Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 4/30-5/7
New Colonies were set up in Dewar to further the settler-colonial project
Along the Srinagar Varmul road, new townships have been constructed in the Dewar area. According to reports, several senior police officers and soldiers have already made property purchases in the region where a housing society for Kashmiri Pandits is being built. The historic Burzahom neolithic site, a college, and several government agencies are also nearby.
Since it is high ground with a Karewa landscape, the location has already been recognized as a strategic zone, and a proposal to build a landing area for light aircraft is also being considered. “Land values have soared like everything else in this region. Locals would be unable to dwell here, and Kashmiri Muslims are being discouraged from buying land in the area,” a local informed us.
The area is next to a highway, with direct access to Sonmarg on one side, Gulmarg on the other, and Varmul on the other. According to residents, several well-known individuals have recently visited the area searching for land to buy. These bureaucrats are getting the land changed to their names at a discount since it is being leased for a colony of Kashmiri Pandits.
Chaos, harassment, and hounding in Kashmir ahead of the G20 Summit
Kashmir is not new to the chaos caused ahead of India’s imposed events aimed at faking normalcy in the disputed region. Before such propaganda activities intended to justify India’s unlawful occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, there is rampant street harassment as citizens are routinely frisked and transportation is disrupted.
The crackdown on Kashmiri citizens has been stepped up leading up to the G20 Summit being held in Srinagar from May 22–24. Meanwhile, the puppet government is waging a “beautification campaign” to present a more appealing front to foreign visitors.
“We are being pursued from every direction because the military isn’t letting us pick up or drop off passengers at their designated stops,” a driver claimed, adding that the pursuits and checks have increased since Article 370 was repealed.
In addition to conducting night raids and making several civilian arrests, the Indian army and police have stepped up the verification of students from various Kashmiri areas residing in Srinagar. A resident of the Parraypora neighborhood in uptown Srinagar stated, “During the night raids, I was asked to show the Aadhaar card along with other details of the students who have rented me a flat,” adding that in the previous 15 days, additional agencies besides the Indian CRPF and police had also requested the relevant information.
“My parents asked me to come back home on an urgent basis as the police and Indian army urgently called them to call me back from Srinagar or I will be held responsible for any resistance movement that happens in Srinagar ahead of the G20,” claimed a student from Kulgham who is now studying there.
The students are fleeing their leased residences in Srinagar and skipping their classes amid this pandemonium and an environment of terror.
A female student also reported, “We are forced to leave our sessions and classes midway as different parties of police and CRPF keep raiding our apartments and taking our information.”
India is stifling the voices that expose the facts of India’s growing settler colonial agenda by increasingly targeting Kashmiri human rights activists, intellectuals, and journalists.
Occupation police raid the house of resistance leader Yasmeen Raja in Pampore
The State Investigation Agency (SIA) from Jammu, part of the Occupation Police, searched Yasmeen Raja’s home in Pampore, a town in the Pulwama area of south Kashmir. Yasmeen Raja, the head of the women’s wing of the Hurriyat Conference and the chairwoman of Muslim Khawateen Markaz (MKM), dwells in Pampore’s saffron-colored Tulbagh neighborhood.
According to police sources, Yasmeena Raja’s home was searched in connection with the Babu Singh case, and a formal FIR with the number 73/2022 has been filed at Police Station Gandhi Nagar Jammu under sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 38, 39, and 40 of the UAP.
It’s noteworthy that police in Jammu last year detained former Jammu and Kashmir Minister Jitendra Singh, also known as Babu Singh, in connection with a purported Hawala money case. Meanwhile, Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir often conduct raids on the homes of individuals connected to the resistance movement in Kashmir.
Five resistance fighters killed in three different military operations in Kashmir
On Thursday, two resistance fighters were killed during a military operation in the Pattan neighborhood of Kreeri in the Varmul region of northern Kashmir.
Shakir Majid Najar and Hanan Ahmad Seh from the Shopian area were named among the deceased combatants. Both had enlisted in the armed resistance in March 2023. According to the authorities, one AK-47 rifle and a handgun were found in their possession.
On Wednesday, police claimed to have also killed two unnarmed fighters during a military operation in the Machil region of Kupwara, in northern Kashmir.
A member of the resistance fighters’ group was allegedly slain by police during a military operation on Saturday in the Baramulla area. Abid Wani, the son of Mohammad Rafiq Wani and a resident of Yarhol Babapora Kulgam, was recognized as the combatant who was slain.
Indian occupation agencies raid the house of an active resistance commander in Kulgam
The Special Investigation Unit of the Kashmir Police conducted searches in the residence of an active Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader in the Kulgam area of south Kashmir on Saturday as part of its ongoing campaign of repression against the families of those connected to the Kashmiri resistance movement.
The Chek Desen Yaripora, home of Abdul Gani Bhat, the father of active militant Farooq Ahmad Bhat, was searched by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of Kulgam. The searches were carried out, according to the police, following a search warrant granted in case FIR No. 142/2019 of P/S Yaripora Kulgam by a designated Special Judge Under the NIA Act, Kulgam.
GoI blocks 14 messenger apps in JK
Fourteen messaging mobile applications that were “largely used” in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir have been blacklisted by the Indian government.
The GoI said that the apps were employed for “spreading militancy” in the area.
“Agencies monitor the channels that militants and Overground Workers (OGWs) utilize to contact one another. The mobile application does not have representation in India, making it harder to follow activity on the app, according to agencies tracking down one of the communications.
A report quoting sources identified the apps as Crypviser, Enigma, Safeswiss, Wickrme, Mediafire, Briar, BChat, Nandbox, Conion, IMO, Element, Second Line, Zangi, and Threema.
Hindu refugees to get land ownership rights in J&K
Hindu refugees from Pakistan, also called West Pakistani Refugees (WPRs), according to Manoj Sinha, were previously bound by “chains of slavery and treated as second-class citizens for a long time” until August 5th, 2019 when they were so called granted all the rights of “dignified citizens of a country.”
Notably, since the abrogation of Article 370, India has been advancing its settler-colonial agenda and modifying the political dynamics of Jammu and Kashmir by settling more and more Hindus in Kashmir and giving them citizenship rights.
Locals claim that such actions are being taken by the ruling BJP of India to secure its support base in the disputed territory, rather than to alter the region’s demography with a majority of Muslims. The LG said that the administration is aware that land has been given to WP refugees but not the “ownership rights.”
“We are working on the proposal to ensure that you get ownership rights as well within the shortest possible time,” he said, adding that “there is also a large chunk of people (WP refugees) who haven’t received proper compensation. That issue will also be addressed soon.” Sinha also said that WP refugees would get all the other benefits.
Occupation agencies raided 16 locations associated with Jamaat-e-Islami across Kashmir
The Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches across Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday morning. There are five areas in Kishtwar and eleven in Baramulla where raids are being conducted. People “affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and those involved in militancy” have had their homes searched, according to them.
India has been targeting the JeI’s members since it outlawed the organization by accusing them of serious crimes under the PSA and UAPA. The Indian army and state authorities have conducted raids on the homes of persons affiliated to the outfit. Most of the top leadership of the organization is behind bars.
Three civilians arrested in South Kashmir under fake labels
Two civilians were detained by police on Friday in Awantipora, in southern Kashmir, under the fictitious designation of “militant associate.” The Tral Awantipora residents Bashir Ahmad and Gulzar Ahmad, who were detained, are charged with having ties to the Jaish-e-Mohammad group.
A case FIR under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the Explosive Substances Act, and the Arms Act are now registered in Police Station Tral, and an investigation has been launched, according to the police.
Police in Tulran Imamsahib Shopian detained another civilian, Mohd Asgar Dar, a Nagisharan resident who was allegedly connected to the Lashkar-e-Taiba group.
Currently, hundreds of Kashmiris are being imprisoned inhumanely in jails throughout India on fabricated charges. Most of them have been imprisoned in these facilities for more than five years without being tried.