Kashmir violence

Editorial Board
January 25, 2022

Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir is once again in the news for the state terrorism occupying forces perpetrate on the people there. Kashmiri people have seen the conflict wreak havoc on their...

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Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir is once again in the news for the state terrorism occupying forces perpetrate on the people there. Kashmiri people have seen the conflict wreak havoc on their homeland for decades and India’s brutal crackdown has not in any way dampened the freedom struggle. The territory that India wants to maintain as a disputed land under its occupation has seen a fight for freedom that has raged for at least 30 years now. Citizens of Kashmir may hear a knock on their doors anytime and find themselves surrounded by Indian soldiers wielding rifles. According to reports, it has become a common practice for the occupying forces to arrest innocent Kashmiris and bundle them into a vehicle and speed away. Kashmiri journalists find it extremely hard to work independently in the face of various threats.

The situation has been getting worse each passing day and week after India revoked Occupied Kashmir’s semi-autonomy in 2019, and imposed a severe lockdown on both communication and the media. There is a severe security clampdown to control the people and the press in a more brutal way with strict censorship on independent reporting. Since the beginning of this year, dozens of people have been arrested and interrogated. Such investigations take place under harsh conditions using controversial anti-terror laws. The BJP government expected that with the crackdown, the freedom struggle would wilt under pressure but that has not happened and seems highly unlikely in the future too. As Indian authorities appear determined to curb the aspirations of Kashmiri people by using unbridled violence against them, the fast-eroding press freedoms should also be a major cause of concern for the world community. Criminalisation of free expression does not work anywhere in the world , in fact, it provokes even more people to speak up.

The BJP government is in full swing with efforts to spread disinformation and propagate false narratives on social media. However, video clips of protests against Indian rule do go viral now. Just recently a Kashmiri was detained after one tweet that linked a video clip of a protest following a Kashmiri freedom fighter’s killing. Even when a court granted him bail, authorities charged him in a new case under the notorious Public Safety Act, which allows officials to imprison anyone for up to two years without trial. Such blatant arm-twisting by the occupation forces should be condemned by the world community rather than its usual practice of ignoring it as a routine matter. Intimidation of people anywhere in the world should attract world attention and condemnation. Over the decades, the fighting in Kashmir has left tens of thousands of people dead, and even more have been victims of physical assault and violence. There has to be an end to this brutality.



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