Chilling! 13,000 boys lifted during Kashmir lockdown, says fact-finding team

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A fact-finding team has claimed that as many as 13,000 young boys had been arrested by the security forces in Kashmir since 5 August.

13,000 young boys

Presenting ‘fact-finding report,’ women from the National Federation of Indian Women and Muslim Women’s Forum, were quoted by news agency PTI, “One estimate given to us was 13,000 boys lifted during this lockdown.”

The members of the fact-finding team which visited Kashmir were Annie Raja, Kawaljit Kaur and Pankhuri Zaheer from the National Federation of Indian Women, Poonam Kaushik from the Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan and Syeda Hameed from the Muslim Women’s Forum. They reportedly visited the valley from 17 September and returned on 21 September.

Their report stated that the purpose of their visit to Kashmir was to with their ‘own eyes how this 43-day lockdown had affected the people, particularly women and children.’ Demanding that the Army and paramilitary forces be withdrawn with immediate effect, the report said, “Restore Article 370 and 35A. All future decisions about the political future of Jammu and Kashmir must be taken through a process of dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

[Read: Rifat Jawaid’s four-part EXCLUSIVE series from Srinagar. Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4]

Annie Raja alleged excesses by the Army and other security personnel adding that the ‘army cannot remain a holy cow’ anymore. The activists also demanded a time-bound inquiry into the allegations of brutalities by the Indian security forces.

“We went to hospitals, schools, homes, market places, spoke to people in the rural as well as urban areas, to men, women, youth and children. This report is our eyewitness account of ordinary people who have lived for 43 days under an iron siege,” Raja, who’s the wife of CPI leader D Raja, was quoted by PTI.

The report said that such was the brutality of the security forces that they arrested a father and his son in Bandipora by forcibly entering their house because a young girl in the family had dared to keep the lamp on for study after 8 PM. The report said that families are not allowed to keep their lights on after 8 pm. According to the report, the girl in questioning wanted to keep herself fully prepared in case the situation improved for them to attend schools.

The activists said that they had deliberately changed the names of individuals in their report to ensure that they did not face reprisals from the security forces.

The Indian government had abrogated Article 370 on 5 August and bifurcated the state into two union territories. The valley has been cut off from the rest of the world since then with residents denied access to internet or mobile phone.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Honestly the media is fkd up…. consider the fact that video is taken purposefully on locations where recent protest occurred. The restrictions were placed to prevent further protests and stone pelting of soldiers by protesters. Soldiers only respond to prevent further escalation into armed conflict and further loss of human life… the ways the soldiers use are “out-of-their-hand” scenario. The ways/intensity of military intervention in case of protests is highly dependent on protesters… how determined they are to keep harming the locals and military by promoting conflict. The purpose of the militia is to invoke the soldiers to use harsh tactics to quell the protest… be it they don’t mind if locals die in cross fire as they know it would be their opportunity to blame the soldiers, but the reality is that Indian soldiers are there trying to prevent locals from getting hurt and life loss by quelling protests caused by radicals. If the protesters won’t disperse by simple use of pressured water or tear gas…. that would lead to military using “next-level” tactics to disperse the protesters to prevent local life loss. Not everyone in Jammu and Kashmir is displeased with India’s decision. ESPECIALLY Ladakh residents which Kashmir radicals have been trying to eliminate just like they did with Kashmiri pundits. If there were no protests, the sole purpose of soldiers in Kashmir would be to safe guard the borders. And there won’t be as many soldiers as needed. The reason there are lot of soldiers in J&K is to prevent terrorists coming from PoK, Pakistani govt’s proxy war, and ISI’s influence on local Kashmiri youths and trying to incite them into protesting by putting India in negative light. No one (international media) sees Kashmir situation on basis of ground situation caused by terrorists from Pak, but rather the mechanisms soldiers and governments are forced to take in response to these radicals causing protests that could lead to loss of life. The reason the youths are being arrested is primarily because of their (youths’) incentives in trying to cause protests under the influence of Pak. Media showing perspectives from couple radical people in Kashmir and showing couple of streets that are locked because of protests or possible terrorist activities does not justify entire Kashmir situation as Kashmir is huge land…not couple of streets.

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