They want us to write. in blood.
and only write. of peace.
A poem by Ather Zia which often echoed at different protest sites in Kashmir has reached a step forward since the abrogation of Article 370 back in 2019. While the BJP is busy claiming that the abrogation of article 370 has led to an end to armed rebellion in the area, the death toll in the past few months stands at more than 40 including civilians, members of the armed forces, suspected rebels, and the militants.
On the 5th of October, Union Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah visited Baramulla, Kashmir. In his speech, he said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not accept terrorism and will work to wipe it out from the valley. PM Modi has nearly rid Jammu and Kashmir of terrorism”. Whereas April recorded the visit of Narendra Modi – the Indian Prime Minister to the region where he stated that it is indeed a proud moment that democracy has reached the grassroots of Kashmir. Meanwhile, as India falls further down the Human Rights Index and the world prepared to commemorate the 74th Human Rights Day on December 10th, the Indian government is expanding its anti-Kashmiri measures. As per the most recent data reports, all of PM’s pledges and plans appear to be empty hyperbole.
As-reported-with statistics obtained by the news source Kashmir News Trust, 16 militants (3 non-locals & 5 infiltrators), 5 army personnel, 2 cops, and 3 civilians (2 non-locals) were killed in Kashmir valley in August of this year. As of August of this year, 26 people were killed in militancy-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. And according to the most recent National Crime Records Bureau data, Jammu and Kashmir have the greatest number of cases lodged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the country in 2021.
By an RTI petition filed by me, the Congress-led UPA government saw as many as 158 local youths take up guns and join militant organizations between 2010 and 2014. The number of Locals joining Militancy in 2014 was 53, rising to 66 in 2015 before reaching 88 in 2016. In 2017, the number increased to 127, and in 2018, 199 local youth joined Militancy, the most significant number in a decade, before dropping to 114 in 2019. In 2020, the number increased to 185, and 143 youth joined various Militant outfits in 2021. According to the most recent reports, 75 youths joined the militancy from January to June 2022.
After the abrogation of Article 370, most of the BJP leaders said that normalcy has prevailed in Kashmir and the crackdown on militancy is being tightened, but the stats are making it clear that they are lying outright.
One of the incidents proving the claim of normalcy to be hollow is, on May 30 of 2021, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities arrested three minors and charged them under the Anti-Terror Law UA(P)A. The police have charged them under FIR number 46/2021 under sections 13, 16, 18, UAPA, and 3/4 Explosives Act at Zainpora Police Station.
According to Police officials, following a comprehensive investigation and proper questioning, the involvement of the three was established in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast incident that was detonated by Militants on May 16, 2021. The three were identified as Shoaib Shafi Bhat, Muntazir Farooq Lone, and Tauqeer Ashraf Lone, all of whom lived in the Turkwangam district of Shopian.
At that time, a family member of one of the accused, Shoaib, claimed contradicted what the police said. Shoaib’s family stated that he is a meritorious class 10 student who aspires to be a doctor.
On June 3, 2021, the three kids were granted bail. The advocate for the three accused, Mohsin Ali Mir who is a lawyer at Shopian District court, stated “The police imposed a precarious act like UA(P)A on these three minors based solely on suspicion. Police claimed that these three children were involved in the IED detonation, despite the fact that they were playing cricket at least two or three hundred meters away from where the explosion occurred. Because of this, the police authorities lacked any proof, witnesses, or evidence”.
In another incident, the family in Imran Ahmed Dar’s residence was terrified and surprised, with tears streaming down their faces. Imran Ahmed Dar was shot in an encounter in the Munar region of Yaripora in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district in July 2021. Scenes inside the house would shatter any human spirit: an inconsolable mother, a father wailing loudly and saying in hushed tones, “Dads should never be forced to bury their children.” Imran’s father stated, “administrative authorities have given them complete assurance that an investigation into the encounter and Imran’s death during the encounter would be launched shortly”.
Referring to the recent incidents, in total, there have been around a dozen encounters, several arrests, and detentions just in the past few months. And this is just a glimpse. Such incidents occur on a daily basis in Kashmir, yet those who oppose the repressive system, the majority of whom are students, journalists, teachers, activists, or poets, are imprisoned. We witnessed the arrests of Journalist Fahad Shah, Aasif Sultan, Sajad Gul, Manan Dar, and prominent human rights activist Khurram Parvez.
The Situation after the abrogation is now in its fourth year, and despite substantial political changes in the state’s government, there is no evidence that atrocities have abated. Indeed, abuses by Indian security forces intensified during the period, as government soldiers undertook severe operations in the valley to target insurgents. The effectiveness of any new attempt to develop a political process will be determined by the government’s capacity to eliminate the abuses that have alienated and disheartened vast segments of the public, regardless of whether they accept or oppose the combatants’ demands. The rise in human rights breaches in the last year, more than any other reason, demonstrates the inadequacy of the Indian government’s approach of seeking to settle the political crisis using coercive measures. India’s campaign to combat militancy in Kashmir has devolved into a war against the people.
The government’s refusal to take serious actions to stop abuses by its security forces has been one of the primary causes of the human rights crisis in Kashmir. Officials from the government have acknowledged “excesses” and have taken action against those involved. However, such action has occurred seldom and has rarely produced criminal charges. Furthermore, such actions have not been made public in a way that signals to the people of Kashmir that such abuses will not be tolerated and are intended to prevent other security forces from committing such abuses. similar use. Members of the security forces are not liable in most cases for violations such as torture, rape, and murder. When faced with evidence of abuse, authorities have repeatedly attempted to undermine the integrity of witnesses, discredit the testimony of other doctors, attorneys, and attorneys, or simply deny the allegation – all this instead of ordering a full and independent investigation, and prosecuting and punishing those people. responsible. When the sanction is given, it is limited to administrative disciplinary forms. With the bravado with which the Indian government abrogated Article 370 from Kashmir, it is apparent that this administration, with its holier-than-thou attitude, is prepared to go to any length to further its Brahmanical Hindutva fascist goal.
by Vikram Raj, an Independent Journalist working on conflicts in India
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