By Mian Saifur Rehman –
Every year, February 5 is observed as Solidarity Day to express all out support for the Kmashmiri brethren who are facing the worst type of oppression and aggression at the hands of hubris-ridden Indian governments and their merciless troops.
Why this Solidarity Day? This is quite a pertinent question that is being asked, for quite some time, in those parts of the world which are not particularly aware of the bestialities committed with impunity in Kashmir just because the despised Muslim majority of this forcibly devoured region has dared to look into the eyes of the high and mighty rulers of India who are intoxicated with the dream of Akhand Bharat (Great India).
And, in order to devour this region, Indian governments have promulgated draconian laws which will find further mention in the following lines.
As regards the selection of February 5, it was decided by former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, on the advice of former chief of Jamaate Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, with the idea of highlighting the never-ending atrocities perpetrated on the people of Kashmir just for demanding their globally recognized right of self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
Indian governments have, however, continued resorting to state terrorism to suppress the Kashmiris’ voice of freedom that has led to massive human rights’ violations so much so that impartial observers say that civilisation seems to have totally vanished in Kashmir or IIOJ&K (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir). Many world watchdogs, including the Human Rights Watch (HRW) have also started publishing accounts of Indian forces’ brutalities that negate the tall claims of India’s supremacist leaders of being legatees of ancient civilization.
Painfully, all these inhuman activities are going on in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley since the 1988 Intifada/uprising which is unjustifiably termed a rebellion by Indian authorities.
The government of Bhartya Janata Party (BJP), now led by PM Narendra Modi, has, however, crossed all limits in fomenting social-and-class hatred in the light of their supremacy mentality. The freedom fighters of Kashmir Valley, belonging to Muslim majority, are the worst hit.
All the thinkable and unthinkable tools of suppression have been used to brutalize them with the backing of draconian, black laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which authorizes Indian soldiers to enter any premises in IIOJ&K without a search warrant and wreak havoc on the poor, harmless inmates at their mercy.
This has also been happening during the incumbency of governments of different political parties but BJP government has gone berserk. There have been other black laws in force,
including Public Safety Act (PSA) and Disturbed Areas Act, that confer extra-judicial powers on Indian Army officials to detain innocent Kashmiris for indefinite periods of time without producing them in the courts.
Intoxicated with these ‘immense powers’, around 300 Indian Army personnel resorted to brazen bestiality and gang-raped 150 Muslim Kashmiri girls in the villages of Kunan and Poshpora during a cordon-and- search operation.
And the world has not yet forgotten other inhuman acts on the part of the cruel Indian forces deployed to the extent of 0.7 million regular army and 0.4 million paramilitary personnel.
Rape and sexual violence have also been some of the main tools of oppression and suppression, as employed again and again to subjugate and humiliate the peace-loving and unarmed Kashmiri Muslims for demanding the right of self-determination.
Sometimes, it seems as if the Indian troops are following in the footsteps of Dogra troops of Kashmir that committed mass rapes against Kashmiri Muslim women, when conflict broke out in Kashmir immediately after Independence.
A number of scholars and human rights organizations assert that “rape has been leveraged as a weapon of war by Indian security forces comprising Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)and Border Security personnel.”
If an in-depth evaluation of Indian leaders’ hegemonic psyche is carried out, it can be inferred that the influential categories of people, like Brahmins or others of their ilk in the Hindu-dominated India are inspired by the philosophy of Hindutva that preaches zero tolerance for non-Hindus. RSS, which is the spiritual guru of BJP and known worldwide for its violent ways, adheres to the same philosophy of zero tolerance for non-Hindus whereas their extreme hatred for Muslims, knows no bounds.
Of late, during the reign of BJP-led and RSS-inspired government of Narendra Modi, the atrocities against Kashmiris, accompanied with unconstitutional moves like repeal of Articles 370 and 35 A, have touched heights. These unconstitutional moves can be likened to complete bulldozing of Indian Constitution as well as the spirit of the Constitution. This unconstitutional revocation is totally violative of the UNSC resolutions that require a plebiscite to be held, recognizing the fact that Kashmir is a disputed territory.
As if these unconstitutional moves were not enough, Indian troops have intensified the use of brute force against innocent Kashmiris who are now facing the worst times, even much worse than the days when they would be kidnapped, their women gang-raped and youth tortured to death, not mentioning the indiscriminate use of pellet guns.
Moreover, IIOJ&K is under siege and/or blockade for 500 plus days so much so that the virtually imprisoned (in their houses) Kashmiris can’t move freely for transporting their sick relatives to hospitals.
And reports have also come that some people had to bury their near and dear ones in the backyards of their houses. And, as for the communication blockade, that too is quite stringent
as if the people of Kashmir were living in primeval times under the rule of authoritarian despots.