Bringing the Israeli model to Kashmir

Anuradha Bhasin
Executive Editor Kashmir Times

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Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard on a road in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on May 6, 2020 [AP/ Dar Yasin]For more than 70 years, Kashmiris have lived with the dread of the Indian government changing the demography and special status of Indian-administered Kashmir, which was till recently Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state. Deemed preposterous and exaggerated at one time, these anxieties have now become completely justified and have even deepened.

On August 5, 2019, Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which gave the state its special status and excluded it from the application of various constitutional provisions, was abrogated, while Article 35A, which limited certain residency rights to the local population and granted them certain protections, was altogether scrapped.

These two articles had guaranteed that the right to buy and own land or apply for government jobs was the sole prerogative of those who had inherited permanent residency by descent. They also meant a bar on business investments by outsiders or attempts by big monopolistic companies to take control of J&K’s lands and economy. This protected Kashmiris’ rights and afforded them a certain level of political and economic autonomy.

In October 2019, J&K was dissolved as a state, which meant it no longer had a state assembly empowered to pass legislation, and was divided into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh – allowing New Delhi to bring them under its direct control. Until then, J&K was the only Muslim-majority state in India.

With the abrogation of Article 370 and the removal of its status as a state, the region was fully integrated and its population stripped of the special privileges and entitlements it had been enjoying in view of the peculiar nature of the state’s history and its accession to India.

The actual disempowerment, which will soon begin to be felt on the ground, is more than the loss of the special local identity. Brought by stealth and deceit, without fulfilling the constitutional requirement of participation of the state legislature, the abrogation of Article 370 and demotion of the erstwhile state has become fait accompli, as the hearings on a bunch of petitions challenging the move in the Supreme Court of India have been postponed multiple times.

If Article 370 was aimed to lay down the foundation of the Indian government’s agenda in J&K, the actions that have followed are the building blocks to serve that design calculatedly.

Thus, in a late-night move on March 31, when the Indian government officially announced a new domicile rule for Jammu and Kashmir, more clarity was shed on what the future entails. The devil was in the detail.

According to the notification called “Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020”, anyone who has resided in J&K for 15 years or has studied in the territory for seven years, and appeared in either Class 10 or Class 12 examination, will get residency rights. They will then be eligible for various government jobs.

The notification’s timing, one week after India announced a countrywide lockdown to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, was odd. While a lockdown in the rest of the country became a safety measure in the fight against a virus, in Kashmir it assumed a different meaning. It was a lockdown within a lockdown that had been partially in place since August 5, 2019.

A stringent clampdown on J&K under military boots including an absolute communication blockade allowed the Indian government to surreptitiously scrap its special status and split it into more pliable units last year. The longest-ever lockdown in Kashmir served the purpose of scuttling any public outrage and also ensured that information slipped into a black hole, making an entire population invisible and their grievances inaudible.

The 2019 lockdown was unconstitutional, undemocratic and morally erroneous. But this has now become the foundational principle of India’s strategy in Kashmir with no punctuations of pretence. If the first lockdown was successful in preventing public outcry over the loss of special status and protections, the other provided a stepping stone for laying the blueprint of what the Indian government intends to do as part of its larger agenda.

The new domicile rule, and its timing, stirred up anxieties, particularly among the J&K youth, irrespective of their ethnic and communal identities or their political ideologies, as it meant they would be losing government jobs, they earlier had a monopoly over, to outsiders. The government is one of the biggest employers of fresh graduates in the region and in the spring a number of recruitment processes were stalled, prompting suspicions that this was done intentionally to allow outsiders who qualified for domicile under the new rule to apply as well.

On February 27, the authorities scrapped the recruitment process of J&K Bank for more than 1,450 posts, which had been going on since 2018, jeopardising the career prospects of thousands of aspirants who had been waiting after clearing their preliminary exams. On June 2, the bank advertised for 1,850 posts inviting applications for domiciles.

In the midst of the pandemic, as hospitals battled with a shortage of infrastructure and staff, the government showed the door to hundreds of healthcare employees on temporary contracts in Srinagar and Kathua district in Hindu-majority Jammu region. This, despite shortages of medical staff and the established practice of offering temporary workers permanent contracts.

The recruitment, appointment and promotion processes for various civil service positions in the administration, education and healthcare sectors have also been put on hold after the J&K Public Service Commission, which is responsible for civil service recruitment, was made defunct and the constitution of a new commission under the new status of the region as a union territory was delayed. A new chairman was finally appointed in May.

The threat of losing jobs to outsiders is coupled with the anxieties of the existing government employees with respect to service-related litigations related to pay, promotions, etc, of which there are currently more than 30,000 cases.

On April 29 this year, on grounds that J&K had lost its statehood, the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985 was made applicable to J&K and Ladakh. In June, the creation of Jammu Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal was announced which will cover the union territories of J&K and Ladakh. But a single bench at the south end of the region will be insufficient, given the large size of the population and the difficult mountainous topography which renders the journey to Jammu too long.

These changes come as over the last couple of decades, locals in the administrative bureaucracy have been sidelined or sent out on deputations. This process has further picked up steam recently. After the abrogation of Article 370, the majority of top bureaucratic positions in the administration of Jammu and Kashmir are held by outsiders.

The immediate beneficiaries of the new domicile rule could go beyond the thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees, who have fled Pakistan since partition and have settled in the suburbs of Jammu city. The rules for getting a domicile certificate are now pretty relaxed, so there is no way to assess the exact number of people who are likely to benefit.

Thousands of bureaucrats from outside and those working in the private sector have spent more than the required 15 years in J&K in the last 70 years. A sizeable part of the Indian armed forces is concentrated in J&K and many have served several postings in the erstwhile state, easily making many eligible under the new criteria.

The numbers are likely to add up by each year and given the easily corruptible system and lack of accountability, there is no telling how the laws will be tweaked to further allow an influx of beneficiaries from outside.

And this is not just about jobs. There is also the question of land ownership and business investment over which the new domicile rule is silent, which means that unlike the past, any Indian may buy land, settle and start a business venture in J&K.

Under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, which came into effect in October, the legal provisions restricting ownership of private property to permanent residents were struck down. In the past, local land reform legislation empowered peasants including the socially oppressed classes, giving them a sense of dignity and making J&K one of the few states in the country where nobody died of starvation.

The amended land-related laws induce fears in the local population of not just losing their exclusive privileges but also of suffering under possible monopolistic economic hegemonies.

The state also had in place its reservation act that provided for quotas in educational institutions and jobs for people of disadvantaged backgrounds, including Dalits, members of various tribes, etc. Women enjoyed a 50 percent reservation in professional colleges. Since the 1950s, education at school and college level was free in government institutions. All of that now stands to be reversed.

For now, using the pandemic as an excuse, the government has also halted the 150-year-old annual practice of shifting the capital from Jammu to Srinagar in the summer. Though the practice of two capitals – in Hindu-majority Jammu and Muslim-majority Kashmir – was ideally inclusive, it was Srinagar that became the hub of political power after Kashmir’s accession in 1947.

The government decision to begin the delimitation (redrawing of boundaries) of electoral constituencies, which is likely to give Hindu-majority Jammu more seats, will reshape the local political dynamics. Two ideas have been mooted by several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to that end – enumeration on the basis of area and not population, as is the countrywide norm, as well as adding the kitty of 24 seats of Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PAK) and Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin that lay vacant for the last 70 years to Jammu region by fielding Hindu and Sikh refugees from PAK.

The Delimitation Commission was announced on March 6 and immediately the process of data collection was set in motion. It has been going on without any punctuation throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

Structures of power are being dismantled bit by bit, particularly emaciating the political significance of Srinagar and turning Jammu into a symbolic site of victory while keeping its people disempowered.

Already, the political space in J&K has been completely decimated. While many top leaders continue to be in detention, including former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, others have been let off or placed under house arrest on conditions of maintaining silence.

A lobby of renegades from various parties recently floated a new political organisation called Apni Party. It is believed to enjoy the patronage of New Delhi and has failed to cut much ice.

Under the new arrangement, while the far-flung union territory of Ladakh would be robbed of a legislative assembly, J&K will get one with limited powers, turning the two entities virtually into two remote-controlled municipalities.

This puts a question mark over the practicability of managing the erstwhile state, with its huge area, its complexity, its socio-political diversity and its fragility, under this arrangement of one centralised authority. While a sense of political empowerment is diminished, the terms of engagement in local political narrative are decimated to municipal and administrative matters.

A sense of loss appears to be a strange leveller and may have somewhat bridged the traditionally divisive narratives in Muslim-dominated Kashmir and Hindu-dominated Jammu, the latter having seen a phenomenal rise in Hindu right-wing politics in recent decades.

But while in Jammu public discontent is linked to loss of jobs, land, monopoly over trade and higher education, in Kashmir, in addition to all these, the dilution of Article 370 and domicile law assumes a whole new meaning – the fear of a demographic change.

Shaped by Hindu right-wing groups openly calling for changing demography of Kashmir and integrationist politics, anxieties of demographic change have existed in Kashmir for decades. Today, a pathway is being paved for replicating the Israeli model of occupation and colonisation of the West Bank in Kashmir towards disempowerment and dispossession of the locals, particularly Kashmiri Muslims, to exercise hegemonic control through new settlers.

Sometime in late November last year, a serving Indian diplomat in the United States, while addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Hindus, averred that “Kashmiri culture is Indian culture; it is Hindu culture” and espoused the Israeli model of West Bank settlements as the way forward. Though the Indian government did not officially support this policy of apartheid, it also conveniently did not distance itself from the remarks made by its serving envoy in his official capacity.

If there were any doubts about the seriousness of these remarks, they can now be discarded. The recent moves indicate a more systemic pattern of making this model the centrepiece of India’s Kashmir policy. The present lockdown has been used to plot the points on the map while avoiding any public outcry. This arsenal of administrative changes in a fragile setting is like dumping fuel that could well trigger an inferno of unimaginable proportions.

The government is underestimating the patience and silence of the public and the international ramifications of riding roughshod over the aspirations of the people of Kashmir and pushing them to the margins as secondary citizens with an uptick in massive human rights abuse.

While this amounts to trampling of Indian democracy, it also makes peace in South Asia extremely vulnerable. In all probability, the transition to demographic change will not be as smooth. A desperate struggle for self-preservation within Kashmir and the heightened level of tensions between India and Pakistan – two nuclear powers – will throw up an explosive situation. The present standoff between India and China also has the potential to escalate and add fuel to the fire.

Kashmiris paying heavy cost due to seven decades old conflict

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Srinagar, July 04 (KMS): The Kashmir conflict has been and is imposing heavy cost on the human life in occupied Kashmir where this conflict has adversely impacted each and every aspect of the lives of people during the past over seven decades and particularly since 1989.

An analytical report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, said occupied Kashmir is only region of the world where humans are living without human rights as India has usurped all basic freedoms of the people. It said that killings, extrajudicial executions, arrests, torture, use of brute force on peaceful protesters, destruction of properties and molestation of women by Indian troops and police personnel have become a norm in the occupied territory. It said that fascist Indian forces were brutally carrying out massacre of the innocent Kashmiris.

The report pointed out that Indian troops in their unabated acts of state terrorism have martyred 95,615 people in occupied Kashmir since January 1989 till date. It maintained that at least 160,516 civilians have been illegally arrested while over 110,334 structures have been destroyed by the Indian forces in the territory during the period.

The report said that 2016 was declared “Year of Loss of Eyes” in occupied Kashmir because of pellet firing by the Indian forces. It said that hundreds of people had lost their eyes due to the use of pellet guns by Indian police and troops during mass uprising triggered by the extrajudicial killing of popular youth leader, Burhan Wani, on July 08 that year.

The report said that thousands of Hurriyat leaders, political activists, journalists, lawyers and civil society members had been illegally arrested by the Indian authorities and they remained lodged in different jails of the occupied territory and India. It said that these detainees included Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Aasiya Andrabi, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Mian Abdul Qayoom, Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo, Naheeda Nasreen, Fahmeeda Sofi, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Ayaz Muhammad Akbar, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Peer Saifullah, Merajuddin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Dr Abdul Hameed Fayyaz, Maulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Maulana Sarjan Barkati, Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar and Asif Sultan.

Troops continue massive CASOs in IOK

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Rich tributes paid to martyred youth

Srinagar, June 27 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops continued massive cordon and search operations across the territory, subjecting the residents to torture and harassment.

The troops continue to carry on their violent operations in different areas of Srinagar, Badgam, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Bandipore, Baramulla, Shopian, Pulwama, Islamabad, Kulgam, Poonch, Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Rajouri and Jammu. The residents of these areas told media that the Indian forces’ personnel barge into the residential houses, harass the inmates and vandalize the household goods. The troops have also arrested several youth from different areas.

Hurriyat leaders, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, Umar Aadil Dar, Mir Muhammad Iqbal and Ghulam Ahmed in their statements in Srinagar paid rich tributes to the youth and an 8-year-old boy recently martyred by Indian troops. They said that the sacrifices of Kashmiri martyrs would not be allowed to go waste and their mission would be accomplished at all costs.

Meanwhile, the residents of occupied Kashmir have been urged through a social media campaign that all village/mohalla/town committees of the territory should come together and make sure that not a single non-local lives in their areas. All of these committees have been asked to give clear instructions to the people that anyone who tries to give space to non-locals or tries to sell land to any non-Kashmiri will be socially boycotted and evicted from the area.

The Jammu and Kashmir Students Youth Forum in a statement in Srinagar said that its activists held protest demonstrations in Srinagar and Islamabad districts against the Indian government’s move to allow opening of liquor shops in the territory. The protesters raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.

The Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party in a statement in Srinagar said that the new media policy introduced by India in occupied Kashmir was an atrocious assault on the press freedom in the territory. The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Pir Panjal Peace Foundation, Muhammad Hanif Kalas, in a statement in Jammu denounced issuance of domicile certificates to Indian citizens by the authorities.

Illegally detained senior APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, has moved a Delhi court seeking his lodgment in a separate cell in Tihar jail. In an application, Shabbir Shah’s counsel, Advocate Qausar Khan, submitted that his client is suffering from various ailments and had the higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.

The family members of illegally detained ailing Hurriyat leader, Shahid-ul-lslam, in a statement in Srinagar urged the Indian authorities to shift him from New Delhi’s Tihar jail to the Kashmir Valley to save him from getting affected with the coronavirus.

An Indian Army vehicle crushed a 12-year-old boy, Farhan Ahmad Sher Gojri, to death in Kupwara district.

APHC-AJK leaders, Mahmood Ahmed Saghar, Abdul Majeed Malik and Zahid Ashraf, in their statements in Islamabad condemned the ongoing killing spree unleashed by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. The Convener of AJK chapter of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat forum, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, addressing a meeting in Islamabad hailed the remarks of Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President of the US, Joe Biden, wherein he asked India to take necessary steps to restore the rights of the people of occupied Kashmir.

India using molestation, arrest of women as weapon of war in IOK

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Thousands of Kashmiri women martyred, 11,204 molested since 1989

Srinagar, June 19 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, India is using violence against Kashmiri women including arrest, harassment and rape and molestation as a weapon of war to suppress the Kashmiris’ ongoing struggle for securing their inalienable right to self-determination.

According to a Kashmir Media Service report compiled by Raies Ahmed Mir on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, today, said that Indian troops had molested 11,204 women since January 1989 till date. It said that brutal incidents of Kununposhpora mass rape and Shopian double rape and murder and rape and murder of Kathua minor girl were the glaring examples of Indian brutalities against women in the occupied territory.

The report said that Indian troops had molested around a hundred women during a siege and search operation in Kunanposhpora area of Kupwara district on the night of February 23 in 1991. It said that two women, 17-year-old Aasiya Jan and her 22-year-old sister-in-law Neelofar Jan, were abducted, raped and killed in custody by Indian men in uniform in May 2009. An eight-year-old girl, Aasifa Bano, a resident of Kathua district in Jammu region, was abducted, gang-raped and subsequently murdered by Indian police personnel and members of extremist Hindu organizations in January 2018, it added.

The report pointed out that thousands of women are among 95,630 Kashmiris, martyred by Indian military, paramilitary and police personnel since January 1989 till date. At least 672 women have been martyred by Indian troops since January 2001 alone.

The report maintained that the unabated Indian state terrorism had rendered 22,915 women widowed during the last thirty one years. It said that thousands of women lost their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers in the occupied territory who were subjected to custodial disappearance by Indian police and troops. As per the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, more than 8,000 Kashmiris went missing in custody during the past 31 years and their mothers, sisters and daughters continue to wait for their return, it added.

The report said that over a dozen Kashmiri women including resistance leaders Aasiya Andrabi, Fahmeeda Sofi and Naheeda Nasreen, as well as Hina Bashir Beig, Haseena Begum, Insha Tariq and a pregnant 27-year-old PhD Scholar of Jamia Millia New Delhi Safoora Zargar, were implicated in false cases and lodged in Indian jails.

The report further said that that hundreds of women 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, Tammana (11), Ulfat Hameed (17), Insha Mushtaq (18), Ifrah Shakoor (17), Shabroza Mir (16), Rafia Bano (31) and Shakeela Begum (35) were blinded in one or both eyes due to pellet injuries.

 

Indian troops martyr 4 more Kashmiri youth in IOK

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India killing Kashmiris to prolong its occupation

Srinagar, June 13 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh acts of state terrorism martyred four more Kashmiri youth in Kulgam and Islamabad districts, today.

The troops martyred two youth each during cordon and search operations at Nipora in Kulgam and in Lallan area of Islamabad. The operations continued till last reports came in. Indian police and troops sealed all entry and exit points of the areas. The occupation authorities suspended internet service in the two districts. These killings raised the number of martyred youth to 18 during last one week. Indian troops have martyred 14 youth during violent military operations in different areas of Shopian district since Sunday.

A delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League visited Shopian to express solidarity with the families of the youth recently martyred by the troops. The delegation members, on the occasion said that the mission of Kashmiri martyrs would be accomplished at all costs.

The Jammu and Kashmir Young Men’s League and Jammu and Kashmir Students Youth Forum in a joint statement said that scores of activists of the two organizations held protest demonstrations in different areas of Srinagar and Islamabad against the continued killing of Kashmiri youth by Indian troops.

APHC leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Political Movement, Khawaja Firdous, addressing a gathering in Ahmed Nagar area of Srinagar said that India had been committing atrocities on the Kashmiri people for the last over seven decades to prolong its illegal occupation of the territory.

The Jammu and Kashmir Mass Movement Patron, Farida Bahenji, in a statement in Srinagar paid rich tributes to the youth martyred by Indian troops in Kulgam and Islamabad districts, today. She appealed to the UN and the international community to take cognizance of the stepped-up Indian state terrorism in the territory.

Indian police have filed an open FIR and started questioning those criticising the judgment of High Court of the territory, which denied bail to illegally detained High Court Bar Association President, Mian Abdul Qayoom, just for his political ideology and stance on the Kashmir dispute. The lawyers of the Valley have said that the police are hounding them for criticising the court verdict. A lawyer from Shopian, Habeel Iqbal, who was summoned on Wednesday, said that he was questioned for five hours and asked to reveal every personal and family detail, including the name of his five-year-old child. In a tweet, Iqbal had said the judgment shall be remembered as yet another instance of court acting as an extension of the executive.

Modi’s plan of demographic change takes practical shape

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Srinagar, May 30 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Narendra Modi-led fascist government’s plan to change the demographic composition of the territory is taking a practical shape following the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution.

These Articles granted special status and rights to occupied Kashmir and its residents. Under these constitutional provisions, non-Kashmiri people or entities could not purchase land in occupied Kashmir. However, Modi government repealed these Articles on 5th August, last year, paving the way for the Indian citizens and organizations to purchase property in the territory.

In the first such instance, the Indian Army has approached the administration of Baramulla, evincing interest in buying 129 kanal (6.5 hectare) of land at Kreeri high ground at Tapperwari in Pattan area to set up a camp.

Media reports said the Quartermaster for Commanding Officer of the 19 Infantry Division Ordnance Unit has written to the district administration, requesting it to inform if the administration wishes to sell the land to the Indian army.

It is for the first time that the Indian Army has directly written to the department concerned for purchasing land in the Valley.

Occupied Kashmir completes 300 days of military siege

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Srinagar, May 30 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the inhumane lockdown imposed by RSS-backed Narendra Modi-led fascist government on August 05, last year, when it revoked the special status of the territory, has completed 300 days.

An analytical report prepared, today, by Senior Editor of Kashmir Media Service, Muhammad Raza Malik, on the completion of 300 days of unrelenting military siege and lockdown in the occupied territory, revealed that Indian troops martyred 134 Kashmiris including 4 women during the period. It said that at least 1,299 people were critically injured due to the use of brute force including firing of bullets, pellets and teargas shells by Indian military, paramilitary and police personnel on peaceful demonstrators.

The report said that these killings rendered 6 women widowed and 13 children orphaned. “The troops damaged over 909 houses and molested 74 women during cordon and search operations across the occupied territory in the period. While entire occupied Kashmir has been turned into an open-air prison, thousands of Hurriyat leaders, activists, politicians, journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders including APHC Chairman Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Aasiya Andrabi, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo, Naheeda Nasreen, Fahmeeda Sofi, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Aiyaz Muhammad Akbar, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Peer Saifullah, Merajuddin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Mian Abdul Qayoom, Dr Abdul Hameed Fayyaz, Maulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Syed Shahid Yousuf, Syed Shakeel Yousuf, Maulana Sarjan Barkati, Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar, journalist, Asif Sultan, and businessman, Zahoor Watali continued to remain under house arrest or in different jails of occupied Kashmir and India for the past several months.

The report said that Indian troops were committing grave human rights violations in the occupied territory to suppress the Kashmiris’ ongoing struggle for securing their inalienable right to self-determination. Indian military siege has created a sense of fear and terror among the inhabitants of the territory, it said.

The report said that the crippling lockdown for the last almost ten months had made the occupied territory a living hell for its over 8 million residents. It said that the world was fed up by lockdown of few days due to the coronavirus, but the Kashmiris were facing it for the last 300 days. It said that military siege had multiplied the sufferings of the Kashmiris amid COVID-19 outbreak as Indian troops had intensified their brutalities including killings, arrests, torture and destruction of residential houses. It added that the unrelenting lockdown had destroyed the economy of occupied Kashmir which had suffered losses of billions since August 05, last year.

The report pointed out that India is carrying out genocide of the Kashmiri youth particularly, after August 05, last year, and destruction of houses and harassment of residents is the new norm in occupied Kashmir. “Modi regime wants to change the Muslim majority status of occupied Kashmir. Taking advantage of COVID-19 lockdown, it promulgated domicile laws. Granting of domicile to over 300,000 Indians is part of its nefarious plan,” it added.

The report deplored that press freedom is under a threat in occupied Kashmir where journalists are detained, harassed and face charges. It said that in modern age, internet had become an important part of life but the Kashmiris had been living without this basic facility for the past 300 days that too during the coronavirus pandemic when it was needed the most to get healthcare guidelines. “Cruel military lockdown has pushed occupied Kashmir into the stone-age. Communications blockade has made the Kashmiris’ lives miserable,” it added.

The report said that the inhuman lockdown was aimed at breaking the resolve of Kashmiris. It said that reports by international media organizations like the New York Times had maintained that India’s repressive policies in Kashmir had failed miserably.

The report said that the worst kind of siege for the last 300 consecutive days had failed to subdue the freedom sentiment of the Kashmiri people and they were determined to keep fighting for their rights, including the right to self-determination. It said that New Delhi must realize the fact that it would not be able to silence the Kashmiris and must listen to the voices seeking lifting of siege in occupied Kashmir.

The report maintained that the international community must take cognizance of India’s brutal actions in the occupied territory and force it to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations and the relevant UN resolutions.

Indian brutalities at peak in IOK

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Srinagar, May 22 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Narendra-Modi led fascist BJP government has crossed all limits of brutalities, making the lives of the people of the territory a living hell.

An analytical report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, said that killings, arrests, cordon and search operations, use of brute force and destruction of houses by Indian troops and police had become a norm in the occupied territory. It said that the fresh wave of violence and atrocities by the Indian forces had increased the miseries of innocent Kashmiris who were already suffering immensely due to over 9 months long siege and military lockdown imposed by India.

The report maintained that amid the fast deteriorating political and human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, the rising tide of premeditated and politically motivated violence against the Kashmiris by Indian forces amounts to war crimes.

“Recent incidents of violence by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir have proven that India seems to follow the footsteps of Israel. Killing young Kashmiris in fake encounters, maiming and mutilating their dead bodies intentionally, destroying civilian properties, demolishing homes and reducing them to rubble is India’s new policy to intimidate the Kashmiris into submission,” it said.

The report pointed out that as the world was collectively facing deadly coronavirus, India continues to kill, harass and intimidate the Kashmiris in the name of cordon and search operations. “Indian troops have killed around 15 Kashmiris, arrested 80 and destroyed or damaged as many as 800 houses and shops during almost 300 cordon and search operations in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region during this month. The troops looted dozens of houses in Badgam district alone,” it said.

The report said that unending stories of tragedy and trauma were surfacing every other day in occupied Kashmir. It said that recently, Indian troops resorted to the worst kind of vandalism at Nawakadal in Srinagar after they martyred a top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Junaid Sehrai, along with his associate, Tariq Ahmed, during a cordon and search operation. “Videos of the military operation making rounds on social media show that the troops destroyed at least 17 houses in the area. Locals could be seen dousing flames emanating from and debris of several houses destroyed in the locality. The residents of the locality told media that the troops also looted everything including cash, jewellery and gas cylinders during the operation,” it said. It added that a 12-year-old boy identified as Basim Aijaz, who was injured due to the use of brute force on protesters in the area, succumbed to his injuries later.

The report said that earlier, Indian troops also martyred a handicapped boy during an operation and tried to dub him as a militant but the truth finally prevailed that he was innocent and was killed by the troops in cold blood. It deplored that India had now started an inhuman practice of denying the bodies of the martyred youth to inflict more pain to their families.

The report pointed out that despite utilizing all its resources during the last over seven decades India has miserably failed to suppress the Kashmiris’ freedom sentiments and they are determined to continue their resistance against its illegal occupation.

The report maintained that violating international laws Indian troops are involved in war crimes in occupied Kashmir. It said Indian atrocities are a big challenge for the world community, which must come forward to stop New Delhi from committing genocide of the Kashmiris.

Indian troops continue operations in occupied Kashmir

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Modi has started a bloody game against the Muslims of India, IOK

Srinagar, May 16 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops continued their violent cordon and search operations in different areas of the territory, adding to the miseries of the residents already suffering immensely due to unrelenting military siege for the last over nine months.

The troops continued their operations in Srinagar, Badgam, Islamabad, Shopian, Pulwama, Kupwara, Handwara, Sopore, Baramulla, Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri and other areas of the occupied territory. The residents of these areas told media-persons that the troops have made their life a living hell. They said that the forces’ personnel barge into the residential houses, harass the inmates and ransack the household goods. Indian police and troops arrested five youth from Arizal in Khansahib area of Badgam district, today.

The Chairman of Islamic Political Party Jammu and Kashmir, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, in a statement in Srinagar said that the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had started a bloody game under the cover of COVID-19 against Muslims in India and Kashmir.

APHC leader, Molvi Bashir Ahmed, in a statement in Srinagar deplored that Indian troops had intensified their atrocities in the occupied territory to suppress the Kashmiris’ freedom struggle but they would never succeed in their nefarious designs.

The Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party in its statement appealed to the international community to take cognizance of Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir and put pressure on New Delhi to resolve the Kashmir dispute by giving the Kashmiris their unalienable right to self-determination.

India’s notorious National Investigation Agency has filed a chargesheet against six persons, including three martyred youth, on the false charges of their involvement in the killing of Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Anil Parihar and his brother in 2018. Parihar brothers were shot dead by unidentified attackers outside their house in Kishtwar town of Jammu region on 1st of November, 2018.

On the other hand, the Member of UK Parliament, Judith Cummins, in a statement in London 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. She said that the British government must play its role in securing a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute through facilitating genuine dialogue between India and Pakistan for a safe and peaceful future of Kashmir.

A top American diplomat has said that the US has seen unfortunate reports of COVID-19 related “rhetoric and harassment” against the Muslim community in India. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, briefing reporters during a conference call on the impact of COVID-19 on religious minorities throughout the world said that there had also been instances of Muslims being attacked for allegedly spreading the coronavirus.

India snatching Kashmiris’ identity: Report

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India Implementing its settle colonial plan in phased manner

Islamabad, May 02 (KMS): The RSS-backed fascist Modi government is practically implementing in phased manner its settler-colonial plan in occupied Kashmir on the Israeli pattern to deprive the Kashmiris of their identity and homeland, thus turning Kashmir into another Palestine.

An analytical report released, today, by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, the communal Modi regime started its nefarious plan on August 05, last year, by repealing Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution that granted special status and rights to occupied Kashmir and its residents. The report said that the abrogation of theses constitutional provisions was aimed at allowing the Indian Hindus to get permanently settled in the territory, thus turning the Muslim majority into minority.

The report said that the Modi government also extended several federal laws including new domicile rules to occupied Kashmir. It pointed out the granting of domicile status to 300,000 Hindus in Jammu, in gross violation of the UN resolutions and the international law, is the first major step in this direction. It said that the Kashmiri people fear that more than 800,000 Indian soldiers and over 600,000 migrant labourers present in the territory might also be granted the domicile status in the days to come.

“Kashmiri Muslims are hounded by Hindutva forces in every part of India. These communal forces have devised a plan to carry out genocide of Kashmiris. BJP regime is implementing anti-Muslim policies in Kashmir and replacing the Muslim names of important places with Hindu names,” the report added.

It further maintained that the BJP and RSS wanted fulfillment of their long-held desire of total merger of occupied Kashmir in India and wanted to establish Hindu civilization in the territory. However, it said that brave Kashmiris had always resisted all anti-Kashmiri moves by India in the past and would foil these fresh nefarious designs as well and would prefer death over becoming slaves of Hindu fanatic forces.

The report said that it was high time for the global community to take cognizance of India’s actions in occupied Kashmir and hold it accountable for violating the international laws in Kashmir.

Rise in hatred against Muslims in India

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Islamabad, April 25 (KMS): The wave of hatred and prejudice against Muslims in India has witnessed an increase of a dangerous proportion under RSS-backed Narendra Modi-led fascist government.

An analytical report released by Research Section of Kashmir Media Service said Muslims are being portrayed as terrorists in India. It said that there was a growing tide of bigotry and oppression against Muslims in the country where lynching of Muslims had become a norm.

“Muslims are being attacked in ever-increasing numbers across Indian cities and towns while killers of Muslims continue to go unpunished. Members of Muslim community are treated harshly for their faith and culture. Modi’s ascension to power has inflamed an already dangerous atmosphere for Muslims in India,” it said.

The report said that while hatred against Muslims was in the body and soul of BJP and RSS, there was a systematic campaign by the leaders of these extremist Hindu organizations aimed at spewing venom at Muslims. It maintained that Modi-led BJP regime endorses horrific forms of torture against Muslims. “Mass extermination of Muslims is underway in India. Modi has already committed a Muslim slaughter in Gujarat,” it added.

The report noted that new draconian citizenship laws were aimed at large-scale expulsion of Muslims from India. It said that recent anti-Muslim violence in New Delhi had once again exposed real face of India. “Hindutva forces like BJP and RSS are ideological equals of the Nazis. Modi and Hitler are the two faces of the same coin,” it added.

The report pointed out that the RSS-backed BJP-led Indian regime is planning genocide of Muslims in occupied Kashmir. It said that Kashmiri Muslims were witnessing unparalleled victimization under the BJP government.

Maintaining that Hindutva forces like RSS and BJP are darkest blots on humanity, the report said that anti-Muslim hatred in India was a challenge to the international community, which must come forward to stop Muslim genocide in India.

Indian troops martyr nine youth in four days in IOK

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Hatred against Muslims increasing in India:Report

Srinagar, April 25 (KMS): 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.

APHC leader, Khawaja Firdous, and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, in their statements issued in Srinagar paying tributes to the martyred youth said that India was committing genocide of Kashmiris amid lockdown in the territory.

Meanwhile, an analytical report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, said that the wave of hatred and prejudice against Muslims in India had witnessed an increase of a dangerous proportion under RSS-backed Narendra Modi-led fascist government. It said that there was a growing tide of bigotry and oppression against Muslims in the country where lynching of Muslims had become a norm. The report pointed out that the Muslims are being attacked in ever-increasing numbers across Indian cities and towns.

Hurriyat leader, Firdous Ahmed Shah, in a statement in Srinagar urged international community to come forward and save the people of Jammu and Kashmir from Indian brutalities. The Chairman of Ummat-e-Islami, Qazi Ahmed Yasir, speaking to his party leaders at his residence in Islamabad town said that no one could forget what the people of Kashmir had gone through. The President of the AJK chapter of the party, Syed Manzoor Ahmed Shah, in a statement in Islamabad deplored that India had stepped up the killing of Kashmiri youth during the past one month.

The Convener of AJK chapter of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat forum, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, in a statement in Islamabad said that at a time when the world was facing coronavirus pandemic, Indian troops were randomly arresting innocent people in occupied Kashmir.

The Press Club of India in a statement issued in New Delhi said, the events of the past week underlined the fact that the new norm in Kashmir for the police was to call journalists to police stations in connection with their published reports, photographs, or their social media posts, and to file FIRs against journalists. It demanded that the cases registered against three journalists be withdrawn immediately.

On the other hand, over 40 global rights groups, part of a campaign #KeepItOn, in an open letter demanded restoration of 4G internet services in occupied Kashmir. The signatories of the letter said that the absence of high-speed connectivity was hampering works of doctors, journalists and others amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Stepped-up violent CASOs add to miseries of IOK people

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Srinagar, April 18 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the stepped-up violent cordon and search operations by Indian troops have added to the miseries and suffering of the people of the territory who are already suffering immensely due to continued lockdown for the last over eight months.

Amid intensification of the restrictions imposed by the occupation authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Indian troops continue their violent operations in different areas of Budgam, Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipore, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Islamabad, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, Samba, Kishtwar and Kathua districts. These operations have created an atmosphere of fear, making the life of the people a hell. The residents of these areas told media that Indian forces’ personnel during the operations barge into their houses, harass the inmates and vandalize the household goods.

On the other hand, Indian police have arrested several persons from different areas of the Kashmir Valley on the charges of violating the restrictions imposed to stop spread of coronavirus.

APHC rejects India’s anti-kashmir moves

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Srinagar, April 11 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference has rejected the anti-Kashmir moves made by the communal Indian government on and after August 5, 2019 to completely annex Kashmir and change its demographic composition.

The APHC in an extraordinary meeting held in Srinagar said that India’s actions were aimed at diluting the historical and geographical status of Jammu and Kashmir, totally merging it in the Indian union and trampling the UN resolutions on Kashmir. However, it said that New Delhi would not be allowed to alter the Muslim majority character of the territory. The meeting deplored that India was playing with the lives of the Kashmiri people even during the coronavirus pandemic and instead of protecting them from the deadly disease, it was continuing with crackdown operations and state terrorism in the territory which was condemnable. The participants of the meeting also prayed for the sound health of the APHC Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani.

On the other hand, taking advantage of strict lockdown imposed to prevent spread of coronavirus pandemic, Modi government has started implementing its nefarious plan of altering the Muslim majority character of the territory. Informed circles told KMS sources that in this regard, the Modi government has brought hundreds of Indian Hindus to Pulwama and stationed them in two higher secondary schools in the name of putting them in quarantine. The sources said that these people would be given domicile certificates of Kashmir and allowed to settle in the territory as its permanent citizens.

A report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on the completion of 250 days of unrelenting military siege and lockdown in occupied Kashmir, today, revealed that Indian troops martyred 93 Kashmiris including 3 women during the period. The report said that at least 963 people were critically injured due to use of brute forces, firing of bullets, pellets and teargas shells on peaceful demonstrators by Indian military, paramilitary and police personnel in the occupied territory.

Hurriyat leaders, Yasmeen Raja and Advocate Agha Syed Muntazir Mehdi, in their statements issued in Srinagar expressed concern about the well-being of illegally detained Kashmiris languishing in different jails in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, demanding their immediate release.

Indian troops launched a cordon and search operation in Nandimarg area of Damhal Hanjipora in Kulgam district.

Indian police, today, arrested a youth in R S Pura area of Jammu region and labeled him as over-ground worker of mujahideen. The police also arrested over one hundred persons in Srinagar, Bandipora and Handwara areas and seized several vehicles on the charges of defying the restrictions imposed by the authorities to prevent spread of coronavirus pandemic. The civil administration officials in Pulwama told media that the police were not honouring curfew passes issued for the personnel on emergency duty and were assaulting them.

THE BJP AND ISRAEL: HINDU NATIONALISM IS RAVAGING DEMOCRACY IN INDIA

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It was only a matter of time before the anti-Muslim sentiment in India turned violent. A country that has historically prided itself on its diversity and tolerance and for being ‘the largest democracy in the world’ has, in recent years, exhibited the exact opposite qualities – chauvinism, racism, religious intolerance, and, at times, extreme violence.

The latest round of violence ensued on February 23, one day before U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Delhi on his first official visit to India.

Trump is a beloved figure among Hindu nationalists, especially supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has ruled India since 2014.

BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, has wreaked havoc on Indian politics and foreign policy. However, the damage that this ultra-nationalist movement has caused to Indian society is unmatched since the country’s independence in 1947.

Under BJP rule, hatred for Muslims, a sizable minority of over 200 million, among other minority groups, has grown over the years to represent the core discourse of a movement that is ideologically and morally bankrupt.

Jumping on the Islamophobia bandwagon, which has grown exponentially since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Hindu nationalists disguised their racist and chauvinistic ideology as part of a global ‘war on terror’.

It was no surprise, then, to see Modi reaching out to like-minded Islamophobes, the likes of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The seemingly unbreakable Modi-Netanyahu ‘friendship’ underlies a growing pro-Israel movement among Hindu nationalists.

Hindu nationalists embrace Israel

Hindu nationalist ideologues and pro-Israel Zionists have long discovered a common cause, one that is predicated on a collective sense of racial supremacy and intolerance for Islam and Muslims.

In fact, Israel has, in recent years, emerged as the common denominator between various ultra-nationalist and far-right groups in India and across the globe. Strangely but tellingly, some of these groups are known for hostility towards Jews and outright antisemitism. However, for these groups, the anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-Muslim sentiments were far more pressing priorities than all else.

While Europe and North America have received a greater share of political analysis regarding the rise of Islamophobia around the world, countries like India, Burma, and China have largely been excluded from the discussion.

It is true that the discrimination and violence against China’s Muslim minority, the Uyghurs, Burma’s Rohingya population and India’s Muslims, have all received a relatively fair share of media attention and analysis. However, the targeting of Muslims in these polities is largely perceived as provisional ‘conflicts’ that are unique to these areas, with little or no connection to global anti-Muslim phenomena.

But nothing could be further from the truth. For example, the fact that BJP politicians often refer to Muslim migrants in India as ‘infiltrators and termites’ mirrors the same dehumanizing lexicon used by Buddhist nationalists in Burma and Israeli Zionists in Palestine.

The likes of the Hindu Samhati movement, known for its anti-Muslim bigotry, has, therefore, become essential to this new global anti-Muslim brand. And, according to the same disturbing logic, hating Muslims then becomes synonymous with loving apartheid Israel.

Hence, it was not a complete surprise to see tens of thousands of Hindu nationalists rallying in Calcutta in February 2018 in what was described by organizers as “the largest pro-Israel rally” in history.

But what took place in New Delhi in February was more ominous than any other previous display of violence. Dozens of Indian Muslims were beaten to death and hundreds more were severely injured by mobs of angry Hindu nationalists.

While India is no stranger to mob violence, the recent bouts of bloodshed in that country are most alarming considering it is a rational outcome of a racist trajectory that has been championed by the BJP and their supporters.

Particularly alarming were scenes of Indian security forces either watching the brutality against Indian Muslims unfold without intervening or objecting in any way, or worse, participating in the violence themselves.

While it is rightly argued that the anti-Muslim campaign in India was triggered by Modi’s Citizenship Amendment Act which ultimately aims at rendering millions of Muslims in India stateless, the ailment lies in the BJP itself – a purely xenophobic movement that exploits the grievances of the poor and marginalized in India to maintain political power.

It goes without saying that India’s Modi is a far cry from the India that was envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi or the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Unfortunately, with Modi and the BJP in power, India will experience yet more tragic days ahead. Flanked by equally racist and violent allies in Tel Aviv and Washington, Modi feels empowered to carry out more such sinister and discriminatory measures against the country’s vulnerable minorities, especially Muslims.

It is essential that we educate ourselves further about the situation in India, and that we understand the anti-Muslim politics and violence in that country within the larger global context. India’s Muslims need our solidarity more than ever before, especially as the emboldened BJP and their chauvinistic leader seem to have no moral boundaries whatsoever.

Feature photo | Hindu nationalists gather in India’s capital to demand construction of a Hindu temple on the ruins of a 16th century mosque in northern Indian city of Ayodhya, Dec. 9, 2018. Bernat Armangue | AP


By Ramzy Baroud
Source: MintPress News

India victimizing detained Hurriyat leaders

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Release of Kashmiri detainees demanded

Srinagar, March 21 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Hurriyat organizations have said that India is victimizing the illegally detained Hurriyat leaders and activists to intimidate the Kashmiris into submission and force them to stop resisting its illegal hold over Jammu and Kashmir.

Hurriyat organizations including Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Tehreek-e-Mazahmat, Kashmir Tehreek-e-Khawateen, Tehreek-e-Wahdat-e-Islami and Democratic Political Movement in their statements said that Narendra Modi-led communal government in New Delhi had devised a plan to send Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, to gallows in a 30-year-old false case. They maintained that India was plotting to prolong the illegal detention of Hurriyat leaders and annihilate them. They appealed to the world human rights bodies to take cognizance of the plight of the Kashmiri detainees.

Meanwhile, the Grand Mufti of occupied Kashmir, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, addressing a meeting of religious leaders held in Srinagar, today, to discuss the situation arising out of coronovirus spread, demanded release of all illegally detained Kashmiris, saying that the prisoners could be affected by the disease as most of the jails lacked basic facilities.

Hurriyat leader, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, in a statement in Srinagar said that due to the lockdown in different countries in the wake of coronovirus pandemic, the world community must have no difficulty in realizing the sufferings the people of occupied Kashmir had been going through during the continued military siege for the past over seven months.

The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Employees Movement, Muhammad Shafi Lone, in a statement in Srinagar deplored that the Indian government and its agencies had implicated the illegally detained Muhammad Yasin Malik in a three decades old fake case.

The illegally detained Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement, Zafar Akbar Butt, was admitted at a police hospital in Srinagar after his health deteriorated at Chanapora police station in Srinagar. The JKSM President, Altaf Ahmed Butt, in a statement in Islamabad called for immediate release of Zafar Akbar Butt and other Kashmiri detainees.

On the other hand, an Indian soldier committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifles while on duty at Civil Secretariat in Srinagar, last night. This incident raised the number of such deaths among Indian troops and police personnel in occupied Kashmir to 448 since January 2007.

APHC-AJK leader, Sheikh Abdul Mateen, in a statement in Islamabad denounced the chargesheet against Muhammad Yasin Malik by a TADA court in a 30-year-old fake case. He said that India is using its judiciary to suppress the resolve of the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders and activists but would never succeed in its nefarious designs. The Chairman of Kashmir Council Europe, Ali Raza Syed, in a statement issued in Brussels called upon the world community to put pressure on India to immediately release Muhammad Yasin Malik.

10 martyred in IOK in February

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India extends 37 laws to IOK

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Srinagar, March 01 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their unabated acts of state terrorism martyred 10 Kashmiris during the last month of February.

According to the data issued by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, of those killed, three were martyred in fake encounters or in custody. During the month, 30 people were critically injured due to use of brute force and firing of teargas shells by Indian police and paramilitary personnel on peaceful demonstrators in the occupied territory while 137 civilians, mostly youth, were arrested. Most of the detainees were booked under black law, Public Safety Act.

The people of the Kashmir Valley continue to hit by severe hardships due to the ongoing military siege and internet suspension on the 210th successive day, today. More than 50 per cent industrial unites have completely stopped functioning as a result of seven-month lockdown and internet gag.

In view of the mass uprising threat in the upcoming summer against revocation of Kashmir’s special status, India has decided to retain its additional troops, brought into the territory in the wake of New Delhi’s illegal action of August 5, last year. At least 400 additional companies of paramilitary forces including Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force were deployed in Kashmir the day before the Article 370 was revoked.

Meanwhile, Indian occupation authorities invoked draconian law Public Safety Act against two more Kashmiri youth identified as Pervez Jilani and Tashoq Ahmad.

In yet another step towards the total annexation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir with India, New Delhi has approved 37 laws, which could not be previously applicable to the territory because of its special status under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. Indian Food and Drug Control department has refused to register more than 8,000 Kashmiri students who completed medical assistant course during the year 2019 citing the reason that they completed the course under the Pharmacy Act of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which did no longer exist after the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status.

The first opening ceremony of the book ‘Dogra Ahd Ka Rajouri’ by Maulana Shamsi, the Chairman of Pir Panjal Civil Society, was held in Rajouri. A large number of people from different walks of life from Rajouri and Poonch districts attended the ceremony.

In Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, over 22 Kashmiri students of Aligarh Muslim University were booked on the charge of participating in anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

 

Anti-Muslim violence in India reaches alarming proportions

By C J Werleman

Source

The ongoing brutality in New Delhi dubbed ‘communal violence’ is the live unfolding of a pogrom against Muslims.

The international media fixated on the pomp and ceremony, or rather glitz and glam of what was a two-day extravaganza of right-wing populist and ultranationalist odes and slogans. US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went about their business pretending as though the country’s second-largest city wasn’t literally and actually on fire.

On Monday, pro-government Hindutva thugs responded to the city’s ongoing and growing protests against recently legislated anti-Muslim citizenship laws, otherwise known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), by attacking protesters and setting Muslim owned homes, cars and businesses alight.

Eerily, the same Hindu nationalist goons had marked Hindu-owned properties with saffron-coloured flags to help attackers identify Muslim targets, borrowing a sinister measure used on the eve of the 2002 Gujarat riots, which left more than 2,000 Muslims killed and thousands more battered, raped, and abused.

Starting in the Muslim-majority areas of northeast Delhi, the violence spilt into Monday evening, culminating with the deaths of at least two anti-CAA protesters, and the injuries of dozens more.

Footage shows Delhi Police officers firing tear gas shells into a crowd, followed by baton large charges. By Wednesday morning, the death toll had risen to at least 20. Among the dead are a 22-year-old rickshaw driver, a labourer, and a father of six.

A video that went viral on social media shows a dozen or so Muslim males being kicked and beaten before being forced by police to recite Vande Mataram — India’s national song and a nationalist ode of sorts — as they lay defenceless on the ground.

Another shows an isolated Muslim man being mercilessly punched and kicked by a mob of dozens of pro-government street thugs, as cars and shops around him are vandalised, while another shows a Muslim shrine being torched with a petrol bomb.

Hindus have woken up after long [passivity],” one man, who identified as a pro-CAA protester, told a local journalist as he carried out an arson attack.

On Tuesday afternoon, a mob chanting Jai Shri Ram (victory to Lord Rama) and Hinduon ka Hindustan (India for Hindus) surrounded a mosque in Ashok Nagar, before setting it alight, while a man placed a Hanuman flag atop its minaret.

That footage also shows Delhi Police officers participating in the violence, joining pro-CAA protesters in throwing rocks at Muslims, underscores the dangerous new reality the country’s largest religious minority now face.

“The police is with us,” a Hindu man says in a video posted on Twitter, as his colleagues throw rocks toward mostly Muslim anti-CAA protesters.

Chillingly, these moments of violent mayhem and madness, which evidently enjoy the tacit and implicit approval of the Modi government, are perpetrated to an ode to a Hindu deity, but one now heard as a death chant to victims of this violence. Today, Jai Sri Ram is typically the last three words a Muslim hears the moment before he or she is attacked or murdered.

All across India, Modi radicalised saffron terrorists are assaulting, raping, and lynching Muslims with impunity, as government leaders openly refer to the religious minority as “termites” and “pests,” while they declare an urge for another 1947-scale Muslim exodus.

Earlier this month, hundreds of right-wing nationalists converged on New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI), chanting anti-Muslim slogans and shouting, “shoot the bastards” as police stood by as idle onlookers.

Recently, the international watchdog group Genocide Watch recently issued genocide alerts for Muslims in both Kashmir and Assam.

“Preparation for genocide is definitely underway in India…The next stage is extermination – that’s what we call a genocide,” said Professor Gregory Stanton, the author of the 10 Stages of Genocide in a speech to US lawmakers in December.

Certainly, both territories are ground zero in the government’s effort to marginalise and make invisible the country’s persecuted religious minority, with eight million Muslims in Kashmir living under a military lockdown and communications blackout that has now surpassed 200 days. Three million Muslims in Assam face the prospect of deportation or detainment as a result of measures implemented as a result of the NRC.

“My mother gave birth to me at home. My birth was never registered, so how do I produce a certificate?” a Muslim resident of Assam told Foreign Policy. “Nor do I have land ownership or tenancy records dating back five decades. Although we’re law-abiding citizens, having lived peacefully in India all our lives, we might be thrown out of the country.”

The events of the past 48 hours have demonstrated that the safety and well-being of India’s 200 million Muslims have never been in greater peril since the Gujarat pogroms and the violence of partition.

Should they become the target of overt state-sanctioned violence, recognising they always been the target of covert violence in the country, then the international community would be presented with a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions, resulting in the world’s largest pogrom and humanitarian crisis.

At the helm is Narendra Modi, a man accused of direct involvement in the country’s most recent anti-Muslim pogrom during his capacity as Gujarat’s chief minister.

If these realities aren’t enough to give rise to global alarm, then what is?

Is India sleepwalking toward a Muslim Holocaust?

By Irfan Raja

Source

Men ride a motorcycle past security forces patrolling a street in a riot-affected area after clashes erupted over the new anti-Muslim citizenship law in New Delhi, India, Feb. 26, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
Men ride a motorcycle past security forces patrolling a street in a riot-affected area after clashes erupted over the new anti-Muslim citizenship law in New Delhi, India, Feb. 26, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)

The holocaust – the last century’s tragedy that left unbearable losses and stains on the face of secular Europe – could happen again in secular India.

Shockingly, Indian Muslims are experiencing the same sets of denunciation as the Jews faced under the Nazi regime: exclusion from mainstream society, racial profiling based upon belief, negative media representation and bigotry.

Exactly identical to the representation of Jews in German films and press during the Nazi rule as the “bad guys,” the Bollywood films and sections of the Indian media portray Muslims as gangsters, dons, smugglers, terrorists and anti-state actors.

Hindu nationalist RSS terrorists are ideological equals of the Nazis. They back and endorse more horrific forms of torture including the imprisonment of Muslims in detention centers, police raids on Muslims mosques and at Jamia University, brutally beating young and elderly Muslims in public, intentionally demolishing their homes and lynching on the pretext of “holy cow protection.”

What hypocrisy! At home, Hindu radical mobs kill any Muslim who eats beef, but the outside world sees India as the world’s largest exporter of beef, an activity that has dramatically increased under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. This is the real face of a democratic India that is clearly anti-Muslim.

History seems to be repeating itself. As the Nazi Jews were seen as “disloyal” and “enemies within,” similarly, in today’s India, from Kashmir and Assam to Bengal, Indian Muslims have to prove their loyalty to Modi’s fascist government which considers them the “enemy within.”

Dr. Gregory Stanton believes “possible mass extermination of Muslims” is “definitely underway in India” as Modi had already committed a Muslim genocide in Gujrat.

So what can be done to stop the horrific repetition? This situation is petrifying as each day Indian Muslims are losing their hope to live as normal citizens.

Are they the new Jews?

Today, Muslims are living in concentration camps in Palestine, China, Myanmar and India.

Charles B. Anthony wrote: “Muslims are the new Jews. Perpetually vilified in the press, scapegoated by politicians and attacked in ever-increasing numbers on the street, Muslims are punished for their faith and culture, shackled to the jailer of prejudice drunk on his own self-righteous thirst for supremacy.”

Ordinary Europeans were persuaded that the Jews controlled money and businesses, conspired against their country of residence and plotted to kill European royals. The Nazis’ frequent and skillful propaganda brainwashed ordinary Germans to such an extent that they believed that the Jews must be expelled or killed.

Currently, similar patterns and tactics are in practice, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership backs a systemic campaign aimed at Indian Muslims that labels them as outsiders, incompatible, an enemy within and a threat to the RSS version of Indian society. Therefore, Muslims must be expelled according to their rhetoric.

Such a destructive campaign against the Indian Muslims has resulted in the rise of a racist slogan – “Go back to Pakistan” – which has been heard in films and from sports stars, namely, Nasseruddin Shah.

Hitler of our time?

Today, Modi has proved that he has much in common with Hitler such as Hitler’s concept of blood superiority (the Aryan nation) and racism centered on Jews. This prompted Imran Khan to say that Modi has Hitler’s mindset.

In a similar manner, BJP’s leaders are constantly suggesting they are Brahmins and Aryans, making them superior people in comparison with the Dalit Muslims of India.

So what next? A tragic and horrible past is turning into a reality in India. Seriously, we are at the threshold of a probable Indian Muslim’s Holocaust. So what shall be done to stop it?

BJP leader Rajeshwar Singh vowed to wipe out Indian Muslims and Christians by Dec. 31, 2021. Singh said, “We have decided that Islam and Christianity will be finished in India by 2021.” This is the “pledge” of the BJP, the political party with the most representation in the Indian parliament and state assemblies.

Already, the world is witnessing a growing tidal wave of bigotry and oppression against the Indian Muslims who are being forced to live as stateless.

To put it simply, a list of the Modi’s government illegal actions includes the Citizenship Amendment Bill, National Register for Citizens (NRC) and Citizens Amendment Act (CAA).

The British liberal press such as The Guardian have criticized Modi’s government over its draconian citizenship laws. These bills are evidently anti-Muslim which shows a plan for a grand-scale expulsion and a genocide of Indian Muslims.

Whether someone takes it or denies it, this is the writing on the wall. A Muslims holocaust will happen, if not now maybe later, as Modi’s seeds of hatred against Muslims have already rooted deep.

If Modi is genuinely patriotic to India, he should not forget what happened to ordinary Germans because of Hitler’s madness.

The challenge ahead is to deprecate ill designs of the fascist BJP, and this can only happen if all peace-loving Indians come together in this battle.

India Riots: ‘We Were Attacked Because We Are Muslim’

By Stephanie Findlay and Amy Kazmin in New Delhi – Financial Times

Yasmin, a 35-year-old mother of three, clutched her blue-and-white prayer beads as she waited at a hospital mortuary to retrieve the battered body of her brother-in-law.

A resident of a gritty New Delhi neighborhood where working class Hindus and Muslims have lived side by side for years, Mehtab, a 22-year-old construction worker, had gone out on Tuesday evening to buy milk but never returned. Hauled away by stick-wielding rioters, he was found dead hours later, his body bruised and burnt.

That night, Yasmin and her husband cowered at home as marauders threatened to incinerate their neighborhood’s Muslim-owned shops and residences.

“People were chanting slogans of Jai Shri Ram [‘Hail Lord Ram’] and saying ‘leave this house — we will set it on fire’,” Yasmin said, her voice shaking with emotion. “This is the first time I am seeing such conflict. We have always considered Hindus our brothers. [Mehtab] was murdered because he was Muslim. We were attacked because we are Muslim.”

The young laborer was one of at least 35 people killed, with 200 others seriously injured, in New Delhi this week. It was the worst outbreak of sectarian violence in a big Indian city since 2002 when more than 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, were killed in riots in Gujarat.

The carnage in the Indian capital — which left swaths of the city looking like a war zone, with burnt-out mosques, shops and other buildings, shattered glass and charred vehicles — follows a steady stoking of animosity between India’s Hindu majority and its Muslim minority by Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, analysts said.

Sectarian tensions have surged since December when Modi’s government amended the country’s citizenship laws, incorporating religious criteria for the first time and giving Hindus and followers of other south Asian faiths priority over Muslims.

This week’s bloodletting coincided with a visit by Donald Trump to India, overshadowing the US president’s effusive praise for Modi. Analysts warned that the riots threatened to distract the government from the urgent task of reviving the faltering economy and realizing its ambition to become a global power.

“They’ve unleashed forces that cannot be fully controlled,” said Ashutosh Varshney, a political-science professor at Brown University. “Whether Modi and [home minister Amit] Shah can check these forces remains to be seen. Their foot soldiers on the ground are filled with the ideological fervor that has been drilled into them — the tropes of Hindu nationalism that see Muslims as enemies of India.”

Trouble in the affected area flared on Sunday after Kapil Mishra, a hardline local BJP leader, threatened Muslims who were blocking a road in an otherwise peaceful protest against the citizenship law. Addressing a crowd of rightwing Hindus right next to the sit-in, he warned that if the protesters were not gone by the time Trump’s visit was over, they would take matters into their own hands.

Shortly afterwards, witnesses said, groups of Hindus and Muslims began pelting each other with stones. By Monday, large areas were in the grip of a full-scale riot, with mobs of Hindu men, carrying firearms, petrol bombs and iron rods, marauding through the area’s congested streets, attacking passers-by and setting fire to property they suspected of being Muslim-owned.

“They were asking for identity cards to see if they are Hindu or Muslim and if they saw Muslim people they beat them,” said Abul Kalam, a 60-year-old salesman who was riding his motorbike with a Hindu colleague when they stumbled on the rioters.

In a grim echo of the violent 1947 partition of India — in which up to 2m people are thought to have died — rioters questioned people over their religion, demanding they recite prayers, show religious symbols or even pull down their trousers… said one social activist.

Witnesses said police appeared to do little to stop the rioters.

Mazid, a 32-year-old shop owner, said he and his neighbors on a mixed Hindu-Muslim street were standing together trying to protect their homes on Tuesday evening when they saw a crowd, accompanied by police officers, coming towards them.

“Police were with them and we thought maybe they will stop the violence, but then [someone] fired the shots,” said Mazid. His brother was killed and two neighbors were injured in the gunfire.

On Wednesday morning, Modi’s government, which has control over policing and is responsible for security in the capital, deployed thousands of additional paramilitary police to the riot-stricken areas to try to restore order. That afternoon, Modi took to Twitter to appeal for peace — his first public acknowledgment of the violence.

But even amid the strong police presence, tensions remained high, with many families fleeing to seek refuge with relatives elsewhere.

“People are afraid — they are leaving their homes,” said Shankar Thakur, a 28-year-old teacher. “The mobs who are coming, the police have no power to defeat them.”

Many are also questioning why it took the government so long to clamp down. “Historically, communal violence in India is never the result of weak state capacity,” said Gilles Verniers, a political-science professor at Ashoka University, near Delhi. “The state tends to prevent violence from erupting when it has the intention to do so.”

Analysts said the rioting may not be as severe as other urban violence that has rocked India. But the government’s apparent tolerance of two days of unchecked bloodshed had sent a powerful signal to a Muslim community that already felt under siege, they said.

“The violence has already served its purpose,” said Verniers. “It has asserted Hindu dominance and claimed ownership of the public sphere.”

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