Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 3/5-3/12


Mass-arrest of civilians carried out in Pulwama

The police and Indian army conducted widespread arrests in the region after a Kashmiri pandit named Sanjay Sharma was murdered on February 26th, 2023, in the hamlet of Achan in the district of Pulwama in South Kashmir by unidentified shooters. After the death, the police and army detained and interrogated over 40 young people in the Achan hamlet and its surroundings, according to a local who reported that most of those detained were young people and local business owners. Last week, during a military operation, the same police and the army claimed to have killed the “militants” responsible for the murder of Sanjay Sharma.


Bandipora residents now must report any visitors to their homes to the Indian armed forces

During the past several weeks, nocturnal raids have been carried out in the Bandipora region of North Kashmir by the Indian occupation forces. During these raids, in addition to performing thorough searches of the homes, unwarranted questions regarding the identities of each family member are also raised. A local teenager attending school in Srinagar remarked, “I visited my home last week, and within minutes my father had to alert the army camp about my presence.”

“I was astonished to learn that the army had ordered the entire neighborhood to instantly notify them of the visit of any family member or a relative to the house. The army commander warned us and stressed that they have the authority to do anything they want if they find someone in the house during a search besides known family members,” according to a local whose house was also raided a few days ago.

When people disregard the “issued directives,” the Indian army has threatened to seize their property and file their families under the (UAPA Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). A merchant who now prefers to keep his house closed even during the afternoon claimed, “We are compelled to prevent our family from visiting relatives and neighbors in the vicinity, and that is the degree to which they may go for the collective punishment of the people.”


Hate crimes against Kashmiris in India are rising:  a student stabbed in Delhi

The Jammu and Kashmir Students Association (JKSA) said that a Kashmiri student was stabbed by an auto driver in Delhi, India, on Tuesday morning. The female nursing student, Mehreen Riyaz, was attacked by an auto driver with several sharp weapons when she was in the city for a nursing course. 

The student suffered stomach injuries and was taken to a local hospital for medical attention. This event is not the first time a Kashmiri student has been attacked or abused. Students from Kashmir studying in India are routinely attacked because of their religion, nationality, and suspected support for the Kashmir resistance struggle. 


Shab-e-Barat prayers barred at Jamia Masjid Srinagar

Last week’s Shab-e-Barat prayers at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar were prohibited by the imposed Hindu authority, depriving the Muslim majority of Kashmir of their right to freedom of religion. The mosque was sealed, preventing thousands of people from praying there. “According to the instructions of the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, no Shab-e-Barat prayers will be permitted to be held at the Jamia Masjid today,” Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid said. The senior cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been held in “illegal and arbitrary” house confinement since August 5th, 2019.


Two civilians arrested in North Kashmir’s Baramulla

On the false accusation that they were “militant allies,” police in the Baramulla area of North Kashmir on Tuesday detained two civilians. Khurshid Ahmad Khan, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, and Reyaz Ahmad Khan, son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Khan, both inhabitants of Zandpal Kunzer were arbitrarily detained. 

Hundreds of Kashmiris are imprisoned arbitrarily in jails throughout India on fabricated charges. Most of them have been detained in these facilities for more than five years without being tried. It must be emphasized that all these prisoners are transported against the 4th Geneva Convention from a recognized conflict zone from occupied Kashmir to Indian prisons.


Pakistan Foreign Minister urges UN to monitor crimes against women in Kashmir

On March 7th, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari brought up the deteriorating human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, where women are particularly at risk, during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). 

During a high-level debate in New York, Zardari emphasized the urgent need to set up a monitoring framework for crimes against women occurring in Kashmir. 

“The most egregious hypocrisies and crimes against women and girls occur in foreign occupations and places where the right to self-determination is violated, such as the Palestinian Territory and Jammu and Kashmir. 

In light of this, he emphasized that all occupying troops must be made accountable for fully implementing the women, peace, and security agenda, according to a UNSC statement from the Pakistani Minister.