Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 12/17-12/24


Indian Occupying Forces murder three civilians, torture and sexually assault dozens

The Indian occupying forces murdered three civilians in custody on Saturday in the southern Poonch district in the occupied Jammu & Kashmir region. At least 45 civilians were detained for questioning on Friday by the occupying forces, a day after resistance fighters ambushed two army vehicles, killing four army men and wounding three others.

A video has surfaced where the Indian occupying forces are seen torturing the detained civilians. The video shows sexual assault, with Indian forces stripping the men naked and putting chilli power on the wounds on their buttocks.

Three of those imprisoned at a neighboring military camp were brutally tortured to death by occupying soldiers, according to the villagers. The local police were later given the bodies, and they got in touch with the relatives. According to eyewitnesses, the dead bodies of the civilians showed signs of extreme torture.

Locals said that on Friday morning, the Indian army broke into the Topa Peer hamlet in the Poonch region and arrested eight residents. The individuals who were arrested had been brutally assaulted and electrocuted. Hours after their detention, videos purportedly depicting the abuse of captured citizens went viral online. Mass protests erupted soon after allegations of sexual abuse by Indian soldiers inside the army camp surfaced.

After the incident, on Saturday morning, the Indian authorities shut down internet access in Poonch and the neighboring town of Rajouri. This is a standard move to quell any protests and prevent the footage from being shared. Poonch is situated near the heavily fortified line of control that separates Pakistan and India’s claims to the disputed Himalayan territory.


Indian Occupying Forces hold propaganda events on ‘Pheran Day’ to show normalcy

On December 21st, the Indian Occupying forces organized multiple events on the ‘Pheran Day’ which Kashmiris worldwide observe to celebrate their culture. Pheran is an indigenous and unique garment which Kashmiris wear during the winter season.

While the Kashmiri indigenous culture and heritage is facing a massive assault by the right-wing Hindutva government of India. Indian occupying forces in Kashmir have been playing a role in using the event to show fake normalcy in the region and hijacking such cultural campaigns led by Kashmiri activists.

Dozens of paid actors and cultivated youth-leaders wearing the Pheran were brought in army vehicles to the Ghanta Ghar in Lal Chowk to perform, and praise the Indian Army. Lal Chowk holds high symbolic value to the Kashmiri resistance landscape as massive rallies against Indian rule in Kashmir have been organized here.

The Indian forces also organized a fashion show at the SKICC on the boulevard road of Dal Lake where Indian models wore the Pheran and walked the ramp. Pheran Day was started by overseas Kashmiris as an online campaign to celebrate their identity which the Indian Occupation aims to erase and assimilate.


Occupation Authorities subject families of resistance fighters to collective punishment

In Kashmir, the occupying troops are still using intimidation tactics on the families and relatives of the resistance fighters. Night raids, house looting, torture, and abuse have become commonplace for the occupied region’s relatives of both killed and active resistance fighters.

According to a civilian who got married in 2018 and has been harassed and intimidated by the occupying forces ever since, “I have faced over 15 summons from the Indian army and different agencies since my marriage with the sister of a killed resistance commander. It’s impossible for me to keep track of all the night raids we’ve seen over the years.”

During these raids, the invading soldiers not only plunder the necessities of the home but also steal gold and everything else that catches their eye. “The Indian armed forces have stolen gold worth Rs 3.5 lac during night raids in our house just in the last three years,” he continued.

“Since 2019 during raids, the occupying forces have confiscated over 15 smartphones belonging to our family members. The children in our family have nightmares of these raids,” stated another civilian, whose sister is wed to the son of a key resistance commander. After receiving a recent summons from the police SOG wing, he said, “We are forced to miss important working days as the random summons from different agencies are aimed to harass us psychologically and as a form of collective punishment.”

India has been targeting the families of the Kashmiris associated with the resistance movement daily. The relatives of the fighters are being booked under UAPA and their properties are seized by Indian agencies like NIA, SIA, SIU, CBI and the army. In the last three years, more than 70 properties, including 35 residential houses in Kashmir have been seized by these agencies.

News Updates:

India to build separate jails for Kashmiris supporting resistance movement

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah this week said that a ‘militant-specific’ jail will come up in occupied Kashmir at the cost of Rs 130 crore where only resistance fighters will be incarcerated. Sources in the administration told us that the jail will hold political prisoners under extremely harsh conditions, in what they termed as “death cells”.

Shah also stated that those having a history of stone pelting and any sort of links with the resistance movement will not get government jobs in the region. Replying to the discussion on the J&K Reservation (Amendment) bill and J&K Reorganisation Bill 2023, in Rajya Sabha, Shah threatened that there would be “no sympathy with militancy and their supporters.”

India is doing all in its power to push through its settler colonial agenda, which is modeled after Israel and uses military force to repress the local population in the disputed area. Notably, Israel maintains segregated detention facilities for Palestinian resistance fighters, housing both activists and civilians detained on false charges, and under inhuman circumstances.

India arming women associated with Hindu militia groups in Doda

Women affiliated with armed Hindu organizations, also known as the Village Defence Group (VDG) in the Doda area of Jammu and Kashmir, are now receiving firearm training from Indian authorities. Indian officials claim that women from different parts of the Jammu division’s mountainous districts are participating in training programmes on how to use and maintain firearms.

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs approved the formation of Village Defence Groups (VDGs) in the contested area in March of the preceding year. The government also pays these armed Hindu organizations. Based on government data, there are 875 organizations with about 6000 members spread among the districts.

These rogue militias, who are now receiving weapons and training from the Indian occupation authorities, have massacred several Muslims in the Jammu and Kashmir areas in the past. The VDGs are unaccountable rogue militia organizations that have been given support for the exclusive purpose of targeting Muslims in the area.

Friday prayers allowed at Jamia Masjid after 10 weeks without Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

The historic Grand Mosque of Kashmir was opened for the Friday congressional prayers after 10 weeks by the Indian authorities but the holy pulpit remained silent. The chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who delivers the sermons at the Grand Mosque was not allowed to move out of his residence for the 11th consecutive Friday.

For the residents of this Muslim-majority area, the Grand Mosque—also known as Jamia Masjid by the locals—has traditionally been an important religious and political hub. The Grand Mosque is seen by Indian officials as a catalyst for demonstrations against Indian sovereignty.

Notably, the occupying Indian forces locked the doors of the Grand Mosque for 10 consecutive Fridays after Israel launched its war on Gaza. India has also banned protests in support of Palestine across the region and detained many people in Kashmir for showing solidarity with the Palestinian people on social media platforms.

Kashmiri vendors attacked in Indian city of Lucknow

The Municipal Cooperative employees in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, brutally attacked a group of Kashmiri traders last week. The incident happened as the sellers started packing up their goods in an effort to make room for a VIP movement in the area. However, as soon as the local police and employees of the adjoining Municipal Cooperative recognised them as “Kashmiris,” they surged into their stalls and beat them with lathis.

When the sellers attempted to fend off the attack with their possessions, the scene became much more heated. Additionally, the police dispersed their dried fruits, which caused the Kashmiri sellers to suffer a large financial loss. “We have come from a very far place to earn here,” one of the victims stated. Why are we the targets of senseless attacks? It is a significant loss to us.

This incident is not unique. Due to their nationality, religion, and support for the resistance movement, Kashmiris in India have routinely been attacked; however, no action has been taken against the attackers.

Kashmiri investors duped of ‘crores’ by Indian corporation

In a major financial scandal that has sent shockwaves through the Indian-occupied Kashmir, online Indian survey company Creative Curative Surveys Pvt Ltd closed show and vanished after promising Kashmiris that their investments in the company would be doubled.

The fraudulent scheme has affected thousands, including men, women, and predominantly students, who entrusted their hard-earned money to the Indian corporation. The Indian company based in Chennai with multiple offices across Kashmir, lured investors with the pledge of doubling their money within 10 to 15 days.
The situation escalated when the company’s website became unresponsive, leaving users in the dark about their investments. Reports of the scam flooded social media platforms in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to protests outside the closed office of Creative Curative Surveys Pvt. Ltd. in Srinagar.