Strike on Kashmir Martys’ Day


Youme Shuhada-e-Kashmir (Martyrs’ Day) has been observed  today (13 July 2013) on both sides of the Line of Control and all over the world To pay homage to 22 Kashmiris who were martyred in 1931 to  liberate Kashmir from the brutalities of despotic Dogra rulers.  At this occasions seminars, cornered meetings to condemn Indian state terrorism which still continues in order to crush the Kashmiri struggle against its illegal occupation.

According to the media reports in Indian Occupied Kashmir shops wwere closed and troops patrolled the streets in Indian-administered Kashmir as freedom fighters  rejecting Indian rule called a strike on an annual holiday marking the anniversary of a bloody 1931 uprising.The police and paramilitary soldiers laid razor wire across roads in the old quarters of Srinagar, the main city in Indian-administered Kashmir, and warned residents to stay indoors, according to local resident Bashir Ahmed.

Traditionally, both separatists and pro-India Kashmiri groups commemorate the day, but key separatist leaders were under house arrest to stop them from leading rallies. Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan. About 68,000 people have died in over two decades of conflict.

 Kashmir is such a place whose boundaries are connected with Pakistan, China and Afghanistan. In addition it has 27 miles long strip with Kirghizstan and Tajikistan. Its population is over 160000 and area is 86000 square miles. Kashmir is 103 in the lost of UN members states. Moreover it population and area wise Kashmir is larger than 35 countries.

However, the history of Dogra rule (1846-1947) in Kashmir is replete with tyrannous treatment, meted out to the Kashmiri Muslims by Dogra forces. Under the Dogra rule, they were leading so miserable life that it was difficult to differentiate them from beasts. Slave labour, heavy taxes, capital punishment for cow slaughter, and living under constant terror was order of the day.

 In this regard, Yousaf Saraf in his book, ‘Kashmiris Fight for Freedom’ calls it “free forced labour” and “instead of donkeys and horses, Kashmiri Muslims were used for transportation of goods across the far-flung areas.”

 Atrocities of the Dogra regime could also be judged from the book of Sir Walter Lawrence, ‘The India We Served’. While describing the pathetic picture of the Kashmiris, he writes, “army was employed in forcing the villagers to plough and sow, and worse still, the soldiers came at harvest time and when the share of the state had been seized” and “there was very little grain to tide the unfortunate peasants over the cruel winter.”

 However, instead of granting the people, their genuine right of sefl-determination and holding plebiscite in the controlled territories of Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolutions, various forms of state terrorism have become part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against the innocent Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been manifested in brutal tactics such as crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, from January 1989 to December 2012, there have been deaths of 93,274 innocent Kashmiris, 6,969 custodial killings, 117,345 arrests and 105,861 destructions of houses. Indian brutal security forces have orphaned over 107, 351 children, widowed 22,728 women and gang raped 9,920 women. From January 1, 2013 to June 15, 2013, these atrocities, extrajudicial killings further increased, as the report disclosed.

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim majority population in the KashmirValley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers to shoot suspected persons.”

 In this respect, European Union passed a resolution on May 11, 2011 about human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.

It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of Baramulla, Bandipore and Handwara. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of single and mass graves without markers. In this regard, in the last few years, rights groups discovered nearly 3,000 unnamed graves in the various districts of Kashmir.

 In this respect, in August, 2011, IndianJammu and KashmirState Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves. The report indicated 2,156 unidentified bodies which were found in mass graves in various regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW. In its recent report China’s leading News Agency Xinhua has unearthed more gruesome details on world-stunning unmarked graves in Poonch of the Indian occupied Kashmir.  The report revealed the statement of Sofi Aziz Joo, caretaker of a graveyard as saying, “Police and Army used to bring those bodies and direct me to bury them. The bodies were usually bullet-ridden, mutilated, faces disfigured and sometimes without limbs and heads.”

While, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and rights groups have pointed out that more than 10,000 people have disappeared, accusing government forces of staging fake gun battles to cover up killings. They also revealed that suspected persons had been arrested and were murdered through arbitrary executions, and then buried in unmarked graves.

Anyhow , Kashmir is the serious bone of contention between nuclear neighbours and directly  linked with the water issue too.  The world community should ask New Delhi to resolve this issue according to the desire of plebiscites.

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