Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 11/27-12/4


Indian forces using coercion and extortion to recruit spies

Indian forces in Kashmir are using coercion tactics to recruit a network of informants by blackmailing Kashmiri civilians. Indian troops have boasted of garnering a highly efficient human intelligence network based on “nationalistic feelings,” but our sources learned that they use illegal methods to bribe and entice.

“Three weeks back, Indian forces barged into our home in the night and arrested my younger brother. They are now forcing us to pay them a ransom; otherwise, they will book him under the Public Safety Act. They also gave me a phone to keep them informed of any developments in the village and said if I fail to do so, they will send my brother to a jail outside Kashmir,” 19-year-old Naseema (name changed) from North Kashmir’s Pattan region told us.

Naseema says she was asked to visit a local military station. When reported there she found other young women pressured in the same way. “If anyone comes to know about this, they will think I am a Mukhbir (informer), but I am worried for my brother. He is only 16 years old. I don’t know how to escape this tormenting situation,” Naseema says.


India gags Kashmir’s Academia: Research topics related to the Kashmir conflict are barred

PhD scholars in different departments of Kashmir University are facing an interdiction on their research following an unofficial order from the Vice-Chancellor’s office directing faculty members to cancel all research projects currently being carried out on the Kashmir Dispute.
Key terms like “Kashmir Dispute, Kashmir Conflict, Human Rights in Kashmir, Kashmir Issue, UN Resolutions on Kashmir” were specifically to be removed from all research initiatives in a meeting of the heads of various departments held at the VC’s office.

The Indian State has placed heavy restrictions on academic freedom, and censorship on Kashmiri scholars. A researcher who is considering giving up his PhD following the order stated, “I have been working on my study topic for nearly three years, and now I am ordered to trash all the data and reviews that I have carried out. The Indian State has been stifling all voices in Kashmir by censoring it in all spheres, including media, academics, and the general public.”


Indian government gathering service records of Kashmiri employees

In a mandate, the Indian government has ordered that all Kashmiri personnel disclose their service histories. The action has raised serious concerns in light of the administration’s purge of Kashmiri Muslims from the system. The Human Resource Management System (HRMS), introduced by the administration, has been referred to by the employees working in ministries in Kashmir as a “punishment program” intended to harass Kashmiris.

On top of that, government workers must update their service records online under this mandate which must contain all the information such as transfers, promotions, date of starting, etc. “For Class Fourth and Sweeper Class employees, to remember and manage all the records in a digital format is too difficult,” said an employee. She further added, “most of the hard copies of my records are missing since the crackdowns carried out by the Indian army in my area in 1994. They had even confiscated the medical papers in my house. Now, after so many years, where will you get those records from?”

News Updates:

Indian forces jailed four more civilians under fake charges

In Kashmir, the police and Indian armed troops are conducting a systematic campaign to detain a large number of individuals. Police detained four civilians in the Sopore neighborhood of the Baramulla district of North Kashmir and branded them as “Over Ground Workers (OGWs) linked with a militant outfit.”

The arrested civilians have been identified as Mushtaq Ahmed Bhat, Ashfaq Ahmed Shah, Abdul Majeed Kumar, and Abdul Rashid Kumar. Police claimed to have busted a ‘militant’ module. However, families of the individuals dispute the armed forces’ claim.

Thousands of Kashmiris are presently being detained inhumanely in jails across India on bogus accusations. A majority of them have been imprisoned in these facilities for more than five years without having ever been given a trial.

Investigation of Corruption in Recruitment of Government Employees Continues

Investigations into a significant corruption case involving Indian officials in Kashmir are still ongoing. The agencies are accused of selecting their favorite candidates and placing them in preferred locations. According to earlier reports, all 190 applicants chosen for positions in the police department were Hindus from the Jammu region. No Kashmiri Muslims were selected for the positions. This is consistent with the Hindutva objective of removing Muslims from Kashmir’s workforce and hiring Hindus instead.

In connection with the case, searches were conducted at a number of sites on Wednesday in the districts of Jammu and Samba. A police official and members of the Indian armed forces were detained in connection with the scam.

The case has revealed the recruiting strategy used by the Indian Hindutva deep state and the part that its corrupt officials played in the campaigns held in Jammu and Kashmir. A Jammu-based crime branch deputy superintendent of police was also suspended on Wednesday, 19 days after his detention on corruption-related accusations.

Land grabbing exercise by India in Kashmir continues

The land grabbing scheme by the Indian government in Kashmir continues unabated. The government is now transferring land in Kashmir to various departments under the guise of “development projects”. With industrial land permissions of Kashmiri industrialists being canceled to make way for outsides, these moves to transfer land are raising eyebrows in Kashmir. This week, the requests of several departments for the transfer of over 77 canals of land for various “developmental projects” were authorized by the Administrative Council (AC).

Due to the ecology of the area, the Indian government’s development initiatives and projects have resulted in earth filling that has negatively impacted Kashmir’s wetlands. The floods of 2014 exposed the terrible “land and construction” practices of the Indian state in the Kashmir Valley.

Propaganda movie ‘Kashmir Files’ gets called out by film-makers

Jury members at an international film festival have made damning comments about the propaganda film “The Kashmir Files”. During the International Film Festival of India 2022 held in Goa, there was significant criticism. The Kashmir Files, directed by Vivek Agnihori was referred to as “propaganda” and a “vulgar film” by Nadav Lapid, who presided over the IFFI jury. The director asserted that the movie “justifies Indian policies in Kashmir” and had “fascist characteristics”.

“We were, all of us, disturbed and shocked by the 15th film: The Kashmir Files. That felt to us like propaganda, a vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival,” Nadav said during his address to the audience.

“The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the ongoing conflict in Kashmir,” the Singapore government had said in a statement in May 2022.

Indian police book 13 more Kashmiris under fake charges

The Special Investigation Unit of police on Friday presented a charge-sheet against 13 persons accused of being part of the armed resistance against Indian rule in Kashmir.

According to a statement from the police, six of the accused were first detained in connection with armed resistance, and a seventh accused was later detained. According to the statement, three of the accused are combatants, while seven of the accused are already incarcerated in various prisons.

India has been bringing serious charges against Kashmiris who have ever had a connection to the Resistance movement. Indian state agents are also conducting searches at the residences of campaigners for resistance. Civilians are also arrested on fictitious accusations and imprisoned in jails throughout India to threaten their families into supporting Indian political parties.