Tag Archives: Burhan Wani

Ambedkar University faculty statement on violence against marginalized communities

Ambedkar University Delhi Faculty Association (AUDFA) expresses serious concern and outrage about the growing spiral of violence against various marginalized communities across the country. In the last one month two states particularly have witnessed violence and protests in an extensive scale.

AUDFA condemns the continued violence against people in the Kashmir valley, where the death toll is continuously rising. The violence in Kashmir this time saw a familiar pattern as before, an (encounter) killing, a funeral where rage is vented through slogans and indiscriminate and abominable violence as a response. Kashmir valley remained under a complete blackout with all modes of communication and transport blocked and curfew imposed for several days. AUDFA urges that immediate efforts towards demilitarization of Kashmir valley must be initiated and steps must be taken towards preventing the killing and injury of civilians.

AUDFA also strongly protests against the brutal beating, flogging stripping and parading of seven dalit men in Una taluka of Gujarat. As protests against this violence, at least twelve dalit men attempted suicide. Massive protests by dalits are evidence towards the failure of the justice system which has not been able to provide redress against the high rates of caste atrocity in Gujarat. AUDFA believes that action needs to be taken against vigilante gauraksha groups (who were the perpetrators of the violence) under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Continuous violence and discrimination against Muslims and the dalits goes against the moral fabric of the Constitution and as a faculty association AUDFA expresses its anxiety over the growing everyday intolerance among and polarisation of the people in this country. We express our solidarity with protests against such ongoing violence.

Gopalji Pradhan                   Rukmini Sen                         Arindam Banerjee

Secretary                                President                               Treasurer


Not Pakistan, but Modi has pushed Kashmir on the Brink : Ashok Swain

This is a guest post by ASHOK SWAIN

Since the death of a young and charismatic separatist named Burhan Wani, Kashmir has erupted into violence and chaos. Weeks of violent protests in the Valley have resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people and over 5,000 injuries. Kashmir is not new to violent protests and civilian deaths, but this time the intensity of the protest and the passion of the protesters is unprecedented. Continue reading Not Pakistan, but Modi has pushed Kashmir on the Brink : Ashok Swain

Kashmir is a Feminist Issue: Sonam Mittal

Guest Post by SONAM MITTAL

To understand why Kashmir is a feminist issue, let’s take up a hypothetical, or not-really-so-hypothetical-after-all, situation of an abusive relationship.
A woman, gorgeous, graceful and delicate is in need of rescue. A man, mighty, strong and resourceful, offers to help. His only condition is that she should be his and only his for now and forever. She agrees.
It could have been the beginning of a beautiful love story if not for the underlying patriarchy and misogyny threatening to burst out. All it needed was an excuse. See, this woman had an acquaintance, a friend, with whom she had shared a part of her life. Her culture, her values and various elements that added to her charm were influenced by this friend. One fine day, this friend returned to lay claim on her. The man got angry, quite obviously. Fists and punches were thrown around and all three parties were badly hurt. Several grudges were adopted and nursed. Days went by but the memory of this brutality never faded away.
The man started placing restrictions on the woman. For her safety, obviously. Silly girl, he said, what if ‘your friend’ comes back again?
Then came in the taunts and verbal attacks. Are you really mine? Is this how you repay the help I gave you? Is this how you behave for sharing my life? Am sure you must have done something to provoke him and make him feel like he owns you.
The neighbors started talking and debating on who had a rightful claim on her. Nobody asked her what she wanted.
Day by day, the atrocities committed by the man, under the garb of protecting her, became unbearable. It was cruel enough that she had suffered many wounds on her body, some which were still hurting. The man would keep poking her, pinching and questioning her. Every action taken only for her ‘protection.’ It was almost as if he gained some perverse pleasure from her torture, knowing that no one can question him.

Continue reading Kashmir is a Feminist Issue: Sonam Mittal

Statement On the Unfolding Situation in Kashmir : NSI Delhi Chapter

Guest Post by New Socialist Initiative, Delhi Chapter

The valley of Kashmir is on the boil again. Forsaking the so-called normal routines of their lives, people are on the streets. Not just young men, but even children and women are out, challenging the military might of the Indian state. Any fear of the police and army appears to have been discarded. Police stations and even CRPF camps have been attacked. A popular upsurge, it is energised by mass fury. Forty people have lost their lives in one week at the hands of the Indian security establishment. Hundreds of others have suffered serious eye and other injuries from presumedly ‘non-lethal’ pellets used by the police. While people are out confronting the police, para-military and army, the other organs of the Indian state in Kashmir, the elected government and its bureaucracy, elected members of the legislature, panchayats, etc. are in a rathole, fearing public appearance. It is just the people of Kashmir valley versus the institutions of organised violence of the Indian state.

While the immediate cause of popular anger is the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, reasons for this anger go much deeper and have a longer history. The stifling and repression of the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination stands at the root of this conflict. This repression has taken on extreme violent forms. For twenty five years now, the Kashmir valley has been among the most militarised places in the world. More than half a million troops of Indian army and para-military forces have been stationed in the state and its border with Pakistan. Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF camps dot the land scape. Highway checkpoints and random searches are part of everyday life. Thousands of men have disappeared, been picked up by security forces, thrown in the black hole of interrogation camps, often ending up in unmarked graves. The hated AFSPA gives Indian security forces legal cover to assault basic rights of Kashmiris to live a life of elementary dignity. If an average valley resident is alienated from the normal practices of the Indian state such as elections and its administrative initiatives, s/he harbours deep resentment against the presence of Indian security forces in their homeland. This resentment has erupted in mass protests again and again.

Continue reading Statement On the Unfolding Situation in Kashmir : NSI Delhi Chapter

Kashmir – A lost battle: Amya

Guest Post by AMYA

What’s happening in Kashmir? Why are the people living in the valley so angry? Why are they mourning at the death of a militant? What is giving them so much courage to shout slogans against the Indian state, even at the cost of their lives? Why do they assemble in large numbers at the funeral processions of the men killed in conflict?

As an Indian have you ever thought about these questions? Have you ever wondered that there must be something seriously turbulent in their reality that they are so resentful? Or, like the majority, you find yourself defending the unity of the country and calling the people living in Kashmir “traitors” or “anti-India.” If each and every person assembled in the funeral processions is a traitor then the best solution for the state is to kill all of them, stay happy with that piece of land and preserve the Indian unity. Has Indian nationalism become so narrow? We are the supposed carriers of the legacy of nationalism that Tagore had envisioned. But it’s now getting distorted into a revengeful and inhuman nationalism. We have lived the ‘unity in diversity’ phenomenon by being accommodative towards different communities. Why are we then so intolerant towards the people of Kashmir? Just because it is a matter of honour and pride for us to possess the land of Kashmir and further to prove our might, we keep eliminating any dissenting voice?

Continue reading Kashmir – A lost battle: Amya

Statement on Kashmir from concerned individuals


We the undersigned, express our grave concern regarding the current state of affairs in Kashmir. The disproportionate use of state violence on unarmed protesters in Kashmir reflects severe human rights violations. Setting aside the paramount concerns in terms of continuous interventions in the normal lives of the people, the alarming loss of civilian lives and reports of serious injuries, including blinding from pellet wounds are deeply disturbing.

Attacking hospitals, ambulances, stopping funeral processions and even burning down residential buildings cannot be the response of a democratic nation. The attack on civilians and the ethical implications this has on our armed forces are not justifiable. Images of police, army and task force brutalities against women, children and youth are spreading across the social media. At the same time, partial and prejudiced reports on television and print are becoming the basis for racism, regionalism and religious intolerance among people who are not afraid to bully Kashmiris and other minorities.

We appeal to our government to consider the state of affairs in Kashmir democratically, prioritizing the right of Kashmiri citizens to normal lives. Continue reading Statement on Kashmir from concerned individuals

Terms of Endearment – Kashmir and the Possessive Cartography of the Indian Nation-State: Jhuma Sen

Guest Post by JHUMA SEN

Kashmir – the average Facebook trotting, Twitter wielding, middle-class Indian will assert – is an inalienable, inseparable part of Bharat Mata, the anthropomorphic representation of cartographic territorial sovereignty of India. Atoot Ang or inseparable organ. Yeh Fevicol ka majboot jod hai, tutega nahin.

The adhesive in this case is a deadly cocktail of an occupying power periodically using the spectacle of a ritualistic and performative violence to discipline and punish the colony, brutalizing every peaceful protest, responding to stone pelters with bullets, and prisoners with execution, to satiate some imagined collective conscience that sleeps like a baby when a three-year old is shot with his father, a ‘former terrorist’. But Kashmir belongs to India, in the same way Kiran belongs to Rahul in the famed Bollywood film of 1998, Darr: A Violent Love Story, the Wikipedia page of which describe it as a ‘romantic psychological thriller’. [i] The film traces the ‘romantic’ obsession of Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) with Kiran (Juhi Chawla)—the serenading Rahul, the stalker Rahul, the fragile male ego Rahul, the violent Rahul, the abductor Rahul, the killer Rahul and a traumatized Kiran simply wanting to be left alone and desiring freedom from the wretchedness of Rahul’s ‘love’–Tu Haan Kar Ya Na Kar, Tu Hai Meri Kiran (Whether you agree to it or not, Kiran, you are mine’). The relationship between Rahul and Kiran (or for that matter any violent and delusional relationship) mirrors the relationship between the Indian State and Kashmir—the desire to control and the desire to be free. Continue reading Terms of Endearment – Kashmir and the Possessive Cartography of the Indian Nation-State: Jhuma Sen

Citizens’ Statement On Kashmir

Kashmir – Cry my beloved country: Gautam Navlakha


burhan-wani-story_647_070916051953Image courtesy India Today

Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his comrades were born and died in the phase of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir that symbolizes the watershed in politics in J&K; pre and post ‘89-90. Unlike in the past, indigenous militants now neither travel to Pakistan for guns or for arms training. Armed resistance and its indigenous roots are etched on the faces of these young men.  Burhan’s killing on July 8 and following that, the turnout at his funeral as well as the protests that broke throughout the  state have rekindled memories of the early 90s, especially the death of Ashfaq Majid in 1990, which too had seen mass outpouring of rage.  Burhan and his comrades knew they would not survive for long; seven years is the average life span of a militant in Kashmir, as Burhan’s father poignantly stated long before his death.  Not because that was their own choice, but it was the only choice offered to a people by a ruthless military suppression by a state that has refused to recognize the popular demand for right of self determination.

Indians remain ignorant of the depth of the passion for ‘Azaadi’ from forced union with India, a union imposed in myriad ways. The policy of land grabbing to settle ex servicemen from outside the state (an old project of RSS); allowing non-state subjects unhindered access to land for industry, real estate, mining, for setting up fortified colonies for migrants; where control of the state government, especially Kashmir based ruling parties, over administration has always been circumscribed by New Delhi; and financial dependence  compounded by autonomy of the military from the purview of representative government – all of these point to the fact that the reins of government are held in New Delhi. Continue reading Kashmir – Cry my beloved country: Gautam Navlakha

The Killings in Kashmir: Kavita Krishnan


An appeal to the conscience of every Indian citizen – to tune down the shrill media noise for a bit, take a step back from the easy, packaged ‘discourse’ being dished out, and ask try and ask ourselves some uncomfortable but necessary questions. 

I am being asked by various persons in the media to comment on my apparently ‘controversial’ and ‘shocking’ claim that Burhan Wani’s killing was extra-judicial’ and must be probed. Let me begin with a few remarks about this issue.

For most Kashmiris, it may not matter all that much whether or not Burhan Wani was killed in a ‘fake’ encounter or a ‘genuine’ one. What matters is that the Indian State killed him – just as it has killed and is killing so many other Kashmiri youngsters. Their grief, their rage, does not depend on the authenticity or otherwise of the encounter. They have no expectations of due process or of justice from the Indian State. It it civil liberties activists who – in what sometimes feels like an exhausting, futile exercise – demand that due process be followed, that the mandates of the Indian Constitution be respected, that the armed forces in conflict areas be held accountable.

Continue reading The Killings in Kashmir: Kavita Krishnan

Kashmir Burns, Again

A hundred and twelve lives, most of them young, some very young, were lost in Kashmir when the army, paramilitaries and police forces opened fire on several occasions from June to September in 2010. That was only six years ago. The latest reports indicate that around twenty three lives have already been lost in the last two days alone, in the aftermath of state troopers, soldiers and paramilitaries firing at funeral protests, after Burhan Wani, a twenty two year old insurgent, who had acquired the aura of a folk hero in Kashmir, was killed in an ‘encounter’, along with two of his associates, on Friday morning in a village in Kokernag.

Several more people have sustained serious injuries. The body count is likely to rise. Curfews have returned, phone and internet links are suspended, but nothing seems to keep people from spilling out onto the streets, and unlike previous instances, the communications ban seems to be unworkable. No one can pretend that Kashmir is not in crisis, again, today.

The people in power, at the state and the centre, were different in 2010. Omar Abdullah, then chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was offering mealy mouthed rationalizations for killing kids then, while Mehbooba Mufti, was weeping crocodile tears. It is the other way round right now. Omar is being ‘sensitive’, Mehbooba, who the roll of the dice has placed in the position of chief minister now, is ’sullenly’ presiding over a badly timed by-election victory. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was silent then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is playing percussion instruments in Africa now. If Nero played the harp while Rome burnt, Modi beats drums while Kashmir goes up in flames.

Continue reading Kashmir Burns, Again

Kashmir Under a State of Emergency: JKCCS

Guest Post by JKCCS : Jammu & Kashmir Coalition for Civil Society

Since the extra-judicial execution of Commander Burhan Wani and two other members of Hizbul Mujahideen, Indian armed forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police have used excessive force to thwart the mourners from protesting and participating in the funeral processions of the slain militants. So far, around 17 civilians have been killed in Islamabad, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts, while as more than 350 people have been injured from across all districts of the Kashmir valley. There are reports that CRPF and Police have been involved in the destruction of movable and immovable properties. Curfew has been strictly imposed in all districts of Kashmir, but people are defying the curfew at various places.

It is shocking and painful that Indian armed forces have yet again unleashed terror on the mourners and protesters, resulting in massive civilian casualties. The police and armed forces appear to have free hand to kill, injure, torture and destroy property. The government of India and Jammu and Kashmir lack the will to institute a crowd control policy, which can ensure no or minimized civilian casualties. On the one hand armed forces are preventing the injured to be ferried to hospitals, at the same time senior police officials without any credible investigations have begun to accuse the dead and the injured for their own bloodshed. Additional Director General of Police, S.M. Sahai, yesterday in the press conference accused the protestors of looting the weaponry from the Police Station Damhal Hanjipora and then for using it against the police men. Government should reveal the names of those police personnel who were injured by the firearm used by the civilians and where are they being treated; otherwise Mr. Sahai claim is part of the regular government psy-ops. Continue reading Kashmir Under a State of Emergency: JKCCS