Widespread protests in Kashmir in which 8 persons have been killed and over three hundred (including a hundred security persons) have been injured marked the election to Srinagar by-election. According to the Election Commission only 7% votes were cast and polling had to be folded up by noon in most of the polling booths due to people’s protests. This tells about the real situation in Kashmir. State’s plan to hold election and to flaunt it as a proof of Kashmiris acquiescence with status quo has fallen flat in face of determined opposition of the people.
According to reports, a new phase in the people’s struggle in Kashmir has unfolded in which people intervene in encounters of militants by security forces. There are numerous such incidents. Army authorities including Army Chief have warned the protesters calling them as supporters of ‘terrorism’. Functionaries of Central Govt. have also issued statements on similar lines.
The large scale participation of the people in protests unequivocally questions the narrative of Indian Govt. that unrest in Kashmir is a handiwork of Pakistan aided handful of ‘terrorists’. That this has not sunk deep into minds of the people of the country as mainstream media does not cover it, and to that extent it does, it is to reinforce the narrative of the Govt.
RSS-BJP Govt. ruling at the Centre is not at all interested in moving towards resolving this problem; rather it uses the people’s struggle in Kashmir to further its design of deepening communal division in the country and to increase communal polarization. It uses Kashmir struggle to further its discourse of Hindu nationalism, to suppress people’s struggles and to empower state machinery with further draconian powers.
PDP ruling in J&K in alliance with BJP is yet another example of self-serving opportunism just like its twin- the National Conference of Farooq Abdullah & Son. They are so much glued to power or rather power that makes them subsist. PDP is presiding over one of the worst repression like blinding protesters with pellets and firing to kill protesting women and children.
Hypocrisy should no longer be perpetrated. People of the country should stand for respect of the democratic rights in Kashmir. They should not allow the Govt. to unleash a reign of terror on the people in their name. They should demand that Indian Govt. should stop repression and open dialogue with genuine representatives of the people of J&K. and try to resolve the problem by respecting the democratic aspirations of the people of J&K including respecting the right to determine their future. The short-sighted policy being followed by RSS-BJP Govt. at the Centre and PDP-BJP of J&K should be opposed. Stand with the people of J&K.