Updated Monday August 5, 2019; 10:45 am EST
The BJP-led government of Narendra Modi revoked the special constitutional status of Indian-occupied Kashmir today, amid a heavy security crackdown in the disputed region. In doing so, India violated it own constitution. The illegal act was carried out through a presidential decree.
Article 370 of the Indian constitution confers special status on Kashmir while article 35A prohibits non-Kashmiris from acquiring property in the state.
The deployment of tens of thousands of additional troops in the troubled state of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir has raised fears that Delhi may be preparing for a genocide of the Kashmiris.
The signs are ominous. Round-the-clock curfew has been imposed. Kashmiri leaders of all political stripes—from pro-independence leaders to pro-Indian politicians—have all been arrested and put in jail or placed under house arrest.
All schools and colleges have been shut down. Thousands of foreign tourists as well as Indian students in Srinagar, the state capital, have been ordered to leave.
Similarly the 300,000 yatris (Hindu pilgrims) have been ordered out.
Local authorities have asked people to stock up on food and water as well as fuel fearing that Indian occupation troops may impose a prolonged curfew.
India already has 700,000 troops in the Kashmir Valley so what has prompted the deployment of tens of thousands of additional troops including air force planes flying over the region round the clock?
Fearing the Kashmiris' reaction to such illegal changes, all Internet and cell phone services have been shut down in Kashmir to prevent people from organizing protest rallies against Indian army and state brutalities.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the 89-year-old veteran Kashmiri leader has sent out a message on his twitter account marked ‘sos’ urging people worldwide as well as leaders to prevent the planned genocide of Kashmiris.
Indian occupation troops have also escalated shelling along the Line of Control in Kashmir that divides the two parts of the state between Pakistan and India.
On August 4, two civilians were injured in Indian shelling on the Pakistani side and since July 30, four civilians have been killed in Azad Kashmir's border villages. India has also resorted to the use of internationally-banned cluster bombs.
Showing great restraint, Pakistan has not retaliated against such aggression but has warned that it reserves the right to do so if shelling along the Line of Control continues.
Pakistan's National Security Council held a special meeting on August 4 to review the situation. A statement issued after the meeting said that Pakistan will take all measures to defend its people, land and integrity.
The Kashmir Media Service, a widely respected information service on Kashmir, reported that seven Kashmiri civilians were murdered by Indian occupation troops in Kupwara district on August 4.
Since 1989, Indian occupation troops have murdered more than 94,000 Kashmiris. Some 11,000 women and girls have also been raped by Indian occupation troops.
Thousands of Kashmiri youth have simply disappeared. The discovery of mass graves point to India’s crimes and total disregard for Kashmiri lives.
Since 2016, Indian occupation troops have resorted to the use of pellet guns. This has resulted in thousands of children being blinded.
Organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International as well as the UN High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR) have documented Indian state crimes against innocent Kashmiris. The UNHCHR’s latest report was released on July 8, 2019.
Western media outlets have reported on the recent escalation in tensions as well as fears of a bloodbath in Kashmir.
No Western leader, however, has issued a statement to condemn India’s militarism and threats of genocide.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir have struggled for decades to hold a referendum to determine their own future based on UN Security Council resolutions.
India claims to be the ‘largest democracy’ in the world yet it is afraid of the most basic democratic instrument: referendum in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Under Modi, it has become a Hindu fascist state where non-Hindus—whether Muslims, Christians, Sikhs or others—are not wanted.
India wants to grab the land of Jammu and Kashmir but it does not want the people.