There is a very famous local proverb that 'even an ant would retaliate fiercely to a much bigger opponent when it finds its very survival at stake'. Militarily, there is no comparison between the men in armour wielding automatic firearms and those with stones and slogans as their only weapons. This scene has been a routine feature of the lives of people in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) since 27 October 1947 – the day the state of Jammu & Kashmir was turned into a prison by the India's occupation forces. The unarmed Kashmiris including men, women, schoolgoing boys and girls, and aged people continued to be subjected to humiliation and disgrace by the Indian military personnel merely for being Muslim Kashmiris. The proverbial retaliation from the over-crushed and incessantly mortified local Kashmiris was inevitable.
The ongoing Intifada in Occupied Kashmir is in fact a natural but indigenous reprisal from suppressed Kashmiris who are now fully prepared to sacrifice everything to liberate themselves from tyrannical suppression of the Indian usurpers they have been subjected to for decades. The list of atrocities on hapless Kashmiris is very long and cruel. Time, by itself, has only been the most authentic testimony of horrors that unfold everyday in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the atrocities perpetrated on the people who want to end forced military takeover of their homeland. Since the beginning of the recent uprising in July last year after the Indian forces martyred young Burhan Wani, the Kashmiris have feverishly been demanding an end to India’s cruel rule spanned over 70 long and bloody years. The few news items or video-clips appearing now and then on social media are able to divulge only the tip of an iceberg of atrocities being inflicted by Indian forces on Kashmiris. To camouflage their atrocities, no journalists, human rights and humanitarian organisations, or even tourists are allowed by India to enter into the valley since long. Horrific accounts of carnage will invariably come out once the Kashmiris are able to cast away the iron curtain wrapped around them by the Indian occupation forces.
The amount of torture, killings and rapes perpetrated on Kashmiri people by Indian armed forces’ personnel has already set a new record of brutalities – leaving the Nazis far behind. Everyday incidents of gashing of eyes, chopping off vital body-parts, use of ever-new methods of persecution during unending curfews would surely embarrass Hitler's death squads and gas-chambers for being too soft in contrast to India's state-sponsored butchery. Every new day in occupied Kashmir witnesses the Indian Army's devilish acts of gang-rapes, burning of the agitators alive, torching of villages and crops, destruction of their business and economic life; if truth be told, a complete genocide of the Kashmiri people in utter defiance of international human rights laws. Yet the international human rights bodies as well as the highly alienated western media are pleased to look-the-other-way; in exactly the same fashion they conduct themselves with respect to human sufferings in Palestine at the hands of Israel.
An impartial analysis of the happenings in IOK transpires that it is in fact the vicious free-hand and undue immunity given to the Indian military personnel under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which not only made the lives of the Kashmiris miserable but also increased the gravity of the resistance over the years. Retaliation of the Kashmiris stands justified when seen in the backdrop of AFSPA provisions giving Indian occupation forces an utterly unbridled powers against any native of Kashmir who appears a likely trouble-maker, such as;
•Fire upon or use other kinds of force even if it causes death.
•Arrest without a warrant anyone who is suspected of having done an offence, and may use force if needed for the arrest.
•Enter and search any premises (or vehicle) in order to make such arrests.
•Provide legal immunity to army officers for their actions against prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding while acting under this law.
Nor is the government's judgment on why an area is found to be disturbed subject to judicial review.
By observing 27 October every year as the Kashmir Black Day, the Kashmiris all over the world remind themselves of the day when their freedom was treacherously seized by Indian occupation forces seven decades back. Despite being painfully quiet, the world at large knows that people in Indian Occupied Kashmir have undeservedly been pushed to the wall. Since the start of the ongoing Kashmiri ‘Intifada’, thousands of young Kashmiri freedom-seekers have been brutally tortured and killed by Indian security forces either during their forced disappearances, illegal custody or extra-judicial executions while enjoying total impunity under AFSPA at the same time. Though half-heartedly, the US State Department and a handful of international NGOs have lately shown concerns over the so-called counter-terrorism operations of India under which it inflicts human rights abuses including disappearances, torture and arbitrary executions of Kashmiris. Despite having been subjected to worst inhuman experiences over the years, the people of Kashmir have developed a firm belief that 'now there is no way back'. The annual observance of 27th day of October as Kashmir Black Day expresses a strong and unflinching resolve by Kashmiris that their crave for freedom from Indian subjugation would never diminish; rather it will increase with every passing day and with each new act of Indian cruelty in the valley.
The writer is a freelance contributor and can be reached at mongolhawkgmail.com