Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 1/14-1/21


Indian Occupation forces seize mosque for not suspending ‘suspected Imam’

In Srinagar’s Nowshera neighborhood, a mosque has been taken over by the Occupation Authorities. Khawaja Noor-u-Din Bazaz constructed the mosque known as Khawaja Habibullah Nowsheri Majid in the Nowshera neighborhood of Srinagar in 1983. The mosque was taken over by the imposed authorities earlier this week after the people and the mosque committee refused the area Tehsildar’s demand to “suspend the Imam of the mosque.”

Locals claim that the authorities were harassing the mosque committee for months on false accusations before seizing control of the mosque. The residents said that when false accusations were made against the mosque administration, the committee overseeing the probe obeyed every instruction given by the relevant Tehsildar.

A trustee of the mosque told us, “the imam of the mosque has been here for over 20 years, and now the admin wants the mosque committee to suspend him overnight for no reason.” The individual also claimed that Kashmir’s religious freedom is being curbed because the administration is bent on dictating the conditions under which religious practice is allowed. The action has been referred to by the mosque committee members as a ‘flagrant infringement and intrusion’ in the valley’s religious places.


As India inaugurates Ram Mandir on the ruins of Babri Masjid, anti-Muslim war-cries reverberate across temples in Kashmir

The right-wing Hindutva administration in India brought hundreds of tourists and non-locals here, where they shouted anti-Muslim chants and demanded that all mosques in Kashmir be destroyed and replaced with Hindu temples. The strangers yelled “Jai Shri Ram,” a salutation to the Hindu god Ram that has recently been turned into a battle cry in India directed towards Muslims. The Indian occupation army provided protection to these groups of right wing Hindu non-locals.

At the Shankaracharya temple in the Zabarwan Hills, members of the Hindu community and outsiders convened to take part in coordinated prayers for the Ayodhya occasion, where India’s Hindutva government built a temple over the ruins of a medieval mosque, which Hindutva militias tore down in 1992. The destruction of Babri Masjid in 1992 was followed by the killing of thousands of Muslims across India in coordinated pogroms.

At the Hanuman (the monkey god) temple in the Amirakadal region, which is situated near the Jhelum River and was decorated in observance of the Ram temple consecration, similar communal events were held. At the Sun temple in Mattan, in the Anantnag district, a havan was arranged, where Hindus prayed for the “complete assimilation” of Kashmir.

Later in the evening, a special prayer was scheduled at the historic Ghanta Ghar located in the Lal Chowk neighborhood. Thousands of lights were placed in temples in Hindu minority Kashmir to commemorate the dedication of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.


Occupying forces seize vehicles across Srinagar ahead of India’s Republic Day

The pandemonium and uncertainty surrounding India’s Republic Day and other “national days” are nothing new to Kashmir. Prior to such propaganda events, people are routinely frisked, and harassed, and traffic patterns disrupted on the streets in attempts to justify India’s unlawful annexation of the disputed territory.
The soldiers started a rampage of grabbing vehicles across Srinagar city, one week ahead of the occupation regime’s planned hoisting of the Indian flag in various propaganda activities throughout the occupied region. The soldiers without verifying legal documentation order the citizens to turn over their vehicles.

A civilian who works as a delivery person for a courier firm told us, “after I showed him my driving license and bike documents, the Indian soldier dragged me away from my bike.” He added that his bike was then transferred to the closest police station. “They ordered that I come pick up my bike after January 26th,” he continued. In order to project a false sense of support, the occupying soldiers drive confiscated cars and bikes at flag rallies held across the disputed area.

Apart from erecting barriers across the city core, the troops prevent public transportation from stopping and proceeding along the designated routes and stops. A Sumo driver claimed, “We are being chased from every side as forces aren’t allowing us to pick up or drop the passengers at their respective stops.” He claimed that checks and chases had become a matter of routine before India’s national days.

News Updates:

Military Settlements: Land allocated across Kashmir for families of occupation forces

The imposed JK administration, led by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, announced on Sunday that it will provide land in Jammu and Kashmir for the construction of Sainik (soldier) Colonies to house the families of Indian military personnel who have been killed, accelerating its settler-colonial project in all directions. In JK, India has been conducting ethnic conducting systematic ethnic cleansing of indigenous Muslims for more settler colonies.

The settlements on Israeli pattern are a component of India’s strategic plan to change the electoral politics and demography of the area. The plan is to arm these settlers, who will be used to terrorize the local population even more.

Notably, since the authoritarian rule deprived Kashmir of its semi-sovereign status, India’s governing fascist regime has been enacting arbitrary legislation, such as land laws and domicile laws that would provide Indians permanent residency in the territory. Experts have drawn comparisons between Israel’s approach of changing the demography of Palestine and the repeal, implementation, and subsequent changes of legislation in Kashmir.

Kashmiri resistance leader Yasin Malik ‘identified as shooter’ behind killing of 4 IAF men

Mohammad Yasin Malik, the head of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was allegedly the primary gunman who opened fire on Indian Air Force soldiers in Srinagar in 1990, according to a declaration made on Thursday by a special CBI court in India.

Four IAF servicemen were killed in the claimed incident, which took place at Rawalpora, on the outskirts of Srinagar, on January 25, 1990. During the court hearing, Malik was recognised by Rajwar Umeshwar Singh, a former IAF staffer who is purported to be a prosecution witness.
Hundreds of Kashmiris are being kept inhumanely in various jails in India under false pretenses, including Malik and several resistance commanders. Without being tried yet, the majority of them have been held prisoner in these facilities for more than five years.

Indian Occupation Agency charges 8 civilians in Kashmiri Pandit’s killing case

Eight civilians have been charged by the State Investigation Agency (SIA) Kashmir with involvement in the murder of Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Sharma in the Pulwama area of south Kashmir last year.

The civilians included in the SIA chargesheet have been identified as Zaffar Hussain Bhat, Nassir Farooq Shah, Aamir Hussain Wani, Shameem Ahmad Bhat, Towseef Ahmad Pandith, Sajjad Ahmad Bhat, Sarjeel Ahmad Bhat, and Sahil Bashir Dar.

“While investigation continues for accused Yasir Shabir Wani, eight out of the thirteen accused, including three juveniles, are currently under judicial custody,” reads a statement from the SIA.

“Notably, Jazim Farooq Wani, Danish Hamid Thokar, and Ubaid Ahmad Paddar have been killed in military operations. Meanwhile, Zaffar Hussain Bhat, Khursheed Kashmiri and Khalid Kamran are presently absconding,” the statement reads.

Blast along LoC kills Indian Occupation Soldier, injures two others

In the Nowshera sector of the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, a mine burst along the Line of Control claimed the life of an occupying forces man and injured two others on Wednesday.

Three army men were hurt when a mine exploded near the front area. After being taken to Command Hospital Udhampur, all three were evacuated, and one of them reportedly died from his wounds.

Notably, for the last three years, the armed resistance has dealt the occupying forces significant blows in the region. In response, the occupying forces have imposed a collective punishment policy on the civilian populace throughout the territory.

Last month, after holding ten villagers, occupying soldiers in the Poonch district killed three of them. Three people died as a result of the brutal beatings and electrocutions. Hours after their detention, videos of people being tortured in custody also surfaced online. All these murders were part of the custodial deaths—a long standing policy of the Indian occupation regime.