Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 9/3-9/10
Armed Indian occupation forces publicly punished the family of Uzair Khan, a resistance fighter from Kashmir
Failing to track the movements of the resistance fighters while suffering losses during an ambush at Kokernag, the Indian occupying forces, along with their collaborators from Kashmir police, stormed into the residence of active resistance fighter Uzair Khan of Nagam Kokernag, attacked his family, and ransacked the house. Uzair is one of the resistance commanders who ambushed an attacking Indian armed forces contingent. In the ambush at Kokernag by resistance fighters, several top officers, including an Indian Army Colonel, Manpreet Singh, an Army Major, and a Deputy Superintendent of the Kashmir Police, were killed.
Armed resistance groups have claimed that Singh was leading the operation that resulted in the killing of charismatic and popular resistance commander Burhan Wani in 2016.
Uzair Khan’s family, like many others, has been targeted by the Indian army since Uzair joined a camp for resistance fighters last year. To punish resistance fighters, Indian soldiers frequently attack their families. The invading soldiers dragged women out of the house by their hair, according to the family’s neighbors.
Occupying forces raid uptown neighborhood in Srinagar
In the dead of night, around 2 AM on Monday, the Indian occupation troops stormed into the Bemina neighborhood of uptown Srinagar, looted residential homes, and beat up several residents. The “searches and frisking” persisted throughout the night without an explanation from the military.
Locals informed us that they were asked to lock themselves inside the storerooms of their homes along with their families. “The armed forces then entered our neighbor’s house through makeshift stairs, dragged their son along, and used him as a human shield before entering more houses in the neighborhood,” stated one local.
The residents stated that they were also prevented from performing Fajr prayer. Another local said that the harassment persisted into the next afternoon and that others, such as the milkman and newspaper vendor, were prohibited from entering the neighborhood. Since then, the occupying soldiers have repeatedly carried out night raids in the region, causing locals to stay awake with their children and spouses.
To crush Kashmir’s economy, India removes taxes on American apples and almonds
The recent abolition of extra tariffs on American apples, walnuts, and almonds by the Indian government has alarmed farmers and business people involved in the horticulture sector in Kashmir. The move, according to the dealers, will have a disastrous effect on Kashmir’s farmers, who have already been suffering losses since 2019. This decision is just another setback for Kashmiri orchardists and producers, who already face difficulties including weather-related interruptions and market swings, traders say. The reduction of taxes on American imports threatens to oversaturate the Indian market with foreign goods while obscuring the premium products from the contested region.
Since the ruling hurts Kashmir’s Apple sector, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has asked that it be reviewed. According to KCCI, this rash decision is alarming since it would likely significantly impact the lives of roughly 7 lakh apple-grower households in the Kashmir region.
High Court upholds Waqf takeover of Muslim places of worship in Kashmir
The High Court has dismissed the plea challenging the order issued by the BJP-led Jammu Kashmir (JK) Waqf Board taking over the management and allied properties of all the Muslim shrines in Jammu and Kashmir. The court defended the BJP-led board and did not entertain the plea challenging the outrageous order.
Last year, the Waqf board issued a decree indicating that it will assume authority and management of all shrines, as well as their assets and properties, throughout occupied J&K. Any local committee or organization that previously took care of such places of worship was declared null and void. Any previous decisions taken by these local committees were declared ‘not legally enforceable,’ according to the Waqf Board’s order. This order was intended to be contested in the current case. Still, the court—now under the judiciary’s authority nominated by the BJP—rejected the petition before even considering the grounds.
Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board established district-level committees with the task of compiling a list of all shrines, Jamia Masjids, khanqahs, and related properties that are Waqf-notified properties in the respective district. This was done to assume administrative control of all the notified shrines and Masjids by a Hindu regime. In a separate order, Waqf has announced that it will appoint Imams and Officials to these places of worship, which Kashmiris see as a brazen attempt to control religious spaces and sermons.
Kashmiri students assaulted in India’s Punjab
Kashmiri nursing students have experienced physical abuse, character assassination, intimidation, and even death threats from academic officials at Punjab’s Desh Bhagat University (DBU). On Saturday, Kashmiri students were brutally attacked with canes and imprisoned inside a university building for speaking out against an unfair university decision. The young students, who have been demonstrating for over a week, suffered another setback when they learned that First Information Reports (FIRs) had been filed against them.
This is not the first time Kashmiri students have been abused or attacked by Hndu nationalists. They routinely assault students from Kashmir studying in India because of their religion, nationality, and alleged sympathies for the resistance struggle, yet little is done to stop the perpetrators.
Indian Occupying Forces arrest more civilians in North Kashmir
Under the pretense that they were “militant associates,” Jammu and Kashmir police detained two civilians on Friday in the Uri neighborhood in the Baramulla district of north Kashmir.
The two arrested civilians have been named as Mohd Arif Channa, the son of Nazir Ahmad Channa of Stadium Colony in Baramulla, and Zaid Hassan Malla, the son of Ghulam Hassan Malla of Mir Sahib.
Notably, thousands of innocent Kashmiris have been detained by Indian authorities and the army using false justifications. These incarcerated people are currently being held inhumanely in various jails in India.
Court issues notice to Occupation Authorities over the arrest of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
On Friday, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court sent a notice to the Manoj Sinha-led state for a response to a suit filed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the leader of the Hurriyat Conference, over his house imprisonment since August 2019. According to Mirwaiz’s attorney, Nazir Ahmad Ronga, the court has given the government four weeks to respond.
The Hurriyat leader submitted a writ petition to the high court asking for “an order, or direction upon the respondents (state authorities) to release the petitioner (Mirwaiz) from “illegal and unauthorized detention” because he had been detained/house arrested his Nigeen residence without a warrant or other legal authority. “It also submits that he be allowed to deliver his Friday sermons and lead the Friday religious prayers at Jamia Masjid, Nowhatta Srinagar, and removal of any impediments into the day-to-day life of the Mirwaiz, including his free movement as a citizen, and allow him to avail the freedom and liberty guaranteed under the constitution,” the petition said.
The Hurriyat leader has been under house arrest since August 2nd, 2019, a day before the government of India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir State and divided the state into two union territories.