|Indian Soldiers Assaulting Kashmiri Protesters Raising Pakistani Flag|
Armed Forces Special Powers Act:
When India's founding father Mohandas Gandhi started "Quit India" movement to seek India's independence from Britain, the colonial rulers of British India responded by imposing "The Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance of 1942" on August 15, 1942.
After independence in 1947, the Indian government has made extensive use of the same colonial-era British law to crush legitimate demands for freedom by the peoples of Assam, Manipur, Kashmir and other regions. The Act has now been in force in Kashmir for 26 years.
While Indian government claims Kashmir as an integral part of India, it undermines its own claim by denying fundamental rights to Kashmiris, the rights that are granted by the Indian constitution to all Indian citizens.
Basic Rights Denied:
Not only is the Indian government denying the right of self-determination granted to Kashmiris by multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, New Delhi is also reneging on the commitments made by India's founder and first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Kashmiris and the international community.
|Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Pledge|
India is deploying 700,000 troops with extraordinary powers to detain, torture, blind, injure and kill any Kashmiri citizen with impunity under Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990.
Deaths and Injuries:
In the latest Kashmir uprising triggered by the July 8 murder of young Kashmiri activist Burhan Wani by Indian military, hundreds of protesters have been killed and thousands more injured in peaceful protests.
The extensive use pellet guns by Indian soldiers has blinded hundreds of young men and women, even children, during the current wave of mass protests.
Prior to casualties this latest round of protests, there have tens of thousands of civilians killed and hundreds of thousands injured by Indian military in Kashmir. Thousands of bodies have been found in mass graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara districts in Kashmir, according to The Hindu.
Kashmir Mass Graves:
Dr. Angana Chatterji, a professor of cultural and social anthropology at California Centre for Integral Studies who uncovered the mass graves, reported as follows: “Of the 2700 graves, 2,373 (87.9 percent) were unnamed. 154 graves contained two bodies each and 23 contained more than two cadavers. Within these 23 graves, the number of bodies ranged from 3 to 17."
Scholars, she said, refer to mass graves as resulting from Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, or Genocide. “If the intent of a mass grave is to execute death with impunity, with intent to kill more than one, and to forge an unremitting representation of death, then, to that extent, the graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara are part of a collective burial by India’s military and paramilitary, creating a landscape of ‘mass burial.’
Dr. Chatterji said post-death, the bodies of the victims were routinely handled by military and paramilitary personnel, including the local police. She said that the bodies were then brought to “secret graveyards” primarily by personnel of the State Police.
The International Peoples' Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice, an independent group headed by Dr. Chatterji, alleged that the violence and militarization in Kashmir, between 1989-2009, have resulted in over 70,000 deaths, including through extrajudicial or “fake encounter” executions, custodial brutality, and other means. “In the enduring conflict, 6, 67,000 military and paramilitary personnel continue to act with impunity to regulate movement, law, and order across Kashmir,” she added.
Indian University Student Protest:
Many enlightened Indians like the Jawaharlal Nehru University students see the brutality and futility of Indian military occupation of Kashmir. At protests earlier this year, many chanted slogans in favor of Azadi for Kashmiris. "Geelani bole azaadi, Afzal bole azaadi, jo tum na doge azaadi, toh chheen ke lenge azadi! (Geelani and Afzal demanded freedom. If freedom is denied, we will snatch it!)".
New Generation in Revolt:
During the 26 years of Kashmir under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, an entire new generation of Kashmiris has grown up. This generation, represented by tech-savvy youngsters like Burhan Wani, has seen nothing but repression and violence committed by the Indian military against their people. They are more determined than ever to defy and defeat the illegal and immoral military occupation of their land by India.
The use of brute force by 700,000 Indian troops over the last 26 years to crush the legitimate aspirations of millions of Kashmiris is backfiring. The more Kashmiris Indian military detains, tortures, injures, blinds and kills under Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the less sustainable is its hold on the territory. It is only a matter of time before India is forced to withdraw its troops and agree to let Kashmiris decide their own fate.
Here's another video discussion on the subject:
Did India beat Pakistan in the 1965 war from Ikolachi on Vimeo.
1965 India-Pakistan War
2016 Kashmir Uprising
Kashmir in Context
Arundhati Roy on Indian Military Occupation of Kashmir
JNU Anti-Modi Protests