Indian authorities have stopped issuing death certificates in occupied Kashmir and are compelling medical personnel to not acknowledge the use of force by occupying forces in clashes with the people of the disputed valley. An exclusive report by The Independent is in stark contrast to the Narendra Modi-led government’s official stance that ‘all is well’ in the occupied Himalayan region since it revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution thereby withdrawing IoK’s autonomy.
Despite a strict clampdown on movement and information, foreign media has reported protests breaking out across the occupied valley with Indian forces using live ammunition, shotgun pellets and other tactics to subdue demonstrators.
A doctor from Srinagar told The Independent that the hospital staff has verbal instructions from the Indian authorities “to keep admissions related to the clashes to a minimum, and to discharge victims quickly, in order to keep statistics down”.
“And in the cases of the three deaths, relatives spoke of their frustration at trying to get doctors to formally acknowledge the role played by the clashes – or even to issue them with death certificates at all,” the British newspaper adds.
Late in the afternoon of 9 August, Fehmeeda Bano, a 35-year-old mother with two young sons, was at her home in Bemina on the outskirts of Srinagar when clashes erupted between security forces and protesters outside. Her husband, 42-year-old Rafiq Shagoo, took the children inside a room as they started to panic.
“After the protesters were chased away, the security forces started pelting stones at the houses, breaking glass windows,” Rafiq Shagoo recalls while talking to The Independent. “If a vehicle parked outside the house came in their way, they damaged them [too].”
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18 September, 2019