Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 11/12-11/19


Indian Occupation using academic spaces for pushing colonial propaganda

In the past two years, educational institutes have not only been used as a place for indoctrination, but also for pushing political and colonial propaganda by the Indian state in Kashmir. Events organized by the Indian army under operation Sadhbhawana focus on diluting the Kashmir conflict by covering it with an ugly blanket of music concerts, education fairs, and cultural festivals.

“During the opening ceremony of the event we refused to stand up for the Indian Governor’s arrival and tried to leave before they would start playing India’s national anthem but we were not only asked to stay and obey but were also threatened of being arrested using anti-terror laws,” a student from one of the universities in Kashmir told us.

“There is a clear line drawn between the faculty members and students. We could see that the students were inspired by our move, but on the other hand, the professors, fearing for their jobs, obeyed the authorities like puppets,” another student told us. “I and seven other students have been banned by our department from taking part in any event for three months now.”

Education in Kashmir has been colonized by India during its occupation of Kashmir; this has taken the form of forced school closures, the conversion of school buildings into army bases, or the construction of barracks and bunkers outside of educational facilities. Higher dropout rates are a result of the fear and trauma that this kind of environment has ingrained in both parents and students.

Currently, colonizing forces are in charge of organizing activities that were previously only planned by educational institutions. The power dynamics have been successfully altered by the entrance of the armed forces. The largest event, Sonzal, which was hosted annually by the University of Kashmir and managed by the Social Work department, is now in the hands of the Chinar Corps of the Indian Army.

News Updates:

Court suspends life sentence of Indian Army Captain convicted for killing Kashmiris

India’s armed forces tribunal has suspended the life sentence of an occupying army captain who was found guilty of murdering three civilians in a staged military operation in south Kashmir’s Amshipora village in July 2020.
The tribunal also granted bail to Captain Bhoopendra Singh and directed him to appear before its principal registrar on the first Monday of every month starting from January next year.

The case relates to the July 18, 2020, military operation at Amshipora in which three civilians of Rajouri district — Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar — were murdered by the occupying forces and branded as militants.

Notably, in Kashmir’s case, the impunity provided to the occupying forces has always shielded them and made it impossible to take any action against the war crimes committed by them for decades.

Indian Agencies seize apple orchards of Kashmiris accused of supporting resistance fighters in Pulwama

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India on Tuesday seized two apple orchards and a residential house along with land in two villages of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The agency has claimed the owners of the properties were supporting the fighters of armed resistance groups, however it is only an allegation as of now and the charges have not been filed before a court.

The land property measuring 1 Kanal and 10.5 Marlas under Survey Number 176 out of the total area of 8 Kanals and 6 Marlas at Begum Bagh, village Kralpora, Pulwama, belonging to Mohammad Tika Khan, son of Abdul Ahad Khan, a resident of Singoo Narbal Pulwama was seized by the NIA under the provisions of UAPA.

Another property including a residential house and 12 Marla land belonging to Mohd Shafi Wani, son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Wani of Singoo Narbal Pulwama was also seized.

India shuts Kashmir’s largest mosque for sixth consecutive Friday

For the sixth week in a row, congregational prayers at Srinagar’s iconic Jamia Masjid were prohibited by Indian authorities on Friday. As invading soldiers barricaded the highways leading to the main gates, the grand mosque in the city’s Nowhatta neighborhood remained shut.

For the sixth Friday in a row, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was prevented from entering the mosque by the occupation police under the control of Indian authorities. Umar Farooq, the leading cleric of Kashmir and leader of the Hurriyat Conference, called the mosque’s shutdown “unfortunate.”

Since Israel began its most recent round of killings in Palestine, the mosque has been locked. The Indian government is paranoid of any solidarity for Palestine in Kashmir because of the strong public sympathy for the Palestinian cause in the region. India has made pro-Palestinian protests illegal.

India continues to deny Kashmir its own energy

With no let-up in the power crisis amid chilly weather conditions in Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir proxy government administration has falsely claimed that adequate electricity is being supplied to the consumers and that whenever demand arises, additional power will be procured.

Kashmir is already subject to a power restriction plan, with 4.5 hours of reduction every day for the metered districts. On the other hand, restrictions are in place for eight hours per day in the non-metered zones.

Kashmir has extreme power outages even though it is a center for the production of hydroelectricity, a renewable energy source. In order to deliver electricity to portions of north India, colonial companies such as the NHPC blatantly steal energy from Kashmir, depriving the region of its own energy. Then, Kashmir is sold the same power at absurdly inflated costs.

Collective Punishment: Indian agency seizes property of father of man accused of supporting resistance

The State Investigation Unit (SIU) on Thursday seized seven Kanals and seven Marlas of an orchard in Pulwama under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The seized property belongs to Ghulam Nabi Wani, father of accused Ishfaq Ahmad Wani, resident of Chitrat Arigam Pulwama. Ishfaq is accused of being an Over Ground Worker (OGW) of an armed resistance group fighting the Indian occupation.

Indian agencies have been targeting the innocent civilians of Kashmir by booking them under draconian laws like PS, and UAPA. Seizing civilian properties is yet another measure under India’s policy of collective punishment for the people of Kashmir.