“It is very difficult to give an exact figure but, we have killed around 200 In Kashmir.” The assessment of local terrorists is around 110-120. Similarly, the foreigners are about 100”.
It was so sad to listen Lieutenant General Sandhu addressing a press conference in Indian occupied Kashmir two days ago. The Indian general did not know or possibly did not care how many humans, so-called terrorists were killed by Indian Military in Kashmir. Killing of twenty plus or minus Kashmiris did not seem to bother the general at all.
Burhan Wani, was also branded as local terrorist. His funeral was attended by no less than 200,000 (200 thousand) people. It was the largest funeral of the decade and Wani Shaheed truly emerged as an icon of long resistance to the Indian occupation. Leading Indian newspaper ‘India Today’ termed it as funeral of the decade saying “we can’t think of any hero in Indian history or world history who got this much of crowd on his death”.
In truth, the Indian general public can’t be really blamed for calling Kashmiris as traitors of nation and terrorists. They say what they are shown and the reality has always been kept hidden within the dark confines of government circles. However, we have seen a well informed and learned section of the Kashmiri society supporting the cause of Kashmir because they have researched, studied and analyzed the Kashmir issue.
Qalandar Khatana, has recently attracted international media attention. His story is one of the many stories in Kashmir. A living example of how the Indian military is treating Kashmiris. Qalandar a shepherd, member of the Gujjar community, his home located near the Line of Control. He was subjected to extreme torture along with his family on being suspected as an ISI agent. His wife’s ribs were broken and Khatana’s both legs literally cut. He now demands UN body to help end suffering of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian Prime Minister Mr Modi, better known as ‘killer of Gujrat’ clearly instructed the Indian media not to publicize the Kashmir issue and protests through any media coverage. (Google it. PM Modi expresses ‘unhappiness’ over media coverage of Kashmir).
And that is the reason Telecom services, Internet broadband and mobile phones, landlines, Cable connections have all been terminated in the valley. Ironically, the Indian government projects a “Shining India” or largest democracy on the planet.
In the name of protection, Indian Military has so far butchered over 1.3 lac Kashmiris (90,000 is the official figure), tortured thousands, raped and humiliated almost every family, gutted many properties and then denied everything. Almost every family in Kashmir has a story to tell about the humiliation and atrocities they faced at the hands of Indian Army.
In Kashmiri villages it is even worse. When an intruder breaks into your house asking for your identity, won’t you be raged to demand why? You would probably want to throw that person out in the first instance for even thinking of speaking like that in your own house. Yet when it comes to Kashmir, these are suchlike victims of Indian aggression who are termed terrorists.
Kashmiris have lost their childhood and peace, and above all their economy. Every single family in Kashmir has lost at least one person to this madness. Does it make sense that 97% cases filed against Indian army are termed as false?
Innocent people are arrested by Indian army and depicted as terrorists apprehended with arm and ammunition, because it earns promotions. Is the world that naive not to understand such mockery? In peaceful protest against these gross Human rights violations, Forces come and shoot a 10-year-old in the chest. He dies. While the army says they have not done it!
Large-scale massacres have been perpetrated by the Indian army whenever they come under attack from the freedom fighters. They have even gone on rampages or burning of shops and houses in revenge of a deed carried out because of their inefficacy. As a case in point, check Sopore massacre in which 53 men were burnt alive inside their shops, when army personnel locked them in and set them on fire because some militant had attacked their battalion and fled.
Unmarked graves are another continuing horror. A year ago, 2700 graves were found in a single place in the southern region of Kashmir. Bodies which had no record, some of them buried in dozens. No one knows how many forced disappearance cases exist. Probably more than anyone can imagine. So where and how are these people disappearing? There is clear evidence that many of these disappeared are resting in these unmarked graves. Has anyone been ever punished? No. Those women wail after their children who never returned and ask for justice. The women of Kashmir have lost their men to these disappearances. They are called half-widows. Why? Because they do not know if their spouse is being tortured in some army camp or already dead. Such “half-widows” can neither remarry nor wait. They have to wait for return of their husbands or confirmation of their death.
The tragedy of Kashmir goes on and on, but who cares.
Author holds M Phil Degree from NDU , Islamabad