Kashmir burns and the world conscience sleeps - Kashmir has been turned
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Kashmir has been turned into a graveyard by Indian state and the narratives by chauvinistic Indian media are blatantly generating more hatred against Kashmir and Kashmiris.
Another year started with gruesome scenes when Kashmir is engulfed with deadly silence, with tangled concertina wires blocking maximum towns of South Kashmir and parts of Srinagar city. Nervy Indian troops occupying lanes and bi-lanes. The only voices you can hear are from police gypsies, armoured vehicles and the sirens of ambulances. Rayees Rasool a socio-political writer and activist reminds us that in 2016 uprising people through-out the world in general and many among the Indian political class in particular started expressing outrage at the killings of unarmed Kashmiris. But within the minds of people in Kashmir who fight the Indian forces in Kashmir on day in and day basis think their future is incompatible with India. In a small population of 13 million approx ruled by 700,000 Indian Forces, who have killed tens of thousands of civilians in a span of 3 decades, stories of torture, rape and murder are common and the Indian Soldiers are protected by impunity laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. The law encourages soldiers to kill any person “suspected’ of a committing an offense, to search homes without a warrant and to destroy buildings suspected of harbouring militants. Soldiers accused of human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings and rape cannot be prosecuted unless the federal government grants permission, of which not a single instance exists despite hundreds of petitions.
Three decades of military occupation and crackdown have changed Kashmir into a valley of horror full of scary memories. Unceasingly the whole population is being subjected to collective punishment whenever they rise in a in dissent and protest.
‘The Kashmiriyat’ a local Kashmiri news organisation has reported that 58 armed rebels and 20 civilians killed so far this year by Indian forces in anti-militancy operations launched by them. These stats again raise the same question. If this is the way to deal with Kashmiri population then the issue of Kashmir will never settle down. Kashmir will keep burning. No matter how many interlocutors you recruit, no matter how many back channel dialogues you start.
There is no doubt in that armed rebels by the freedom fighters have huge support in Kashmir, anyone who fights with Indian forces share a huge sympathy among the population. Every time incidents of killings happen we witness how the population sides with armed rebels and not the Indian forces.
What is utterly diabolical is that the killings in Kashmir are being celebrated in India. The narrative being set by few Indian national news channels against Kashmiris is dangerous. If this remained unrestrained and unaddressed it could well lead into a fully fledged a civil war. Indian State and intelligentsia should stop preaching the narrative of Kashmir issue being a mere law and order problem. They should rise above their personal political ambitions to solve this long pending political issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Gross human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is a challenge to the world conscience after all the blood of the Kashmiris is as red as ours.
Suzy Kassem very aptly remarked:,
“Just like freedom, Truth is not cheap. Yet both are worth more than all the gold in the world. But what is freedom, if there is no truth? And what is truth, if there is no freedom? Both are worth fighting for — because one without the other would be hell.”