Kolkata : Mass Organizations Protest Abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir

On 7th August, 2020 activists under the banner of several mass organizations held a protest against one full year of the siege in Kashmir, following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. A protest meeting was convened at Jadavpur 8B bus stand in Kolkata by mass organizations including IFTU, PYL, AISA, Pratisaran, Bandi Mukti Commmittee, Feminists in Resistance, CRPP, AIPWA, WSS, RSF, PDSF, Nari Chetana, Ahalya, Jadavpur Commune, FOD and PUCL. 5th August, 2020 Bhumi Pujan for the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya was done. Several speakers at the protest said that it marked the formal inauguration of the Hindu Rashtra in India. Hence the meeting was also a protest against that.

According to a report in GroundXero, Speakers at the meeting were representatives of the organizations participating in the protest. They spoke of the intense violation of human rights in Kashmir, the history of the Indian state’s broken promises in the Valley, and how, even in the history of Kashmir, the last one year has been one of unprecedented violation of human rights and an indefinite seizure of the Kashmiri rights to free expression of voice, opinions and dissent. Speakers also said that the lockdown, severe as it has been in Bengal and other parts in mainland India, is not to be compared to the lockdown in Kashmir. The lockdown in Kashmir also comes with the realities of a militarized occupation, which, has not only stalled the possibility of any “normal” life in Kashmir, but with the year long absence of  4G internet, has made it almost impossible to avail oneself of the resources and infra-structural changes that the pandemic-induced lockdown necessarily demands.

The protest meeting ended with loud sloganeering.