The Black Day for Kashmir
Indian brutalities in Kashmir stood uncovered once a police committee constituted under pressure from Amnesty International and Human Rights Commission confirmed the presence of a large number of unmarked graves in Indian occupied Kashmir. The committee visited Baramulla, Bandipora, Handwara and Kupwara districts. Unmarked graves were spread all over the place making it virtually impossible for the committee to refute their presence. Although the team only recorded those graves for which witnesses were ready to give written statements neglecting hundreds of thousands of graves where people out of the fear of security forces opted not to give written statements.
Nevertheless, the truth about merciless killings of innocent and hapless Kashmir’s at the hands of Indian security forces stood exposed by their own security agency.
The miseries Kashmiri’s are enduring today started on October 27, 1947 when Indian forces occupied Kashmir forcefully through deceitful connivance with British Raj. That marked the beginning of their slavery. They are writing history with their blood. In spite of unprecedented adversities their determination remains undaunted, rather has increased with every passing day. The youth that had seen the worst possible atrocities at the hand of Indian security forces in their infancy exhibits courage to look into the eyes of security forces, retaliate through stone pelting, defy curfew and even burn police stations, an activity that was unimaginable. Their guts and audacity has baffled the government. Indian hierarchy has been compelled to accede to the truth to find core reason for the unrest. Report by the police committee is the manifestation of this fact.
Indian government so far has used repression as a tool to control Kashmiri’s. They erroneously assumed that by inflicting insult and injury they will be able to control the masses. It is in the same context that laws like Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act 1990 (TADA) and Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA) etc were enacted. That gave unbridled powers to the Indian security forces. The security forces driven by implanted hate for Muslims and frustrated due to their own inaptness have used these draconian laws to their maximum. Their leadership has failed on both accounts that is harnessing the men under their command as well as correctly assessing the implications of what they are doing. The results are obvious, that is increased resistance by the people to Indian occupation of Kashmir. It was India who took Kashmir problem to UN Security Council. 47th (1948) Resolution of 21 April 1948 of UN Security Council noted, “That both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite”. But India never allowed this plebiscite to be held. Efforts made by different governments of Pakistan met snags at the last moment fully exposing deceitful handling of Kashmir issue by Indian government over last 63 years.
India is holding on to Kashmir by deploying over 500,000 troops. That should be enough to tell the tail of the area. According to the estimates given by Amnesty International Indian forces have unlawfully detained from 8 to 20 thousand people. Human Rights have reported that between 1989 and mid 2010 Indian Army and paramilitary forces killed 93,274 innocent Kashmir’s. It was further reported that 117,345 individuals were arrests and 6,969 custodial killings took place. Reportedly 22,728 women have been widowed and 107,351 children rendered orphan. As if it wasn’t enough 105,861 houses were razed to ground. Crimes against women included 9,920 gang raps. Indians may not agree with these figures and claim these to be fabricated. But it must be remembered that similar stance was taken by Indian government about unmarked graves. It is for the first time that a report prepared by their own Senior Superintendent of Police acknowledges presence of such graves in mass.
Human rights abuse is an unacceptable norm in today’s world, especially once India aspires to be a regional power. She needs to respect UN resolutions and the commitment made by Jawahar lal Nehru. Moreover, amicable resolution of Kashmir problem will pave way for better relations with Pakistan and will change regional paradigm creating conducive environment for trade and development. It will only be possible if they face the facts and pursue a principled approach. Moreover, the rights of the people of Kashmir cannot be denied indefinitely. The fact is that alleviation of their sufferings will not only bring peace to them but will also bring prosperity to the entire region. It is time that Indian government should accept the ground realities and should accede to the rightful demand of Kashmir’s and specially their youth, that is, “Azadi.”