Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 8/20-8/27


Muslim students forced to perform ‘Ganesh Puja’ in South Kashmir

A video from a girls’ high school in Sallar, Pahalgam, which showed Kashmiri Muslim girls in hijab and abaya reciting Ganesh Aarti in the morning assembly, surfaced on the internet last week as the imposed administration of India in the occupied territory was brandishing the celebrations and propaganda events on India’s Independence Day. Hindus have a religious ritual called Ganesh Aarti that honors the god Ganesh. People have described the action as just another ploy to degrade and disrespect the feelings of the region’s Muslim majority population in order to cement India’s occupation over Kashmir.

The video shows a teacher explaining to Muslim kids the significance of the Hindu recitation during the morning assembly after the students had finished reciting the Ganesh Arti. “The event has once again provided insight into the Indian government’s dream of Hindu Rashtra and Hindu supremacy,” a Kashmir based lawyer said.

The xenophobic and fascist Indian regime has done everything in its power to degrade and hurt the religious sentiments of the Kashmiri Muslims in particular, according to a retired schoolteacher. “Even after being occupied and oppressed for decades, the people of Kashmir have always been respectful of the beliefs and religious sentiments of others,” the retired teacher said.

The far-right Hindutva BJP government in India has been promoting hinduization and presenting Kashmiri Muslims as foreigners ever since it came to power. This is done while continuing to treat the residents of occupied Jammu and Kashmir inhumanely. The fascist Indian government has stepped up its efforts to undermine Kashmir’s sociocultural, religious, and political fabric, from the repeal of Article 370 to the arbitrary detention of journalists and human rights workers.


Popular Media outlet’s website blocked, staff forced to vacate office

Kashmir-based news outlet The Kashmir Walla (TKW) was ordered by Indian authorities to leave its Rajbagh office in Srinagar on Tuesday. The employees said that the landlord of the office in Srinagar had given them an eviction notice under pressure from the Occupation Authorities in Srinagar. The development occurs as intense pressure on Kashmir’s media outlets and journalists by Indian Occupation persists.

The TKW crew said on Sunday that India had also disabled their social media accounts and website. The service provider informed the staff on Saturday that TKW, a 12-year-old news website, had been blocked in India by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the IT Act, 2000.

Fahad Shah, the founder editor of TKW, was notoriously arrested by Occupation Police on Feb 4th, 2022. The occupation authorities have accused him of propagating “anti-Indian content” and have utilized anti-terror legislation like UAPA and PSA against him. Despite requests for his release from several human rights organizations, media watchdogs, and senior editors, he has been detained in a jail in Jammu. At least five journalists in Kashmir are still incarcerated, while several more have been harassed, threatened, or arrested using anti-terror legislation.


Kashmiri employees forced to attend India’s Chandrayaan-3 landing telecast

The imposed administration in occupied Jammu and Kashmir notified the mandatory presence of government personnel for the Live Telecast at the relevant departments as India’s Chandrayaan-3 performed a successful soft landing on the moon on Wednesday. According to a school teacher, “the orders came in the morning that no employee shall leave from duty before the final landing is announced.” The presence of the employees was also video recorded to be forwarded to the occupation authorities.

A teacher from the Budgam area of central Kashmir said, “I had managed to get an appointment with the doctor for my unwell mother after waiting for 20 days, but I missed it owing to this obligatory participation in the propaganda event.”

Notably, JK admin had mandated that all government workers attend the activities commemorating India’s Independence Day on August 15th. Families of resistance members were also coerced by the occupying troops to disseminate pro-Indian content on their social media accounts.

News Updates:

India inducts hi-tech WHAP armored vehicles for deployment in Kashmir

India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has introduced a “Wheeled Armored Amphibious Platform” vehicle, which can operate on both land and water, to bolster its military capabilities in occupied Kashmir.

According to a representative, the WHAP is an 88 vehicle with twelve seats that is jointly produced by Tata Motors and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The car is sometimes referred to as the TATA Kestrel.

Notably, since it forcibly repealed the last vestiges of the disputed region’s autonomy in 2019, India has increased its military presence and infrastructure in the Kashmir Valley.

BJP controlled Waqf Board to start recruitment of Imams for mosques across Kashmir
The Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board announced on Friday that it will soon begin hiring imams, mubalighs, and muezzins. Additionally, it stated that the Waqf will be holding interviews shortly and would be inviting applications.

Locals believe that by doing this, the occupation authorities aim to dominate mosque pulpits and push speeches that glorify India’s occupation of Kashmir. “They have summoned the imam of our masjid at least twice for simply stating facts during the Friday sermon. During Muharram, as the Imam spoke about Yazeed and Zulm, he was summoned by the occupation police. They questioned him for several hours,” a local from Srinagar told us.

Notably, Darakhshan Andrabi of the far-right Hindutva BJP became the head of the J&K Waqf Board for the first time in March 2022. The Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board is responsible for overseeing the assets and finances of the region’s religious organizations, notably Muslim shrines and mosques. Locals saw the action as nothing more than a proclamation of Delhi’s appropriation of religious institutions.

Lecturer suspended for presenting arguments supporting Article-370 before Indian court

The puppet JK administration has suspended a government lecturer, who had recently presented arguments in favor of Article 370 in the Supreme Court of India. This action comes after Zahoor Ahmad Bhat presented arguments against the government’s position on Article 370 before the Indian Supreme Court.

As part of the suspension, Bhat has been instructed to report to the Director of School Education in Jammu, effectively relieving him of his duties at the Government Higher Secondary School in Srinagar.

Article 370, along with its associated Article 35-A, provided special autonomous status for Jammu and Kashmir, which the Indian Occupation unilaterally abrogated. The supreme court has been hearing a case pertaining to the constitutionality of the move.

JK High Court upholds detention of Haseena Akhter

Haseena Akhter, who the Occupation Authorities in Kashmir have accused of having ties to the outlawed Dukhtaran-e-Milat, is the subject of a preventative detention order upheld by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. In order to challenge the detention order issued by the Baramulla District Magistrate on April 7, 2022, in accordance with Section 8 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act of 1978, Haseena Akhter has filed a lawsuit.

The grounds for her detention revolve around accusations that Akhter participated in actions that posed a threat to the Indian state’s security. These accusations included her purported “affiliation with extremist organizations and logistical support for militants”.

Hindu goons attack Kashmiri students at India’s Mewar University

Hindu thugs attacked Kashmiri Muslim students at Mewar University in India’s Chittorgarh area on Friday night. The thugs entered the campus in search of Kashmiris, the students claimed, and began attacking them with weapons. During this assault, two Kashmiri students suffered serious injuries.

“The outsiders barged inside the campus raising ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and other Hindutva slogans and started beating Kashmiri students,” a student told us. “They attacked us with sharp weapons and two students were seriously injured in this,” the student said.
This is not the first time Kashmiri Muslim students have experienced assault or attack in India. Students from Kashmir studying in India are routinely attacked because of their religion, nationality, and support for the resistance struggle, yet little is done to stop the perpetrators.

Police arrest civilian, slain resistance fighter’s wife in Bandipora district

Under the false banner of “hybrid militants,” police detained a civilian and the wife of a deceased resistance fighter on Saturday in Bandipora, north Kashmir. The slain area commander Yousuf Choupan’s wife Munira Begum and Shafayat Zubair Rishi of Nesbal Sumbal have been named as the arrested civilians.

Notably, the Indian army and its agencies have detained thousands of innocent Kashmiris inhumanely in various jails in India by labeling them as “militant sympathizers” under false pretenses. Many of the detained Kashmiris have already spent more than five years in jail and have never been produced before a court.

Indian Occupation forces ransack civilian properties in Pulwama

After a brief gunfight with the resistance fighters on Monday in the Parigam neighborhood of Pulwama region of south Kashmir, the occupying troops attacked and trashed the homes of civilians.

A local said that “the army ransacked the civilian properties during the night raids accusing people of helping the militants to flee”. The military action was suspended since the army was unable to locate the fighters. The police said that “militants probably exploited darkness and managed to escape.”