Updated: May 17
The misinformation being spread on J&K is one of the most vital issues that should be focused up on especially after the upheaval change in the rightward shift of politics in India.
“Where are the restrictions ? It is only in your mind. There are no restrictions. Only misinformation about restrictions is being spread,” the home minister of India, Amit Shah said addressing a seminar on national security. The misinformation spread is not about restrictions but the attitude and behaviour of the people of Kashmir, the political system of Kashmir, and the mistreatment and abuse of power by the military.
Crimes and atrocities ranging from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture of adults and minors (minors ranging from the age of 10) sexual abuse, rape, and the suppression of freedom of speech are used to infringe people of their rights and freedom. Using religion as an instrument of manipulation, the rest of the country is misinformed and showed a completely different perspective of what is actually happening.
A new report in the article by THE TELEGRAPH shows that 13,000 teenagers were detained by the army, the report led by the national federation of Indian women ,detailed claims that boys as young as the age of 14 had been imprisoned for up to 45 days. Families were made to pay a sum of rupees 60,000 for their release. The number of people and accounts of the people being held by the army is not given by the government. The government does not seem to provide reasons to keep the children being held, except in a few cases where the reasons are as flimsy as that the children threw stones at the army personnel.
The muslim majority state is facing an inflexible curfew not only after the article 370 and 35A were removed but even before the removal of these articles. Imposing curfews has been a very old trend for the Indian government in the very peaceful, muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir. Years of being locked down inside their own house not because of a pandemic or an emergency but just the sole reason being a dividend between India and Pakistan. This has not just caused physical harm but taken a toll on the mental healths of the people in Kashmir causing problems such as anxiety, stress and other issues. According to a 2015 survey by Medecins Sans Frontieres, nearly 1.8 million adults in Kashmir-45% of the population- have shown symptoms of mental distress. More than 41% of the people showed the signs of depression, 26% of anxiety and 19% of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Moving on to the next issue of extra judicial killings in the state of Kashmir by the Indian military and the CRPF. Reports suggest that over 100,000 people have been killed where as the government has taken full accountability of only about 50,000 killings. In 2010, statistics presented to the Indian government’s the number of civilian deaths attributed to the Indian forces was higher than those attributed to insurgent actions.the Indian army denied and declared every human rights violation to be ‘fake’ based on a research conducted by the Indian army itself. The ambiguity by the Indian government and the vague information provided on any issue related to Kashmir by the government seems a little dubious, doesn’t it? Well the issue lies on a specific act which the Indian force uses to stow away from international powers and the rest of the public. This act is known as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), to avoid holding the security forces responsible for any civilian deaths in Jammu and Kashmir irrespective of any fact.
The simple and most viable solution for this is meeting an equilibrium where the government and the people belonging to Jammu and Kashmir are both triumphant , empower the underclass-the people of Jammu and Kashmir- and grant the people their basic human rights along with patriotic sentiment that the government is not against the people but with the people.
Written - Mohammed Zaid Wani