HAUNTING IMAGES OF KASHMIR

ALI SUKHANVER

London based Indian writer Mirza Waheed very vehemently exposed the real face of the Indian atrocities in Kashmir in his article ‘India is blinding young Kashmiri protesters’. The article was published on 18th July 2016. He says, “Two sets of images have haunted me these last few days. One is a series of photos of people splashing bucket-loads of water to wash away blood from the streets of Kashmir, where Indian forces have shot dead at least 45 people since 9 July. The other set of images is that of scores of young men with bandages on their eyes, before or after undergoing surgery to remove tiny steel pellets from their retinas. Indian forces deployed in Kashmir now routinely use pellet guns to stymie roadside demonstrations.” India is continuously trying to negate the fact that Kashmir belongs to the people of Kashmir; the Kashmiris are a nation, having an individual identity, a separate culture and independent traditional values; and they could never be treated like animals. They are looking to the world around them in search of someone who could save them from the horrible, miserable blazing inferno of human rights violation.

The enigmatic dreamlike valley of the Indian held Kashmir had never experienced such a horrific and terrible situation regarding human rights violation as it experienced throughout 2016. The cruelest act of 2016 was the brutal murder of the young Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani. His activities on social media made him the most popular leader among the Kashmiris. He was a very staunch supporter of throwing India out of the Kashmir valley. The Indian security forces killed him in a so-called encounter on 8 July 2016. After his murder, there started an uncontrollable series of protest in which more than 85 people died and more than 13,000 civilians were seriously injured. The government had to impose a continuous curfew for 53 consecutive days to crush the protest but it simply proved a futile activity. The peaceful protest converted into violence against the security forces and as a result of it more than 4,000 security personnel were injured. Analysts on Kashmir issue are of the opinion that death of Burhan Wani gave birth to the worst unrest in the region since 2010.

The story does not stop at the brutal killing of Burhan Wani; there are countless other incidents in which the Indian security forces play a callous game with the lives and honour of the people of Kashmir. Their own streets, their own homes have become the most grievous threat for them. They, particularly the young girls, are nowhere safe and secure. The beautiful valley of Kashmir would never forget the after-noon of this April 12, when a 16 year old school-girl was molested by an Indian army officer while going to a toilet next to her school. A bunker of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles was intentionally placed very close to that public toilet in the center of the street. The desperate screams of the minor girl alerted people in the surrounding market and very soon, an infuriated crowd of unarmed locals gathered there. The crowd protested the molestation of the minor girl and demanded the arrest of the army man. However, the troops in the bunker started indiscriminate firing, killing two young men and a woman and injuring at least two dozen other innocent civilians. Indian security forces have ever been using rape as a weapon against the helpless Kashmiris. They are raping the Kashmiri women in the same way as they did twenty-five years back in 1991. The people of Kashmir still remember that horrible night when Indian army soldiers raped more than 100 women in Kashmir’s Kunan and Poshpora villages during a search operation. It seems that Indian security forces want to push out the real owners of the Kashmir valley. They have left not even a single moment without fear. No peace, no security; every morning a new saga of miseries, every night a new tale of suppressions. The Indian held Kashmir has simply turned into a land of death and harassment. The world peace-makers and the so called international peace-fighters are always dumb and silent at the continuous human rights violations going on in this charismatic valley of Indian held Kashmir. The people of the Indian held Kashmir sometimes feel that they are not human beings but lifeless objects; and more unfortunate fact is that except Pakistan there is no one else to listen to their cries of pain and agony. What would be the end-state of all this brutality and cruelty; no one knows.

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