So what do we see in the present turbulence? Firstly, though the crisis revolves around the stone-pelting youth, one can clearly say that the real problem is not that of the stone-pelters. Neither the theory of LeT being responsible for it, nor the issue of money being paid to stone pelters, nor the vested interests making the most of the situation explains the crisis.
Which Indian has not heard of General Dyer? General Dyer opened fire on unarmed protesters. Hundreds died, the figures are disputed between Indian and British version to this day. A commission of enquiry was set up by the English. General Dyer told the Hunter Commission, “I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.” Continue reading A conversation in Sopore and other stories
Guest post by YASMIN QURESHI
Yasmin Qureshi grew up as a member of India’s Muslim minority before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a social justice activist who traveled to Palestine in 2007 and to Kashmir last year. This article is a reflection on her trip to Kashmir.
I wanted to go to Kashmir ever since I visited Palestine in 2007. There are many similarities in the nature of the occupation as well as the struggles, both being nearly 63 years old.
One difference is that while Israel is seen as an external occupying force in Palestine, the Kashmir issue is considered an “internal” matter or a conflict between Pakistan and India, and the voice of Kashmiris is often lost. As a result, there are fewer international organizations monitoring the region, and little information about the extent and impact of the occupation gets out.
A layoff from my company in August 2009 gave me the opportunity to visit the region, called “a paradise on earth” by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The unanimous message I heard as I traveled and spoke to journalists, taxi drivers, pony riders, waiters, students and teachers was that they want “azadi,” independence from the occupation by India. Continue reading Kashmir: The Hidden Occupation
After months of uncertainty in which the entire political and state machinery has been galvanized to ensure that the perpetrators of the horrific rape and murder of two young women in Shopian go scot free, the Central Bureau of Investigation has produced a report that gives a clean chit to the indicted policemen and claims that the two women drowned in a stream. Below we carry a report by the Independent Women’s Initiative for Justice. Do circulate as widely as possible.
This release dated 19 July comes from the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir (IPTK)
Enclosed, please find our brief on the events and investigative process in Shopian, Kashmir, connected to the brutalization and death of Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan in end May 2009, in which the state security forces have been implicated.
While investigations have emphasized the procedural conduct of the police in their handling of the investigation, they failed to focus on the actual crimes that were committed, or the conduct of state institutions. The investigations in Shopian have not focused on the identification and prosecution of perpetrators or on addressing structural realities of militarization in Kashmir that foster and perpetuate gendered and sexualized violences, and undermine rule of law and justice. The investigations have instead concentrated on locating ‘collaborators’ and manufacturing scapegoats to subdue public outcry. ‘Control’ rather than ‘justice’ has organized the focus of the state apparatus, including all processes related to civic, criminal, and judicial matters.
What is the ‘truth’ of the matter, who are in the know, and what is being shielded?
We were compelled to write this brief to mark the inability of the state apparatus to deliver justice. We urge civil society institutions and international human rights groups and those working with issues of social justice to seek accountability.
In writing this, we have visited, and been in contact with, the family of Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan, and civil society leaders and organizations in Shopian, and in Srinagar. We are grateful for the collegiality extended us, and especially to those that placed themselves at risk to offer us insight.
You can read here the full report.