After the abrogation of article 370 from IIOJK by the Modi gov’t in 2019, they had the view that their illegal action will bring peace and development in the valley and will end armed conflict. But it could not happen because Modi’s gov’t unilateral action sparked anger among the people not only in Kashmir but across India.
Now its been three years of suspension of special status of IIOJK. Modi’s gov’t claims of normalcy in Kashmir has been unfolded through daily killings of innocent Kashmiris, illegal raids of their houses, fake encounters and tortures. This year, alone more than 100 young Kashmiris aged between 18 and 26, have been killed by the Indian security forces.
The continuous violence against Muslims in Kashmir has showed that the Modi’s policies toward Kashmir have failed and they are trying every tactics to suppress Kashmiri voices, but they have failed to do so. Because everyday is becoming difficult for occupiers and freedom struggle is becoming more stronger than the past.
Modi’s government claims of normalcy in Kashmir can be seen by Modi’s tough restrictions imposed in the region, where hundreds of politicians including former chief ministers, Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah, Umar Abdullah and rights activists, lawyers and students were arrested, while internet and mobile services remained shut for months.
The gov’t introduce new domicile law to settle outsiders in Kashmir and planning demographic changes in the valley. The demographic changes means to give greater representation to Hindu areas which draw strong condemnation from the opposition parties who accused New Delhi of “gerrymandering” the region to disempower Muslims. IIOJK former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, accused Modi’s government of pushing young men towards an armed resistance through its threatening approach”.
According to some experts the Modi gov’t anti-Muslim policy is endangering lives of Hindu Pandits. The recent killings of Hindu Pandits sparked anger among the Hindus and Pandits have threaten to leave the region, even Hindu employees refused to go to their work because of their security concerns.
The crackdown on independent journalists in Kashmir has increased, Journalists who critically reported against the Modi government policies have faced intimidation, harassment and long investigations. There were reports that journalists were being beaten by police and other security forces in connection with their work. On January 2022, Kashmir press club was forcefully shutdown by Indian authorities which was a clear violation of free press.
Kashmir has been under siege for the last 75 years and Kashmiris are fighting for their independence which is illegally occupied by the Indian forces. The region highly militarized place in the world, over an estimated presence of 700,000 troops.
The situation in Kashmir is worsening day by day, people from across the valley are against illegal occupation and brutalities. They are demanding freedom, frustration among people is increasing and the fear of death among them have ended. They are joining the armed groups against Indian forces. The resistance against the Indian forces have increased. According to a Washington Post article, “educated Kashmiri youths are joining an anti India insurgency”.
It is clear that the Modi’s aggressive behavior and failed policies could not weaken people struggle for their self determination and could not silence their voices against Indian illegal occupation.
Now the entire region is under the brutal suppression of Modi-led Hindutva regime, which left no option for Kashmiris except fighting. Despite Indian suppression people struggle for their freedom is gaining more momentum.
India is trying to show complete normalcy in IIOJK through systematic campaigns and disinformation but their efforts go in vain. The recent verdict by Indian court against JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik clearly indicates biasness, injustice, one-sided and unfair trial against Kashmiri leader, based on political vendetta to silence the dissented voices in the occupied territory.
Mansoor Ahmed is Islamabad based Researcher and Freelancer