Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 10/23-10/31

India using drugs in Kashmir as a counter-insurgency measure

In the past few years, the use of illicit drugs in Jammu and Kashmir has risen at an alarming rate. According to the locals, the Indian state and its agencies have been pumping drugs into Kashmiri youth so they can be distracted from the resistance movement. 

The police raids are pre-planned and staged to portray the Indian police as helping to stop the youth from being involved in the illicit drug trade and supporting resistance to Indian occupation. The Indian army has often blamed the armed resistance groups for involvement in drug smuggling. The military also uses these staged operations to get bribes from the victims and their families to free them. It is a well-known tactic that adds to their income while they are serving in Kashmir. Recently, in one such staged event, the Jammu and Kashmir Police claimed to have recovered 54 kilograms of bhang patti (a variant of cannabis) and 550 grams of charas (a cannabis concentrate) in South Kashmir’s Pulwama District on October 27th. 

Indian Defense Minister promises to invade Azad Kashmir

On Thursday, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that India is committed to implementing the 1994 resolution passed in the Indian Parliament to invade Azad Kashmir.

Despite India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir and the involvement of its armed forces in war crimes and human rights violations in the disputed region, Singh said that India feels the pain of every citizen of “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir,” where torture and harassment are regular features. Singh was addressing ‘Infantry Function’ in Srinagar to celebrate the arrival of Indian forces in Kashmir seventy-five years back. Meanwhile, the locals of Kashmir observe this day as ‘Black Day’ marking the brutal army occupation of Kashmir which began on October 27th, 1947. 

Singh stated that India is committed to implementing the resolution passed in the Parliament to invade the portions of Kashmir under current Pakistan control, including Gilgit and Baltistan.

He said in 1947; the Indian army gave a befitting reply to enemies who tried to play mischief by occupying Kashmir illegally. “I pay great tributes to the Infantry regiments of the Indian army who offered supreme sacrifices by pushing the invaders back,” said Singh.

Indian Army Claimed to Have Killed Another Resistance Fighter in a Military Operation in Kulgam

Last week on Thursday, a resistance fighter was killed in a brief military operation with Indian occupying forces in the Kausarnag area of Kulgam district. However, since the occupying troops have blocked out all media and human rights organizations, it cannot be verified if the body belongs to a resistance fighter. Serious allegations of killing civilians and dubbing them as “terrorists” have been made in the past by the Indian army. Various human rights advocates have proven that most of these cases were either fake encounters or extra-judicial killings of innocent Kashmiris. 

Pushing Hindutva Agenda, India Suspends five more Muslim Officers in Kashmir

On Thursday, additional Deputy Commissioner (ADDC) Kupwara, Altaf Ahmed Khan, suspended five officers for failing to attend an Indian government-sponsored program.

An official said five officers were suspended for their ‘non-seriousness and non-compliance’ of orders in discharging their duties. The occupying Indian government adopts coercive ways to suppress the popular demand for self-determination, and those who defy the glorification of Hindutva in Kashmir face the brunt by getting suspended or terminated from the services with no legal recourse. 

The suspended officers include Dr. Qaiser Ganaie Wani of Sheep Husbandry, Mazaz Ahmad Mir, Abdul Rashid Dar, Reyaz Ahmad Tawheedi and Dr. Muneer Ahmad from the Higher Education Department.

India Pushing Environmental Terrorism in Kashmir

The Jhelum river has been turned into a waste dump at several places in Bandipora, with government departments dumping huge piles of waste alongside the river bank or throwing it into the river. The Jhelum, which originates in south Kashmir and traverses through Srinagar plays a significant role in the socio-economic scenario of Kashmir.

The fast deteriorating condition of the river at Sumbal and Hajin in Bandipora district is mainly attributed to the dumping of tons of garbage on its banks or close to it. Locals complain that   the government shows no concern for the environment and that they continue to dump garbage accumulated by the Indian army stationed in Kashmir at several spots between Sumbal and Hajin and into the Jhelum river.