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.

 

Modi’s Major Himalayan Mistake Crushed the Indian Military’s Morale

By Andrew Korybko

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The death of at least 20 members of the Indian military during non-firearm clashes with China along their disputed frontier in Kashmir has been extremely demoralizing for this already distressed institution, but it’s all due to Modi’s major Himalayan mistake in thinking that he can reap immediately tangible benefits from his new American patron by making a show out of “containing” China.

Modi’s Latest Mistake Was His Worst One Yet

At least 20 members of the Indian military were killed during non-firearm clashes with China earlier this week along their disputed frontier in Kashmir, which crushed the morale of this already distressed institution. Publicly financed Russian international media outlet Sputnik, citing Indian government sources, reported that they died after Chinese soldiers attacked them with “stones” and “iron rods as well as batons wrapped in barbed wire”. Sputnik also said that “Many of the unarmed men (OneWorld Note: this means that they weren’t armed with firearms but could have conceivably had other weapons just like their Chinese counterparts did) jumped into the Galwan River in an attempt to escape.” Others, they reported, “who were critically injured at the standoff location died after exposure to sub-zero temperatures.” This epic disaster wouldn’t have happened, however, had it not been for Modi’s major Himalayan mistake in thinking that he can reap immediately tangible benefits from his new American patron by making a show out of “containing” China.

Systemic Demoralization In The Indian Armed Forces

Before explaining the strategic drivers behind India’s misguided strategy of aggression against China, it’s important to emphasize just how demoralizing of a development this was for the country’s armed forces. According to a report from Modern Diplomacy asking “Why more Indian soldiers die in suicides and fratricides than in combat?“, “One jawan (OneWorld Note: this means ‘soldier’) commits suicide every third day.” Quite clearly, there are deep systemic problems driving this epidemic in the military, including discrimination against soldiers by their superiors for ethno-religious or caste-based reasons, insufficient rations that leave some recruits on the brink of starvation, and a lack of support for their illegal occupation of Kashmir where most of the suicides take place and the latest clash with China occurred. Against this backdrop, one can only imagine how crushing it was to the Indian military’s already dismal morale to have so many of their members killed by the Chinese without a shot being fired and die of the cold simply because their military couldn’t rescue them.

“Paper Elephant”

Many in India had hitherto been brainwashed by their government-pressured media into thinking that China was a so-called “paper tiger”, but recalling that their country proudly associates itself with the image of the elephant (patient but powerful, as its proponents allege), India itself can be described as a “paper elephant” following the recent disaster in Kashmir. So many of its military members died in brutal face-to-face combat, not because someone pulled a trigger or pressed a button from far away. Others fled in fear and basically committed suicide by jumping off the mountains into a nearby river, while still others died unnecessarily of the cold because their military lacked the political will and/or physical means to rescue them. The Bollywood-propagated myth of India as a so-called “superpower” was conclusively shattered once and for all, which explains society’s literal shock at what happened and its leadership’s inability to even comment on the matter immediately after it transpired. The “politically inconvenient” fact is that the “paper elephant” was just shredded by a real tiger.

Ideology & Geopolitics

India should have known better than to have tested China’s resolve by invading its territory under the mistaken belief that the People’s Republic was supposedly just a “paper tiger”, but it did so anyhow for two interconnected reasons as the author wrote in his recent piece for CGTN about how “India Must Urgently Refrain From Its Strategy Of Regional Aggression“. The Hindu nationalist BJP wants to carve “Akhand Bharat” (Greater India) out of “Greater South Asia” (which includes parts of China’s Xinjiang and Tibet regions) so as to impose a “Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu fundamentalist state) upon the region. It’s been encouraged by the US in pursuit of this ideological-geopolitical goal since America regards India as a proxy for “containing” China. Prime Minister Modi thought that he could reap immediately tangible benefits from his country’s new ally through India’s failed foray, but America has thus far refrained from formally intervening in the conflict, whether militarily or diplomatically.

The American Proxy

Three of the author’s recent pieces shed some relevant insight on the US’ strategic aims in this proxy war and should be reviewed by the reader in order to familiarize themselves with its Machiavellian objectives:

In summary, the American goal is to misportray China as the “aggressor”, solidify its emerging trans-regional alliance against it in response, restructure supply chains away from the People’s Republic, and thus “contain” it.

“Saving Face”

The US will likely provide some tangible form of these envisioned benefits to India with time, but the fact that they haven’t immediately materialized in the aftermath of the recent clash has humiliated India as a country and especially its armed forces. The ultra-nationalist sentiment that the ruling party has cultivated over its past six years in power is at risk of backfiring against it since approximately 1,3 billion people have just realized that they’ve been lied to by their leaders this entire time about their civilization-state supposedly being a “superpower”, only to be exposed as the “paper elephant” that it’s always been. This dangerously means that the authorities might undertake another military foray against what they consider to be a less formidable military foe in order to “save face” and distract the agitated masses. This scenario could take the form of another false flag provocation against Pakistan like last February’s (with predictably similar self-inflicted humiliation), an attack against Nepal, or another “surgical strike” against Naga rebels hiding out in Myanmar.

Concluding Thoughts

There’s no going back to the status quo ante bellum wherein India unconvincingly tried to deceive China into thinking that its much-ballyhooed policy of so-called “multialignment” with the US wasn’t really a strategic pivot aimed at “containing” the People’s Republic. India learned the hard way that there’s a tremendous difference between its domestically-targeted propaganda against China and the cold reality of the Chinese military. Just as there’s no returning to the prior state of affairs between the two countries, so too is there no return to how the average Indian previously perceived of their military’s strength. The “paper elephant” was shredded into pieces by the Chinese tiger without a shot being fired, and the Indian military was unprecedentedly humiliated. The resultant demoralization that’s expected to take hold of the entire armed forces in the aftermath of Modi’s major Himalayan mistake will likely ensure that it’ll never regain its prior confidence, which could prove catastrophic when it comes to defending what it regards as its national interests.

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.

India has raised the ante in Kashmir – Do we have an answer?

By Syed Nazir Gilani

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India has raised the ante in Kashmir. Doordarshan and All India Radio (private channels to follow) have started from 8 May 2020, to telecast and broadcast temperatures and weather reports of Indian towns and cities including “Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” as a feed from The North Western Division of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). DD News and All India Radio will include “Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” in their prime time news bulletins at 8.55am and 8.55pm weather reports, as part of their claim on these areas of Azad Kashmir.

IMD move to include “Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” in their weather bulletin is a disturbing tactical move, on the top of a strategic move of 5 August and 31 October 2019. India has started selling to its people, that the large Indian army has the chin to take any loss of life of its armed forces in Kashmir.

Loss of life in the households of Kashmir is far different in character. The youth are prepared to lead into the next generation and killing of a Kashmiri youth is slowly killing the right of ‘self-determination’. Do we need to sit and watch for the chain actions of Indian Government, that started on 5 August 2019, let it hold the Valley under lock and allow its army to roam free to pick up and kill Kashmiri youth at will? The answer should be no!

Pakistan did fairly well at the UN General Assembly in September 2019. Forcing UN Security Council to revisit Kashmir, in whatever manner, on 16 August 2019 and 15 January 2020 were two very good efforts. However, we have again lost the momentum and have misinterpreted the Indian actions. Indian has disturbed the status quo on Kashmir and in a way has annexed the Indian administered (occupied) part of Kashmir. It does not need to go for any quick demographic change. The actions of 5 August and 31 October 2019, provide a safe cover to India, to hurt the Muslim majority character of the State.

India did not claim “Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” as its cities out of any whim. Indian actions add up to a fact that India has been cheating Pakistan even in diplomatic engagements. JKCHR did point out one such overbearing influence of India, in the Indo-Pak Joint Statement issued after the June 19-23 1997 India Pakistan talks at Islamabad. Indian side tricked Pakistan to retreat on Kashmir from its core position and add it in the eight “outstanding issues of concern to both sides”.

Kashmir was displaced from its ‘principal’ character and it became an ‘include’ in many other issues. It was an unbelievable retreat in the history of Kashmir. In a way it was as agonising as Kashmir being hit at the UN Security Council in August 1996, by rule 11 of the Procedure Rules of Security Council.

JKCHR made a five page representation to the Government of Pakistan on 30 June 1997 and pointed out the serious mistakes made in the joint statement. Indian side made the full use of the principle of “literal and strained interpretation’, while interpreting the terms of the joint statement on their arrival in Delhi. On 25 June 1997, Indian Foreign Secretary Salman Haider said, “When we talk about the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, there is a juridical element in that. We make the point that parts of Jammu and Kashmir are under Pakistani occupation by military force and that is something that we would certainly discuss”.

Explaining the merits of the joint statement, Indian FS said, “We have said that there is no dispute in our part of Kashmir but there are issues relating to POK”. Indian Parliament Resolution of February 1994, on Azad Kashmir and GB, declaring them as part of India, should have forced Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and every Kashmiri into meditation and unease.

Indian Meteorological Department, Doordarshan, All India Radio and Indian private TV channels have started doing, is exactly, what Indian Parliament has pending on its files since February 1994. What are our options?

War and the use of International law (UN Resolutions) are our only options left. Pakistan like India is a nuclear state. Pakistan’s nuclear capability, cancels out the overbearing Indian misplaced big size boast of its size and number. One would love to see India and Pakistan return to the call of “their spiritual heritage and the responsibility of their power” in the service of their people and the region. If war is avoided, we have a future. However, if war breaks out the present leadership may not survive to see a depopulated and vastly deserted India.

The other way forward would be engagement and respect for international law. Kashmiris and Government Pakistan have international law on their side. UN Resolutions would not entertain Indian hegemony and such actions at all, unless we have lost faith in the jurisprudence of our case and in our abilities to take India to the “Police Station”. International Law in our case are the UN Resolutions and we need to re-visit the merits of our case.

Foreign office of Pakistan indeed has brilliant minds, but we need people who have a reliable knowledge of Kashmir case and reliable understanding of UN Resolutions. To be brilliant in any discipline of foreign office is one thing and to be knowledgeable on Kashmir case is quite different. We may need to fix the political tripping and tipping in the appointments of the chairman of Kashmir Committee. There is need to upgrade and regularise the expert input from Government of Azad Kashmir, Kashmiri experts and start it on a war footing.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, as Chairman AJK Council has accepted a constitutional role in Azad Kashmir. Even if he had not volunteered to be an ambassador of the people of Kashmir, he has retained enough role, to structure a new team to work on Kashmir. AJK Council could be converted into a role that Section 11 of 1974 Act or Section 8 of 1970 Act warrants from Government of Azad Kashmir. We failed to make use of a space given to us by UNCIP Resolutions and UN Security Council Resolutions. It seems to have corrected the Indian hump and its leadership has gone mad. We need to keep the options of war and international law open.

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.

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.

RAW, IB targeted Canadian politicians to support Indian interests: report

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Islamabad, April 18 (KMS): Indian intelligence agents working for Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) attempted to use money and disinformation to covertly influence Canadian politicians and falsely link Pakistan and its diaspora with “terrorism” through well-funded lobbying, according to a highly sensitive government document.

The document shows that Canadian security officials suspected India’s two main intelligence branches had asked an Indian citizen to sway politicians in Canada into supporting Indian government interests, Global News reported. The paper said that the RAW and IB were behind the operation since 2009.

A Canada government official said the government was “concerned when any country shows destabilising behaviour, including interference in other countries’ democratic systems”.

The report claims the Canadian intelligence authorities suspect Indian agencies of trying to use the chief editor of an unnamed Indian publication for this purpose. It adds that the wife and kids of that editor are Canadian nationals and a secret security investigation against him began when he applied to immigrate to Canada.

Details of alleged Indian involvement were first revealed in a Canadian federal court, where Canadian authorities have accused the said editor – referred to as AB in the document seen by Global News – of espionage.

The report claims that the accused Indian national allegedly met Indian intelligence officials more than two dozens times over a period of six years.

“You stated that you were tasked by RAW to covertly influence Canadian government representatives and agencies on behalf of the Indian government,” according to a letter sent to him by an immigration official.

“You stated that you were told to identify random Caucasian politicians and attempt to direct them into supporting issues that impacted India,” the letter continued.

“You stated that the guidance from RAW included that you were to provide financial assistance and propaganda material to politicians in order to exert influence over them.”

One of his tasks was “to convince politicians that funding from Canada was being sent to Pakistan to support terrorism,” according to the letter, dated May 30, 2018.

At least 1.2 million Canadians are of Indian descent. India has always suspected thousands of Sikhs, living in Canada, of supporting Khalistan movement and seeking independence from India.

Allegations made against RAW in a Canadian court are especially embarrassing for India because only in December 2019 a German court sentenced an Indian couple after they admitted to spying on Kashmiri and Sikh freedom groups for the Indian intelligence agency RAW.

Court documents said the couple, named only as Manmohan S and his wife Kanwal Jit K, were paid more than €7,000 (£6,000) for passing on information.

Manmohan S was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence for espionage while his wife received a hefty fine.

The court in Frankfurt was told that Manmohan S, 51, was recruited by RAW in 2015 and asked to spy on Kashmiri freedom groups.

“The accused reported on the internal affairs of the Sikh temples in Cologne and Frankfurt, as well as on protest events in the Sikh community,” a court statement said.

He attended regular meetings with an Indian intelligence officer from July 2017 and was paid €200 a month for the information he provided.

Also in December 2019, it emerged that a global network of pro-India fake websites and think-tanks was established by RAW across Europe aimed at influencing decision-making in Europe in favour of India and to oppose Pakistan.

The co-ordinated network of 265 sites operates across 65 countries, according to a report by EU Disinfo Lab, a Brussels-based NGO. The network was also found to involve groups responsible for anti-Pakistan lobbying events in Europe.

“More than the fake media outlets alone, it is their combination with the fake NGOs that’s really worrying because it provides a mirage of online and grassroots support to a cause. That’s exactly where the disinformation lies,” Alexandre Alaphilippe, executive director of EU Disinfo Lab, said.

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.

BJP Capitalizes on Coronavirus Fears to Take India’s Fascist Creep to the Next Level

By Alan Macleod

Source

Last week, 22-year-old Dilshad “Mehboob” Ali was dragged into a field on the outskirts of Delhi and beaten with sticks and shoes by an enraged crowd demanding to be told, “who else is behind this conspiracy?” His attackers believed he was part of a “corona Jihad:” an evil plot by India’s Muslim minority to spread the disease and kill as many Hindus as possible. Ali was dragged to a temple and told to convert to Hinduism before they would allow him to go to the hospital. Images of the incident went viral, illustrative of a nationwide assault on the country’s nearly 200 million Muslims.

Ali is part of the Tablighi Jamaat movement, identified by the government as the main culprits in spreading the coronavirus across India. Between March 13 and 15, the movement hosted a convention in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi, attended by around 8,000 people from all over the country and Asia. After some tested positive for COVID–19, India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government began demonizing them as the source of the outbreak that has so far killed 448 people, but is feared could rip through the country’s densely populated slums like wildfire. Senior BJP politicians immediately sparked fears of a “corona jihad.” “The central and state governments are leaving no stone unturned in the decisive fight against the COVID-19,” said Rajeev Bindal, president of the Himachal Pradesh BJP party. “But some people, including Tablighi Jamaat, members are moving like human bombs to thwart their efforts.”

Other BJP leaders claimed that Muslims were carrying out “corona terrorism” and were spitting on doctors and other healthcare workers. “It’s clear, their aim is to infect as many people as possible with coronavirus and kill them,” tweeted Delhi politician Kapil Mishra. Other BJP figures have called it a “Talibani crime.”

Even fellow Hindus have not been spared by BJP bigotry. A report from CNN highlighted how Dalits, the lowest-rung in the officially outlawed Hindu caste system, have been prevented from purchasing food and medicine. Dalits are often considered inherently dirty by higher castes, so they have been refused access to shops and entry to certain neighborhoods by others invoking coronavirus fears.

While the government has initiated laws against spreading false information and social media has existing rules prohibiting hate speech, it becomes more difficult to enforce when senior political leaders themselves engage in it. Nevertheless, it is clear from the torrent of Islamophobic fake news circulating on Twitter that it is doing far from enough to root it out. The hashtag #CoronaJihad has trended for days, with fake news and hate speech abounding.

The upshot of the campaign has been a dramatic increase in Islamophobic attacks and anti-Muslim sentiment. Across India, Muslims are being barred from entering neighborhoods while in others Hindus face fines if caught fraternizing with them. Others have been beaten with bats and lynched.

There has also been fake news aimed at infecting the Muslim population themselves, with videos circulating on TikTok and other platforms telling users that the virus does not affect Muslims and that they should not wear masks.

The wave of anti-Muslim violence has shocked many observers, but not surprised them. Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to national attention while chief minister of Gujarat State during the massive wave of anti-Muslim pogroms in 2002 that saw over 2,000 killed and 200,000 Muslims driven from their homes. For a great many in India, the fact that he is widely considered its architect is a point in his favor. He won re-election in an overwhelming landslide last year.

However, he has faced stiff opposition, primarily from India’s many religious minority communities, who see his explicitly Hindu nationalist agenda as dooming them to becoming second-class citizens, or worse. The last year has seen the country in upheaval following his controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registration Council (NRC) laws. The CAA makes it easier for people fleeing persecution from India’s Muslim-majority neighbors to gain citizenship. But the policy explicitly prevents Muslims and dalits from taking advantage of the law; something critics say breaks India’s tradition of secularism.

The NRC is arguably much more nefarious. The NRC is a new body overhauling Indian citizenship laws, requiring citizens to provide extensive documentation about themselves and their ancestors, something hundreds of millions will surely be unable to do. Without this documentation, the government is able to strip citizenship away from anyone it chooses, rendering large populations illegal overnight. The policy has already been implemented in the northeastern state of Assam, where 1.9 million people – most of them Muslims – have been declared stateless and without rights. The BJP government is currently building a network of detention centers, not unlike those on the U.S./Mexico border, to house the new population of “illegal immigrants.” In February, Giriraj Singh, a minister in Modi’s cabinet, sparked fury after he claimed that India made a big mistake not fully committing to genocide against the entire Muslim population upon the country’s founding in 1947.

“It was a big lapse by our ancestors that we’re paying the price for now. If at that time Muslim brothers had been sent there and Hindus brought here, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Singh said. The situation he was referring to was the protests and the anti-Muslim pogroms sweeping the country that killed 36 people.

If some hoped that a nationwide lockdown amid a pandemic that threatened everyone would dampen the flames of communal hatred and inspire a collective spirit that would transcend religion, that hope has been completely dashed. India is accelerating down the track of religious strife, and the government itself is driving the vehicle.

Indian troops martyr four Kashmiri youth in Kulgam

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India’s new domicile law evokes more condemnation

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Srinagar, April 04 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, 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.

Meanwhile, senior APHC leader and President of Jammu and Kashmir Anjuman Sharie Shian, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi, in a statement issued in Srinagar condemned the new domicile law enforced by India in occupied Kashmir to convert the Muslim majority of Kashmir into minority by settling non-Muslim Indians in the territory. He deplored that such decisions were being taken unilaterally by India at a time when the Kashmiris were fighting with the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The occupation authorities have extended ban on high-speed internet service till 15th April. An order to this effect was issued by Principal Secretary of occupied Kashmir’s Home Department, Shaleen Kabra.

Indian police arrested over 40 people including shopkeepers from different areas of the Kashmir Valley for alleged violation of prohibitory orders imposed to contain coronavirus.

Three more persons were tested positive for the coronavirus in Udhampur, today, raising the number of such patients to 92 in the occupied territory. Two of those persons diagnosed with the COVID-19 have died so far, in the occupied territory.

On the other hand, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting in Islamabad said that the new domicile law imposed by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir was violation of the UN resolutions, Geneva Convention and international law. APHC AJK leaders, Ishtiyaq Hameed and Zahid Ashraf, in their statements in Islamabad also denounced India’s nefarious move aimed at altering the Muslim majority character of occupied Kashmir.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission in a tweet in Jeddah denounced the new domicile law introduced by India in occupied Kashmir. The commission in the tweet said that the move by India is an attempt to alter demographic and geographic status of occupied Kashmir.

India victimizing detained Hurriyat leaders

Source

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.

Indian troops intensify CASOs in IOK

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Harassment of juournalists denounced

Srinagar, March 07 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops have intensified cordon and search operations across the territory to suppress the Kashmiris’ freedom movement and to stop them from raising voice against the recent anti-Kashmir moves of the Modi government.

The troops and sleuths of National Investigation Agency have arrested several youth during military operations and house raids in Srinagar, Badgam, Islamabad, Pulwama, Baramulla, Kupwara, Kishtwar, Doda, Bhaderwah, Rajouri and other areas. The main objective behind these operations is to create a sense of fear among the masses. The residents of these areas told media that the troops barge into their houses, thrash the inmates and vandalize their properties. The NIA alone has arrested four people including a woman and her father from Srinagar and Pulwama areas during the last few days.

Meanwhile, the residents of Kashmir Valley continued to face severe hardships due to unrelenting military siege on 216th consecutive day, today.

The Kashmir Press Club in a statement issued in Srinagar strongly condemned the harassment of two photojournalists by Indian police in Pulwama district. Two cameramen, Qayoom Khan and Qaisar Mir, were stopped by the police when they were covering a raid by the NIA in Hakripora area of the district. The police also snatched away their cameras and mobile phones and returned the same after several hours. Qaisar Mir said that he was used as a human shield by the troops during a cordon and search operation at Babgund in Pulwama on 29th February.

The Jammu and Kashmir Islami Tanzeem Azadi in a statement issued in Srinagar urged India to realize the ground reality, give up its intransigence on the Kashmir dispute and come to the negotiation table to settle it through peaceful means.

On the other hand, one civilian was killed and another injured when an unknown person lobbed a grenade towards a bunker of Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force at Maharaj Gunj in Srinagar. Unidentified gunmen shot dead a youth in Tral area of Pulwama.

In Geneva, Kashmiri representative, Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, addressing the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council said that the Modi government’s unilateral illegal decision to repeal Kashmir’s special status on 5th August, 2019, was against the UN resolutions and international law. He said that the Kashmir dispute should be resolved in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions on the subject.

Thousands of people held protest rallies in Kabul and Herat cities of Afghanistan and in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka against the state-sponsored brutalities being committed against Muslims in India and occupied Kashmir.

Thousands of women killed, molested by Indian troops in IOK since Jan 1989

Source

Islamabad, March 08 (KMS): 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.

Imam Khamenei Urges India to Stop Extremist Anti-Muslim Violence

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei deplored the massacre of Muslims in India, calling on the New Delhi government to confront extremist Hindus.

In a post on Thursday, Imam Khamenei’s official Twitter account denounced the recent wave of violence against Muslims in India.

“The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India,” the post read.

“The govt of India should confront extremist Hindus & their parties & stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India’s isolation from the world of Islam,” it added.

The post ended with the hashtag #IndianMuslimslnDanger.

Violence erupted in the Indian capital last week, leading to a three-day-long rampage, with Hindu mobs attacking Muslim homes, shops and mosques.

The attacks were carried out on protesters, who have been rallying against a new citizenship law, after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] leader Kapil Mishra threatened peaceful sit-ins would be removed from the streets.

The violence in Delhi killed scores of people.

It was the worst violence in Delhi since 1984, when more than 3,000 Sikh minority were killed following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

10 martyred in IOK in February

Source

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.

 

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