Kashmir Dispatch March 2023

WKA – News Round Up – March 2023

As India prepares to open itself up to the world for the G-20 summit, it is desperate to keep the ghosts of Kashmir hidden away and the graves covered up. Truth has a way of making itself known, it rises like a fire and it won’t be quenched until justice is done.

Justice for those brutalized by the occupation is a long way off, but the truth is there. Here are the top stories for March 2023.

Disappeared victim remains found under suspicious circumstances

Abdul Rashid Dar was detained by the Indian Army on December 15th, 2022. Since that time there has been no trace of him, no formal arrest posted, and no information made to his family.
His body was discovered in a forested area in Kupwara’s Zirhama. The body was badly decomposed and buried in a shallow grave.

The Indian Military claims that Dar had escaped their custody.

His older brother is incredulous regarding that explanation, “The theory of his escape in the most militarized zone of Kashmir is a blatant lie to cover up the murder,” Shabir said.

Shabir also claims authorities intentionally led search teams away from the site where his brother’s body would eventually be found.

Abdul’s body also showed signs of extensive trauma including burning and his face was visibly damaged. His clothing was also missing.

Protests arose in Kunan village where protestors demanded justice and shouted anti-army and anti-BJP slogans.

The Indian Army has a long and brutal history of forced disappearances in Kashmir, with over 8,000 missing since 1989.

You can read more about the Dar disappearance here.

Dr. Fai calls the Biden Administration to uphold transparency in Kashmir

The United States Department of State has issued a report on human rights abuses around the world. The Indian human rights abuses detailed 39 pages and contained atrocities worse than what was committed in places such as Bosnia and East Timor before international intervention stopped the bloodshed.

What remains to be seen if the Biden administration will do anything about it?
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of the ‘World Forum for Peace & Justice’ summed up the situation succinctly, “The world powers have watched the people of Kashmir suffer like spectators at the Roman Coliseum. That complacency gives at least the impression that Kashmiri lives and hopes are worth less than those of others.”

The state department report detailed India’s campaign of forced disappearances, the gross abuses of the Public Safety Act (PSA), a targeted harassment campaign of journalists, and the unlawful and indefinite detention of Kashmiri human rights defender Khurram Parvez.

Dr. Fai insisted that the Biden Administration insist upon transparency in Kashmir to uncover the abuses committed by the Indian military.

“Human rights will continue to be violated as long as political and civilian killings continue unabated, torture and rape remain widespread, civil liberties are suspended, and international human rights groups and United Nations Thematic Rapporteurs are prohibited from gaining access to Kashmir,” Dr. Fai said.

You can read more about this story here.

Panel calls for U.S. Media to expose Modi’s involvement in 2002 riots

The National Press Club screened an episode of The Modi Question – a BBC documentary about the 2002 mass killings of Muslims in Gujarat.

After the screening, a roundtable was held with survivors and eyewitnesses to the event. Modi was a state leader in Gujarat during the riots.

The Indian government is unnerved by the documentary, having used its emergency powers to block it from being shown in India.

An internal report by the U.K. Foreign Secretary at the time, Jack Straw, described the scene as “having all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing.”

At least 2,000 Muslims were known to be murdered in the riots.

The film states that Modi ordered the police to do nothing for three days.

Bootleg copies of the film are being circulated throughout India – but not through mainstream social media sites, such as Twitter.

Panel member Aakashi Bhatt called for the U.S. media to do more to bring Modi to account. said, “You have the power to hold this regime accountable,” and “Silence is a form of condoning what Modi did.” Imran Dawood added, “I encourage you to report the truth and expose this virus.”

You can read more about this story here.

Final thoughts: Silent no more

The truth about Indian atrocities is finally catching up to Narendra Modi. For almost four years, his brutal invasion, occupation, and colonization of Kashmir have flown under the radar as the world dealt with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent economic shocks, and the invasion of Ukraine.
However much time those events bought Modi, it is clear that he can no longer hide what he has done and the truth is coming out. This is why he wants to declare victory and go home, because if he can tell the world that everything is normal, maybe they will believe it.

But everything is not normal. Too much blood has been shed, too many families have been torn apart, and too many have been displaced. There is no ignoring that reality.

Those in power, whether in government or the media, should do everything they can to shine a light on these atrocities and seek reparation for them.

The truth is out. Now justice must have its day.