THE OCCUPATION CONTINUES...
Indian occupation forces continue to exert large scale, documented, and unpunished human rights abuses in Kashmir.
Till date, 70,000 people have been killed. 8,000 have disappeared—meaning to this day, no one knows of their whereabouts. Countless women have been raped, including the gang rape of women in the villages of Kunan Poshpora by Indian forces in 1991. A number of mass graves have been discovered.
During the militancy, over half a million Indian armed forces, including soldiers and para-military, became part of the permanent landscape of the region. Today, the region is the most militarized place on earth.
India’s armed forces operate in a state of impunity and are protected by laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Security Act, which allows the state to arrest anyone for long periods of time without any due process.
The late eighties uprising also led to the forced migration of a vast majority of Kashmir’s Hindu minority, the Pandits, many of who lived in camps in Jammu or other cities in India. Relations between Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits have been increasingly communalized in recent decades, as Indian statecraft has relied upon policies of divide and rule between various communities in Kashmir.
Although the militancy was effectively quashed by the early 2000s, by 2008, it gave way to mass mobilizations and civil disobedience by a generation that has come to age under the gun.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN KASHMIR TODAY?
Since 2008, an entire generation of Kashmiri youth have taken on the Indian state, both online, and on the streets.
Dubbed by analysts as the “new intifada,” Kashmiri youth protest the Indian occupation and the lack of political self-determination.
Initially, the protests were peaceful, as large crowds gathered to protest fake encounters, land transfers, human rights violations, and cases of sexual violence, demanding an end to the occupation and the right to a plebiscite to determine Kashmir’s future.
As the protests grew in momentum, the Indian state responded brutally, firing live ammunition and pellet guns into crowds, arresting political leaders and youth activists, and oftentimes, declaring shoot-on-sight curfews in the region in order to prevent further protests from occurring.
Indian state brutality led to the phenomenon of kani jang, or stone throwing, as well as a new militancy. State repression and violence has increasingly gotten worse under the current Modi government.