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Social Activists Condemn Using Force against Protesting Stone Throwers in Kashmir

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Mirwaiz Umar Farooq leads a procession in SrinagarUsing live ammunition against protesting stone throwers in Kashmir valley is strongly condemned by social activists, working in various fields in India. in a conference held in Mumbai on September third, they demanded that the government immediately halt the use of arms by security forces against stone throwers to end the turmoil in the Kashmir valley that has raged as a consequence of the killing innocent Kashmiris over the last 3 months. The conference is convened by Peace Mumbai, a network of several social organisations. The meeting also called for an immediate withdrawal of security forces from the civilian areas of Jammu & Kashmir. At least 70 people have been killed in firing by security forces, including boys and girls below the age of 15 years, in August alone.

Resolution

The conference lasted throughout the day going under the title “Kashmir at Crossroads: The Way Forward.” The meeting passed a resolution demanding that  all parties of various perspectives return immediately to the negotiating table that also said the solution can be obtained only by initiating the political process. The conference expressed concern over naked violations of human rights for the Kashmir people and urged the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to implement his promise of zero tolerance for all human rights violations in Kashmir. The Prime Minister was asked to repeal the draconian laws such as ‘the Armed Forces (Special Powers Act) and ‘the Public Safety Act’ that gave  security forces the authority to kill innocent people at will in Kashmir.

Draconian Laws

The Armed Forces (Special Powers Act) has been widely condemned, even in North-East states like Manipur. Twelve middle-aged Manipuri women protested without a single piece of clothing on their bodies in front the headquarters of the army forces, displaying a banner reading “Indian Army, Rape Us” in protest against brutal rape and killing of a Manipuri woman aged about 30 years, named Thanglam Manorama.   Indian Army and security forces have been given extraordinary powers under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 to search, seize, arrest and even kill anyone suspected of being an insurgent in order to “maintain the public order.” Armed with these acts along with guns, security forces are causing enormous misery and humiliation daily for Kashmiris.

Human Rights’ Violations

The Mumbai conference on Kashmir asked the government to investigate all cases of human rights violations and release all political prisoners and those being held without charges. Eminent figures that addressed the conference included the editor of the Srinagar based daily ‘Kashmir Images’ Bashir Manzar, Chairman of the Jammu & Kashmir People’s Conference ‘Sajjad lone’ and activists like Pushpa Bhave, Jatin Desai, Deepak Lokhande, Jennifer Mirza, Ritu Dewan, Journalist Kalpana Sharma and others. The speakers expressed concerns that the people are facing hardships, loss of working days and wages due to weeks of curfew and shutdowns.

Civil Society Team Visits Kashmir

In another development, a civil society team led by Swami Agnivesh  visited the Kashmir valley recently and described the situation in Kashmir as ‘critical and tragic.’ All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has apprised the team of ‘unjustified killings perpetrated by the Indian police and paramilitary troops.’ Mirwaiz told the team that the Indian government was talking of peace but acting with arms. Swami Agnivesh’s team also visited the hospitals in which Kashmiris injured by police fire are being treated.

The team called for the immediate withdrawal of the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir. Swami Agnivesh said reporters in New Delhi that the people, with whom the team talked in Kashmir, expressed their anger on insensitiveness of security forces and frustration with the total indifference of the government towards the tragic happenings in Kashmir. The team comprised of eminent persons like former chairperson of the National Commission for Women Mohini Giri, activist and former naval chief Admiral L. Ramdas, Delhi Catholic diocese spokesperson Father Dominic Emmanuel and social worker Mazher Hussain. They’ve asked the Govt to provide public places to express protest.

Cursed peopleCursed People

If one looks at the statistics of the result of the draconian acts that were promulgated in 1958 especially for Kashmir and Northeastern states, one cannot stop wondering what the Indian rulers are up to by providing total misinformation to the Indian people, brutally oppressing Kashmiris and suppressing their aspirations. We can find the statistics on the website of kmsnews.org (KMS – Kashmir Media Service) along with several other issues relating to Kashmir and daily updates of the struggles being waged in Kashmir.

According to the website, since the year 1989, in which the second Kashmir uprising began, 93,379 people have been killed at the hands of security forces. 6,974 people have been killed while in police or paramilitary troops’ custody.  118,060 civilians were arrested. 105,866 structures or buildings were looted and destroyed by the forces. 22,734 Kashmiri women were widowed. 107,366 children were orphaned/  9,946 women were molested or raped or gang-raped in the hands of Indian security forces of all sorts. These figures are just for the period of January 1989 to August 2010.  In August of 2010 alone there have been 72 killings, of which 37 were men, 4 were women and 31 were children.  Three were killed while in custody. The people tortured or critically injured by the forces are 1,505; arrested civilians are 236; one structure wasdestroyed, 3 women widowed, 9 children orphaned, and 20 women molested or gang-raped.

Not only the Land but People’s Hopes are Threatened

What’s more worrisome is these killings, rapes and destructions have never been accounted for by the Indian government let alone being compensated. They were automatically excused as a result of the powers granted to the police forces by the said acts. Human rights’ act, women rights’ act, children rights’ act and even fundamental rights that were enshrined in the constitution of India do not apply in Kashmir,  though India fervorously contends that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of the country whenever Kashmir issue is raised on international platforms.

Kashmir is at least partially integrated into India geographically; but the Kashmiri people are left to the Indian wolves. These wolves need not be of military which is only a tool used for oppression. There are also political wolves who need economic resources from the Kashmir valley. Indian people have to understand Kashmir means not only a summer destination for taking rest, but people live there.  They are humans who have their own aspirations. They have their own culture to be protected. They are a nation that has a right to be independent.  They  have dreams for the future of their childrenand want them to live in an atmosphere of peace and happiness.

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About Sekhar

  • Ruvy

    Another crowd of BC readers rushing in to comment on your article, Sekhar. Like Americans really give damn, right?

    I was attracted by your article because it mentioned using force against “stone throwers”. We have a small problem with “stone throwers” around here. A neighbor of mine was assaulted by “stone throwers” who attacked his car as he was coming home. The “stones” cracked both the front and rear windshields and could have damn near killed him, his wife as well as the little girl they were ferrying home from the doctor.

    Had my neighbor drawn his pistol and fired on the would-be Jew-killers, HE would have been arrested. As it was, the army pretended to look for the “stone throwers”, and after some time, drove to smoke cigarettes and drink coffee, as is their wont. The political echelon here doesn’t want to throw Arabs in jail for attacking Jews with stones. They would much rather jail a Jew, so the press can paint all the residents of Judea and Samaria as “racist murdering settlers”. Then all the leftist traitors can come in and whine about “civil rights of Arabs being violated”.

    I know life in Kashmir is rough. But the whole world is not like Kashmir.

  • Sekhar

    Hi Ruvy
    I remember you writing on the other day that you live in the US. You are talking about your neighbor in the US or in Israel?

    OK, let it be. Your question seem to be expecting me writing articles to attract BC writers rushing in to comment. If it is so, sorry to disappoint you. I’ve been writing for last 10 years in my language Telugu. I choose topics on which I believe that I can write. When I write something, I should be in a position to defend what I write. I strongly believe Kashmir deserves to be independent. I’ve read the history. I’ve understood the chronology of events that occurred in Kashmir. I’ve understood how India and Pakistan are deceiving the people of not only India and Pakistan but also the world.

    I believe that whatever we believe in, we have to put into practice in some or other form. People around the world including India, my own country, are misinformed about the Kashmir, Kashmir people, their history, culture, society and what not? What I can do about the injustice done to Kashmir is, to write the truth so that even a single person may know it and extend his voice of support for Kashmir’s struggle.

    If somebody reads my article and comments that he doesn’t know what I write, and it made him understand (at least to some extent) what Kashmir struggle is about, I’ll be very much delighted. Because that would mean that I helped Kashmir people and their struggle to an extent maybe equal to a drop of the ocean. Still that makes me happy.

    If somebody writes “your writing skills are good. your style is appealing and so on…,” that may satisfy my egoistic senses. But that can not satisfy the purpose of the article. Some may contradict my view, but that initiates and incites a discussion by which either of us comes to know more about the issue in question.

    But I feel, during this discussion, the people who are discussing, must be in a position to listen or read others’ view even if it is against to them. Otherwise process of knowing truth through discussion will be damaged and expansion and extension of truth (one of the objectives my writing) will severely be damaged.

    I observed a shade of discontent or dissatisfaction or even hatred (mind you, this is not about me of you) in your comment and in writings on your blog. I think it cannot be invited, that too in present times, when humans achieved so much of culture, democracy, equality, secularism, tolerance, love, sacrifice and so on. These are the values achieved over centuries of years with so many experiences of wars, hatred, intolerance, inequality, indecency, greed, ego and so on. I don’t think we still need hatred to know about love; inequality to know equality; greed to know sacrifice; indecency to know decency and so on. What we have achieved are assets of the humankind. Let us not loose them to slip into darkness.

    A group of people; may be a nation, race, religion, philosophy…, cannot be branded of a particular negative quality like those written above. People of any cast and creed are always good at their respective level of evolution. Only a minute section of them work for their vested interests. They have to be named, shamed and separated and finally boycotted but not before trying to convince them to change and giving them a chance o change. Evolution of humankind and it’s values has never been equal throughout the world at a given time or period. Some are fast due to favorable conditions. Some are slow due to unfavorable conditions. There are instances where a minute section of fast groups exploited the slow groups and their unfavorable conditions. There are also many instances where a minute section of slow people went on spree to exploit with their physical strength (including military of then and now) the fast but sensitive, tolerant and accommodating groups. It depends on the particularities of a given condition that also depended on the generality of the same condition.

    I think this is prolonged, but your mention of certain things propelled me to write this long. Thank you and see you when you write again.

  • Sekhar

    HiRuvy!
    One more thing I forgot to mention. A stray incident that you have mentioned should be looked into in a proper manner. But if it is in the US, I think it would not be subjected to the situation what you described. There are many scholars, intellectuals, philosophers who wrote on Palestine issue. I’ve read some of them, both pro and opposite. As I wrote above we should be open-minded to invite truth from outside and reject false from inside.

    Oh…sorry, this is also going long… See you when I see you.

  • Ruvy

    Sekhar,

    You misread me entirely. I was being sarcastic in my remark about crowds of BC readers rushing in to comment. I don’t expect you to write the crowd-pleasing articles when I certainly don’t.

    I read your work because it is not the standard bellybutton sniffing “I-don’t-give-a-damn-about-the-rest-of-the-world” article pumped out by the Americans who write here at the politics section. I’m grateful to see your work here.

    Americans don’t give a damn about the world. I WAS ONCE AN AMERICAN – I KNOW. I’m the Hebrew nationalist who left the States and who is glad he did. I live in Israel – and a thousand horses could not drag me to the States for any reason.

    The Arab kids who damn near killed my neighbors by throwing rocks at them got away scot-free for their efforts – and will have been about the thousandth time that has occurred – because while Arabs can murder us in Israel with impunity, the whole world makes a huge stink if we dare shoot back – or better yet, shoot first. And our government has all the balls of a little girl. So Jews are persecuted as though they were the foreign minority in their own land.

    So, yes, there is more than just a sniff of hatred and contempt in my remarks here and in my own blog-site. But it appears the only way to bring down the traitorous garbage in Jerusalem will be an extended missile assault on Israel from the north. If that occurs, then the opportunity for change will arise in the chaos that ensues.

  • Sekhar

    Hi Ruvy
    Thank you for proving me misread you. Otherwise that would have left a scar of disappointment on some layer of thought processing layer in my mind.

    Actually Israel govt. has been fallowing your idea of provoking extended missile attack so as to declare an all-out-war like attack. 2006 Lebanon war, 2007 Gaza attack were launched on the same lines.

    I’ve some questions for you regarding your ‘more than just a sniff of hatred.’ Before that… I’ve provided some ideas about branding a group of people in toto in a certain manner. Don’t you have any comment on them?

  • Ruvy

    I’ve some questions for you regarding your ‘more than just a sniff of hatred.’ Before that… I’ve provided some ideas about branding a group of people in toto in a certain manner. Don’t you have any comment on them?

    Sekhar, before I go any further, let me clue you in on life for a Jew who follows the commandments – or who attempts to. In about 8 hours from now, Rosh haShana (the New Year commemoration for the year 5771) begins and I’ll be off this computer from then until about 19:45 our time on Saturday night, roughly 73 hours later.

    So, let me wish you a healthy and happy 5771. And if I’ve said or done anything to offend or hurt you in the short time I’ve known you, please forgive me.

    Now to your question. For 1,700 Jews ave taken the crap from the Muslims and Christians in the form of vicious persecution resulting in robbery, rape, massacre and finally, mass murder. I want some vengeance against the human trash that the Almighty has not yet judged. And that is the source of much of that contempt and hatred. That may not put me in a good light in your eyes, but your opinion is not what matters to me. What matters to me is the Opinion of my Maker.

    It would appear from that comment that I should hate and despise all the Arabs around me. I don’t. Most of them are decent people who just want make a decent living. They are my neighbors, and I am more than happy to live in peace with them, as long as they are willing to live in peace with me.

    The people I hate and despise are the terrorists who inflame the hatred of my neighbors against me and mine – and those who enable the terrorists. Who are these people?

    They are el-FataH, the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, HizbAllah – the terrorists who call themselves “freedom-fighters” – and the Europeans, Americans and others who support this human garbage and who lower themselves into the same garbage pail with them. Their hypocrisy is disgusting. Leaving aside the lies they tell about my people, the hateful incitement they engage in on their allegedly “progressive” propaganda sites proves that they are no better than the Nazis and Fascists they whine about, or the people they criticize.

    Proof? In this article about cartoons that evince Jew-hatred, we find this paragraph.

    “Most of the progressive blogs discussed, containing such anti-Semitic imagery cited in this essay, generally fail to remove such hateful cartoons, despite blog policies expressly prohibiting posts that contain “hateful” or “inflammatory” content.”

    There is plenty of documentation for this.

    You yourself, in aligning yourself with these groups, swallow their propaganda. The conflict in 2006 began with the kidnapping of Gil’ad Shalit in Gaza, and was coupled with the kidnapping and murder of three soldiers, and this progressed to a generalized rocket assault from the north from HizbAllah. Similarly, the attack on Gaza by our forces followed an escalation of rocket attacks on the south. The attack on Gaza was a cynical attempt to get votes for the Labor and Kadima parties prior to an election here. But militarily, it was necessary, if for no other reason than to reduce the level of rocket attacks on the south and maintain a semblance of sovereignty over the southern part of Israel.

    Just like you, an Indian, are a vocal dissenter against the brutal policies of your government in Kashmir, I, an Israeli, am a vocal dissenter against the cynical and treasonous behavior of my government, policies that are brutal and unfair to all who dare disagree and raise their voices in protest.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Sekhar, by no means should you mistake a lack of comments on your article for a lack of interest.

  • Sekhar

    Hi Richardson!

    I agree with you. Lack of comments is not at all an issue when we relate it to interest on the article.

    One of my objective is to incite discussion so that truth will be exchanged. When it happens and when people make comments for the subject sake, the other readers who also read the comments will come across some more truth. Such process would disarm perpetrators of hatred of any kind to some extent. It is in the sense that they will lose audience.

    Also newly acquired truth, sometimes, may also create a new activist launching his/her activities for the common good.

    It’s just a ray of hope, not that it happens always. But thank you, people like you provide lot of hope with minimal of words.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Sekhar, by no means should you mistake a lack of comments on your article for a lack of interest.Re-Tweet

    And, please allow me to say, “I think you show great amount of courage writing your articles.” I hold respect for You.

    I also see that You can look past Ruvy’s narrow view of the world (AMERICANS are not all SPOILED BRATS)

    😀 JD

  • Sekhar

    Hi Jeannie!
    Yes. We can take any country. People are not spoiling something by themselves If they do so. People always tend to be good, positive and tolerant. It’s always some vested interested people of small section who control natural and built technology with which they lead majority people if not all, into what they want to. Influential forces at their hands -political, financial, physical or technological- possess such power.

    But one day, people will know what they are being subjected. Because one may always bluff some for all period, one may bluff all for some period but all people cannot always be bluffed.

    And I’m honored with your respect. Thank you.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Sekhar, I’m so pleased that you responded to my comment.

    I have prayed most of my life that people would wake up and see that we are all the same. We are human. Of course, prayed doesn’t mean that I’m a religious person. On the contrary, I am extremely secular and want all people to be free to be what they want.

    So, yes I too am happy that the gig is up!

    😀 Thanks!

  • Sekhar

    Yes, Jeannie, praying means not only to the god. Wishing one-self for common good, I think, can also be prayer. Some words of literal strength that can be interpreted in many ways.

    -Sekhar

  • Sekhar

    I mean ‘Some words have literal strength that can be interpreted in many ways.’