Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 6/18-6/25


Life comes to a halt in Kashmir on Indian Home Minister’s visit 

The Indian military forces increased the militarization in the region during the two-day visit of Indian Home Minister Amit Shah to Jammu and Kashmir on June 23–24, barricading all access points and closing all highways. For the sake of the Shah’s arrival, the people’s way of life was put on hold.

Such visits are viewed by the inhabitants of J&K as nothing more than harassment and collective punishment, where people’s freedom of movement is severely constrained. People are forced to endure suffering in the name of a “security arrangement.” The Indian military troops stop all traffic, whether it be cars or people. Emergency vehicles like ambulances and school buses are also prohibited from moving. A taxi driver from Srinagar claimed, “We are under constant pursuit because the armed forces won’t let us pick up or drop off passengers at their designated stops.”

Shah laid the cornerstone for “Balidan Stambh” in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk neighborhood on Saturday morning. He visited Baltal earlier in the day to assess the state of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra’s preparations. Shah landed in Jammu on Friday, spoke at a rally there, then traveled to Srinagar to attend an event at the SKICC Srinagar. He then presided over a conference to discuss the Amarnath Yatra. 


Indian Army threatened villagers after forcing them to chant Hindu slogans inside the mosque

The Indian army has been forcing villagers to deny reports of desecration inside a mosque after forcing them to chant “Jai Shri Ram” or “Victory to Lord Ram”, a war cry used by Hindu militias in India before attacking Muslim places of worship. The Indian armed forces on Sunday raided the Zadoora village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and forced village elders to deny any reports of desecration and forcible chanting of Hindu slogans in Rajab Sahib Masjid. 

Villagers claim that the army is calling them and threatening them with grave consequences if they speak to the media about the occurrence. 

On Saturday, the Indian army’s 50 Rashtriya Rifles unit raided a mosque in the hamlet wearing jackboots and ordered worshippers to shout “Jai Shri Ram.” Mehbooba Mufti, the president of the PDP and a former chief minister of J&K, referred to the incident as an “act of provocation” because it occurred before the Amarnath Yatra.

News Updates: 

Kashmir completes five years under direct Indian rule

Five years of direct rule by the Indian government over Jammu and Kashmir makes this the second-longest period without an elected administration in the state’s history. The BJP, which is in power in India, is coming under increasing fire from the state, with former chief minister Omar Abdullah charging that the saffron party withheld elections out of a “fear of imminent defeat.”

Unionist lawmakers condemned the ‘continued suppression of democracy’ in the former state after it lost its sovereignty. The state’s elections were suspended in August 2019 after the Indian government unilaterally repealed Article 370, stripping it of its “semi-autonomous position” and converting it into a Union Territory.

Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party and the BJP formed an alliance after agreeing on a common minimum agenda. The alliance, however, collapsed on June 19, 2018, after the BJP withdrew its support to the PDP-led coalition.

Asiya-Neelofar rape and murder case: Doctors part of post-mortem team terminated 

Two medical professionals who were a part of the post-mortem team in the Asiya Neelofar Shopian rape and murder case were fired by the puppet government of India in Jammu and Kashmir. Notably, the two doctors who performed the two autopsies, Drs. Nighat Shaheen and Bilal Dalal, were both suspended by the Omar Abdullah-led administration in 2009.

Dr. Nighat’s evaluation suggested that both women had been raped, and a forensic investigation supported her conclusions. Asiya Jan’s frontal wound, which was lacerated, was described as an incised wound by Dr. Bilal Ahmad Dalal. 

According to medical professionals, Asiya Jan was the victim of sexual assault and passed away from hemorrhage and shock brought on by bleeding from several wounds. According to the team, Neelofar suffered from neurogenic shock after having been brutally raped and died.

After the two women were brutally raped and killed by Indian forces in 2009, Kashmir saw a civil uprising in which vast crowds of people protested the abuse of human rights and sought their right to self-determination. Numerous innocent citizens were killed by the Indian military’s indiscriminate shooting at these gatherings of civilians. 

Kashmiri journalist Fahd Shah completes 500 days in jail

On Sunday, Kashmiri journalist Fahad Shah completed 500 days in jail on severe accusations. The journalist is being detained in Jammu’s Kot Balwal prison, approximately 300 km from his Soura, Srinagar, home. 

The police said that following Fahad’s initial arrest on February 4, 2022, he had “glorified militancy, spread fake news, and incited people of Jammu and Kashmir.” Additionally, according to the police, Fahad was the subject of three distinct First Information Reports (FIRs). Earlier, the journalist’s immediate release had been urged by several foreign press freedom organizations and rights groups.

Four Kashmiri journalists—Fahad Shah, Asif Sultan, Sajad Gul, and Irfan Mehraj—are now being investigated and imprisoned under several legal provisions. The Indian State has been stifling all dissenting voices in Kashmir by censoring it in all spheres, including the media, academics, and the general public.

Drugs being pumped into Kashmir from different Indian states  

On Monday, a drug dealer was apprehended, and the Jammu and Kashmir Police found a massive shipment of drugs in the Sopore neighborhood in the Baramulla district of north Kashmir. According to the authorities, the apprehended person was bringing narcotics from Delhi, Punjab, and other Indian states to the Kashmir valley.

The case sheds light on how Indian authorities are enticing Kashmir’s youngsters into the drug trade while giving Indian smugglers from several regions carte blanche to transport narcotics into the valley. Many drug traffickers and users have admitted in recent years, while receiving treatment, to the strategic facilitation of the Indian military forces in the JK drug mafia.

Occupation Agencies raid multiple locations across Kashmir

In connection with an alleged case involving the ‘misuse’ of social media platforms for illegal purposes, the State Investigation Agency (SIA) Kashmir conducted many searches on Tuesday. The raids were placed in the districts of Kupwara, Anantnag, Pulwama, and Srinagar. Mobile phones, SIM cards, and other significant digital and physical devices were seized due to the searches.

The identified entities are suspected of working together with overseas allies to achieve their malicious objective, which includes encouraging and supporting acts of terrorism, according to a statement from SIA. These organizations have also targeted government employees, making it difficult for them to carry out their legal obligations.

Accusations of terrorism are being used by the authorities to suppress dissent and keep an eye on social media activity. Content that the government and its authorities deem to be anti-Indian has been flagged by special IT cells. Due of the social media posts that they distribute, users are frequently harassed as well as booked and summoned. 

Two civilians arrested in South Kashmir

In the Bijbehera neighborhood of the Anantnag district in south Kashmir, the Indian Armed Forces detained two civilians on Thursday under the fictitious designation of “militant associates.”

Abrar Ul Haq Katoo, the son of Mushtaq Ahmed Katoo, a resident of Arwani Bijbehara, and Tauseef Ahmad Bhat, the son of Mushtaq Ahmed Bhat, a resident of Shetipora Bijbehara, has been named as the arrested civilians.

Numerous Kashmiris have been imprisoned by Indian authorities based on fake admissions and are being kept in inhumane conditions in various jails around India.

Residential house seized in Bijbhera; house owner’s son labeled as ‘militant associate’

On Thursday, the State Investigation Unit (SIU) Shopian in the Anantnag district of south Kashmir confiscated a residence in the Subhanpora Bijbhera neighborhood. Zubair Ahmad Ganai, the son of Abdul Rehman Gani and the house owner, is allegedly connected to resistance groups.

India has undertaken a huge crackdown against resistance groups and their sympathizers in the disputed territory using the NIA, CID, SIA, SIU, and army. More than 60 properties, including 30 homes in Kashmir, have been attached over the previous three years in connection with “militancy” investigations or individuals allegedly involved in “harboring” resistance fighters.