Amid lockdown, rains, snowfall add to miseries of IOK people

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Srinagar, November 16 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the increasing chill after fresh rains and snowfall has added to the miseries of the people of Kashmir Valley who have already been suffering immensely due to strict military siege since 5th of August.

Due to continued lockdown, people have more difficulties to face in the coming days as they have not been able to stock essential commodities for the harsh winter – a centuries-old practice as Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the only surface link of the territory remains closed for months. The situation in Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh regions was far from the normal for 104th consecutive day, today. There is no let up in the restrictions imposed under Section 144 in the territory amid massive deployment of Indian troops. The ban on internet, text messaging and prepaid mobile connections remains in force. The residents of Valley continue to show their resentment against New Delhi by observing civil disobedience over its anti-Kashmir moves. As part of this movement, the shopkeepers keep their shops closed in most part of the day while students are not attending the educational institutions. The offices are also witnessing a very thin attendance.

The Srinagar-Jammu Highway remained closed for the 3rd day, today, due to snowfall and landslides at various places. An official of traffic police said that around 2,500 vehicles were stranded on the highway.

Human Rights Watch’s Asia Advocacy Director, John Sifton, expressing serious concern over the prevailing grim situation in occupied Kashmir has said that human rights are under threat in Kashmir and in India. John Sifton said this in a written submission to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, which conducted a hearing on human rights in Kashmir on Thursday. He said, the Members of Congress should communicate to Indian government officials that their actions in Kashmir are adding to the human rights problems. He said, the Congress Members should insist that political leaders and others arbitrarily detained Kashmiris are released, restrictions on communications are lifted, and independent observers, including diplomats, foreign journalists and rights activists are allowed to travel freely to Kashmir

Speakers at a seminar in London expressed deep concern over the continued siege of eight million Kashmiris and worsening humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir. The seminar was organized by Pakistani High Commission and the speakers included Pakistan’s High Commissioner to UK, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, Dr Syed Nazir Gilani, Ben Emmerson QC, Anthea McIntyre, Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl, Ms Uzma Rasool and Mrs Sahmim Shawl.

On the other hand, the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation raided the Bengaluru and New Delhi offices of human rights group Amnesty International India. Reacting to the CBI’s action, the Amnesty International India said that the organization was being targeted for speaking out against human rights violations in the country.

IOK people continue to suffer as lockdown enters 97th day

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Srinagar, November 09 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, people of the Kashmir Valley and Muslim-majority areas of Jammu continue to suffer immensely due to military siege on 97th consecutive day, today.

The occupation authorities intensified restrictions and ordered closure of schools and colleges, today, ahead of the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ayodhya (Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid) case. The authorities deployed Indian troops and police personnel in strength in every nook and corner of the territory and ordered closure of schools and colleges to prevent demonstrations against the handing over of the Babri Masjid land to Hindus for construction of a temple. The residents are already suffering immensely due to suspension of internet and prepaid mobile services.

On the other hand, Voice of America in a report said that three months after Indian government revoked the special status of occupied Kashmir, cut off internet service and censored media coverage of the situation, isolated reports from the territory indicated that the situation remained tense with a continuing heavy military presence.

The Chairperson of Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS), Professor Hameeda Nayeem, told the VOA in Srinagar that shops open only for a few hours early in the morning because of the atmosphere of fear and intimidation, with people mainly staying indoors. “Drones are flying above our homes, the army is deployed at every corner, and they have already arrested thousands of young men to preempt them from potential agitation,” she said.

October 27 – The blackest day for Kashmiris

By M. Raza Malik

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October 27 is the darkest day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir and the Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world observe it as Black Day. This year, the day is being observed in the backdrop of India’s illegal and unconstitutional move of scraping special status of occupied Kashmir and annexing it on August 05, 2019. India put the occupied territory under military siege and imposed curfew, restrictions and communication blackout which was continuing even after several weeks when this write-up was written.

It was on October 27 in 1947, when India had sent its troops to Jammu and Kashmir and illegally occupied it in total violation of the Indian Independence Act and Partition Plan and against the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. According to the Partition Plan, the Indian British Colony was to be divided into two sovereign states – Pakistan and India. The Hindu-majority areas were to constitute India while the Muslim-majority areas of Western provinces and east Bengal were to be included in Pakistan. At the end of British suzerainty over Indian sub-continent in 1947, more than 550 Princely States had become independent but with a choice to accede either to Pakistan or India. However, India illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir by military invasion. Being a Muslim-majority state, with 87% Muslim population, Jammu and Kashmir had a natural tendency to accede to Pakistan. However, the evil designs of the Hindu ruler of Kashmir and the leaders of Indian National Congress and Britain led to the creation of the Kashmir dispute, which continues to haunt the peace and stability of the entire South Asia even after the passage of more than seven decades.

India claims that it signed ‘Instrument of Accession’, which was drafted in Delhi and presented to the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, on October 26. However, a prominent British historian, Alistair Lamb, challenging the Indian invasion in Kashmir, in his book “The Birth of Tragedy” wrote that the successive events after the partition of the united India strongly suggested that Indian troops had invaded Kashmir prior to the signing of the Instrument of Accession. He argued that this has been the sole reason that the Indian government never made the so-called document public at any international forum. This was corroborated by noted Kashmiri researchers, Abdul Majid Zargar and Basharat Hussain Qazilbash. They have proved that the “Instrument of Accession” was fake and no such genuine document ever existed. Even Indian Archives Department has now declared that the document is lost and the announcement has put question marks on the very existence of the document.

Kashmir in the United Nations

The Indian occupation faced stiff resistance from the people of Kashmir who launched a mass struggle against it. The Kashmiris’ resilience forced India to knock the doors of the UN Security Council on 1st January 1948, seeking help of the World Body to settle the dispute. Successive resolutions passed by the UNSC and accepted by both India and Pakistan nullified the Indian invasion and called for settlement of the Kashmir dispute by referring to the Kashmiri people to ascertain their aspirations through an impartial plebiscite to be conducted in Jammu and Kashmir under the UN’s supervision. However, Indian rulers later backed away from their commitments and declared Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India. Modi-led communal government moved a step further and illegally merged the territory into Indian union through the August 05 move.

Kashmiris’ revolt against Indian rule

The failure of all the efforts aimed at resolving the Kashmir dispute through peaceful means since 1947 caused severe resentment and anger among the Kashmiris and they intensified their freedom struggle in 1989 to secure their right to self-determination. This movement pushed the Indian authorities to the wall, forcing them to sit around the negotiation table with Pakistan. However, the fact remains that India had always been averse to the negotiations to settle the dispute and present Indian leaders – like their predecessors – have not responded positively to Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan’s repeated offers for dialogue.

Mass uprisings

In 2008, the Kashmiris’ struggle to get rid of Indian bondage took a new turn. They started taking to the streets in large numbers and expressing their anti-India and pro-liberation sentiments in a peaceful manner. This mass uprising continued for three consecutive years. The extrajudicial murder of a young liberation leader, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, on July 08, 2016 by Indian troops triggered another mass uprising in occupied Kashmir. People in large numbers hit the streets in every nook and corner of the occupied territory on daily basis, demanding their right to self-determination. But most of the time during all these mass protests, Indian forces’ personnel used brute force on protesters, killing hundreds of Kashmiris and injuring thousands others.

Indian state terrorism

New Delhi has exhausted all its resources during the past seven decades to intimidate the people of occupied Kashmir into submission but failed in its nefarious designs. Indian troops in the unabated state terrorism since January 1989 till 30th September 2019 martyred 95,454 innocent Kashmiris. Since the killing of Burhan Wani alone, Indian troops have killed 1,037 Kashmiris, tortured 27,739, arrested 12,010 and molested 933. During this period, at least 10,298 people have suffered pellet injuries and 147 of them have lost their eyesight in both eyes while 215 in one eye. However, all these brutalities have failed to suppress the Kashmiris’ resolve for freedom.

India’s 5th August onslaught

Modi government has put the regional as well as global peace at stake by abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP government took the extreme step via a presidential order that superseded a 1954 proclamation, which had added Article 35-A to the constitution. The announcement regarding the repeal of the Article 370 was made by the Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah, in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. He also introduced a bill in the Parliament to bifurcate occupied Kashmir. The bill was passed later under which the territory will be divided into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. After repealing the Article 370, India placed the occupied territory under strict lockdown. Millions of Kashmiris were confined to their homes while thousands were arrested. Continued curfew, restrictions and communication blackout led to humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan’s support to Kashmir cause

History stands testimony to the fact that Pakistani leadership and people have always supported the Kashmiris’ just liberation struggle. Prime Minister, Imran Khan, since assuming his office in August 2018 has time and again warned that the Kashmir dispute and India’s recent actions in occupied Kashmir could lead a nuclear war if the world does not work for the settlement of the lingering dispute. Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, has declared at several occasions that Pakistan army and nation will go to any extent in support of the people of occupied Kashmir and would fulfill its commitment towards Kashmir till last bullet, soldier and breath. The fact remains that despite facing the worst Indian military aggression for supporting the Kashmiris during the past several decades, Pakistan never gave up its support to the Kashmiris and continues to advocate resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with their will.

Encouraging developments

The grave situation of occupied Kashmir following India’s August 05 move forced the UN Security Council to convene a special consultative session to discuss the matter. This was for the first time in fifty years that the World Body held an exclusive meeting on Kashmir. The holding of this session rejected India’s claim that Kashmir is its internal matter rather it testified the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally-recognised dispute concerning the right to self-determination of Kashmiris. World leaders and organisations including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, US President Donald Trump, French President Amanuel Macron, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, European Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch expressed concerns over the grave human rights situation following India’s inhuman actions in the occupied territory. UN Chief Antonio Guterres and US President Donald Trump have offered mediation to settle the Kashmir dispute. Even Indian people like opposition leaders, Rahul Gandhi, P Chidambaram, Shashi Tharoor, Priyanka Gandhi, Sitaram Yechuri, D Raja, Sharad Yadav and Manoj Jha, journalists, Barkha Datt and Nirupama Subramanian, as well as Nobel laureate, Dr Amartya Sen, criticised the imposition of continued curfew, restrictions and communication blockade in occupied Kashmir.

Conclusion

These are the reasons of the observance of October 27 as Black Day by the Kashmiris all across the globe. The observance is aimed at reminding the world of its obligations towards resolving the Kashmir dispute for the peace and stability in South Asia and the world at large. At the same time, it is intended to send a loud and clear message to New Delhi that the Kashmiris reject its illegal occupation of their homeland and that they will continue their struggle till they achieve their inalienable right to self-determination promised to them by India and the international community. After India’s action to change the disputed status and demographic composition of occupied Kashmir, the observance of October 27 as Black Day has become more important for the Kashmiris to send a loud and clear message to India and the world community that they would never accept India’s subjugation and would not rest till they achieved their cherished goal of freedom from it.

Life remains affected in IOK on 91st day

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Srinagar, November 03 (KMS): Life continues to remain paralyzed in the Kashmir valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu region on the 91st day of lockdown and communications gag, today.

Internet and pre-paid mobile services remain suspended while public transport is off the roads. Since the abrogation of Article 370, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore. Besides, the lockdown has broken the backbone of IT sector in the Kashmir Valley by rendering as many as 25,000 IT professionals jobless. Around 32 IT companies, which have their units in Srinagar, now bear a deserted look.

Since 31 October, the day when India officially deprived Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, the valley has witnessed several protests. IOK administration has imposed ban on more than 450 people including businessmen, journalists, lawyers and political activists to travel abroad. The list was prepared in the wake of the revocation of special status and downgrading of J&K into two Union Territories on 5th August.

Meanwhile, the Gulf News in an article published in today’s edition said that a lockdown in occupied Kashmir is the order of the day and people have no access to the Internet. The article written by award-winning journalist and author, Swati Chaturvedi, said that the increasingly worried world has started asking the Modi government how locking up citizens is compatible with a democracy. The newspaper points out that the Modi government has no end game for Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir. The article emphasized that the Indian government’s decision to scrap Article 370 has internationlised the Kashmir dispute.

The article while describing the conducted tour of Far Right EU lawmakers to Kashmir as a self-inflicted foreign policy disaster said that the balloon of the EU Members of Parliament’s trip was totally punctured when German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a forthright stand during her trip to India and said that “the Kashmir situation was unsustainable” and added that the “lockdown was not good”.

The Chairman of Kashmir Council Europe Ali Raza Syed, addressing an international Sikh convention in Geneva said, Indian authorities, who committed the massacre of Sikhs 35 years ago, are involved in genocide of the people in the occupied Kashmir.

The day the story of Kashmir changed forever

By Hafsa Kanjwal

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India unintentionally internationalised the Kashmir issue when it revoked the region’s special status in August.
Demonstrators protest in solidarity with the people of Kashmir outside the United Nations headquarters in New York, US, September 27, 2019 [Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]
Demonstrators protest in solidarity with the people of Kashmir outside the United Nations headquarters in New York, US, September 27, 2019 [Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]

On October 22, the US House Subcommittee on Asia held an historic hearing on Human Rights in Asia. While the hearing covered human rights concerns in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Indian state of Assam, the bulk of the discussion was on the ongoing siege in Indian-occupied Kashmir. It was the first time so much attention had been devoted to Kashmir in the US Congress.

Ever since the Indian government revoked the region’s special status on August 5, imposed a communication blockade and precipitated fears of a settler-colonial project, the world’s most militarised zone has been internationalised in an unprecedented way.

The US hearing marks a critical shift in how the Kashmir issue has been discussed in policy circles.

Witnesses were able to highlight the immense amount of state repression in Kashmir, and not just after August 5. Amnesty International’s representative, Francisco Bencosme, spoke of the detentions, the lack of press freedoms and the worrying attacks on religious freedom in India. Members of Congress asked difficult questions about the justification for the communications blockade. As Susan Wild, a representative from Pennsylvania, stated: “To me, if there is no transparency, there is something that is being hidden.” Expert scholars on Kashmir, including Nitasha Kaul and Angana Chatterji, spoke about the rise of Hindu majoritarianism and its relationship to Nazism, as well as the prevalence of enforced disappearances, rape, extrajudicial killings and torture in Kashmir.

While admitting that US diplomats had not been allowed into Kashmir since August 5, officials from the State Department, including assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells and assistant secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Robert Destro,  demonstrated an apologetic approach to India’s talking points, emphasising the importance of US relations with India.

Nonetheless, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did for Kashmir overnight what the movement for Kashmiri self-determination had struggled for more than seven decades to do.

Last month, for the first time in 50 years, the United Nations Security Council held a closed-door session on Kashmir. During his visit to the US, Modi was met in Houston and New York with the largest protests ever seen in the US over Kashmir.

Dozens of elected officials in the US have spoken out against the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

Modi’s actions have also reinvigorated an otherwise politically complacent Kashmiri diaspora, who are now fully aware of the existential threat their families face under the Hindu nationalist government. They have been at the forefront of urging the international community to centre Kashmiri perspectives and aspirations, and to move away from seeing the issue solely through the lens of a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan.

Hundreds of cities around the world have held protests, vigils, marches and teach-ins. People who might have never heard of Kashmir before August 5 are now mobilised and want to take action. Progressive and interfaith coalitions are becoming aware of the links between Kashmir and other anti-fascist, anti-colonial, anti-occupation and anti-war struggles around the world.

Most importantly, however, India’s miscalculation has managed to highlight the right to Kashmiri self-determination, and the realisation that Kashmir is indeed a disputed territory awaiting a political resolution.

For years, India hid behind the rhetoric of the so-called war on terror, treating Kashmir as an “internal” law and security concern. It bragged of its status as the world’s largest democracy, while brutally repressing the pro-freedom sentiments of the Kashmiri people.

Given that the international community rarely spoke out when dozens of Kashmiris would be killed or pelleted, or when reports of torture and human rights violations were released by human rights organisations, the Indian government, perhaps, thought that this time the response to such state aggression would be no different.

Instead, US presidential contenders like Bernie Sanders are calling for the implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir that “respect the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” and the Labour Party in the United Kingdom has also passed an emergency motion on Kashmir calling for party leader Jeremy Corbyn to seek international observers to “enter” the region and demand the right of self-determination for its people.

Despite its best efforts, the Hindu nationalist government in India has struggled to combat the international condemnation. While they have certainly been on the diplomatic offensive, they have been unable to provide coherent answers for the gagging of over eight million people, besides resorting to the age-old tropes of Pakistani interference and terrorism.

It has become difficult for even the most vociferous allies of India to justify a siege that is implemented in the interest of the region’s people. Amnesty’s Bencosme said as much during the hearing when he stated: “It’s completely unthinkable that you will detain children, political leaders and youth adults, close down all communication, put people under a curfew to bolster tourism in a region.”

Nonetheless, the Indian lobby and its apologists never fail to raise the bogey of Pakistan. While India’s talking points on Kashmir have always been to posit mass civil resistance as “proxies for Pakistan,” they now parrot the same narratives for those mobilising outside of Kashmir. Indian journalist Aarti Tickoo Singh, who defended India’s actions at the hearing, described the Kashmiri diaspora-led grassroots solidarity group Stand with Kashmir as “Pakistan’s ISI team.”

It is this kind of attitude, and the inability or sheer refusal to see the writing on the wall, that has marked India’s position on Kashmir. But the unravelling of this position is giving way to a new movement – one that can no longer be contained.

Ilhan Omar faces abuse after challenging Indian reporter at US Congress

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Congresswoman Ilhan Omar criticised Indian journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh for defending India’s actions in Kashmir and found herself in the midst of a Twitter hate campaign.

US Representatives, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (R) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) look on during an Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation Subcommittee hearing on
US Representatives, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (R) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) look on during an Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation Subcommittee hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia: Views from the State Department and the Region” on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 22, 2019. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP)

Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar received enormous hate from Indian Twitter users for challenging journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh’s defence of India’s aggressive actions in Kashmir.

Singh testified at the US House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Human Rights in South Asia on October 22 2019, describing India’s lockdown in Kashmir as a necessary measure to avoid civilian casualties and to take the state on the path of prosperity.

Singh also defended the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution by the Indian government which effectively ended Kashmir’s special status with India. India revoked Article 370 on August 5 2019, sparking much controversy and worldwide concern.

This article was the bedrock of Kashmir’s accession to India in 1947. It also safeguarded the environment and demographic balance of the disputed region by forbidding citizens of other Indian states from buying land there.

While ending Kashmir’s special status, the Indian government blocked communications in India-administered Kashmir, cutting off landlines and the internet, and imposed a curfew as well. The lockdown continued for over two months. In early October, about 50 percent of mobile communication was restored in the region but the internet ban is still in effect.

Singh said Kashmiri Muslims were more terrorised by Pakistan-sponsored militants, overlooking India’s bad human rights record in Kashmir, where cases of abuse, ranging from custodial killings to enforced disappearances and torture by Indian armed forces, can be found in almost every neighbourhood.

US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar would have none of it. Omar accused Singh of using her platform as a journalist to whitewash India’s crimes in Kashmir.

“Ms Singh, a reporter’s job is to find the objective truth about what is happening and report it to the public. You have an enormous audience at The Times of India and you have an enormous responsibility to get it right. I am aware of how the narrative shaped by reporting can distort the truth. I am also very aware of how it could be limited to sharing only the official side of the story,” Omar said.

“The press is at its worst when it is a mouthpiece for a government. In your version of the story, the only problems in Kashmir are caused by what you call militants, the only people protesting to break away from India; and are all nefariously backed by Pak.”

Omar didn’t stop there: “You also make the incredible dubious claim that the Indian government’s crackdown in Kashmir is good for human rights. If it was good for human rights, Ms Singh, it wouldn’t be happening in secret. You make, what I might call, a feminist case for the occupation of Kashmir and communication shutdowns, saying it will be better for women.”

Singh responded: “My record, my professional record is that I have lashed out at every single government in India on various issues, from human rights violations committed in Kashmir to the lynchings over beef.”

She continued: “I have a record of being non-partisan throughout in my profession of the last 20 years. So for Ms Omar to say… such accusations against me, is really condemnable.”

Omar’s support of Kashmiris affected by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decisions made her a target in social media. She was falsely accused of having “married her brother” for example.

Harbir Singh@HarbirSingh_

The woman who married her brother to defraud American immigration, then fornicated with her own employee, is now the hero of Pakistan’s Jihad against India in Kashmir.

What desperate straits @NarendraModi has put the Jihadis in, now leaning on degenerates like @IlhanMN https://twitter.com/Ilhan/status/1186698702309724160 

Rep. Ilhan Omar

@Ilhan

Kashmiris have been restricted from communicating outside their country for 50+ days.

In Assam, almost 2 million people are being asked to prove their citizenship. This is how the Rohingya genocide started.

At what point do we question whether PM Modi shares our values?

Embedded video

The same user, Harbir Singh, who happens to be Aarti Tikoo Singh’s husband, also claimed that Omar was a Somalian gang member before immigrating to the US, and would not delete his tweet despite others challenging its veracity. Only later did he thank Twitter users “for pointing out that this is not @IlhanMN.”

Pratik Sinha

@free_thinker

After journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh’s congressional hearing, Columnist Harbir Singh shared an image of a woman with an automatic weapon claiming she is US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. | @Pooja_Chaudhuri https://www.altnews.in/no-this-is-not-us-congresswoman-ilhan-omar-at-a-training-camp-of-a-somali-warlord/ 

No, this is not US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at a training camp of a Somali warlord – Alt News

Columnist Harbir Singh quote-tweeted a tweet which shared a photograph of a turbaned woman holding an automatic weapon. The original tweet claimed that the image showed US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at…

Criticisms aimed at Omar did not stop there. Twitter user Abhijit Iyer-Mitra alluded to Omar wearing a vest that detonates, suggesting that she is a suicide bomber. In a previous tweet, Iyer-Mitra had called Omar a “jihadi”.

Abhijit Iyer-Mitra

@Iyervval

Hoo boy!!! @AartiTikoo is really giving it back in a nice dignified way!!! Forced Sherman to correct the record on “foreign press not allowed in Kashmir” … waiting for Ilhan to detonate her vest anytime now https://twitter.com/iyervval/status/1186726505256144896 

Abhijit Iyer-Mitra

@Iyervval

Wow!!! Jihadi @IlhanMN just levelled a set of slanderous Pakistani talking points at @AartiTikoo & then doesn’t give her the chance to respond turning to Fai’s lil ISI muppet Angana Chatterji. Choreographed misuse of her prerogative.

Despite a campaign to smear Omar’s name for sympathising with Kashmiris suffering in India-administered Kashmir, there was still support for the congresswoman.

Irena Akbar@irenaakbar

So, I watched the video. Ilhan Omar actually did Aarti Tikoo Singh a favour by reminding her of the basics of journalism. She told her upfront that a journalist isn’t a mouthpiece of the government (in response to Tikoo’s M0di-fied account of Kashmir lockdown). I love Ilhan!

Millions of people continue to suffer in IOK

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Strict military siege enters 83rd straight day

Srinagar, October 26 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, millions of people living in Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu region continue to suffer immensely due to strict military siege imposed by India.

Normal life remains badly hit on the 83rd straight day, today, in the Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu due to restrictions and gag on internet and cellular services barring partial restoration of postpaid connections and landline phones.

Despite the occupation authorities’ efforts to restore normalcy in occupied Kashmir, people continue to observe shutdown as a silent protest against India’s recent actions in the territory. Shops and business establishments remain closed most of the time except for few hours in the morning and evening. Although private vehicles are plying on the roads, but due to the absence of public transport, people particularly patients and doctors are facing difficulties in reaching the hospitals and moving from one place to another.

On the other hand, Newsweek, an American weekly news magazine, reported that Twitter has been accused of bowing to Indian censorship and suppressing freedom of speech in Kashmir after nearly one million tweets were removed.

Almost 100 accounts were also made inaccessible to locals in the last two years, spurring claims that Twitter is contradicting the very values it purports to uphold.

The findings were revealed in a study by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), showing that Twitter agreed to block more accounts in the region than in every other country combined.

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