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Lockdown within lockdown bleeds Kashmir further

“Peace in Kashmir is often an oxymoron.” Naseer Ganai

After abrogation of Article 370 which gives special status to Kashmir, India didn’t even spare its loyal political servants. Kashmir locked down since 05 August 2019 and cut off from rest of the world and life under siege.

Kashmir heavily militarised and occupied by almost one million Indian troops makes it the world’s largest militarised zone. 

Normal life is totally disturbed and sudden lockdown hits access to healthcare in besieged Kashmir making things worse for the vulnerable. Then comes a newlockdown as international community fights the coronavirus.

Thousands have died since 1989 when insurgency began in Indian-occupied Kashmir followed by arigged election during Congress rule in India. Since then Kashmir has witnessed widespread abuse andfrequent protests and crackdown resulting in civiliandeaths by Indian security forces.

As time passed Kashmiris’ wishes for self-determination and freedom has only increased, Indian security forces countered this with extra-judicial killings and rights violations, kidnapping of youth, sexual harassment of Kashmiri girls and women, the UN human rights office reports.  

In recent times  the villages of Pulwama and Shopian districts in South Kashmir has emerged as the epicentres for indigenous uprising against India. This has produced many local heroes like Burhan Wani, who was killed by Indian troops in July 2016 on a Eid day.  His killing ignited a five-month uprising; the government responded by imposing curfew for more than 50 days. More than 80 civilians, mostly young, were killed and hundreds were blinded when Indiaused pellet guns on protesters.

India relaxed the internet blackout in Kashmir which started on August 2019 after the Supreme court order. Then came the coronavirus lockdown. A lockdown within a lockdown. 

The latest series of unrest began, not from the South Kashmir, but from Handwara north of Kashmir. Thekilling of top Indian security personnel implies that the uprising against Indian occupation is indigenous and widespread.

Indian security forces under the double lockdown in Kashmir killed another Hizbul Mujahideen local leader in Pulwama and this has led to a new wave of  heavyprotest across Kashmir. 

Increasing number of educated youth are taking up arms against India due to the ongoing crimes and human right abuses by India forces. Kashmiris witness brutality by Indian forces every day and all overoccupied Kashmir. But India categorically denies the abuses and places the blame on Pakistan as usual.

When will Indian killing of innocent civilians in Kashmir end? Human Rights activists in Kashmir say frustrated Indian security forces are killing Kashmiris at random. Every slain Kashmiri becomes a local hero, thousands attend the funerals and this inspireshundreds to take up arms to stop the humiliation and torture by Indian occupying forces. 

Unless the Indian public pressurise their government to stop the ongoing slaughtering of innocent civilians in Kashmir at a cost of occupying Kashmir Rs six crore a day. India’s declining economy, mismanagement of coronavirus, increasing hate against Muslims and  international communities’ outrage on Islamophobia in India. The Indian establishment diverts attention byattacking Muslims in India and unlashing violence in Kashmir.  

With its socio-economic fibres are deteriorating rapidly, it is time for Indian liberals to reclaim theirlost glory of secular pluralism before it is too late.  

For the last few decades, India seems to have become self-infected with its hyper-national and ultra-patriotism.  

 

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