Skip to main content

In biggest-ever "crackdown" in Kashmir, 8,000 civilians arrested, 450 for 6 months sans trial: Top US daily

Battleground Pampore, off Srinanagar
By Our Representative
Top US daily “Washington Post” reports, against the backdrop of “suspected militants” taking refuge in government building off Pampore, the saffron rich town in the outskirts of Srinagar, that the latest round of the unrest in the Kashmir valley has prompted India go in for its “biggest crackdown” in decades in the state.
Aijaz Hussain, an Associated Press correspondent, reports in the daily, “Anxious to quell anti-India protests in Kashmir, Indian forces are carrying out their most severe crackdown in more than two decades against civilian protesters, arresting more than 8,000 this summer across the disputed Himalayan territory.”
Pointing out that his “includes 450 or so civilians being held, possibly for up to six months without trial, under a harsh security law criticized as a human rights violation”, the report says, this is happening because India believes that “the separatist rebels — and civilians who help them — are undermining the country’s territorial integrity.”
Insisting that this is “forcing” the authorities to keep the Kashmir valley under “tight control”, the report quotes a senior police official, who says, “This is, so far, the biggest crackdown against miscreants.” The police officer, the report adds, wanted to remain “anonymity because he was not authorized to share details of the crackdown.”
Worse, the daily says, “For weeks, Indian authorities have carried out nighttime raids, rolling curfews and stops at roadblocks, but have failed to stop the rebel attacks and angry public rallies”, adding, at Pampore, despite “gunshots and grenade blasts”, one found “scores of people gathered on nearby streets to chant anti-India slogans in a show of solidarity with the rebels.”
Earlier, the report says, in February, “five soldiers, three militants and a civilian were killed in a three-day standoff in the same government compound”, underlining, “India has faced a separatist challenge in Kashmir since 1947, when India and neighbouring Pakistan gained independence.”
Refusing to take sides, the report says, while “India accuses Pakistan of arming and training rebels to cross the heavily militarized border that divides the region between the two countries”, as for Pakistan, “it denies the allegation and says it offers the rebels only moral support.” However, it adds, “most people” in the Kashmir Valley are in “favour independence or a merger with Pakistan.
The report says, more than “68,000 people have been killed in the armed uprising and ensuing Indian military crackdown” the report says, “While anti-India protests are somewhat common during warmer summer months, this year’s have been especially fraught amid widespread anger over the killing of a popular rebel commander by Indian forces in July.”
“India has responded with a clampdown that has nearly paralyzed daily life”, the report says, adding, “More than 80 civilians have been killed and thousands injured in clashes with police and paramilitary troops. Two policemen have also been killed and hundreds of government forces injured in the clashes.”
“Officers are still hunting for at least 1,500 more people suspected of participating in protests”, the report says, adding, “Rights activists expressed alarm over the government’s targeting of protesters.” It quotes human rights lawyer Pervez Imron as saying, “This crackdown marks the Indian government’s failure to reach a political solution of the issue.”
Activists have long campaigned against India’s armed forces special powers act, which gives troops sweeping powers to interrogate or shoot suspects on sight. Also, under the draconian act, federal army and paramilitary soldiers cannot be prosecuted in civilian courts unless federal approval is granted.

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.