Kashmir under siege on 45th consecutive day

The News

September 19, 2019

Kashmir under siege on 45th consecutive day

ISLAMABAD/GENEVA: The curfew and communications blackout across occupied Kashmir entered 45th day on Wednesday amid shops and business establishments remained closed and schools without attendance.

According to the Kashmir Media Service, the schools remain open across the Valley but the students fail to turn up as parents are unwilling to send their wards to schools. The attendance in government offices also remains thin.

The mobile telephone services and internet, including broadband services, continued to remain suspended since August 5. Due to the ongoing military clampdown, the people of the Kashmir Valley are facing an acute shortage of basic essentials including food, milk and life-saving drugs.

Under the prevailing circumstances, local newspapers find it difficult to hit the stands, while they couldn’t update their online editions. Meanwhile, in Indian state of Punjab thousands of sit-in protests were held and effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi burnt at different places.

According to reports, protesters were stopped by the police from conducting a march towards Chandigarh for their scheduled rally in solidarity with the besieged Kashmiris. Dozens of activists including women from different farmers and students unions were also arrested in Mohali to prevent the protest march. These left-leaning groups had drafted a memorandum for Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore demanding the restoration of articles 370 and 35A, the right to self-determination for the people of Kashmir and immediate withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The government’s decision to deter protestors from reaching Mohali, however, backfired with thousands holding sit-in wherever they were stopped. These sit-ins were held mainly in the south of Punjab across Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot, Muktsar, Sangrur, Ferozepur and Barnala districts besides Mohali and Tarn Taran where protesters also burnt Modi’s effigies. Narendra Modi’s effigy was also burnt in Muktsar. Protesters were demanding the restoration of articles 370 and 35A and immediate withdrawal of the armed forces from the Kashmir Valley. Such protests were held at 23 places in 11 districts after Punjab Police thwarted the march to Chandigarh in Mohali.

While, hundreds of people from across Europe assembled at Broken Chair outside the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva on Wednesday and held a protest rally against India. People from all walks of life belonging to all faiths attended the protest. They included Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and people of other faiths.

The protesters demanded that India should stop killing minorities and setting Jews on fire. They said Assam was under siege while there was no place of another Indian spy in Nagaland. The protesters also said that India is known as the land of oppression due to its continuous violence against minorities.

In occupied Kashmir, Indian police have arrested three relatives of noted Mujahid commander, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, after raiding his residence in Srinagar. Indian police raided the residence of Mushtaq Zargar in Nowhatta area of Srinagar and harassed his family members, the Kashmir Media Service Wednesday reported.

The police also took along his brothers, Fayaz Ahmed Zargar and Bilal Ahmed Zargar, as well as eight-year-old nephew, Ibrahim, and shifted them to some undisclosed destination. The Indian forces’ personnel have already subjected Mushtaq Zargar’s brother-in-law, Siraj Farooq, to custodial disappearance and his family members have no information about his whereabouts for the last 20 years.

Meanwhile, China has always taken Kashmir as an issue between India and Pakistan and hoped that this issue could be resolved through friendly and peaceful negotiations between the two countries as per the United Nations Charter and its relevant resolutions, a Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson said. “We always take Kashmir as a problem between India and Pakistan. And we hope this issue should be resolved through friendly and peaceful negotiations between India and Pakistan according to the relevant UN Charter and UN resolutions,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hua Chunying said here while talking to a group of journalists from Asian and African countries, the Kashmir Media Service reported.