Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 5/14-5/21


Indian occupation forces torture civilian ‘for sharing WiFi with banned app user’

In preparation for the ‘G20’ summit that India is holding in occupied Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar has been transformed into an open-air jail by Indian authorities and its imposed administration. The purpose of the international “tourism” conference was to justify the colonial occupation of Kashmir by the Indian settlers.

The police and Indian armed forces had increased the number of nighttime raids, arrests, patrols, and frisking of unarmed individuals. A young man from Srinagar’s downtown was taken into custody early last week during a nighttime raid conducted by the Cargo section of the Police. According to the family, the teenager was tortured all night after it was claimed that he shared a WiFi connection with a suspected militant while using a “banned” mobile application.

“He was beaten up brutally for the whole night, and after they failed to have his confession, they called us to take him home,” said a family member. “How could the police, in any case, hold a person responsible for having a WiFi network that he/she has no clue of getting hacked,” added the family member. The youth, currently working (hybrid) with a Delhi-based IT company, was released the next day and has been treated at a hospital since then.

In advance of India’s forced events, Kashmir has seen plenty of disruption and inconvenience. Ahead of such propaganda, people are routinely frisked, their movements in traffic are disrupted, and they are harassed on the street.

Indian police ransack senior resistance leader’s house

Before the ‘G20 summit in occupied Kashmir, the Indian occupation forces and police attacked Shabir Ahmad Shah’s home and ransacked the entire building. The daughter of the imprisoned leader Sehar wrote, “This video shows army men, black cat commandos leaving my home and the damage they caused after this massive, devastating raid.”

She said half of them searched the home’s upper floor while the others checked the ground floor and other rooms. She tweeted, “they destroyed the drawing room’s furniture and scattered things all over.”

“The visuals when the army and black cat commandos climbed the walls and jumped inside, entering our house through our kitchen garden,” Sehar said in a post that included images from the CCTV video taken inside the residence. If the G20 was to blame, Sehar asserted, “This is the highest level of harassment we have experienced today.”

Notably, India has filed serious charges under the PSA and UAPA against the families of the resistance leaders. Additionally, regular raids on their homes have been conducted by agents of the Indian government.

News Updates

China acknowledges Kashmir as disputed territory, declines to attend the G20 Summit in Srinagar

China did not participate in the G20 meeting in Srinagar, Kashmir, according to Wang Wenbin, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, saying last Friday that China vehemently rejects convening any G20 gatherings on dispute. “We won’t attend such meetings,” Wang declared during a news conference.

A series of activities leading up to the G20 leaders summit in New Delhi in September also included the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting, which took place from May 22 to 24 in Srinagar. According to reports, Saudi Arabia and Turkey also chose to forgo the Kashmir event. A few countries sent only low level stuff from their New Delhi embassies.

The UN calls out India’s propaganda around the G20 event in Kashmir

The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, has expressed concern that the Indian government is attempting to normalize “what some have described as a military occupation” by using the G20 meeting as an excuse to do so and portraying it as an international “seal of approval” before the working group on tourism’s meeting held May 22 to 24. Varennes warned in a statement that “Human rights violations have increased dramatically in Indian-administrated Jammu and Kashmir since 2019 when the Indian Government revoked the region’s special status.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, recently expressed concern about the human rights situation in the Kashmir area to the UN Human Rights Council. Yet, the G20 is still going on, it stated. Following the suspension of democratic rights and local elections with direct rule from New Delhi on August 6, 2019, the Special Rapporteur issued a statement describing the “massive rights violations, including torture, extrajudicial killings, and denial of political participation rights of Kashmiri Muslims and minorities.”

De Varennes asserts that the G20 is unintentionally supporting a façade of normalcy when serious human rights violations, arbitrary and illegal arrests, political persecutions, limitations on free speech, and even the repression of human rights advocates are on the rise. He continued, “Organisations like the G20 should still uphold international human rights obligations and the UN Declaration of Human Rights,” concluding that “the situation in Jammu and Kashmir should be decried and condemned, not pushed under the rug and ignored with the holding of this meeting.”

Amid the G20 theatrics, Indian police continued raiding the houses of resistance leaders

By conducting searches on the homes of persons connected to resistance organizations throughout occupied Kashmir, the Indian government has resumed its campaign of repression, targeting advocates for Kashmiri resistance. In connection with a JeI (Jamat-e- Islami) case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India conducted various raids in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday with the help of the police and CRPF.

NIA investigators searched the home of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat with the help of the police and CRPF in Srinagar’s HIG colony Bemina. The NIA team in Anantnag, south Kashmir, raided the home of Mudasir Ahmad Dar of Kavpora, Marhama. The home of Ghulam Quadir Wani of Gusu Pulwama was searched by the other team led by Inspector Patail because he was connected to JeI. The NIA team also raided Thokerpora Rajpora in the house of Shameem Ahmad Thoker, son of Ghulam Nabi Thoker (Govt teacher).

Mansoor Ah Dar of Wanbal Nehama in Kakapora had his home investigated by a different NIA team. The agency searched Ubaid Khazir Malik’s home in Warpora Zachaldara, Handwara, in north Kashmir.

Another NIA team searched the homes of Mushtaq Ah Rather and Abdul Rashid Malik in Nehama, Pulwama. In Dangerpora, the agency also searched the home of Abdul Rashid Malik. He is a cousin of Public Safety Act (PSA) defendant Advocate Zahid.

India has been persecuting members of political organizations that support resistance to Indian occupation after banning them under the draconian PSA and UAPA. The Indian army and the imposed state authorities have conducted raids on the homes of persons affiliated to the outfits.

Chargesheet presented against slain resistance fighter, woman associate

Special Investigation Unit of Jammu and Kashmir Police last Monday presented a chargesheet against a slain resistance fighter and a female associate before the NIA Court Anantnag in case FIR No. 346/2022 under section 307, 302 IPC, 7/27 A. Act, 17, 18, 20, 23, 38, 39 ULAP Act of Police Station Anantnag.

The charge sheet, according to the police, has been presented against Shaheen Akhter, daughter of Bashir Ahmad Ganai, resident of Tangward Brenti Batpora Anantnag, and a martyred fighter Umer Nazir Bhat, son of Nazir Ahmad Bhat resident of Bon-Dailgam.

India has keeps utilizing harsh measures and persecution. Over 70,000 individuals have been killed in Kashmir since the 1990s, thousands have been tortured and murdered, while resistance fighters and activists have been buried in unmarked graves. Human rights organizations document use of rape as a weapon of war in Kashmir by the Indian occupation. Hundreds of Kashmiris have been imprisoned by Indian officials and are being kept inhumanely in various jails around India on fabricated charges.