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Façade of normalcy in IIOJK

Façade of normalcy in IIOJK

Façade of normalcy in IIOJK

Façade of normalcy in IIOJK

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The Indian notion of peace and normalcy in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) has no feet to stand on. Everyday killings, arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions, heavy weaponry and slapping of draconian laws undermine the human rights of the Kashmiris and are against the UN resolution.

More than a million Indian troops continue to be stationed there, and IIOJK has grown to be the most militarised zone of the world.

The Indian government has decided to arm its forces with highly advanced and sophisticated weapons. India would purchase 18 under-vehicle surveillance systems (UVSS), five remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and mine protected vehicles (MPVs) for the police in IIOJK.

The government’s e-Marketplace (GeM) platform recently received proposals from the Indian police headquarters for the purchase of security tools and vehicles. The vehicles would shield police officers from IEDs and mine strikes.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the police are buying 260 shields that can survive bullets as well as two bomb baskets that can endure explosions. For years, police have been using in IIOJK helicopters for clandestine operations. Police have asked for helicopter rental bids from licensed aviation enterprises.

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For close combat, the Indian government has decided to equip its forces with the cutting-edge “Zen Shoot Edge” corner shot pistol weapon system. This weapon will shield Indian troops from direct fire during close quarter’s battle in the occupied region. The forces also plan to purchase 500 Sig Sauer-716 rifles and 100 Sig Sauer MPX 9mm pistols. Indian police in IIOJK will likely be the first to receive the latest weaponry.

Defence analysts rightly question the rationale of the police department’s need for such powerful weapons against unarmed civilians. By placing heavy weaponry there, India is attempting to deflect attention away from serious human rights violations committed by its troops.

The Kashmiris rights, including the right to life, have been usurped by the Indian government. Not even a single among 30 fundamental human rights enlisted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exists in IIOJK. The Indian government has intensified its crackdown against the Kashmiris; but extrajudicial killings, massacre, torture and other brutal tactics have failed to break the will of Kashmiri people. It cannot be muffled by brutal militarisation. More than 96,154 Kashmiris have been martyred by the Indian troops since 1989, till date. Human rights organizations cannot ignore India’s grave human rights violations and demographic changes.

The Indian government particularly focused on the demographic transformation by settling non-Kashmiri Hindus in the territory. In August 2019, the central government revoked Article 35-A of the Indian constitution, which opened the sluice gate for Israeli style colonies in Jammu and Kashmir. Its short-term objectives include inflicting economic damage, depriving Kashmiris of all basic human rights and silencing the voice of freedom.

Besides, long-term goals are to obliterate the Muslim identity of the state and manipulate the outcome of any plebiscite in favour of India. Indian Colonial measures in IIOJK are a clear violation of UN resolution—the earlier the world takes cognizance of it, the better.

India’s military presence in IIOJK cannot change the disputed status of Kashmir. The pertinent UN Security Council resolutions guarantee the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of the IIOJK. Kashmiris’ spirit for freedom remains unflinching in the face of Indian atrocities. The world community must pay heed to brazen violations of International laws in IIOJK by the Indian government.

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The UN must send fact finding missions to observe ground situations in the occupied territory and must steer the Indian government to allow the entry of similar missions and media rights groups to report the actual state of affairs and human rights situation in the occupied region. The international community needs to work together to find a solution to the Kashmir conflict, in order to ensure peace and stability in South Asia.

(The writer comments on politico-security affairs)

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