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

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.