Blackest Day in Kashmir’s History
Written By: MA Dayal
The people of IIOJK have been involved in a fierce freedom struggle against the Illegal Indian occupation of Kashmir since 27 October, 1947 (the Blackest Day in Kashmir’s History) while enduring the worst kind of Indian state terrorism.
On October 27, 1947, the perpetual suffering of the Kashmiri people started with the invasion of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian Army in total disregard to the partition plan of the subcontinent, against the Kashmiris’ aspirations, and all principles of international law.When India and Pakistan became independent on August 1947, it was regarded that Kashmir, as an adjoining state with a predominantly Muslim population, would accede to Pakistan. However, its ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh – the last maharaja ruler of Kashmir who was already facing internal agitation and Quit Kashmir movement against his “autocratic” rule – on 27 October, 1947 acceded J&K to India through an improper and illegal Instrument of Accession and on the same day, India winched its forces to Srinagar and illegally occupied the Kashmir valley. Hence, October 27 is the darkest day in the history of Kashmir as Kashmiris were sold to India regardless of Indian Independence Act, Partition Plan, and against their wishes.
The intrinsic fear for the commemoration of this day worldwide by the Kashmiris against the illegal occupation of the Kashmir valley by India forced Indian government to resort to bogus and false propaganda on SMNs prior to this day to avoid humiliation on 27 October – the darkest day in Kashmir’s history. According to Indian propagandists, “On 22 October 1947, Pakistani militia backed by Pakistan’s Army invaded Kashmir” – calling it as “Black Day of Kashmir”.
According to Indian propagandists, “On 22 October 1947, Pakistani militia backed by Pakistan’s Army invaded Kashmir” – calling it as “Black Day of Kashmir”. The deplorable propaganda is aimed at derogating/dismissing Kashmiri’s freedom struggle – that has withstood decades of suppression and has grown stronger consistently, twisting the well-established historical narrative, and diverting attention from its illegal occupation of the Kashmir valley and atrocities in IIOJK.
Fact of the matter is that the Indian propagandists don’t have to change the dates for Kashmiris to celebrate “Black Day” when every day is a Black Day in their lives under the illegal occupation by the Indian Forces.
India is unwearyingly trying to change the cognitions of Kashmiri youth by a well-orchestrated disinformation campaign like erecting billboards in IIOJK that Pakistan occupied Kashmir through tribal fighters.
On Oct 27, 1947, India had illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and on Aug 5, 2019, it took further steps to unilaterally alter the disputed status of the territory and change its demographic structure and identity. Post 5 August 2019, India has unleashed constitutional terrorism in IIOJK by introducing several new laws / amendments to existing laws to change the demographic structure of the disputed region and further suppress / exploit the inhabitants of the besieged Valley.
Kashmiris have been subjected to inhuman treatment by the occupation forces for over seven decades; which is the root cause of public resentment and uprising against Indian oppression. Over the last three decades, reputable international organizations have documented thousands of cases of torture, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and violence in IIOJK including cases of civilians killed in fake encounters and passed off as militants.
According to Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Bi-Annual report from 1st Jan to 30th June, 2020, 229 killings, 107 Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs), 55 internet shutdowns, 48 properties were destroyed in the first half of 2020 in IIOJK. The first six months of 2020 witnessed the extrajudicial executions of at least 32 innocent civilians in IIOJK. Moreover, in the first six months of 2020, the media continued to be at the receiving end of the pressure, intimidation and harassment by the authorities, with several incidents of beating and thrashing of journalists. Besides physical assaults, few Kashmir based journalists were also booked under stringent charges and fake cases were filed against them.
In IIOJK, the destruction of civilian properties by armed forces personnel during fake encounters or while dealing with the protestors saw an uptick in the first six months of 2020. According to JKCCS, from January 1 to June 30, at least 48 cases of destruction of civilian properties were reported in J&K. The destruction of civilian properties during encounters saw an increase during the COVID-19 lockdown enforced by the government, rendering many families homeless and without shelter.
Despite repeated foiled choreographed attempts by BJP government to project so-called normalcy in the Valley post-Aug 5, international community has expressed serious concerns over the brewing humanitarian crisis in IOJK. Indian troops have been accused for several humanitarian abuses, and have engaged in mass extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, sexual abuse and enforced disappearances of thousands of Kashmiris. In IIOJK, between 1989-2009, the actions of the military and paramilitary have resulted in 8,000 enforced disappearances and 70,000 deaths, including through extrajudicial or “fake encounter” executions, custodial brutality, and other means.
In late March 2011, Amnesty International (AI) released a report claiming that IIOJK was holding hundreds of people without charge or trial in order to keep them out of circulation. AI alleged that Public Safety Act (PSA) allows security forces to detain individuals when the state has insufficient evidence for a trial. The disappeared are believed to be dumped in thousands of mass graves across Kashmir. Indian law enforcements agencies use the draconian PSA to detain anyone who they claim to be a threat to public peace and order. PSA and AFSPA have been repeatedly criticized by international community, particularly the UN.
Rape, the most perverse and demented form of oppression, is being used as a state sponsored tool by Indian forces. As reported by Asia Watch, “Rape has regularly been used by the Indian security personnel as a means to punish and humiliate communities.”
As per the statics of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (AJK), since 1989 more than 11,144 rapes have been reported in the occupied Valley. Amnesty Intl report in 1992 stated that rape is conducted during counter-offensives against militants as part of a bid to methodically shame local Kashmiri communities.
In 2018, first-ever UNHR 49 pages’ report on Kashmir called for international inquiry into multiple violations highlight the chronic impunity for sexual violence as a key concern in Indian held Kashmir.
A study by Doctors w/o Borders reported that “Kashmir has the highest rate of sexual violence in any conflict region, and the vast majority of assault are perpetrated by police and security forces.” The Asia Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, and Human Rights Watch have all documented these atrocities.
The use of “pellet-guns” in IIOJK is a war crime. Use of pellet guns that was introduced in 2010 continues unabated in the occupied valley. In the seven months following Wani’s killing in July 2016, over 6,000 people were injured by pellet guns, including 782 who suffered eye injuries, according to Amnesty International. Recently, on 28 August 2020, Indian forces in Srinagar opened fire with “pellet guns” on a peaceful religious procession. More than forty people were wounded while several were blinded.
More than 500 prominent political leaders and workers have been detained since India announced to repeal Article 370 of its Constitution. Almost all Hurriyat leaders have been put under house arrest or are in jails. By detaining these pro-liberation leaders in IIOJK, India is trying to silence dissent. Meanwhile, amid strict curfew, an eerie silence prevails in IIOJK with concertina wire barricades laid on deserted streets and heavy deployment of Indian police and armed forces’ personnel. People remain confined mostly indoors due to stringent restrictions, as communication links have been snapped by the authorities to prevent anti-India demonstrations.
In such a scenario – where there is no political activity in the region – Indian government has formed a new pro-government party called Apni Party using breakaway factions of National Conference and People’s Democratic Party. This party has publically supported Indian government’s August 5 action to abrogate Article 370. Moreover, the exercise is also aimed at hindering formation of a joint front against BJP government – by creating ideological fissures / cracks in Kashmiri political leadership. The concerted campaign to undermine / incapacitate APHC; the APHC is also evident from detention of Ashraf Sehrai after resignation of Syed Ali Gilani.
Ironically, India has capitalized on chaotic environment created by Coronavirus and introduced a new domicile law on April 1, 2020 – that will pave way for demographic change in IIOJK. Under this law, India wants to facilitate non-Kashmiris to flood into the state and tilt the balance in their favour. According to AFP and Kashmir Media Service, till Aug 31, 2020, the RSS inspired Hindutva government has issued some 430,000 new domicile certificates in IIOJK despite the coronavirus pandemic, raising fears of the beginning of demographic change in IIOJK.
With introduction of new domicile law, the demographic apartheid in IIOJK has begun and the delimitation exercise of political constituencies is next – that will exacerbate widespread fears of the Kashmiris who have repeatedly been betrayed by India since 1947. The laws should be seen as first step towards systematic ethnic cleansing / genocide of the Kashmiri Muslims. Modi is following footsteps of Hitler – who introduced Nuremberg Laws to segregate, incarcerate and marginalize Jews, leading to the holocaust.
India’s atrocities in IIOJK and mainland India reflect systematic cleansing of Muslims to achieve RSS’ long-cherished objective to establish a ‘Brahminical State’ purported by SadhviSaraswati – that India would be ‘Hindu Rashtra’ by 2023.
Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Order 2020”, “Jammu & Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate Rules 2020” and “Jammu and Kashmir Language Bill 2020”, are designed to change the demography of IIOJK from a Muslim majority to a Hindu majority territory and to obliterate its distinct identity – which is a clear violation of international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention.
Additionally, India has shredded more international laws in IIOJK than imaginable: UNSC Resolution of 1948 that mandates a plebiscite and Geneva Conventions that prohibit an occupation force from transferring its own civilian population into held territory – were all violated by India. The move to abrogate Article 370 is a clear violation of UNSC resolutions on Kashmir namely – UNSCR 38, 47, 51, 91 and 122. Moreover, the unilateral action to change status quo in IIOJK also violates 1972-Simla Agreement between Pakistan and India.
The predicament of millions of Kashmiris, under continuous physical and digital lockdown coupled with the woes resulting from the calamitous coronavirus pandemic, presents a serious humanitarian crisis that must awaken the global conscience.
Kashmiris just struggle did not start in 1947 and will not end today. India’s decision to revoke Article 370 is just another chapter in Kashmir’s long history of imperial oppression. The year-long lockdown that ensued has only further disenfranchised Kashmiris and amplified the need to get rid of Indian yoke in order to live with liberty and dignity.