Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 7/2-7/9


Indian army assault civilians falsely accusing them of sacrificing a cow on Eid

After Eid ul-Adha, Indian military personnel raided many Muslim homes in Pulwama to search for the skins of the animals sacrificed on the Muslim holy day. According to locals, the military attacked young people in the region and damaged civilian homes and cars on the pretext that they had ‘sacrificed cows and lied about the skins’. Hindus, who believe that cows are sacrosanct, make up the majority of the Indian military and enforce the Hindutva ideology of the occupying government of India where Muslims are frequently killed for eating beef or transporting cows.

As per the locals, military forces warned them saying, “No one can ever escape our wrath after slaughtering cows.” In a few villages in the district, the local religious institutions (Bait-ul-maals) were also raided on the assumption that they were storing cowhide. A local said, “They raided our village on the third day of Eid and tortured two boys who had gone to perform the religious sacrifices,” adding that both boys were severely hurt.

Locals say that the Indian army is denying them their religious freedom and taking away their rights. “They are imposing their Hindutva ideology on us by force. Now they are even making sacrificing animals impossible for us,” a local told us.

Notably, on June 24th, the Indian Army’s 50 Rashtriya Rifles unit entered a mosque in the Zadoora hamlet of the Pulwama region with their jackboots on and attacked worshipers. The army then ordered worshippers to recite the Hindu god’s praises and shout “Jai Shri Ram,” a war-cry of right-wing Hindu militias in India.


Indian agency summons 490 civilians across Budgam, demands property details

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India has summoned almost 500 citizens in central Kashmir’s Budgam area in order to gather personal, family, and property details as part of its ongoing campaign of repression against innocent civilians.

The majority of the summoned citizens had earlier attended Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) congregations. Even though the civilians are not affiliated with JeI, locals view their ideological affinity for the organization as motivation for the Indian agency to persecute them. One of the summoned civilians claimed, “We are being punished for our political views and these summons are nothing but a part of a larger offensive that India has launched against the civilians of Kashmir.”

India has been targeting JeI’s members since it outlawed the organization by accusing them of supporting the resistance movement against India in Kashmir. Indian state authorities including the NIA, SIU, and the Indian army have also conducted raids on the homes of persons associated with the group.

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India attempts to change the demographics of Jammu & Kashmir under the pretext of ‘giving land to the homeless’

Pro-India Kashmiri politicians on Wednesday accused the occupation authorities of importing slums of Hindus into the disputed territory under the pretext of ‘providing housing to homeless people’, calling it an attempt to change the religious demography of Kashmir and alter the Muslim parity status of the region.

“The LG made an announcement about giving land to 200,000 landless families in Jammu and Kashmir. Doubts and concerns have come to the forefront as to who these landless people in Jammu and Kashmir are. According to the figures of the Indian government placed before its parliament, there are only 19,000 homeless families in Jammu and Kashmir,” the politicians said.

The politicians said that it appears to be an effort to alter Jammu and Kashmir’s demographics in order to expand the BJP support base. “Who are these two hundred thousand families? Even if there are only five persons per family, it accounts for a population of one million. Jammu and Kashmir is a green belt and an ecologically sensitive zone, they are turning it into a slum. Instead of improving the place, they are importing poverty.” they added.

Kashmiri growers face starvation as India reduces import duty on American apples Continuing its assault on the economy of Kashmir, the Indian Government has approved the reduction of the import tariff on American apples. The Kashmiri horticulture sector, which has been losing money for many years, is now trapped in a dilemma once again.

According to apple producers of Kashmir, the sector, which is regarded as the foundation of J&K’s economy, has already been impacted since 2019, and if impacted again, it would collapse. “The 20% reduction in import duty of Washington apples would harm our economy beyond repair. Many livelihoods are attached with the trade,” they said. The growers are concerned and angry about the government’s move to reduce duty and boost imports.

The drop in import tariff has the fruit producers and dealers concerned that it would lead to a major rise in the import of Washington apples into Indian markets and result in a decline in the market for native apple production. If the government does not reverse its recent decision, fruit producers and merchants claim they would be “forced into starvation.”

The Kashmiri apple business was hurt last year when India allowed for Iranian apples to be smuggled into the country through Afghanistan during the peak season for apple production. As prices fell and the supply of cheaper apples flooded the market, Kashmiri apple producers suffered significant losses. The last straw came when India’s imposed authority in Kashmir blocked trucks transporting apple produce from using the roadway for more than a week, forcing a substantial portion of the shipment to deteriorate due to the heat.

Indian political agents arrested for extorting money from Kashmiri family

After being involved in an attempt to extort money from a family to obtain the release of a person held under the Public Safety Act (PSA), two people have been arrested.

According to Faisal Bashir, son of Bashir Ahmad Salih, a resident of Kanlibag Baramulla, two persons namely Mudasir Ahmad Wani, and Yasir Rashid Rather, affiliated with a pro-India political party approached their family to get his father Bashir Ahmad Saleh released from the Indian police custody and demanded Rs 1 lakh. Saleh was detained under PSA in 2022.

However, the family was unable to pay the money demand made by both accused people because of their dire financial situation. A case FIR No. 134/2023 has been filed at the Baramulla police station in accordance with the pertinent legal provisions.

A charge sheet against an accused militant associate was submitted by the Special Investigation Unit Srinagar before the specially constituted NIA court Srinagar on Tuesday.

On January 10th, 2023, Farzan Ferooz, the son of Ferooz Ahmed Mir and a resident of Frestibal Pampore, was detained in Srinagar’s Regal Chowk. Police later claimed that Farzan was identified as a militant ally who supported the resistance movement against India.

The police stated in a statement that a chargesheet had been filed against a militant associate and an active militant in case FIR No. 02/2023 under sections 8/21 of the NDPS Act, 302 of the IPC, and 13, 18, 20, 38, 39, and 40 of the UA (P) Act.

Civilian arrested in north Kashmir’s Baramulla

On Wednesday, a civilian was taken into custody by the Indian military and police in the Baramulla area of North Kashmir’s Kerri village. The police stated that the detained civilian, Mohammed Sadiq Lone, son of Mohammed Ramzan Lone of Nowpora Jagir, was in possession of weapons and ammunition. At police station Kreeri, a case has also been opened under the Indian Arms Act and ULA (P) Act.

Numerous Kashmiris have been imprisoned by Indian authorities on the basis of fake admissions and are being kept in cruel circumstances in various jails around India.

Indian Supreme Court adjourns hearing on plea seeking elections in JK

The hearing of a lawsuit asking the Election Commission of India and the Indian government to hold elections for the assembly in the former state of Jammu and Kashmir was postponed by the Supreme Court of India on Thursday.

A bench made up of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justices P S Narasimha, and Manoj Misra observed that the 11th of July had been set aside for hearings on applications contesting the repeal of Article 370.

“This will be put on hold. On July 11th, the 370 issue is scheduled for instructions,” the bench stated.

The petitioners’ attorney said that because the inhabitants of Kashmir had been stripped of their political rights, this was a unique situation, and he wanted the supreme court to issue a notice in the matter. However, the bench declined to provide notice and put the matter on hold.

Manju Singh and Harsh Dev Singh, leaders of the National Panthers Party (JKNPP), have petitioned the Supreme Court, asking it to order the Election Commission of India to hold elections in the union territory without further delay.