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Kashmir One Year in ‘Lockdown’

From the 5th of August 2019 until today the 5th of August 2020, Jammu and Kashmir will be in a lockdown enforced by the Indian government led by the BJP party. The starting point of the referendum began when the Indian parliament approved the repeal of Articles 370 and 35 (A) of the Indian constitution.

With that decision, the provinces of Jammu and Kashmir were declared under emergency law which revoked the autonomy status of the province.

In conjunction with the day, we express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and demand that the violent acts of India must be stopped and those responsible should be brought to justice and the right to self-determination must be returned to the people of Kashmir.

What happened after the 5th of August 2019 further is that the fate of Kashmir citizens is increasingly depressed. As a result when the autonomous status of Kashmir now falls and the province is now fully governed by New Delhi the rights of Kashmir citizens are denied. While in special status, Kashmir has its own constitution, assembly, flags and financial affairs.

Once the dissolution of Article 370 was approved by the Indian parliament, no less than 40,000 Indian troops were added to the province, making it the densest zone of military presence in the world. In fact, the number of troops has increased to 700,000 members, aimed at tightly controlling the entire movement of Kashmir citizens.

Since 1947 when India and Pakistan were declared independent by the British, Kashmir has been recognized as a disputed territory. This is the only province with a majority Muslim population claimed to be part of India by the Indian government.

The disputed territory means that Kashmir is neither part of Pakistan nor India. After the dispute was brought to the UN Security Council which resulted in resolution 47, Kashimir Province was recognized as having special status under the Indian constitution. Any action taken in relation to Kashmir cannot be done unilaterally or alone by either India or Pakistan.

Resolution 47 of the UN Security Council on 21 April 1948 ruled that Kashmir citizens should be given the right to determine their own destiny through a plebiscite. But India ignored the UN resolution, and even continued to seize Kashmir along with around 8 million Kashmir people besieged in a part of Kashmir dubbed “Indian Occupied Kashmir”.

The Indian action has provoked outrage and strong protests from the people of Kashmir who consider India to have violated international law and the measures taken by India are illegal.

Since MahaRaja Hari Singh (the Hindu King who became King of Kashmir) conspired with India, with the treaty of surrendering Kashmir to India in 1947, the people of Kashmir have suffered severe oppression. India sent hundreds of thousands of troops into Kashmir and launched a genocide that reportedly killed hundreds of thousands of Kashmir citizens beginning October 27, 1947. The day of Indian invasion is commemorated every year as Kashmir Black Day (Kasmir Black Day).

During the Indian military operation at that time, about 4 million Kashmir people received protection from Pakistan which was later called Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) which is Jammu-Kashmir who was released. While India during its invasion of Jammu Kashmir has denied the right of Kashimir citizens to determine their own destiny (right to self determination).

In fact Kashmir independence fighters have long demanded the right to determine their future. But India has never respected the UN resolution and the agenda to make Kashmir part of India still implemented. The misery of the people of Kashmir has not diminished for more than 7 decades. Even worse, sometimes worse than Palestine.

According to reports collected by various agencies, such as Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders and the UN Human Rights Commission, mass rape cases by the Indian military are considered the worst in the world.

Since India invaded Kashmir in 1947: hundreds of Kashmir civilians have been killed, over 100,000 homes destroyed, over 50,000 cases of rape by Indian troops on Kashmir women, more than 40,000 wives lost their husbands.

While thousands were detained without trial and tortured in custody, more than tens of thousands of children became orphans. Worse not less than 60,000 have been blinded by Indian military attacks using internationally banned pellet guns.

Hundreds of Kashmir political activists were also arrested on charges of involvement in the terrorist movement. The local economy has been dominated by India causing the entire Kashmir population to lose their source of income.

When the restriction of movement was enforced on Kashmir last year (5th August 2019) by India, repressive measures under draconian law on Kashmir citizens were enforced. Since then, India has added 40,000 military personnel in Kashmir, locked the main mosque of Jammu Kashmir including other mosques, arrested and tortured more than 3,000 political activists including children, blocked all forms of telephone and internet communications, blocked access to food and medicine including medical supplies at the hospital, banning any rallies, restricting outside media from entering Kashmir.

Reports from the human rights body reveal the Indian military used force against any demonstration by Kashmir citizens, arrest without charge, injure thousands of civilians by violent Indian forces, break into homes and destroy them with explosions on terrorist grounds. Extreme abuses such as thrashing with batons, imposing electricity on the body, torturing until severe injuries are rampant.

Unfortunately, all the measures taken by the Indian government on the people of Kashmir have not received any protection from the world community. Even world bodies such as the UN and the OIC are silent and even allow Indian atrocities to continue against the people of Kashmir. India argues that there should be no external intervention as it claims that India’s actions are domestic affairs. Whereas what India is doing is crimes against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing and violations of human rights and international law.

Throughout this period, India added measures to take control of Kashmir by declaring that the whole of Kashmir including Azad Jammu Kasmir province is Indian territory. The border drawn by the Indian army that separated the IOK and the committee by building a 740 kilometer barbed fence called the line of control (LoC) was tightly controlled by the Indian army.

The LoC border was built beginning with the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in the 1947-1948 war. It officially became the de facto border on 3rd July 1972 between Kashmir India and Kashmir Pakistan under the Shimla Treaty. Many Kashmir people who tried to cross the fence to get protection on the committee, were shot and killed by the Indian army.

Meanwhile on the 1st of April 2020 another rule was passed in the Indian parliament regarding the occupation law which is “Domicile Law” in Kashmir. The law allows Indian citizens residing in Kashmir for more than 15 years to have the right to a resident certificate and all the privileges as a resident to own property as well as all employment opportunities in Kashmir.

The aim is to change the composition of the Muslim population of Kashmir and Indian Hindu immigrants. The ultimate goal is to change the demographics of the Kashmir population from a Muslim majority to a Hindu majority. This is the Hindu nationalist agenda of the RSS group backed by the Indian BJP party. The Hindutva agenda which is the ideology of the BJP party sets the goal that India is only for Hindus and therefore Kashmir should be in “Hindu”

Now the fate of Kashmir is at the end of the horn. Although India is among the countries that recorded the Covid-19 epidemic among the highest in the world, India’s agenda to control Kashmir remains a major agenda. Even the Covid-19 pandemic was used as an excuse to increase its grip on Kashmir. Kashmir residents are now forced to undergo 2 double lockdowns, namely a lock by the Indian BJP and a lock by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kashmir desperately needs the voice of the world to defend its rights and stop India’s atrocities against its citizens. The misery of Kashmir is exactly Palestine. Both suffered the fate of colonialism by the same power i.e. from British colonialism. The British as western imperialist powers have plotted Palestine and Kashmir until both were faced with severe tyranny. Israeli Jewish Zionist tyranny (Jewish supremacy) over Palestine in 1948 until now and now India over Kashmir began in 1947 which is now supported by the Hindutva (Hindu supremacy) nationalist agenda.

Does the world not care about the fate of Kashmir as the Palestinian issue is often raised. The dignity and rights of Muslims are both the same. The right to self-determination and the right to own everything that has been seized by external powers. The fate of Kashmir needs to be voiced and solidarity with the struggle of the people of Kashmir must be echoed and supported together.

Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid
President of the Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations Malaysia

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