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Will India’s crackdown in Kashmir fuel further violence?

Intense military lockdown stirs calls for armed resistance but a veteran separatist leader backs non-violent protest.

Intense military lockdown stirs calls for armed resistance but a veteran separatist leader backs non-violent protest.

As India extends its military lockdown in Kashmir, there are fears that the resistance movement may adopt a strategy of violence to fight against the punishing measures – which include mass arrests, a communications shutdown and alleged police brutality and harassment.

Chants of “one solution, gun solution” have recently resounded at protests in the Muslim-majority Indian-administered region, which on August 5 was subject to a military crackdown after the federal government revoked Article 370, which had granted Kashmir a degree of autonomy.

At least one alleged Kashmiri rebel and an Indian policeman have been killed in gun battles since August 5, with frequent reports of casualties at the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan.

Rasheed, a 24-year-old graduate from the town of Awantipora, said paramilitary police have targeted him since he rejected their offer to spy on his community.

Human rights violations 

“If this harassment continues, the only way to protect myself is to join the militants, pick up a gun,” he said. “I prefer to die only once, rather than dying multiple deaths every day.

“If this harassment continues, the only way to protect myself is to join the militants, pick up a gun,” he said. “I prefer to die only once, rather than dying multiple deaths every day.

Since India’s partition and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two wars over the Muslim-majority territory, which both claim in full but control in part.
Today it remains one of the most militarised zones in the world. China administers parts of the territory.

Human rights activists have condemned the internet and telephone shutdown in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Comments

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. Nilesh August 30, 2019 1:46 am

    India must go back

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