The beautiful mountains, lush green valleys, pristine streams, springs, and rivers make Kashmir as one of the most beautiful places on the earth. But for the people of Kashmir, the continued occupation of Indian troops and state terrorism turned it into living hell. Kashmiris are living under constant fear of occupant forces for 70 years now. They are sick and tired of broken and false promises of respective Indian governments. Now they want just one thing an end to the occupation and freedom.
The use of brute force by the Indian troops has left more than 70 dead and thousands injured. Hundreds of young people lost their eyes and other vital organs because of pellet guns. Indian troops openly violating the international conventions and human rights charters. They are targeting heads and chests of the stone-throwing young people. But the so-called international community has become deaf and blind towards gross violations of the human rights committed by the Indian occupant forces.
When Indian forces announced that they had killed young Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, they called it a major victory in the fight against militants in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK). They clearly didn’t expect the backlash that followed — an outpouring of public anger, daily protests and dozens dead in the streets.
The killing of Burhan Wani drew tens of thousands to rise up and renew demands for freedom from Indian occupation. Wani was born in the southern town of Tral and was a teenager in 2010 when his older brother was beaten by troops on patrol near their home. Shortly after, he joined Hizbul Mujahideen and eventually became the iconic face of Kashmir’s militancy.
Each day young, stone-throwing protesters defying curfews to face down Indian troops firing live ammunition, pellet guns, and tear gas. They have lost fear. They are ready to sacrifice their lives to won the freedom.
Wani had been hidden by villagers at least half a dozen times before, as have other anti-India separatists, when soldiers zeroed on their hideouts in villages in the southern parts of the region, according to security officials and local residents.
When news spread that Indian troops had killed him and two other militants Friday night, the response was immediate: Tens of thousands of angry youths poured out of their homes in towns and villages, hurling rocks and bricks and shouting at Indian troops in the streets.
The Indian occupied forces facing a mass revolt of the Kashmiri youth. The Indian atrocities have provoked yet another mass movement against occupation. The youth is showing the heroic determination and courage and ready to sacrifice their lives to end this nightmare of Indian occupation and to taste the real freedom. The slogans of protesting youth are clearly manifesting the mood in the society. We want freedom, end the occupation, long live freedom and down with Indian rule.
No end to state repression and brutalities
Thousands of people, young and old, men and women, boys and girls, are defying the curfews and out on the streets protesting against India’s rule and the occupation forces’ reign of terror, which is an attempt to silence the people’s movement demanding an end to India’s occupation. More than 100,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since 1989. Thousands have been injured and become permanently disabled. There are nearly 100,000 orphans and 40,000 widows in Kashmir. 10,000 people, picked up by security forces, are still missing after many years. 8,000 women have been raped by Indian security forces.
Since 1989, the 700,000 strong Indian forces have killed more than 100,000 Kashmiris- many more are injured – to try to silence the people’s demand for justice, respect for human rights, freedom and the right of self-determination. They continue to carry out arbitrary detentions, summary execution, custodial killings, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, rape, sexual exploitation, torture and fake encounters. Generations of Kashmiris have grown up under the shadow of the gun. Not a single family is unaffected.
Property worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been destroyed and the suffering and devastation continue unabated. The loss of life and destruction is on an unprecedented scale and drawing no attention from the so-called ‘international community’ and Western powers because they are more interested in trade and arms deals with India.
Right of self-determination
The unprecedented sacrifices and sufferings experienced by the masses against this volte-face in terms of death and destruction, life and property, torture and persecution, rape and repression over the years, particularly during the last 27 years, is much too great to go unrewarded. The Kashmiri freedom struggle is now entering its twenty-seventh year with firm and unwavering courage and determination in the face of unspeakable suffering and injustices to achieve the right of self-determination. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are yearning for peace, justice, freedom, and right of self-determination. They want a just and dignified peace that guarantees total freedom from foreign occupation and alien domination.
By Khalid Bhatti
(This article first appeared in the www.khalidbhatti.com on 3rd September 2016. It is so relevant today that we are reproducing here with the consent of the author.)
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