Tagged: Kashmir struggle

Text of the Arundhati Roy’s Statement Responding to the Threat of Arrest for Sedition

CommonDreams.org | Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I write this from Srinagar, Kashmir. This morning’s papers say that I may be arrested on charges of sedition for what I have said at recent public meetings on Kashmir. I said what millions of people here say every day. I said what I, as well as other commentators have 2009-07-28-arundhati-roy-bwritten and said for years. Anybody who cares to read the transcripts of my speeches will see that they were fundamentally a call for justice. I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir who live under one of the most brutal military occupations in the world; for Kashmiri Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their homeland; for Dalit soldiers killed in Kashmir whose graves I visited on garbage heaps in their villages in Cuddalore; for the Indian poor who pay the price of this occupation in material ways and who are now learning to live in the terror of what is becoming a police state.

Yesterday I traveled to Shopian, the apple-town in South Kashmir that had remained closed for 47 days last year in protest against the brutal rape and murder of Asiya and Nilofer, the young women whose bodies were found in a shallow stream near their homes and whose murderers have still not been brought to justice. I met Shakeel, who is Nilofer’s husband and Asiya’s brother. We sat in a circle of people crazed with grief and anger who had lost hope that they would ever get insaf-justice-from India, and now believed that Azadi-freedom-was their only hope. I met young stone pelters who had been shot through their eyes. I traveled with a young man who told me how three of his friends, teenagers in Anantnag district, had been taken into custody and had their finger-nails pulled out as punishment for throwing stones.

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Social Activists Condemn Using Force against Protesting Stone Throwers in Kashmir

Even women Kashmir women to protest against police killings

Using live ammunition against protesting stone throwers in Kashmir valley is strongly condemned by social activists, working in various fields in India, in a conference held in Mumbai on Friday 3rd September. They demanded the government to immediately halt the use or arms by security forces against stone throwers to end the turmoil in the Kashmir valley that is raged as a consequence of killing innocent people of Kashmir for last 3 months. The conference is convened by Peace Mumbai, a network of several social organisations. The meeting also called for an immediate withdrawal of security forces from the civilian areas of Jammu & Kashmir. At least 70 people have been killed in firing by security forces, including boys and girls below the age of 15 years, only in August.

The conference is held throughout the day on the issue titled “Kashmir at Crossroads: The Way Forward”. The meeting passed a resolution demanding all parties of various perspectives, to return immediately to the negotiating table that also said the solution can be obtained only by initiating the political process. The conference expressed concern over naked violations of human rights for the Kashmir people and urged the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to implement his promise of zero tolerance for all human rights violations in Kashmir. The Prime Minister is asked to repeal the draconian laws such as ‘the Armed Forces (Special Powers Act) and ‘the Public Safety Act’ that provided the security forces every power to kill innocent people at their free will in Kashmir.
Draconian Laws
The Armed Forces (Special Powers Act) has attracted wide condemnation even in North-East states like Manipur. Some 12 middle-aged Manipur women protested without a single piece of cloth on their bodies in front the headquarters of the army forces displaying a banner reading “Indian Army, Rape Us” in protest against brutal rape and killing of a Manipuri woman aged about 30 years, named ‘Thanglam Manorama’. The Indian Army and security forces have been given extraordinary powers under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 to search, seize, arrest and even kill anyone suspected of being an insurgent in order to "maintain the public order." Armed with these acts along with guns the security forces are causing enormous miseries and humiliation daily for Kashmiris.

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People stage demos in Sopore against setting up of army camp

KMS News | 04/09/2010 | 15:48 PST

In Kashmir, thousands of people staged protest demonstrations at Hardshiva in Sopore town against the setting up of an Indian Army camp in the area. Indian Army has acquired at least 18 Kanals of land from the puppet authorities in Pazalpora locality of Hardshiva to establish the camp. After demarcation, Army erected scores of poles on the land, which were later removed by the residents of the area during the protest.

The locals said that there were a primary school, high school and an Eidgah already existing on the hundreds of kanals of grazing land, a portion of which the Army had acquired from the authorities. “Eidgah served as prayer grounds for the residents of Dooru, Sempora, Macchipora, Mundji, Cherhaar, Kawal, Umran and adjoining villages,” they added. An Auqaf member talking to media-men said, “We will lay down our lives but will not allow the Army to set up the camp. We have grown up girls. Will they be safe, if Army comes to the village?” He warned the authorities of worst consequences if the troops tried to set up the camp. Meanwhile, an official confirmed that some land was being provided to the occupation troops for setting up a camp.

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Kashmiri protesters set 5 conditions to end 3-month long agitations

Article first published as Kashmiri Protesters Set 5 Conditions to End 3 Month Long Agitations on Technorati.

Kashmir struggle 3 Indian Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh’s drive to create an atmosphere that the India is worried about Kashmiri youth and it is going to engage those youth with number of employment opportunities, seems did not attract much attention of agitating masses of the Kashmir valley. The agitations are still continuing with even more determination. Indian forces are alleged committing rapes on Kashmiri women and killing innocent people in a bid to suppress the agitation with force. The Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir is becoming more and more helpless with increasing anger and attacking mood of the protesting people.

For the first time after the protests began 3 months back on June 11, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, branded as hardliner among the constituents of the Hurriyat Conference laid down 5 conditions to end their continuous protests and challenged Indian government and even international community to prove their sincerity and commitment to resolve Kashmir dispute. He alleged Indian government is playing again the card of engaging Kashmir people with political but doing nothing practically. The 5 conditions put forward by the Kashmir agitation are like this:

1. The India’s Central Government should agree that Jammu and Kashmir issue as an international dispute.

2. The government should declare and initiate the process of evacuating all sorts of security forces from the region and the process of demilitarization should be monitored by a credible international agency like the UNO.

3. The Prime Minister of India should make a public statement and ensure that no killings and no arrests would take place henceforth in the region. The Centre must also discipline the troops and order them to stop humiliating people and destroying public and private property.

4. The government must immediately and unconditionally release all the youths and political prisoners, and withdraw cases against youths pending in courts for the last two decades. The list of 44 political prisoners include Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, Aasiya Andrabi, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Mohammad Qasim and several key separatist leaders.

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The Bleeding Wound ‘Kashmir’ is Seeping Again

Article first published as The Bleeding Wound, Kashmir, Is Seeping Again on Blogcritics.

kashmir2490 The last guard of USSR, Gorbachev once described ‘Afghanistan’ as a ‘bleeding wound’. Even after Russians left Afghanistan, it is still bleeding but now due to 9 years of cruel war by the world number one rogue state the US and its coalition forces. Historically there are three major red spots on the world map that can unequivocally be termed as “bleeding wounds”. The first most and never ending tragic saga is Palestine. While Afghanistan occupies the second place, Kashmir, once an independent royal kingdom takes the third place. They are placed so, depending upon intensities of how the people living there are oppressed and struggling to carry out even their daily chorus.

Like Palestine, Kashmir is geographically situated at a strategic point in terms of geo-political importance. While leaving India, the British colonial rulers divided Indian sub-continent into two countries on religious lines in 1947. One was Muslim dominated Pakistan and the other was Hindus dominated India. It was part of the famous British tactic of controlling colonies, ‘divide and rule.’ In between lies Muslim dominated but Hindu king (Raja Hari Singh) ruled Kashmir by then. To the North of Kashmir there was Communist China and USSR. To the far-east there was US’ ally Japan to be protected from communist danger. Such a strategic location prompted British colonial rulers and its upcoming boss the US not to grant independence status to Kashmir. Instead they left the choice to the feudal king Hari Singh.

Meanwhile Pakistan’s mercenaries entered Kashmir from North-West side. Kashmir requested help from India to save its independence status. The then Indian Prime Minister made an agreement with Kashmir that three ministries would be controlled by India, Kashmir retains its independence status with other ministries and a plebiscite would be held in Kashmir after Pak’s mercenaries were defeated out of Kashmir to choose for Kashmiri people for themselves whether to align with India or Kashmir or to remain independent. Indian forces entered Kashmir. UN was called in and after a lot of deliberations and discussions with the mediation of the UN a line called ‘Line of Control’ (LoC) was drawn dividing Kashmiris and their land between India and Pakistan. While a quarter of Kashmir land left with Pakistan as ‘Pak Occupied Kashmir’ or ‘Azadi Kashmir’, three quarters left with India. Plebiscite was then opposed by Pakistan but welcomed by India.

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2 more die as protests rage in Kashmir

Yahoo News | Aug 21, 2010 | 10:45 AM

Despite a daylong ‘deal’ between the shutdown by separatists and the revocation of curfew by the authorities for the day, the Kashmir valley witnessed protests and violence on Friday that left one civilian dead. A civilian, Nazir Ahmad Wani (22), was killed when the police opened fire at protestors at Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, 65 km south of Srinagar. Hundreds of people took to the streets at Bijbehara town, near the National Highway, and raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. “The protestors tried to set ablaze the Bijbehara Police station and the Sub Divisional Police Officer’s office. The police used teargas and cane-charge to disperse the mob,” a police statement said. “The mob did not relent and tried to set the police station and the SDPO office on fire by throwing petrol bombs. The policemen inside the police station had to fire some rubber pallets in self defense,” he added.

This triggered more protests and more deployment was sent to the area to control the situation. Most towns observed shutdown in south Kashmir protesting against the killing. In north Kashmir’s Sopore town, 55 km north of Srinagar, a civilian, Mudasir Ahmad (18), who received bullet injuries on Thursday, succumbed in a Srinagar hospital late Thursday night. A CRPF spokesman said the paramilitary personnel led by company commander DK Dass opened fire using the Pump Action Shotgun – a weapon that fires several pallets simultaneously – after protestors attacked them with bottles. “The officer (Dass) didn’t allow his men to open fire. He (Dass) himself used the Pump Action Shotgun, which is a non-lethal weapon,” said CRPF, spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi. Continue reading

15 Kashmir cops suspended after shoe attack on Omar

MSN.com | IANS | 15/08/2010
A suspended Jammu and Kashmir head constable Sunday hurled a shoe at Omar Abdullah during the Independence Day function here but an unfazed chief minister remarked it was better to throw shoes than stones. Abdullah, who was taking salute from contingents of marching security personnel at the Bakshi Stadium in the heart of Srinagar, did not stir when Abdul Ahad Jan threw the brown shoe from behind. It landed on the grassy ground in Abdullah’s front, without grazing anyone. “This is a better way of showing protest,” Abdullah said in Urdu. But the incident rattled the chief minister’s security personnel, who quickly pounced on Jan and dragged him away. The man, in civilian dress, was arrested and later branded mentally unsound.

“Abdul Ahad Jan is a suspended head constable belonging to (south Kashmir’s) Kulgam district who already has a criminal case pending against him,” a police officer said. Police said Jan was also involved in a case of claiming fake ex-gratia compensation from the government. But no one explained how a man suspended from the police force could sneak into the highly-secured stadium. Jan, who had been seated in the VIP enclosure, tried to wave a black flag when he was taken away. The shoe incident marred the otherwise peaceful Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar and across the state where militants usually tend to target official Indian functions.

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Separatist anger rages under curfew in Kashmir

Reuters | Aug 11, 2010 | 12:55pm IST

In the world’s largest democracy, it is curfew time. Many of Indian Kashmir’s streets lie deserted aside from stray dogs. Police, who have killed dozens of protesters defying India’s efforts to quell a separatist uprising, stand at street corners in the region’s summer capital of Srinagar. “He only went out to get biscuits,” said Maroofa Khan, telling how police shot dead her cousin, 17-year-old Mohammed Iqbal. A shop owner found Iqbal lying on the ground: a bullet pierced the back of his head, forcing an eyeball out of its socket. He died six days later. Iqbal’s shooting sparked street battles with police and his funeral drew tens of thousands, seething as the might of India’s state fell on two months of protests and strikes. The iron-fisted response to one of the biggest rebellions against Indian rule in two decades has sparked debate whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government has any idea about how to resolve disputed Kashmir.

New Delhi’s reaction may have achieved something years of separatist militancy failed to do: fuse a separatist cause with peaceful mass protests in a way that undermines any negotiated solution to a region claimed by both India and Pakistan. The violence is small in contrast to when at least 47,000 people were killed in clashes involving Indian troops and Muslim militants in the two decades after the 1989 uprising broke out. But a radicalised youth relying on mass protests rather than militant attacks to promote their cause may prove a huge political challenge for the Indian government. “Twenty years ago India told us it was fighting the gun,” said 80-year-old separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, long seen as a marginalised hardliner but now touted as a hero to many Kashmiris for his refusal to negotiate with New Delhi. “They don’t have that argument now.” Anger has always been widespread at hundreds of thousands of Indian troops in Kashmir, one of the world’s most militarised regions. Army powers allowing arrest without trial and raids without warrants infuriated residents. But police killings this year appeared to be a tipping point. The government has sent in federal police of mainly Hindus who do not speak Kashmiri. They are mostly despised by Kashmiris. “People get shot mostly here and above,” said one hospital surgeon, poking the journalist in the stomach. “That is what I call shooting to kill. They are not aiming at the legs. Continue reading

Militants were among mass protesters in Kashmir: Chidambaram

Militants were among mass protesters in Kashmir: Chidambaram – Yahoo! India News

Home Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday said there was reliable intelligence that militants may have mingled with crowds and fired at security forces in Jammu and Kashmir where a ‘cycle of violence’ has raged for more than 50 days. ‘There have been instances where the security forces have been fired upon by someone in the protesting crowds. There is reliable intelligence that some armed militants may have mingled with the crowds and fired at the security forces,’ he said in a statement in the Lok Sabha on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The minister, who expressed concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, expressed confidence that a possibility of reactivating the political process could be explored once peace was restored there.

‘Once peace and order are restored, I am confident that we can explore the possibility of reactivating the political process that holds the key to the solution,’ Chidambaram said. Urging all sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir to heed voices of reason and desist from violent protest, Chidambaram reminded the protesters that mindless violence and destruction of property will not lead to any solution. ‘On the contrary, they will result in loss of lives and injuries to the protesters, an outcome that is entirely avoidable and that should be avoided at all costs,’ he said. Underlining the government’s policy on issues concerning Kashmir, Chidambaram said: ‘We recognise that the issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir are issues concerning our own people, and they have to be addressed through the political process and through a dialogue with all sections of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.’

The minister appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to ‘end the cycle of violence’ that has been continuing for the past more than 50 days. ‘The central government deeply regrets the loss of lives in Jammu and Kashmir. Many of them were young men and children. I convey our deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased. Even while we regret these incidents, I would Continue reading

Police open fire at Kashmir protesters, two killed

Reuters | Fri Jul 30, 2010 | 8:13pm IST

Police on Friday fired at thousands of people protesting against Indian rule in Kashmir, killing two demonstrators, officials said, in the latest flare-up of violence in the disputed Himalayan region. At least 19 people, mostly stone-throwing protesters, have been killed by security forces over the last six weeks, when Muslim-majority Kashmir has seen the largest pro-independence demonstrations in two years.

The violence has led the authorities to impose an on-and-off curfew in parts of Kashmir, at the core of a dispute between India and Pakistan, which both claim it in full but rule it in part. "Police in Sopore opened fire on agitated mobs indulging in heavy stone pelting. Two protesters were killed," police official Mohammad Shafi said refering to a town 48 km (30 miles) north of Srinagar. At least 50 people including 25 policemen were wounded across Kashmir during the protests, where thousands of residents took to the streets chanting: "We want freedom! Go India! Go back!" Authorities reimposed a curfew in the capital Srinagar after noon Muslim prayers and deployed thousands of security forces, who blocked off lanes with razor wire and iron barricades.

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Govt. raises security concerns over BlackBerry services

Reuters | Thu Jul 29, 2010 | 1:14pm IST

India has raised security concerns with Research In Motion over the Canadian company’s popular BlackBerry services, but is not planning a ban in the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market. Internal Security Chief U.K. Bansal told reporters on Thursday that he hoped Indian concerns that militants may use the BlackBerry data services would be resolved soon. "They (RIM) have assured us that they will be addressing it," Bansal said.

Security officials are concerned that the BlackBerry services poses a national security threat because of encrypted data sent on RIM devices. They want access to the encrypted services. The home ministry has clamped down on mobile phone operators following the Mumbai attacks in 2008, which killed 166 people. India said on Wednesday telecoms equipment vendors must allow inspection of their gear and made carriers solely responsible for the security of their networks, addressing security worries that had led to restrictions on Chinese manufacturers.   

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