was taken to an army medical facility where several injections administered to him at intervals “made the pain disappear and me light-headed”.“I could even sit on my bruised buttocks,” he said. Two “kindhearted Sikh medics” shouldered him to the gate of the camp. Khan was released in the evening and his family members were waiting for him outside the entire day. He said the officer threatened him that if he were to visit any doctor or file a complaint with the police, all his family members would be detained. His wife, father, brother and the village head were asked to sign some papers, he added. At home, he started vomiting intermittently and the pain recurred. “I told my family we should visit a hospital. At first, they didn’t agree but when the pain became unbearable we went to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar at 1am so that nobody saw us leaving,” he said. His hospital medical record reads: “Trauma due to assault by security forces”. His buttocks were swollen and had turned purple. After 10 days of treatment, an acquaintance advised him to leave the hospital so as to avoid being noticed by Criminal Investigation Department personnel. “Had we stayed the police might have filed an FIR [a report for criminal investigation]. We are very scared,” Khan said. Locals say four other youths were detained and beaten up at the same camp. Although they have been released, none of them was present in the village at the time when these reporters went to their respective homes. The sister-in-law of one of them said he too had been given electric shocks and beaten with sticks but “not as severely as One such raid was conducted on the home of Idris Malik of Bagander locality in Shopian town at midnight on August 7 by the soldiers of the same 66 RR camp at Chowgam. At the camp, Malik said he was told that “your neighbour”, a militant who hails from the same locality, has been injured. “They said ‘who has been taking medicine to him?’” Malik said. “How would I know? They beat me up the entire night with sticks and gave me electric shocks. My hands and ankles were tied with a rope and I was hung upside down from a bar. My face was covered with a cloth and several buckets of water were thrown at it. At one point I felt so cold that I feared my blood would freeze,” he said. “In the morning leashed dogs were brought in to scare me. I was made to stand in the open and stare open-faced at the sun. My mouth dried up and when I asked for water they put a stick in my mouth and said it should stay in the mouth,” Malik said. The 27-year-old courier worker said he was told to inform on “incidents”, apparently meaning militants’ activities or stone throwing protesters, in his locality.“I told them I am scared of both sides. When I got sick of the beating I even told them that yes we are all militants, my father is a militant,” he said. He was released in the evening the next day after medics administered the unknown injection which made the pain go away. He was also given some pills and lotion was applied on his wounds. The injuries on his ankles have not healed fully. Tiny black spots beneath the kneecap, he said, are the places where the current was passed through his body. His hospital medical record dated August 8 reads, among other things, “multiple trauma on buttocks”. Obaid’s father Muhammad Ashraf said that on the night of August 26 the soldiers raided his house and took away his son’s ID card, asking him to present himself at the camp the next day. Ashraf and a neighbour, who accompanied Obaid to the camp, were seated and served tea while Obaid was taken to a room he said was dark.“I was beaten for a pretty long time with sticks and gun butts. From the neck to the feet no part of my body was spared. They punched my face and head. My wrists and ankles were tied with a wire and then they gave me electric shocks,” Obaid said. Ashraf said his son was “almost dead” when they let him go. “We took him to the sub-district hospital in Shopian. The doctors said he is under severe pressure,” the father said and added that the army has withheld Obaid’s ID card, asking him to provide a list of stone-throwers and militant sympathisers in his area. “He can hardly sleep since the day he was detained. The sound of vehicles scares him. He fears they are coming for him again. It is worse than hell for us,” Ashraf said. A 21-year-old man in Pinjoora village of Shopian said his ID card too was taken away during the night raid on August 8 and he was asked to report at the Pahnoo camp the next day. At the camp, the soldiers stripped him naked and beat him up after tying him to a pole. “With a blade they made long cuts in my legs. The Major asked me to become their informer and provide information about Omar Dhobi and Shakir Pal [both militants]. I told him I don’t have any information about them. He said ‘you have no other option.’” him.https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/india-s-torture-methods-new-claims-emerge-from-disputed-kashmir-29879
Weekly update 2 : Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Sep., 10, 2019 to Sep.,17,2019
1. UNHRC: Sep., 10, 2019: The United Nations human rights chief on Monday said she was "deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions" by the Indian government on the human rights of Kashmiris. In her introductory address for the start of the Human Rights Council's latest session, Michelle Bachelet aired concerns over India's actions against Kashmiris as well as unlawful killings and injuries of Palestinians by Israeli security forces. "While I continue to urge the governments of India and Pakistan to ensure that human rights are respected and protected, I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people's access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained," she urged."It is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future." https://www.dawn.com/news/1504391/un-rights-chief-deeply-concerned-about-impact-of-indian-govts-actions-on-rights-of-kashmiris
2. Communications: Sep., 11, 2019: The troubled region where some 10 million people live had been placed under a security lockdown on 5 August, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped it of its autonomy and downgraded its status. The isolation is exacerbated by an unprecedented communications blockade: landline phones, mobiles and the internet were suspended. Kashmir sunk into what a local editor called an "information black hole". More than a month later the blockade remains in place. The woman had put pen to paper after she came across a Facebook post from a freelance Kashmiri journalist who was visiting Delhi. On a whim, he had posted a message on the social networking site, saying people from his home district in Kashmir could send him messages for their families with their addresses. He would, he wrote, "try his best to reach every address" on his return. Two days later, Mr Sayed flew back to Srinagar with 17 such messages on his phone from people around the world. They were addressed to family and friends who lived in three districts of southern Kashmir, the most restive region in the Muslim-dominated valley. Many had sent digital messages. Others had written letters on paper, photographed them and sent them via Facebook Messenger. The Delhi-based woman - who is not a Kashmiri - was one of them. In her letter, the anxiety triggered by the communications blackout is evident. She writes of how her "fingers have turned sore" dialing numbers in Kashmir without success, and "frantically at night I get up to check my messages, dial a few numbers and go through the pictures of my holiday in Kashmir over and over again". Back in Kashmir, Mr Syed became an itinerant messenger. He drove out of Srinagar to deliver the messages to homes in shuttered towns and villages. His lifeless mobile phone had turned into a carrier of precious tidings. India has more than a billion mobile phone subscribers and 560 million internet subscribers - it is one of the world's fastest growing digital markets. In comparison, there are only 23 million landline phones. But in Kashmir people are applying for new landline connections or trying to restore unused ones. As the shutdown entered its second month, more such phones sputtered back to life. But people complain that they are often not able to get through to "working" lines. On the streets security forces have set up free makeshift phone booths - a plastic table, a few chairs and a working Chinese-made phone - and some police stations are offering free calls. At one booth, Manzoor Ahmed's dilemma was illustrative of how the blockade is hurting people and livelihoods. The 55-year-old shawl trader was trying to call customers outside Kashmir who owed him money. "They sent me cheques. I went to the bank [some of the banks are open], but they said they have no connectivity and are not able to process the payment. So I am walking around town and looking for a phone to call my customers and ask for a bank transfer," he says. "It was a very emotional time," says Ms Masrat. "Everyone in the room was sobbing." Another time, a man arrived and called his son to inform him that his grandmother had died some days ago. And when even landlines are difficult to get through to, Kashmiris living elsewhere in India and abroad are flooding a local news network with messages to their families.,Gulistan News, a Delhi-based satellite and cable news network, has been receiving messages and videos that it plays on a loop during and between news bulletins. It also carries messages from locals in Kashmir. The network says it has run hundreds of messages of cancelled weddings - this is peak wedding season in Kashmir - on an extra scrawl on its English and Urdu language bulletins, as well as video messages from people living outside the region. One morning last week, Shoaib Mir, 26, arrived in the network's office in Srinagar with a curious request: could they help him track down his missing father? The 75-year-old from Bemina, some 12km (7.5 miles) away, had gone out for a morning walk the previous week and disappeared. Mr Mir says they searched far and wide and drove miles before filing a missing person's report at a police station. "There are no people on the roads, everything is shut, and the police are busy enforcing the shutdown. Maybe a video message from me with my father's photograph will help track him down," he says. While the channel has helped connect families, it struggles to do its work. The shutdown has hurt local media like never before. It has made newsgathering difficult. A courier from a news network flies to Delhi every day carrying three to five 16GB pen drives containing footage and news. The material is then edited and broadcast from the office in Delhi.Local newspapers have shrunk to six to eight pages from the usual 16 or 20. For weeks, some 200 journalists crowded around 10 internet-enabled desktops at a makeshift government media centre in Srinagar. Here, they access email, send stories, pictures and video. Couriers download news from the wires onto their pen drives and run to the newspapers to help them fill the pages. Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of Kashmir Times, has petitioned the Supreme Court challenging the information shutdown and curbs on the movement of journalists. She calls it a "grave violation of human rights". The shutdown, she says, also means that media cannot report on developments and residents of Kashmir don't get access to information available to the rest of Indians https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49631186 s
3. hutdTorture: Sep., 11, 2019: The Indian soldiers descended on Bashir Ahmed Dar's house in southern Kashmir on August 10, a few days after the government in New Delhi stripped the disputed Himalayan region of its autonomy and launched a crackdown. Over the next 48 hours, the 50-year-old plumber said he was subjected to two separate rounds of beatings by soldiers. They demanded that he find his younger brother, who had joined rebels opposing India's presence in the Muslim-majority region, and persuaded him to surrender or else "face the music". In a second beating at a military camp, Dar said he was struck with sticks by three soldiers until he was unconscious. He woke up at home, "unable to sit on my bruised and bloodied buttocks and aching back", he said. But it was not over. On August 14, soldiers returned to his house in the village of Heff Shirmal and destroyed his family's supply of rice and other foodstuffs by mixing it with fertiliser and kerosene. In more than 50 interviews, residents in a dozen villages in Kashmir told The Associated Press that the military had raided their homes since India's government imposed a security crackdown in the region on August 5. They said the soldiers inflicted beatings and electric shocks, forced them to eat dirt or drink filthy water, poisoned their food supplies or killed livestock, and threatened to take away and marry their female relatives. Thousands of young men have been arrested The abuses in the night-time raids by troops began in early August as New Delhi took action on Kashmir, according to interviews with at least 200 people. The change in status nullified decades-old constitutional provisions that gave Jammu and Kashmir state, as it is officially called, some political autonomy and land inheritance rights. In the village of Parigam, the family of baker Sonaullah Sofi was asleep when army troops raided his home. The soldiers took his two sons into a street, hitting them with gun butts, iron chains and sticks, Sofi said."Helpless, I heard my sons scream as soldiers started beating them up mercilessly in the middle of the road," Sofi said. Soon, soldiers brought 10 more young men to the village square, seeking names of anti-India protesters, said Muzaffar Ahmed, Sofi's 20-year-old son, recounting the August 7 incident."They hit our backs and legs for three hours. They gave us electric shocks," Ahmed said, lifting his shirt to show his burned and bruised back."As we cried and pleaded [with] them to let us go, they became more relentless and ruthless in their beating. They forced us to eat dust and drink water from a drain." Since the crackdown began, at least 3,000 people, mostly young men, have been arrested, according to police officials and records reviewed by the AP. About 120 of those have been slapped with breaches of the Public Safety Act, a law that permits holding people for up to two years without trial, the records showed. Thousands of others have been detained in police lockups to be screened for their potential to join protests. Ahmed, the baker, said the soldiers finally left at dawn, leaving them writhing in pain. He and his elder brother along with at least eight others were then bundled into a single ambulance and taken to a hospital in Srinagar. For years, human rights groups have accused Indian troops of intimidating and controlling the population with physical and sexual abuse and unjustified arrests. Indian government officials deny this, calling the allegations separatist propaganda. Abuses alleged by rights groups since 1989 have included rape, sodomy, water boarding, electric shocks to the genitals, burns and sleep deprivation. The UN last year called for an independent international investigation into allegations of rights violations like rape, torture and extrajudicial killings in Kashmir. India rejected the report as "fallacious." Parvez Imroz, a prominent rights lawyer, said the new reports of abuse in the security forces' ongoing campaign were "disturbing”. Fear and anger are palpable in the villages that dot the vast apple orchards, especially after sundown, when the soldiers come. Abdul Ghani Dar, 60, said soldiers have raided his home in the village of Marhang seven times since early August, adding that he sends his daughter to another location before they arrive. They say they've come to check on my son but I know they come looking for my daughter," Dar said, his eyes welling with tears. Residents of three other villages said soldiers had threatened to take girls away from their families for marriage."They're marauding our homes and hearths like a victorious army. They are now behaving as if they have a right over our lives, property and honour," said Nazir Ahmed Bhat, who lives in Arihal. In early August, soldiers came to the home of Rafiq Ahmed Lone while he was away."The soldiers asked my wife to accompany them for searching our home. When she refused, she was beaten up with gun butts and sticks," Lone said https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/netanyahu-announces-post-election-plan-annex-jordan-valley-190910155523634.html
4. Anchar Protest: Sep., 12, 2019: Prayers had barely finished when the teargas was fired and a trail of smoke arched in the sky. Security forces had launched another assault on Anchar, the only major pocket of resistance in Kashmir. “Others have only heard the word doomsday, we have lived a doomsday,” said Fazi, a grandmother who lives in Anchar, a suburb of Kashmir’s main city, Srinagar, situated on the banks of a lake of the same name. Teargas and pellets were fired into a park near to the shrine where crowds were attending prayers, she said. Residents rushed to the frontline on Anchar’s outskirts, barely 500 metres away, to push back against security forces. She said the assault, on 30 August, lasted five hours. “It was like rain. There were pellets everywhere, smoke everywhere,” she said. Saima and two of her sisters – 14-year-old Maysara and 12-year-old Qurat – were wounded by pellets during the assault. A metal pellet pierced Maysara’s eye. She was smuggled to her aunt’s home elsewhere in Srinagar and underwent treatment in hospital. Qurat was wounded in the head. Saima was hit on the neck and arms. “First I felt like hot sand was thrown on me and then I felt my neck is burning,” said Saima. She was treated at the shrine late in the evening by doctors who had been smuggled into the neighbourhood. They administered painkillers and injections to prevent infections. “I don’t know how [Maysara] is, whether she is still admitted or she has been discharged,” said Subhan. The communications blackout means people have no idea if their relatives are safe. Fazi’s 22-year-old grandson, Bilal, was blinded in his right eye by a pellet. “The bleeding was not stopping, so we sent him to the hospital but doctors said they cannot save his eye,” said Bilal’s father, Mohammad Ramzan. “The doctors recommended that we should take him to a specialised eye hospital outside Kashmir.” He was smuggled out of the city. Ramzan has no idea where his son is or if he is safe. More than 100 pellets were lodged in his body, neck and head, he said. “It was very painful. When I was hit it was like a hundred needles had pricked me.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/11/kashmiri-suburb-indian-control-anchar-srinagar
5. Custodial death: Sep., 12,2019: Handwara, Indian-administered Kashmir — At dawn on September 3, the Indian police raided the house of Zareena Begum in north Kashmir's Handwara district and arrested her 24-year-old son Riyaz Ahmad Thickrey, a daily wage labourer. Begum, who's partially blind, couldn't fathom the arrest, which looked like a sudden abduction. Far away in the remote forests of Handwara, 96 km away from Srinagar city, Begum's mud hut is perched on a low-lying hill. For the next few hours, she roamed from terrain to terrain, calling her son's name, hoping that he may return soon. But on September 4 at midnight, the police picked up Riyaz's uncle Shabangi from his home. Once they reached the police station, Shabangi enquired about Riyaz. “They said he [Riyaz] is in the toilet,” Shabangi told TRT World. The toilet, he said, was in front of the police lock-up. As Shabangi opened the toilet door, he was startled to see Riyaz lying face down on the floor, completely motionless. The police told him that Riyaz had hung himself to death in the toilet and it was a case of suicide. Terrified at the sight, he looked for traces of blood and found none on the spot. Although the police maintain that their "preliminary investigation" suggests that Riyaz committed suicide, the family cries foul, and counters the claim saying he's been murdered in police custody.The police sent Riyaz's body for post-mortem. A court inquiry was initiated and on the morning of September 5, the body was returned to the According to the region's prominent human rights organization, the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), most of the probes ordered to investigate 108 cases of human rights abuse since 2008 — including nine custodial killings — have failed to initiate even a single prosecution and the families still await justice.
6. Missing Son: Sep., 13, 2019: When my son Yasir went to fetch bread in the morning and didn’t return promptly, I started pacing with worry outside the house. What if the security forces manning every corner had roughed him up, or even worse? My fear is the fear of every single person living in shock in Kashmir and wondering “What next?” Eventually he returned, explaining that the delay was due to long queues at the only bakery open in the entire area. But unlike Yasir, my son Javaid has never returned. Nothing can make you used to the terror of nocturnal raids by security forces. It was 18 August 1990, and we were living in Srinagar, at the height of an uprising against the Indian occupation. In the early hours of the morning, a neighbour came to tell us that my son Javaid, only 16 years old, had been taken away by the National Security Guard – one of many paramilitary forces operated by the Indian government in the valley. At first I wasn’t fearful, as I knew this was a case of mistaken identity. My son had never quarrelled with anyone, let alone been part of any armed uprising. As the day passed, my anxiety increased as efforts to trace him failed. I ran from one police station to another, from one known torture centre to another detention camp to be told, “Do not worry, he will be released”. He did not return. From 1997 until today, Javaid’s file, along with those of all Kashmiri victims of armed forces in the India-administered region, has remained secret. Not a single permission has been granted by the central government to prosecute any official facing allegations of grave human rights abuses. They threatened me, they tried to buy me, they suggested I was a bad mother for neglecting my other children and for taking my infant daughter with me to wait endlessly in front of police stations and the courts, they spread rumours about my motives, they harassed me, they raised false charges against me – they wanted me to give up. But I never stopped asking “Where is my son?” Between 8,000 and 10,000 Kashmiris have been victims of enforced disappearance. I was never a political person but the fire of my own suffering and the anguish of other parents prompted me to start the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). I started visiting the families of the disappeared in every part of Kashmir to listen, offer support and encourage action. Ours is not a conventional organisation of activists but a community of sufferers who share pain, support each other and live with hope that our disappeared children will be returned. From informal gatherings to hunger strikes in public, from vigils in parks to seminars at educational institutions in both Kashmir and India and visits to universities and the UN, we are seeking the answer to our questions – Where have you taken our sons? Where are our husbands. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/12/son-kashmir-disappeared-india-truth-fate-siege
7. Asrar’s death: Sep., 13, 2019: Indian officials insisted Asrar Ahmad Khan was killed by a stone, but medical records show he was struck by a tear gas canister and then shot in the face with pellets. A 17-year-old boy was playing cricket in a Srinagar park when, according to witnesses and his family, a paramilitary convoy made up of eight military vehicles pulled up. Six of the cars moved on but Indian security forces poured out from the two that remained behind.“They fired a tear gas canister that hit Asrar’s head” the teenager’s father, Firdous Ahmad Khan told TRT World. Asrar’s friends and cousins, who were at the park on August 6 evening, described the incident as “unprovoked”. “There was no protest. In fact there never is a protest in our locality,” Adil Ahmad, the teenager’s elder cousin, said. He added that after he was hit by the canister Asrar was further struck by a hail of shotgun pellets fired by Indian forces. Firdous Ahmad Khan describes his son Asrar as a well behaved and studious child.“He was very obedient towards his elders. He never talked in a loud tone,” he said. For 29 days, Asrar remained in critical condition at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), where doctors treated him for injuries caused by the tear gas canister and shotgun pellets. On September 3, Asrar died .His death certificate, obtained by TRT World, recorded the death as being due to “pellet injury with shell blast injury”. decision.Because of the clampdown it was near impossible for Asrar’s friends and family to challenge the official narrative of his death. However, medical records clearly demonstrate that the Indian narrative was inaccurate. Asrar’s x-rays show dozens of pellets embedded in his skull and a picture of the teenager taken soon after receiving his wound show his face pockmarked with fresh pellet-sized scars. https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/witnesses-and-medical-evidence-rebut-indian-account-of-kashmir-teen-s-death-29692
8. Arrests: Sep., 14, 2019: Authorities in Indian Kashmir have arrested nearly 4,000 people since the scrapping of its special status last month, government data shows, the clearest evidence yet of the scale of one of the disputed region’s biggest crackdowns. In an attempt to stifle the protests that the reform sparked in Kashmir, India cut internet and mobile services and imposed curfew-like restrictions in many areas. It has also arrested more than 3,800 people, according to a government report dated Sept. 6 and seen by Reuters, though about 2,600 have since been released. More than 200 politicians, including two former chief ministers of the state were arrested, along with more than 100 leaders and activists from an umbrella organization of pro-separatist political groups. The bulk of those arrested - more than 3,000 - were listed as “stone pelters and other miscreants”. On Sunday, 85 detainees were shifted to a prison in Agra in northern India, a police source said. Rights group Amnesty International said the crackdown was “distinct and unprecedented” in the recent history of the region and the detentions had contributed to “widespread fear and alienation”. “The communication blackout, security clampdown and detention of the political leaders in the region hasmade it worse,” said Aakar Patel, head of Amnesty International India. In the 24 hours before the report was compiled, more than two dozen people were arrested, mainly on suspicion of throwing stones at troops, the data showed. The data did not include those under informal house arrest, nor people detained in a round-up of separatists that began in February after a bomb attack by a Pakistan-based militant group on Indian troops. Days before India’s move to strip Kashmir of special status, one prominent separatist leader told Reuters that more than 250 people with links to the movement were already in detention. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-kashmir-detentions/thousands-detained-in-indian-kashmir-crackdown-official-data-reveals-idUSKCN1VX142
Weekly update 2 Sep., 10, 2019 to Sep.,17,2019. Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir, rape, extra judicial killings, curfew, communications lockdown, https://javedrashid.blogspot.com/2019/09/weekly-update-human-rights-violations.html
Weekly update 1 : Human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir from Aug., 5, 2019to Sep.,7,2019
Medicines in short supply
Extract from: Hospitals In Kashmir Short Of Supplies, September 1, 20198:21 AM ET LAUREN FRAYER, https://www.npr.org/2019/09/01/756427938/hospitals-in-kashmir-short-of-supplies
Kashmiri doctors say a curfew and Internet shutdown have left hospitals dangerously low on supplies. The government denies that, and has arrested doctors who complained. It's been nearly four weeks since India cut phone lines and Internet in its only Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir. It did this to prevent protests right before it revoked the state's autonomy. But doctors and human rights groups say these measures may now be endangering lives, as NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from New Delhi.
FRAYER: His 80-year-old grandfather managed to get treatment and is now resting at home in Kashmir, though Mehboob has no way of checking on him. The student insisted on giving only his first name to protect his family. This week, Kashmiri doctors held a one-day strike. They, too, say hospitals are running short on supplies and are unable to process insurance claims. Fearful of arrest - and thousands of Kashmiris have been in recent weeks - the doctors held signs that read, this is not a protest. This is a request.
FRAYER: This urologist, Omar Salim, told local TV that low-income patients are eligible for free treatment, but that without the Internet, he hasn't been able to verify their medical records. Patients have been forced to buy their own drugs, he said. And they can't afford to do that for much longer. . Spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters in Delhi
MEENAKSHI GANGULY: They have not been able to reach their loved ones. But additionally, the Internet is also something that people depend on now to check in on medical records or give access to insurance. So it is becoming a big challenge. .
FRAYER: It turns out Younis is a cancer survivor himself. Last year, a bunch of Kashmiris crowd funded to raise money for his treatment. Now his cancer is in remission. And he's trying to pay it forward by carrying three giant duffel bags filled with medicine back to those who need it in Kashmir. Lauren Frayer, NPR News, New Delhi.
Meenakshi Ganguly reports: “This is not a protest. This is a request,” read the placard Dr. Omar Salim was holding outside a government hospital in Srinagar last week. He wanted the Indian government to lift the shutdown on phones and internet in Jammu and Kashmir state, in place since August 5. He felt the blackout was preventing patients from obtaining government health benefits. For this, the police promptly detained him, according to various reports. Salim is not alone in raising concerns that the security lockdown in Kashmir – which has restricted basic freedoms – is preventing people from getting proper health care.
In an August 16 letter in the medical journal BMJ, 19 doctors from across India asked the government to ease restrictions on communication and travel, saying they were “a blatant denial of the right to health care and the right to life” because they made it difficult for patients and staff to reach hospitals without hindrance. The British medical journal Lancet also raised concerns over the health and safety of Kashmiris under the lockdown.
Indian authorities claim the restrictions are necessary to save lives by preventing violent protests. However, the government’s broad and indefinite denial of basic communications not only violates the right to share and receive information, it also infringes on other rights, such as ensuring the highest obtainable standard of health.
For example, a journalist from Kashmir wrote about his sister who suffered a miscarriage: “The doctors at the hospital regret that the ban on communication prevented them from real time communication to the senior gynecologist that could have saved the baby.” On August 9, a stillborn baby was born to parents who, with the suspension of transport, had to walk to a district hospital after developing complications.
From chemotherapy to dialysis, patients are struggling to access lifesaving treatment on time. Salim explained that poorer patients are unable to receive free medical care under a government insurance scheme because that requires phone or digital connectivity to access records
The Indian government’s actions in Kashmir cannot be at the expense of Kashmiris’ rights. Shutting down doctors who speak out is not going to solve the real problem of lives at risk. Instead, the authorities should take all necessary steps to ensure people are able to obtain health care and emergency services.
Journalists in the region complain of harassment by authorities, with many accusing security forces of deleting their camera footage and pressure to report "normalcy"."This is a unique situation. None of us had seen anything like this in the past. Even in the worst of times in Kashmir, we were able to file our stories," said Muzaffar Raina as he waits to access his email at a Media Facilitation Centre in the main city of Srinagar.
Since the night of August 4, the region's seven million residents have been placed under a curfew and denied telephone and internet access. Raina says the situation is "unprecedented". The restrictions were imposed to prevent backlash over India's Hindu nationalist government's decision to strip the country's only Muslim-majority state of its limited autonomy, triggering the worst political crisis in the region in more than 70 years.
Raina said the curbs are in place "to prevent the truth from going out". "For the first few days, I was not able to send anything," he said, adding that a friend working for a television channel then offered to help.
"I would make a video of the text. My friend would use his OB [outdoor broadcasting] van to send the video to his office, where someone would send it to my office in [New] Delhi, where they would type the story," he said.
Peerzada Ashiq, who reports for The Hindu newspaper, also said he could not send his report or contact his office for the first few days, until he mailed his story in a flash drive to New Delhi.Like Raina, Ashiq also sought a friend's help to send the story through the OB van.
Many journalists complained of being harassed by the security forces patrolling the streets. S Ahmad, who works as a videographer for an international TV channel, told Al Jazeera that he was forced to delete footage from his camera by the security officers after he recorded a protest in Srinagar. "I was made to delete my footage at least three times. You give them a proof of the organisation you work for, but the forces don't listen," he said.
Ahmad said a paramilitary trooper told him to film "the normalcy" and not the protests. "They are dictating how we should work."We risk everything to tell a story. People trust us with their stories and it is heartbreaking to let them down in such a state."
A journalist from south Kashmir's Pulwama district, the hub of Kashmir's rebellion, said he has not filed any story since August 4, the day the latest clampdown started."The forces do not allow us to work. People are reluctant to talk because they blame us for not showing the true story," he said on condition of anonymity. "So I preferred to be locked in my home. Taking out a camera was tough in this
"The local media is avoiding reports about the human rights violations, even skipping reports about local protests, clashes, large-scale arrests and detentions, not daring to question the official propaganda, and sticking to government handouts, even if they fail to make sense on the ground," it said. Many journalists said it is not the same for journalists from outside Kashmir. "Many national journalists, some of whom are supported by the Indian government, are able to move freely and meet officials and go anywhere," said a KWJA member on condition of anonymity."But curbs are only on us.
Life in the Occupied Kashmir Valley:
Srinagar, and indeed the entire valley of seven million people, is under and saturated with security forces who have blocked off traffic in large parts of the city. There is also a general strike, called by no one, but observed by everyone, so that virtually all schools, colleges, and shops are closed. The internet and mobile phone networks are dead.
I came to Srinagar two weeks after a constitutional blitzkrieg by India’s Hindu nationalist BJP government that sought to impose a radical new status, and effectively annexe this disputed territory. Kashmir is part of the ‘unfinished businesses of the partition and decolonisation of British India in 1947 – a Muslim majority princely state whose Hindu ruler acceded to independent India rather than under the fog of war. In Kashmir valley, which is over 95 per cent Muslim, Indian rule is manifestly resented, and there is widespread support for azaadi (independence), often erupting into street protests, stone-pelting, and strikes that last for days I’ve travelled to many conflict zones over the years, including Jaffna during the civil war, and I’ve never seen anything quite as oppressive and claustrophobic.
I have been off-grid in Srinagar for two days now, but I still keep reaching reflexively for my phone. For everyone else here, it is day 18 of groundhog day. Every day is just like yesterday: there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go, no phones, no internet, no idea when it’ll end, and the security forces are watching suspiciously from every corner. For weeks now, people haven’t been able to speak to relatives abroad or even the rest of India.
New Delhi’s approach to Kashmir, and indeed to the other ethnic separatist insurgencies in sensitive border areas has long been about asserting firm military domination over a hostile population. But beyond the sticks of counter-insurgency, Indian rule always rested on a number of carrots designed to win popular consent, including economic development schemes, political autonomy under local elections, and a special status within India’s federal structure. It is another matter that these provisions are largely formalistic, have been whittled down over the years, and have generated a pliant pro-India political elite who are viewed with scorn by the public
For long, mainstream Indian political leaders had grudgingly accepted the inevitability of negotiations with Pakistan and the Kashmiris themselves, in order to arrive at a final status agreement. Kashmir is, after all, no ordinary internal insurgency, but the subject of an international dispute, so that leaving aside the instrument of accession signed by the Maharaja, or Nehru’s failed promise of a plebiscite, India’s de facto control of the Kashmir valley rests on the basis of a military ceasefire line dating from 1948
Amit Shah’s bill, announced for the first time ever in parliament on 5 August, passed through the upper house the same day, the lower house the next day, and was signed into an Act by the president three days later, while most of Kashmir was under lockdown and its leaders in jail. Barring a judicial challenge, it will become the new reality on 31 October. The 12 million people of Jammu and Kashmir were informed of this fate after the fact, and learned of it through television news.
Everyone knows this is collective punishment and imprisonment, carried out by Hindu nationalists who make no bones about the fact that they hate Muslims and want to drive them out. With the moderates locked up and publicly disgraced by their erstwhile patrons, the options presented to Kashmiris are now are much simpler – they are the extremes of total capitulation or total defiance. also wanted to talk.
Two Kashmiri brothers show the BBC the injuries they sustained from what they said were beatings by Indian army officers.
Villagers living in known anti-India regions in Kashmir claim that Indian army officer have beaten them with sticks, given them electric shocks, and filled their mouths with mud when they screamed, according to a BBC report from the region.
Two unnamed brothers living in a village known to be a hub of anti-India militant groups told the BBC's Sameer Hashmi that they were woken up and gathered alongside nearly a dozen other men from their village, and beaten up even as they protested their innocence.
Here's what one of them told the BBC:
"They beat us up. We were asking them: 'What have we done? You can ask the villagers if we are lying, if we have done anything wrong?' But they didn't want to hear anything, they didn't say anything, they just kept beating us.
"They beat every part of my body. They kicked us, beat us with sticks, gave us electric shocks, beat us with cables. They hit us on the back of the legs. When we fainted they gave us electric shocks to bring us back. When they hit us with sticks and we screamed, they sealed our mouth with mud.
One of the men then said that they asked the soldiers to: "Just shoot us."
"I was asking Allah [God] to take me, because the torture was unbearable," he continued.
The BBC did not name the men, noting that they declined to reveal their identities for fear of persecution. It also did not name the six villages it visited, but said they were in southern Kashmir and were known hubs for anti-India resistance.
Here are details of the other allegations reported by the BBC:
· One man said he was pushed to the ground and beaten with "cables, guns, sticks, and probably iron rods," by 15 to 16 soldiers, and that they "pulled my beard so hard that I felt like my teeth would fall out."
· A man whose brother had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, a prominent anti-India and pro-Pakistan militant group in Kashmir, had his hands and legs tied, was hung upside down, and beaten "very badly for more than two hours."
· Another man said Indian security forces ordered him to take off his glasses, clothes, and shoes, and proceeded to beat him "mercilessly with rods and sticks" for almost two hours when he said he didn't know and couldn't name any anti-India protesters in his village.
· "Whenever I fell unconscious, they gave me shocks to revive [me]," the man said.
· India has detained some 3,000 people, from activists to local politicians, in what authorities say are pre-emptive and designed to maintain regional stability.
· India has also imposed a state-wide communications blackout on the region — a common strategy to stop people from organizing protests or spreading unflattering news about India.
· Internet and phone lines remain cut, and soldiers continue to seal off large chunks of roads in Kashmir. Local journalists are unable to report the news.
Living through Kashmir’s Communications Blackout
“Human rights are being snatched away as we speak.” By Pranav Dixit , Last updated on September 3, 2019, at 4:42 a.m. ET, Posted on September 2, 2019, at 9:10 p.m. ET
For 29 days, the residents of Kashmir, the conflict-ridden state in northern India, have been living in a black hole. On midnight, Aug. 4, India's Hindu nationalist government abruptly wiped out the legal autonomy that the disputed region has enjoyed for decades, and shut down the region’s internet. It isn't the first time that internet services have been shut down in Kashmir. According to the Software Freedom and Law Centre, a New Delhi–based digital advocacy organization, this was the 55th internet shutdown in Kashmir in 2019 alone. But Kashmiris who spoke to BuzzFeed News said that the scale of this particular blackout was unprecedented — in addition to mobile internet services, landline and broadband services are frozen, and most local television channels have been turned off.
Four weeks into the blackout, life in Kashmir has come to a standstill, with pharmacies running out of essential medicines, newspapers unable to function, and strict curfews making it impossible to move around after dark. And the situation doesn’t seem to be improving: On Friday, India imposed fresh restrictions on Kashmir, telling people to stay off the streets.
To better understand what is happening to ordinary people, BuzzFeed News spoke to five Kashmiris who have been in and out of the region: a college student desperately trying to reach her parents, a restaurateur who turned his Instagram into a communications hub, a man desperately trying to ship medicine to his father-in-law, a startup founder cut off from the marketplace, and a college student trapped indoors.
Here are their stories.
Amirah, college student, New Delhi
I moved to New Delhi from Kashmir a month ago for an undergrad degree in political science. When the internet and telephone blackout happened, my mental health plummeted. I kept dialing phone numbers constantly, but I couldn't contact Mom and Dad in Kashmir. I don’t know if they are OK. The last time I spoke to my parents was five minutes before they shut down the phones and the internet in Kashmir on August 4. We knew something was going to happen, but nobody knew what. "Don't panic," my mom told me before she hung up.
In Kashmir, we're used to having the internet shut down frequently. But usually, it comes back in a few days, and the phones still work. For the first two days I held on. On the third day, I started panicking. I felt numb. I didn't go to college that day. Everybody around me who had families in Kashmir was freaking out too. We just kept talking to each other for emotional support.
I stayed in Kashmir for nine days before coming back to Delhi, and it was like living in a black hole. We weren't allowed to step outside our houses because there was a curfew. We had no contact with the outside world. At one point, the Indian military wouldn't even let us walk on the street immediately outside my house. We didn't know if people living across the street from us were OK. We didn't know whether our relatives who live around the Valley were OK. Eid was especially hard. It's our biggest festival and everyone usually visits each other's houses each year at this time, but this year, nobody did.
I think one of the worst parts of living through this blackout has been the way nationalist news channels in India have covered the situation in Kashmir by trying to portray it as normal. It's propaganda.
Javid Parsa, restaurateur, New Delhi
Kashmir is my home and it's in trouble. Why wouldn't I help my people? Dealing with medical emergencies seemed to be an obvious priority to try and help out with. I have a sizable following on Instagram, so I decided I could use it as a platform to help my people out.
The communications blackout has spawned a medical emergency in Kashmir. Each day, I get three or four people traveling to Kashmir messaging me and offering to carry and deliver medicines and other essentials to people's families who are stuck there unable to ask anyone for help. Just yesterday, we found five patients in Southern Kashmir who urgently needed blood pressure medication. Thanks to my Instagram, we were able to find a guy driving there from Delhi who was able to carry the medicines and deliver them. Unfortunately, thanks to the blackout, the people who do receive these medicines have no way of letting me know right now.
There have been a couple of times when I've had to buy medicines myself and hand them over to someone traveling to the region, but to be honest, given what's happening, it's not a big deal. If the internet and telephones continue to remain shut, however, and pharmacies and hospitals in Kashmir run out of medicines, we might need to find some way to connect the larger Kashmiri community working in Delhi and other cities in the country and raise donations to buy medicines for people there.
The most worrying part for me right now is how silent most people in the rest of the country are about the communications blackout in Kashmir. Human rights are being snatched away as we speak.
Zameer, marketer, Dubai
I live in Dubai, but my father-in-law, who has had chronic lymphocytic leukemia for the last six years, lives in Kashmir. It's a kind of blood cancer for which he needs specialized, expensive medication each month, without which he cannot survive.
So far, we've been paying a pharmacy in New Delhi, one of the few places in the country that actually stocks this medicine, to ship it to him in Kashmir, but ever since the internet and telephone blackout, they haven't been able to. He ran out of his last dose on August 8, three days after the blackout started. He's in no condition to travel to Delhi to get it.
Javid has been using his Instagram to help people with medical emergencies in the valley. He's also a friend from college. I was desperate, so I had the pharmacy ship my father-in-law's medication to him in New Delhi. And thanks to someone he found through Instagram, he was able to send it to my father-in-law's house. He missed his dose for more than 15 days, but he's gotten it now.
I feel extremely lucky, but my story is probably an exception. I don't know how many families out there have had to suffer because of the blackout. Every single one of them has a story to tell — if only they could talk to the world.
Sheikh Sami Ullah, startup founder, Srinagar
I'm the founder of a one-year-old startup that handles deliveries and shipment logistics for more than 200 artists in Kashmir who sell handicrafts on Instagram — and the blackout has not only frozen my business but also robbed them of their livelihoods.
Every month, we deliver more than 15,000 items across the country. Ever since the blackout started, we've delivered nothing. We earn around Rs. 20 lakhs (nearly $30,000) each month. This month, we've earned nothing.
I sunk every single penny I earned into this business, and I'm on the hook for a loan from a bank. I'm not sure how I'll pay it back if this blackout doesn't clear up — and right now; it's showing no sign of getting better. I think if this goes on for another month, I'm going to have to give up being an entrepreneur and find a job just to sustain myself and pay my loan.
I spent 15 days in Srinagar during the blackout and felt completely paralyzed, mentally and physically, because of the communications blackout and the strict curfews. When I came back to Delhi, it felt like I was in another world in another time.
I’m hoping. I’m praying. It’s all I can do right now.
Hadiya Ahmed, college student, Dubai
I'm a third-year psychology student in Dubai. My parents are Kashmiri and I go back once or twice a year. I was there for a month before and two weeks after the blackout.
It was 11:05 p.m. on August 4 when they shut off the internet and 1:10 a.m. on August 5 when they turned off phone calls and SMS. I remember because I was on a call with someone who was supposed to fly out the next morning, and then it snapped off. It felt kind of normal; because it wasn't the first time they did it. We thought it would be for a day or two, but it went on. I never found out if my friend made it out or not.
With no stepping out of the house, it felt like solitary confinement. I was this close to losing my mind. I mean, it's 2019. How can you survive without phone calls and the internet?
Losing Kashmir’s autonomy broke my heart. I had a lot of anxiety and panic attacks and I barely ate anything for a week. Nobody celebrated Eid because nobody felt like it.
On the third day, it stopped feeling "normal." I tried to read books, but I couldn't. I thought I could tolerate it, but not having anybody to talk about it with makes you feel like standing on top of the world and screaming and telling people that you're dying.
Eventually, our television turned off too, because there wasn't any way to pay the bill online. It was seven of us in one house — my granddad, uncle, his wife, and three kids. The kids went mad. The youngest is 11 and usually spends most of her time watching YouTube videos. The 16-year-old usually plays PUBG and Minecraft a lot, and the eldest, who is 20, is always on social media and watches a ton of movies and TV online, and they couldn't do anything.
The worst part of having the landline phones disconnected was that it cut us off completely from older relatives like my maternal grandmother who lives by herself. We worried about her constantly and didn't really have a way to check on her. Eventually, to visit her, we would leave the house at 4 a.m. to visit her to avoid the Indian army's curfews on the roads.
- A man died in Indian Kashmir nearly a month after being injured in a protest, officials said on Wednesday, confirming the first such death since India revoked the region’s autonomy. Relatives pray next to the grave of Asrar Ahmed Khan, who died on Tuesday night after succumbing to wounds during a protest on August 6, in Srinagar, September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Ismail Asrar Ahmed Khan, 18, from the region’s main city Srinagar, died on Tuesday night in hospital, succumbing to wounds he suffered a month ago, officials said. Some protesters said Khan was hit by a tear gas canister, though authorities suspected a stone struck him, Singh said. Media have reported at least two other deaths during protests, but authorities have denied that.
Torture: Sep., 6, 2019: Haleema had to begin her journey at dawn, travelling through deserted roads from her home in southern Kashmir's Shopian district and waited at a park outside the central jail in Srinagar, the main city in the Muslim-majority region.Two hours past noon, Haleema was still waiting and uncertain if she would be allowed to meet her husband, Bashir Ahmad."He was picked 20 days ago," she said, "like they pick everyone else.""They don't need a reason and we cannot ask questions," she said. The number of detentions and arrests made across Indian-administered Kashmir in the past month, since New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of the Indian constitution that granted the region a limited autonomy, is not known as officials have remained tight-lipped. Al Jazeera show that, since August 5, there have been 588 incidents of stone throwing, 458 of which were reported from the main city of Srinagar where some of the old parts of the city are still under restrictions. Official figures show that 3,500 people have been arrested and 350 of them have been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) - a law that allows lengthy detentions without trial. The figures say that only 135 people have been wounded in the last month. At his home in Srinagar's Anchar neighbourhood, 54-year-old Mohammad, who identified himself only by his first name, said he fears for the future of his children. "Our children will suffer," he said. "If we remain silent now, what will happen to them," the father of four said. Anchar, a neighbourhood on the northern edge of Srinagar, has been a major flashpoint for the past month as families defended the neighbourhood from multiple raids by Indian police and paramilitaries. Bano, a 30-year-old nurse, said she treated nearly 300 young men and women from Anchar who had been wounded by pellet guns because residents feared they would be detained if they went to hospitals for treatment. "On Friday (August 30), more than 200 people were injured. I treated these people with my limited equipment and took out pellets from their bodies inside the mosque," she said. Later that evening, a doctor and a male nurse from a nearby hospital sneaked into the neighbourhood with a box of medicines. "We managed to help the injured, some youth had 100 and some had 200 pellets in their bodies. But when someone is hit in the eyes, it is impossible to do anything," she said adding that many of the injured are lying at home and have yet to receive proper treatment. Bano said she used a forceps, eyebrow tweezers and a knife to operate on the wounded. "I also took out pellets from the bodies of four women," she said. Youths have set up groups to keep a night vigil on the neighbourhood's entrances. Aijaz, 25, said he is part of the daily guard duty to defend the front lines of Anchar and participated in protests during the past month."We are not resisting for our own selves," he said, "but for the future of Kashmir"."We were praying on Friday at the mosque and forces came and fired pellets on the worshippers," he said. Aqib's cousin was also wounded as he tried to escape a chase and fell after jumping a barricade. His arm and leg were fractured. "Even the ambulances were not allowed to come here and help the wounded. We do not go to hospitals because we fear they will detain us and send us to jails outside for years. We will die here but we won't leave this place," he said. Nusrat, a young female resident, said she was frightened even inside her home where she lives with her seven sisters and parents."They target everyone, man or woman, young or old," she said."At night, we don't dare to sleep because we fear the night raids and more fear for women and young girls."On Friday, they had cut off water and electricity supply to punish us. We are not pelting stones but they provoke us," she said. The water supply was later revived. "They want to exhaust us, they want us in submission," said 45-year-old Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Rainawari. "But they are wrong". The lockdown has also taken a toll on Kashmir's economy, which has gone into freefall. At the park outside the central jail, Shazia had travelled from northern Handwara town, nearly 80km from Srinagar, to meet her brother. "My brother is an imam," she said. "He was arrested for using a loudspeaker during his sermon".Shazia said her brother has been booked under the PSA, a law described as "lawless" by Amnesty International. She said her eight-year-old niece had cried for days as she insisted on seeing her father. "We came so she could see her father," Shazia said.
Hospitals; Sep., 7, 2019: For the past two weeks, Mohamad Shafi has been at the bedside of his 13-year-old son Rafi, who has been admitted to the nephrology ward of a state-run hospital in Indian-administered Kashmir's main city of Srinagar. Shafi is tired and has hardly had much sleep, but the 54-year-old is prepared to stay at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) hospital for as long as it takes.Rafi suffers from a chronic kidney ailment and needs dialysis every 15 days, a medical procedure that cannot be done at his village in Tangdar area of Kupwara, a frontier district some 100 kilometres northwest of Srinagar."We can't go anywhere for now. My son needs medical care which isn't available in Tangdar. So we are planning to stay at the hospital until the situation improves," Shafi told Al Jazeera. On the nights of August 20 and 21, Shafi took his ailing son to the hospital. He said he was stopped at multiple security checkpoints set up by the Indian security forces along the way. "We were supposed to get his dialysis done on August 15 itself, but couldn't do it. Due to the restrictions, everything was shut and we were scared to go out," said Shafi."But when he fell sick, we pleaded with a neighbour who owns a vehicle to bring us here." Shafi said that dialysis for his son costs 2,800 rupees ($25) each time. While the government-run hospital treats patients at a subsidised price, it does not provide the medicine required for this procedure. Patients are supposed to buy the medicine needed for dialysis from outside the hospital. Amid the lockdown, the medicine is not always available at the nearby pharmacies.A medical staff member at SKIMS hospital, who did not want to be identified, told Al Jazeera that many patients at the hospital have run out of money to buy the critical medicines. At the Sri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital in Srinagar, Surendar Prasad Goyal and his daughter, Priya, who are from Chhattisgarh state in central India, wait anxiously outside the operation theatre.Earlier this week, Goyal's 16-month-old grandson Lucky suffered a serious accident at the brick kiln he and his daughter worked at in Anantnag district of Kashmir.While doctors carried out surgery on Lucky immediately after he was admitted, he is still not stable. Goyal said he was able to reach Srinagar by ambulance at the district hospital in Anantnag. While he had the money he needed for the surgery, he is not sure how long will it last."We have been out of work for days. Whatever little we had saved has been used to pay for the medicines and other bills," he told Al Jazeera. Mumtaza Dar from Beeru village in Budgam district was scheduled to undergo surgery at the SMHS hospital on August 10, but she could not make it to the hospital due to the restrictions placed by the Indian authorities. Forced to delay her medical needs, the chronic piles patient bled for weeks. As her condition at home worsened, her family hired a vehicle to take her to Srinagar last weekend. A doctor at the SMHS hospital, who did not want to be named, said the inflow of patients had dipped by less than half as people were delaying going to the hospital because of the uncertainty over the lockdown. The doctor also told Al Jazeera that at least 60 victims of pellet gun attacks had been treated at his hospital in the last month https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/chaos-crisis-kashmir-hospitals-month-long-lockdown-190905205741695.html
Media muzzling: Sep., 8, 2019
India's government is muzzling Kashmir's media as part of the lockdown it imposed on the disputed region a month ago, according to a new report by two rights networks. The study comes after Delhi revoked Kashmir's special autonomy on August 5 and sent in tens of thousands of extra troops to reinforce the half a million already there.
Published earlier this week, the study said reporters were being subjected to surveillance, informal investigations and harassment for publishing reports considered adverse to the government or security forces. Titled "News Behind The Barbed Wire", its findings reveal "a grim and despairing picture of the media in Kashmir, fighting for survival against the most incredible of odds." It also highlighted that recent editorials in major Kashmir papers covered only harmless topics, such on the benefits of Vitamin A and "Should you consume caffeine during summer?"
"This is intrinsically undemocratic and harmful, as it privileges the voices of authority and weakens those who speak truth to power," the report said of the situation faced by the media in Kashmir. Published by the Network of Women in Media, India and the Free Speech Collective, the report was prepared by two journalists who spent five days in Indian Kashmir and spoke to more than 70 journalists, local administration officials and citizens. The government has also restricted movement and curtailed phone and internet services, ostensibly to control unrest in a region where separatists have waged an armed rebellion against Indian rule since 1989.
Since August 5, at least 500 protests and incidents of stone throwing have occurred and some 4,000 people have been detained, according to multiple sources. Five civilians have also died, the army said this week, blaming the deaths on stone-pelters and militants. https://news.yahoo.com/india-throttling-kashmir-media-report-says-102513182.html
1. Curfew: Sep., 9, 2019: India on Sunday imposed curfews in several parts of the contested Kashmir region, after clashes between security forces and Shi'ite Muslims taking part in a procession, officials and eyewitnesses said. At least 12 locals and six troops were injured on Saturday evening, officials told Reuters, as the worshippers on the traditional mourning procession of Muharram clashed with troops trying to stop it. Troops used tear gas and pellet guns on the crowd, which insisted on carrying on with the procession, one in a series held at this time of the year, and pelted stones at security forces, an Indian official who declined to named told Reuters. "The clashes continued till late night during which the troops fired tear gas and pellets," he added The most recent clashes occurred in Rainawari and Badgam, two Shi'ite majority areas of Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir's main city. The five km (3 mile) procession route that passes through the city centre has been barricaded by armed troops wearing helmets and bullet proof vests. On Sunday, police vans fitted with loud speakers announced curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar's city center Lal Chowk and adjacent areas, according to two Reuters witnesses."People are advised to stay indoors and not venture out of their home," the police announced. Suhail Ahmed, a Rainawari resident, said that there have been frequent clashes in the area for last three to four days as troops have been trying to block the procession.