India using massacres, gang-rapes as tools to suppress Kashmiris’ struggle
Srinagar: The Kashmiri people’s ordeal began on October 27, 1947 when India forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir by landing its troops in Srinagar in brazen violation of the spirit of the Partition Plan and international norms and against the will of the general populace of the region.
This event marked the beginning of the Kashmir conflict resulting in a long period of suffering for the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. However, despite facing its worst state terrorism, Kashmiris have bravely resisted India’s illegal occupation in all these years. New Delhi has been using massacres, enforced disappearances, detentions, torture to sexual violence for the last over seven decades to intimidate the Kashmiris and continue its illegal hold on Jammu and Kashmir.
Extrajudicial killings and fake encounters have become a regular feature of Indian troops in IIOJK. Some well-known examples of fake encounters include the Pathribal fake encounter of 2000 and the Machil fake encounter of 2010. On 25 May 2000, Indian Army had claimed the killing of five militants in Pathribal area of Islamabad district involved in the massacre of dozens of Sikhs in Chattisinghpora area of the same district a few days ago. At least 35 Sikhs were killed on 20 May 2000 on the eve of the then US President, Bill Clinton’s visit to India. However, later it came to fore that those killed by the Indian Army at Pathribal were local civilians. The investigation into the Chattisinghpora incident also revealed that the massacre was carried out by the army to defame the Kashmir freedom movement.
Indian troops killed three youth after luring them for a job in Machil area of Kupwara district in April 2010. The troops also killed in fake encounters three labourers hailing from Rajouri district of Jammu in Amshipora area of Shopian in July 2020 and three other civilians in Lawaypora area of Srinagar in December, the same year.
India has also been using rape and molestation as a weapon of war and collective punishment in IIOJK to suppress the Kashmiris’ legitimate freedom struggle. The Indian forces’ personnel have molested/disgraced 11,259 since 1989 in the occupied territory. Some examples of the horrific acts of sexual violence include the Kunanposhpora mass rape and Shopian double-rape-and murder. The troops had gang-raped around 100 Kashmiri women from eight years old girls to eighty years old women during a cordon and search operation in Kunanposhpora area of Kupwara district on the night of February 23, 1991. Similarly on 29th May, 2009, two women, Aasiya Jan and Neelofar Jan, were abducted, raped and subsequently killed by the men in uniform during custody in Shopian. Their bodies were found in a shallow stream in Ranbiara area the next morning. Besides, in another gory incident, an eight-year-old girl, Aasifa Bano, of Kathua district, was abducted, gang-raped and subsequently murdered by Indian police personnel and goons affiliated with Hindutva organizations, in January 2018.
The fact that this unprecedented repression keeps happening reflects a culture where Indian troops in IIOJK can act without the fear of consequences. The Kashmiri people’s suffering has been exacerbated after the Modi regime illegally revoked IIOJK’s special status on August 05, 2019.
It is to be noted that all the brutal tactics India is employing in IIOJK are aimed at suppressing the Kashmiris’ desire for freedom. But New Delhi must remember that such tactics are only strengthening the Kashmiri people’s resolve to attain freedom from Indian bondage at any cost. However, it is time for the world community to come forward to stop India’s brutal campaign of repression in IIOJK and hold New Delhi accountable for its brutalities in the occupied territory.
Disclaimer: Tragic story of Kashmir post India’s forcible occupation on Oct 27, 1947 - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view