Kashmiris worry about a demographic change after August 05 move: Khurram

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Srinagar, August 08 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar-based noted human rights activist, Khurram Parvez, has said that August 5 action by Modi government was yet another step towards completely annexing Kashmir – a move used to garner popular support in India at the expense of Kashmiris.

Khurram Parvez in an article in US-based Time magazine wrote that the consent of the governed, which is essential in a democracy, is not at all a concern for the Hindu nationalist government of India when it comes to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which includes the Kashmir Valley.

Khurram Parvez, who is coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society and chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, wrote that IIOJK was under a lockdown long before COVID-19. “For weeks last year, all phone lines and internet services were cut off by the Indian government. Basic mobile-phone connectivity took months to be restored and a ban on high-speed 4G internet continues till this day,” he pointed out.

The rights activist wrote that the Indian government has made full use of coronavirus lockdowns by passing the domicile rule, which has caused alarm because of its potential to change the demography of the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, he maintained. “In just more than a month, around 400,000 people have already acquired domicile certificates. It could alter the results of any referendum seeking people’s opinion for the resolution of the larger, international dispute over control of the territory, he added.

Khurram Pervez wrote that the first attempt to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir came in 1947 when the Muslim-majority district of Poonch in Jammu faced a siege, which resulted in a massacre of Muslims across Jammu. It is unclear exactly how many people died, but estimates put the casualty count between 20,000 to even more than 200,000 – with half a million being forced to migrate to Pakistan, he added.

He wrote that elections have been rigged and laws have been imposed by twisting the local government’s arm; anyone who opposes the Indian government’s writ was jailed or killed. “There has been absolute lawlessness as structures of accountability have been rendered dysfunctional. Not one armed forces’ personnel has ever been prosecuted in civilian courts for their involvement in human rights violations,” he maintains.

Khurram Pervez wrote that promises of a referendum allowing Kashmiris to decide the territory’s fate, made by then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947, had been buried and replaced by a new narrative that “Kashmir is an integral part of India”. He said, with every passing day, India’s stand on Kashmir has grown more rigid – and violence against people of Jammu and Kashmir has become a norm. He said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power in 2014, the policies of aggression became even more crude. He pointed out that the only difference was that the deceptive sophistication of the secular Congress government was replaced by the brazenness of the Hindu-majoritarian BJP.

Khurram Pervez maintained that the unilateral and undemocratic changes governing Jammu and Kashmir, unabated human rights violations, denial of basic facilities and land-grabbing due to militarization are all in violation of international law, UN resolutions, India’s own constitutional framework and India’s commitment to the Kashmiris. India can only feel encouraged to continue its violent policy because of the lack of international moral leadership, he concluded.

 

Kashmir Martyrs’ Day – July 13

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Background

svg%3EKashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world observe 13th July as Kashmir Martyrs’ Day, every year. The day is commemorated to pay rich tributes to the 22 Kashmiris who were shot dead, one after the other, outside the Srinagar Central Jail by the troops of Dogra Maharaja. The victims had gathered in the jail premises to attend the court proceedings against one, Abdul Qadeer, who had asked the Kashmiri people to defy Dogra rule.

The tension was brewing in the territory since 19th April 1931 when Imam Munshi Muhammad Ishaq was stopped by Dogra police chief, Chowdry Ram Chand, from delivering Eid Khutba (sermon) in the Municipal Park of Jammu. The incident triggered massive demonstrations in Jammu city that continued for many days. Ban on Eid Khutba was followed by the desecration of the Holy Quran at the hands of Dogra troops in Jammu. This outrageous act led to widespread resentment throughout the State.

In Srinagar, people held massive gatherings at historic Jamia Masjid and other mosques, shrines and Imamabargahs to denounce this blasphemy and demanded punishment to the culprits. A youth, Abdul Qadeer, was also part of a crowd, which was listening to the speeches delivered by prominent Kashmiri leaders at one such gathering held in Khanqah-e-Mualla. When the meeting concluded, Abdul Qadeer pointing his finger to the Maharaja’s palace raised full-throated slogans “destroy its every brick”. He was accused of sedition and arrested instantly. Abdul Qadeer was to be tried in the court but due to a large public resentment the court was shifted to the Srinagar Central Jail.

On 12th July, intense public demonstrations were held throughout the city against the shifting of the court to the Central Jail. On 13th July, thousands of people thronged the Central Jail to witness the trial of Abdul Qadeer. As the time for obligatory Zuhar prayers approached, one of the youth stood up and started reciting “Azan”. He was shot dead by the Dogra soldiers and next youth started the ‘Azan’ where it was left by the martyred youth. He was also killed and in the process of completing the ‘Azan’ a total of 22 Kashmiris were martyred, one after the other. This massacre is the blackest chapter in the history of Dogra regime.

Before this wholesale slaughter, the Kashmiris had been facing the worst brutalities of their rulers since the selling of Jammu and Kashmir – with predominantly Muslim population – by the Britain to Dogra dynasty for Rs 75 lac under the Treaty of Amritsar in 1846. The Dogra period is considered to be the worst phase of the Kashmir history on account of cruelties meted out to the Muslims.

13th July 1931 is a significant day due to the fact that it was the first occasion when the Kashmiris rose en masse against the oppression of the Dogra Maharaja.

Indian occupation

The new saga of Kashmiris’ sufferings started after the announcement of the understanding behind the Partition Plan of the Indian subcontinent by the British Government in 1947. Under the Plan, the British India Colony was to be divided into two sovereign states – Pakistan and India. The understanding behind the Partition Plan had given the right to the then Princely States to accede to either of the two countries on the basis of their geography and demography. The Kashmiris had a great feeling to join Pakistan due to their strong geographical, religious and cultural bonds with the country. However, their dream of becoming part of Pakistan was shattered by the landing of Indian Army in Srinagar on October 27, 1947 in total disregard to the Partition Plan that sowed the seeds of the Kashmir dispute. This shows that Kashmir is the unfinished part of the partition of South Asian subcontinent.

The Indian invasion faced stiff resistance from the people of Jammu and Kashmir. They launched a freedom struggle and succeeded in liberating a large part of the State, which is now known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The resilience and determination of the Kashmiris pushed India on the verge of defeat, forcing it to approach the UN Security Council on January 01, 1948 and seeking its help to settle the issue. The UNSC through its several successive resolutions called for settlement of the Kashmir dispute through holding of a free and impartial plebiscite to be conducted by the UN. It is a historical fact that India itself had taken Kashmir to the UN accepting it as a disputed territory and promising before the world community to give the Kashmiris their right to self-determination, but these commitments are yet to be honoured.

Mass uprisings

The continued denial of their rights by India compelled the people of the occupied territory to start a massive uprising in 1989. It picked up pace with the passage of time and gave sleepless nights to the Indian rulers. The people rose against the illegal occupation and vowed to continue their struggle till Kashmir’s liberation from Indian bondage.

The Kashmiris’ liberation movement took a new turn in 2008. For the next three consecutive years, thousands of people hit the streets of Srinagar and other major towns on a daily basis. At times, one million protesters were seen on the streets of Srinagar demanding their right to self-determination. The extrajudicial killing of a popular youth leader, Burhan Wani, on July 08, 2016, triggered another mass uprising in the territory. Unfortunately, instead of taking these mammoth anti-India demonstrations in all these years as Kashmiris’ referendum against its illegal occupation of their soil, India responded with brute force, resulting in the killing of hundreds of protesters and injuring of thousands. Since the killing of Burhan Wani, 1,231 Kashmiris had been martyred and 28,066 injured by Indian forces’ personnel till June 30, 2020. As many as 11,050 persons had received pellet injuries and 385 of them had lost their eyesight in one or both eyes.

Modi regime’s assaults

On 5th August 2019, the Narendra Modi-led fascist government repealed the special status of occupied Kashmir and placed the territory under military siege and communications lockdown. After this illegal move, Indian troops have stepped up the killing spree across occupied Kashmir to suppress the uprising and intimidate the Kashmiris into submission. The killing of a 65-year-old civilian, Bashir Ahmed Khan, by Indian troops in front of his 3-year-old grandson in Sopore town in early July 2020 is the glaring example of Indian state terrorism in the occupied territory. Since 5th August, last year, Indian troops had martyred 192 Kashmiris and injured at least 1,326 others by using brute force on peaceful demonstrators till July 05, 2020. The troops had damaged over 935 houses and structures and molested 77 women. Thousands of Hurriyat leaders, political and human rights activists, religious heads, journalists, businessmen, lawyers and civil society members, who were arrested after or before the 5th August 2019, continue to remain in different jails of India and occupied Kashmir.

The Modi regime has also introduced new domicile rules in occupied Kashmir, paving way for the Indian Hindus to get permanently settled in the territory. The basic aim of the move is to convert the Muslim majority into a minority. It has so far issued domicile certificates to over 300,000 Indian Hindus including an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Navin Kumar Choudhary.

However, the fact remains that the worst kind of Indian brutalities have failed to force the Kashmiris to surrender their just cause and they are determined to carrying forward their freedom movement.

Conclusion

The unparalleled sacrifices rendered by the people of occupied Kashmir in their just struggle during the past several decades have shaken the conscience of the world community, which has started to raise its voice in favour of their rights. The holding of discussion in the UN Security Council on the situation in occupied Kashmir twice within few months in the last over 50 years, the debates in the UK Parliament, the issuance of documents on Kashmir by the European Parliament and two reports by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlighting the grave human rights abuses by Indian troops in Kashmir are some glaring examples of this fact. These developments show that the day is not far when India will have no option but to respect the Kashmiris’ aspirations and give them their right to self-determination it had promised several decades ago.

Kashmiris to observe Accession to Pakistan Day tomorrow

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Indian atrocities failed to erase Kashmiris’ love for Pakistan

Srinagar, July 18 (KMS): Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world will observe the Accession to Pakistan Day, tomorrow (19th July), with a renewed pledge to continue the struggle for freedom from Indian occupation and complete merger of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan.

On 19th July in 1947, genuine representatives of the Kashmiris unanimously passed the resolution of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan during a meeting of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference at the residence of Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan in Aabi Guzar area of Srinagar. The historic resolution called for the Accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan in view of its existing religious, geographical, cultural and economic proximity to Pakistan and aspirations of millions of Kashmiri Muslims.

The development had come almost a month before the creation of two sovereign states of Pakistan and India under the Partition Plan of the British Indian colony on August 14 and 15 respectively, the same year. As per the understanding behind the Partition Plan, the Princely States were free to accede to either of the two newly established countries. The decision of 19th July 1947 was a testimony to the fact that the people of Kashmir had linked their future with Pakistan. They took the decision of joining Pakistan to protect their political religious, social, cultural and economic rights, as they were well aware of their fate under Hindus who had deep seated animosity for Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, an analytical report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service, today, revealed that over 450,000 Kashmiris have laid down their lives for Jammu and Kashmir’s freedom from Indian occupation and its Accession to Pakistan during the last over seven decades. It said the worst kind of Indian brutalities have failed to wipe out the Kashmiris’ love for Pakistan.

The report said Indian troops in their continued acts of state terrorism have martyred over 95,630 Kashmiris including 7141 in custody since January 1989. It said the troops have subjected over 8,000 Kashmiri youth to custodial disappearance, molested over 11,200 women and destroyed as many as 110,334 houses during the period while thousands of Kashmiris still remain lodged in different jails of occupied Kashmir and India. However, the report added, these atrocities have not been able to force the Kashmiri people to give up their just cause and they are determined to continue their struggle to achieve their cherished goal.

The Sopore killing: Perils of impunity

By Altaf Hussain Wani

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The gruesome killing of an unarmed civilian in front of his grandson by the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on 1st July 2020 in Sopore, north-west of Srinagar, has shocked the world. The images of a shell-shocked, speechless toddler lying on the chest of his dead grandfather were heartbreaking.

This barbaric murder by the Indian occupation forces triggered widespread condemnation and protests by residents and members of civil society from Indian Occupied Kashmir. They continue to plead for justice and an end to the state-sponsored violence which has been a hallmark of the Indian occupation.

The July 01 incident is just a tip of the iceberg. There are scores of such heart-wrenching incidents of state-sponsored violence against Kashmiris during the decades of conflict. Media sanctions imposed by the Indian authorities and the absence of social media, prevents incidents of violence gaining international attention and a cumulative humanitarian response.

One incident that should have stirred the sleeping conscience of the international community was that of a newly married bride from South Kashmir’s Islamabad district, whose husband was killed in front of her. She was later raped by the Indian forces in the bus in which she was travelling to her husband’s home. But there was no outcry.

The gang rape of a pregnant woman from Kunan Poshpora village of Kupwara by Indian forces who two weeks later gave birth to a baby with a broken leg should have made every Indian hang their head in shame that such attacks are carried out by their military. Kashmiri women being raped by Indian troops in front of their male family members have no place in this modern world. Yet although such shameful incidents were widely reported in the local and international press the perpetrators were never brought to book. Rape is always a crime. When committed by occupying forces it amounts to a war crime.

Systematic violence over several decades has had far reaching consequences on the physical and mental health of Kashmiri society. Living in a constant state of fear is a feature of Kashmiris’ life. According to a recent Medicins Sans Frontier report, Kashmir has one of the highest rates of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the world.

The MSF report stated, “The result of the violence has caused a chronic trauma that affects nearly all of Kashmir’s four million Muslims, countless numbers of Hindu and Sikh residents and those displaced”. The report also highlighted that the situation in the region has deteriorated to such a level that public and private hospitals and mental health clinics are overwhelmed with the numbers of patients. Kashmir health professionals now see a rise in drug addiction and suicide rates.

This dangerous dimension of the conflict has largely been ignored internationally. Rather than viewing the Disputed Territory of Jammu and Kashmir through the prism of humanity, internationally it has always been viewed it as a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. The abysmal international response to the human rights violations in Kashmir and its reluctance to play a greater role in resolving the conflict as per international covenants has emboldened the Indian occupation authorities to act with impunity.

Impunity from prosecution, lack of accountability for rights abuses, and the absence of an independent investigation policy and mechanism at government level, has led to countless massacres, mass murders, fake encounters, forced disappearances, extra-judicial and custodial killings.

The recent incident of killing of a grandfather in front of his grandchild therefore cannot be treated as an isolated case. Rather it should be seen in the broader context of the Indian policy intended to instil fear in Kashmiris who have refused to bow to the Indian diktat and its policy of forced integration of Jammu and Kashmir into India.

The UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric’s remarks that people responsible for the civilian killing in Kashmir need to be brought to account, is a welcome development. However, as killing of civilians continues to escalate, it is the time that the UN Secretary General, as custodian of peace and justice, should use his diplomatic clout to help bring an end to the bloodshed and finally resolve the Kashmir dispute.

The UN must also now take into consideration the OHCHR report on Kashmir that provides a detailed account of violent crimes committed by the Indian forces in the disputed region. The recent dramatic increase in violence in Kashmir further substantiates the OHCHR report and its recommendations, particularly the need for establishing a commission of inquiry to investigate the human rights violations.

Pressure must be mounted on the Government of India to allow independent monitoring of human rights abuses being committed by its forces in Jammu and Kashmir. A robust and independent monitoring mechanism and granting free access to international human rights organizations would be instrumental in ending human rights violations and bringing perpetrators to account.

IOK people appealed to observe complete shutdown on July 13

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Indian troops martyr two more Kashmiri youth in Kupwara

Srinagar, July 11 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the veteran Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Gilani, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and the Hurriyat forum led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have appealed to the people of the territory to observe complete shutdown on Monday, 13th July, to reaffirm the pledge to continue the mission of their martyrs till the achievement of the inalienable right to self-determination.

On the 13th of July 1931, the troops of Dogra Maharaja had killed 22 Kashmiris, one after the other, outside the Central Jail in Srinagar during the court proceedings against one Abdul Qadeer who had asked Kashmiri people to defy the Dogra rule. Since then, Kashmiris have been observing 13th July as Kashmir Martyrs’ Day.

Syed Ali Gilani in a tweet maintained that the people of occupied Kashmir have not submitted to the Indian oppression for the last several decades and they will continue their battle against this brutal occupation till the dawn of freedom. In another tweet he urged people to observe shutdown on 13th July.

The APHC in a statement in Srinagar said 1931 mass movement was Kashmiris’ first collective struggle against the centuries-old autocratic rule and those killed on 13th July are considered to be the first martyrs of the ongoing freedom movement. It also called for a march towards the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Naqashband Sahib in Srinagar to pay homage to the martyrs of 1931 who are buried there. The Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat forum in its statement said 13th July 1931 is a key milestone in the history of Jammu and Kashmir as a day when the Kashmiris for the first time collectively stood up to resist oppressive autocratic rule and gave expression to their aspirations.

Meanwhile, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred two Kashmiri youth during a military operation in Handwara area of Kupwara district, today. The troops also continued cordon and search operations in Bandipora, Pulwama, Rajouri and Kishtwar districts.

Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a statement in Srinagar, condemned the arrest and harassment of innocent Kashmiris in the garb of coronavirus lockdown. It said it is ironic that the occupation authorities have banned congregations in mosques and religious places citing COVID-19 but they have opened up gardens and parks and tourist spots for people to give the impression that everything is normal. It said that the situation in occupied Kashmir was pathetic.

Indian police arrested APHC leader and the Acting Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League, Farooq Ahmad Tawheedi, in Srinagar and shifted him to a police station in Sopore. Earlier, the police had arrested Farooq Towheedi’s son, Junaid Ahmed, during a house raid in Sopore. Hurriyat leaders including Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori and Abdul Majeed Mir in their statements denounced the arrest of Farooq Tawheedi.

The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leaders from Kargil during a video conference with party leaders from the Kashmir Valley including Vice President, Omar Abdullah, strongly pleaded the restoration of their district to the Kashmir Valley and the special status of entire Jammu and Kashmir. They demanded revocation of the division of occupied Kashmir into two union territories.

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.

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.

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.

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

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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.

The Ayatollah Took A Principled Stand By Condemning India's Massacre Of Muslims

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12 MARCH 2020

The Ayatollah Took A Principled Stand By Condemning India

Iran’s Supreme Leader inflicted a devastating blow to India’s soft power by strongly condemning the massacre of Muslims that symbolically took place in its capital last month, with his powerful words having the potential to influence how the broad swath of the Alt-Media Community under his country’s sway covers the South Asian state in the coming future, which could possibly lead to a long-overdue reappraisal of it.

Iran Won’t Stay Silent While Indian Muslims Are Slaughtered

Iran is speaking up for the oppressed Muslims of India after they were massacred in none other than its capital city last month, which symbolically showed the world that the self-professed “world’s largest democracy” is anything but “democratic”. Foreign Minister Zarif tweeted last week that “Iran condemns the wave of organized violence against Indian Muslims. For centuries, Iran has been a friend of India. We urge Indian authorities to ensure the wellbeing of ALL Indians & not let senseless thuggery prevail. Path forward lies in peaceful dialogue and rule of law.”, which prompted India to summon the Iranian envoy to complain. Not to be intimidated, Ayatollah Khamenei took a principled stand by tweeting his own condemnation a few days later, writing that “The hearts of Muslims all over the world are grieving over the massacre of Muslims in India. 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. #IndianMuslimslnDanger”.

Why Does Alt-Media Cover Up For India?

The importance of his remarks rests with the influence that he commands over the broad swath of the Alt-Media Community under his country’s sway. These outlets and individuals pay serious attention to the Supreme Leader’s statements and oftentimes look to his words for guidance when reporting on various issues. Up until now, the Iranian-friendly Alt-Media Community was divided over India, with some choosing to ignore the country’s new military-strategic partnerships with the US and “Israel” because they were too “politically inconvenient” to acknowledge while others paid service to the truth by exposing them. Some people find it difficult to explain complicated topics to their audience such as the reason why vehemently anti-American and anti-Zionist Iran would continue to voluntarily align itself with India despite its partner’s increasing closeness with the Islamic Republic’s worst enemies, hence why they “cover up” for India in order to avoid the “uncomfortable” optics that their factual reporting could produce.

The Ayatollah And Other Anti-Islamophobic Activists Aren’t “Hindu-Hating” “Anglo-Saxon Supremacists”

That’s almost impossible to do now after the Ayatollah’s latest statement, which forces the Iranian-friendly Alt-Media Community to finally confront this proverbial elephant in the room. The Supreme Leader also debunked the narrative spread by RT’s Ashish Shukla, who penned an op-ed last week which basically boiled down to accusing anyone who criticizes Prime Minister Modi’s violent brand of “Hindu nationalism” of being a “Hindu-hating” “Anglo-Saxon supremacist”. In his own words:

“Let’s assume Hindus and Muslims were on opposing sides in these violent clashes (despite the fact that Indian intelligence is still trying to determine if it was engineered by inimical forces). Let’s also not deny that law and order, crime against women, caste, linguistic identities, inequality etc. is very real in India. Yet, let’s not also frame these events solely in the context of the rise of Modi, which lately seems to have let the genie of Hindu-hating Western media out of the bottle…In essence, we are still witnessing the colonial and imperial hangover of the “North” against the “Savage South” who must get tutorials on “tolerance,” “peace” and “multiculturalism.” This colonial hangover is the binding thread of policy, business, academia and media in the West and is woven with the cloth of liberty, religious freedom and human rights; of American exceptionalism and the supposed superiority of the Anglo-Saxon world.”

His piece was written before either Zarif or the Ayatollah’s condemnation of the massacre of Muslims in New Delhi, but Shukla probably regards them as fitting targets of his diatribe too given the seriousness of their remarks, which were stronger than the Mainstream Media headlines that he cited in his op-ed. This thought exercise of imagining him accusing those two figures of being “Hindu-hating” “Anglo-Saxon supremacists” like he believes that the rest of his government’s critics supposedly are shows the ridiculousness of his attacks.

Alt-Media’s Long-Overdue Reappraisal Of India

Condemning the massacre of Muslims in New Delhi and calling upon the Indian authorities to rein in the death squads responsible for this crime against humanity doesn’t automatically make someone a “Hindu-hating” “Anglo-Saxon supremacist”, especially not Zarif or the Ayatollah, but their principled stand on this issue raises widespread awareness about what happened and strongly encourages the Alt-Media community to undertake a long-overdue reappraisal of India. The country isn’t the “peacefully rising superpower” that its surrogates deceitfully present it as being, but is a religiously supremacist pro-American proxy state for “containing” China. The message that the Supreme Leader and his Foreign Minister are sending is that India’s massacre of Muslims shouldn’t be ignored, and that it’s about time that the his country’s supporters eschew their “political correctness” and begin seriously talking about the dangerous changes in Indian society as of late which made that pogrom possible in the first place. Instead of continuing to cover up for India, they should finally expose it.

Concluding Thoughts

The Ayatollah’s condemnation of India’s massacre of Muslims was indeed a devastating blow to the soft power of the South Asian state because of the influential impact that it could have on shaping the way in which the Alt-Media Community covers the country. India had hitherto been given a free pass by many to continue killing Muslims with impunity just because it used to be one of Iran’s top energy partners, but the Supreme Leader just signaled that it’s unacceptable to remain silent after such a bloody pogrom took place in its capital last month. It doesn’t matter that gatekeepers such as RT’s Shukla strongly implied that all anti-Islamophobic activists who talk about this are “Hindu-hating” “Anglo-Saxon supremacists” since the Ayatollah wasn’t going to be intimidated by anyone, hence why he tasked his Foreign Minister with speaking out about that massacre and then followed up with his own remarks a few days later after the Indian government censured his envoy to the country. It’s therefore inevitable that India’s reputation will continue to suffer as more people learn the truth.By Andrew KorybkoAmerican political analyst

Thousands attend funeral of martyred youth in IOK

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Troops launch massive cordon and search operations

Srinagar, March 14 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, despite restrictions, thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of martyred youth, Mudassir Ahmed Butt, in Shutloo area of Baramulla district.

Mudassir Ahmed Butt, who was a Hafiz-e-Quran and used to lead prayers at a mosque in Sopore, was martyred by Indian troops during a cordon and search operation in Shutloo, yesterday.

People including women from adjacent villages raising pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans poured in to have a last glimpse of the martyred Imam at Shutloo. The mourners took the body of Mudassir Ahmed Butt to the martyrs’ graveyard and laid him to rest amid sobs and tears. Normal life remains crippled due to the shutdown in several areas in protest against the killing of Mudassir.

The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Social Youth Forum, Umar Aadil Dar, and the General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Islami Tanzeem-e-Azadi, Sheikh Abrar Ahmed, in their statements issued in Srinagar paid glowing tributes to the martyred youth. They said that the people of Kashmir were sacrificing their precious lives for a sacred cause of freedom and their struggle was destined to succeed.

Meanwhile, Indian troops, today, launched cordon and search operations in different areas of Islamabad, Kulgam and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir, causing huge inconvenience to the locals.

The sleuths of India’s National Investigation Agency arrested a fruit merchant, Ghulam Muhammad Mir, after raiding his house in Palpora Pattan area of Baramulla district.

The family members of Kashmiri political detainees languishing in different jails have expressed concern about the health and safety of the inmates in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that has gripped the entire world. The family members in their interviews demanded immediate release of the Kashmiri prisoners. Renowned Kashmiri human rights defender, Parvaiz Imroz, said that the current scenario might take a toll on the mental health of the detainees.

A 22-year-old Kashmiri student was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a university in the Indian city of Hyderabad. The deceased identified as Asrar Bashir, a resident of Achahipora locality of Islamabad town, was a B-Tech 6th semester student at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad.

On the other hand, the Jammu and Kashmir Pir Panjal Civil Society arranged an important meeting of the Jammu refugees with overseas Kashmiris in Gujranwala. The speakers on the occasion highlighted the prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir and apprised the participants of the plight of the people of the occupied territory.

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.

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