- August 5, 2019
- Posted by: admin
- Category: News
Today the Modi Government has scrapped Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which gives special status to Kashmir and also Article 35A of the Indian Constitution which gives the State’s legislature the power to define permanent residents and their privileges (including buying land). It has also divided Jammu and Kashmir into two parts. This was announced in Parliament by Home Secretary Amit Shah, with the President’s assent obtained secretly in advance. This is a blatant move towards Israeli-style settler colonialism in Kashmir. Meanwhile Kashmir is under lockdown. During the last few days the Indian government has amassed 35,000 troops in Kashmir beyond the half a million already present in the Kashmir Valley, the worlds most militarised zone.
The huge military build up, the warnings to non-Kashmiri tourists and pilgrims to leave immediately, curfews, stopping petrol sales, the placing under house arrest of mainstream politicians, the takeover of police stations by the CRPF paramilitaries and the complete shutdown of internet are all extremely ominous. Kashmiris fear a massacre by security forces. In a statement released before internet was cut off yesterday, the Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) explained ‘Indian government thinks demographic changes will solve the conflict in Kashmir. This change apparently will be brought through parliament but on ground in Kashmir only through gun point. They have silenced all political groups, gagged media and scared civil society. The government is well prepared to deal with protest and forces have been ordered to not negotiate with the protesters – just shoot. It is clear that there will be violence, but I hope and pray people remain peaceful and that we in Kashmir dont lose anything more than these constitutional guarantees. The largest democracy is able to do all this because of the international silence. Sending this message to all of you before the internet and phone is shutdown”.
Several hundred people took part in an Emergency Vigil for Kashmir at the Indian High Commission London on Monday 5 August, called by the South Asia Solidarity Group, in condemnation of the massive escalation of militarization, cutting off all communications from Kashmir, detention of political leaders and the subsequent secretive, conspiratorial, and illegal abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir by the Modi Government. Pledging to stand with the Kashmiri people, and defend their right to determine their future, speakers from various organisations, including students’ groups, trade unions and civil society organisations and Kashmiri groups questioned the legality of abrogating Article 370 and Article 35A. They also stated that they would raise the issue with various international bodies and continue to keep international attention on Kashmir and the Modi government’s gross human rights violations.