The author believes that the political and economic situation in occupied Kashmir is changing. All political leaders are frustrated by the apathetic, if not callous, attitude of the ruling autocrats of the Bhartiya Janata Party in New Delhi. They are unanimous that the situation after the abrogation of the special status and hereditary rights at home is worse than it was under the nominal political configurations in Kashmir. A dawning but noticeable change is Farooq Abdullah’s double talk. While still frustrated, he expresses his annoyance at India’s claim on religious grounds.
The US Ambassador-designate to India has unequivocally announced that the United States is truly “concerned” about the current human rights situation in India. Some rights watchdogs, including the Russell Tribunal, have also made their voices heard.
Kashmir’s economic resources are diverted to Indian states. To destroy the traditional cottage industry of shawl making, pashmina wool is transported to Uttar Pradesh and other Indian states for processing. Kashmiri students and others from various walks of life are not treated the same as residents of Indian states.
The attitude towards Janus by Farooq Abdullah
While expressing his frustration with the attitude of the Indian government, Abdullah does not hide that he agrees with the point of view of Defense Minister Raj Nath on partition as a blunder. Farooq naively ignores the plight of Muslims across India. Muslims are lynched for fragile reasons like, for example, wearing a prayer cap, offering prayers in an open space (Gurgaon) or on the roads on Fridays if mosques are overcrowded. The Supreme Court of India (kangaroo court) ruled that a mosque was not essential for offering prayers. But, in contrast, he pronounced that a temple was sine qua non Hindu worship. He said that a temple existed under the Babri Mosque millennia ago.
India claims to be a secular country, but the Supreme Court has addressed many other issues within the realm of Islamic jurisprudence. For example, he banned triple divorce. The opinions expressed are personal.
Emerging US concern over human rights violations in Kashmir
The American Ambassador-designate did not mince his words, stressing that during his stay in India, he would express his government’s “concern” at the deterioration of the human rights situation in Kashmir. . His statement is like a breath of fresh air. The United States itself has ignored the Russell Tribunal report on the American atrocities in Vietnam. US Ambassador Eric Garcetti to India highlighted human rights and discrimination in the Citizenship Amendment Act as “an ‘essential’ part of his work in India.” “… Respect for human rights and strong democratic institutions are key elements of our relationship and of our values which are enshrined in our two constitutions and if this is confirmed, I will engage regularly and respectfully with the Indian government. on these questions ”(Human rights will be at the heart of Garcetti’s engagement with India, Hinduism, December 15, 2021).
An overview of political declarations
Omer Abdullah questioned the denial of rights to residents of occupied Kashmir and Ladakh. He pointed out that the BJP government led by Modi not only scrapped Articles 370 and 35-A, but also precipitated Kashmir’s financial and economic collapse. He accused the Center of discriminating against residents of Ladakh and occupied Kashmir in all areas of life (land protection, job reservation, scholarships, etc.). He refuted the government’s claim that everything was just candy after the state was converted into Union territory.
He pointed out that now even peaceful Srinagar is a hotbed of activism. He warned people not to fall prey to the Centre’s attempt to divide them. Addressing a rally in Kishtwar, Omar said efforts to withdraw us from political space in Jammu and Kashmir have not been slackened since 1953. 75, 84 or 90. Have me and most of my colleagues caged for months turned out to be aborted. He warned the people against falling prey to the forces of division, saying that forging unity is an essential condition for the restoration of the inalienable and inherent democratic and constitutional rights of the J&K people. (Omar asks people not to fall prey to dividing forces, The Statesman, November 29, 2021).
Omar said that while his government at one point was even considering suppressing AFSPA, the situation was now such that no one felt safe, even in Srinagar, let alone remote areas. He added that these activists were not from the outside, but that they were the youth of Kashmir ready to take up arms out of anger and for other reasons. (Kashmiri youth ready to take up arms out of anger, says Omar Abdullah, Hindustan times, November 28, 2021)
Calls for Inquiry by Russell or the People’s Courts
Russell Tribunal on Kashmir
Indian troops have martyred 95,917 innocent Kashmiris, including 7,215 in detention, 22,939 widows, 107 orphans and 855 and molested 11,245 women since January 1989. As of October 1, 2021, more than 30 Kashmiris have been martyred by Indian forces for alleged “false meetings and research operations.” The Kashmir Russell Tribunal held a convention from December 17-19, 2021 in Sarajevo, Bosnia, to highlight the plight of Kashmiris under Indian rule. Kashmir Civitas, an NGO registered in Canada, has partnered with the Russell Foundation in London, the Permanent People’s Court in Bologna (Italy), the International University of Sarajevo and the Center for Advanced Studies in Sarajevo to hold the Russell First Tribunal on Kashmir in Sarajevo, Bosnia, December 17-19, 2021. The tribunal raised awareness of the international community’s responsibility for ongoing crimes against humanity and the possibility of genocide in occupied Kashmir .
Some Pakistani think tanks like the Institute for Area Studies and former United Nations judge Judge Ali Nawaz Chowhan have also called on Pakistan to establish an independent tribunal for Kashmir in Turkey as part of the United Nations. Islamic cooperation (OIC).
International People’s Tribunal for Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir
The Tribunal documented India’s reign of terror in Kashmir. In December 2009, the tribunal, in its report entitled Buried evidence alleged that the insurgency from 1989 to 2009 left more than 70,000 dead. They have investigated fifty murders committed by Indian security forces. Except one, all were declared “militants”. Of those killed in these incidents, 39 were Muslims, four were Hindus, and the rest were of undetermined religious background. The Tribunal concluded that only one of those killed was an activist and that the others were killed in organized clashes.
The court called for an investigation into the enforced disappearances and bogus encounters. The investigation could find a correlation of 8,000 disappearances with bodies in anonymous graves. The Tribunal found 2,700 (approximately 3,000) unknown and anonymous graves containing 2,900 bodies in three districts of occupied Kashmir.
A gravedigger in a statement to the Tribunal said he witnessed the funerals of 203 people extrajudicially killed during the period 2002-2006. The Tribunal criticized the United Nations and its members for failing to stop the fallout from India’s militarization in the valley.
In December 2012, the Tribunal and Association of relatives of missing persons published a report Alleged perpetrators – Stories of impunity in Jammu and Kashmir. This report alleged the involvement of around 500 officials of the Indian armed forces in human rights violations in Kashmir. The accused included three officers in the rank of Brigadier of the Indian Army. The report alleged that the perpetrators of crimes in Kashmir were decorated instead of being prosecuted.
Srinagar hotspot of “militancy”
According to India’s own official data, in 2020 twenty activists were killed in nine encounters. In 2021, Srinagar witnessed some 20 encounters and shootings in and around the city. Srinagar district has become a hotspot for activism in Kashmir this year. The number of “encounters” has increased dramatically, from figures of “zero militancy” and a small number of shootings in 2020 to the highest number of targeted killings of police and civilians, including members of the community minority. About 34 people, including seven police officers (excluding police officers recently killed on a bus) and 14 activists, were killed until December of this year in the city.
It is strange that the police declared Srinagar a “non-militancy zone” without locally recruited militants in October 2020.
Srinagar district recorded the highest number of civilian deaths, ten, including six from minority communities, forcing security agencies to deploy staff to prominent stores owned by Kashmiri pandits and to Hindus for mobile and permanent bunkers around the clock.
The killing of four people, including one “confirmed” activist and three “civilians”, during the meeting in Hyderpora has cast a shadow over anti-militant operations in the city this year.
Although official figures suggest that the militant recruits in Srinagar are in single digits, the growing number of “militant supporters” has experienced “a quantum leap” and “is colliding with dozens”.
“We have reports that Srinagar may currently have a significant small arms presence, mainly pistols, with militant recruits and their supporters,” said a police officer. “We fear more targeted assassinations in the coming weeks,” added another official. Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) has expanded its recruiting network in Srinagar and moved beyond its known axis of Khrew-Tral-Awatipora in southern Kashmir, officials said.
For the first time in the past two decades, Srinagar has seen an increased footprint of security personnel, the permanent fortification of bunkers and the establishment of security facilities in civilian areas, including wedding halls, such as in the 1990s. Around 3,000 additional paramilitaries have camped in Srinagar for the past three months (Srinagar district becomes hotbed of activism in Kashmir, The Hindu, December 14, 2021).
In a crisis of delirium tremens, the late Indian Chief of Staff made numerous statements to humiliate the Kashmiris. He promised to change the DNA of Kashmir, justified the lynching of suspected people without any formal trial and justified the parade around a Kashmir strapped to Major Leetul Gogol’s jeep. The Indian government claimed to have eliminated “militancy”. But, the attack on the central reserve police bus exposed the government’s claims. Kashmir remains a simmering cauldron.