A Letter of Support from Gujarat to Kashmir: 250 Human Rights activists from India voice against caging Indian Occupied Kashmir

Monitoring Desk: A group of 250 activists, academics, students, artists and concerned citizens of Gujarat have signed a letter to declare solidarity with the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Letter says that 250 activists, academics, students, artists and concerned citizens of Gujarat have signed this letter to declare solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir (read as Indian Occupied Kashmir), who have been silenced and held captive in their own land. They call for a complete lift on the media and communications blockade (including the restoration of internet services), the release of political prisoners detained without trial since August 5, the demilitarisation of Kashmir, and the initiation of a meaningful dialogue with the people of the region on their future.

A Letter of Support, from Gujarat to Kashmir

Table of Contents

On August 5, the Indian state unilaterally and without consultation with the Jammu and Kashmir legislature revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s right to self-governance. It brought the region under the direct control of the New Delhi government. In doing so, the central government displayed a blatant disregard for the nation’s founding principles of democracy, secularism and justice.

This was followed by a military blockade and an unprecedented media and communications shutdown, which has lasted more than two months. The blockade has plunged the people of Jammu and Kashmir into fear and uncertainty and initiated a humanitarian crisis in the region. Kashmiris have been denied the basic civil liberties and freedoms of expression, information, assembly, movement and religion. Eid and Ashura passed as the clampdown continued, and Kashmiris both within and outside the state were unable to wish their family members.

Even when an ​earthquake​hit Mirpur, killing 38 and injuring hundreds, there was no media coverage of damages, injuries and fatalities on the Indian side of the LoC, leaving Kashmiris across India unable to contact their loved ones.

Despite mounting and credible evidence of human rights abuses and a ​healthcare crisis​from numerous international media sources and independent fact-finding missions, the Indian government continues to insist that everything in Kashmir has returned to ‘normal’.

Military forces have detained ​thousands​of people, among them politicians, leaders, lawyers, journalists, teachers, students, and ​children​as young as ten. Civilians, including children, are being tortured and ruthlessly beaten and subjected to electric shocks.

In a ​report​from BBC News, a civilian is quoted saying, “we told them we are innocent. We asked why they were doing this to us? But they did not listen to us. I told them don’t beat us, just shoot us. I was asking God to take me, because the torture was unbearable.”

Meanwhile, medical reports and hospital admission logs are being ​manipulated​in order to keep casualty reports low. Doctors report being under pressure not to issue death certificates.

On August 15, as the rest of India celebrated independence from colonial rule, Kashmir went into an indefinite lock-down imposed by the Indian government. As India celebrated freedom won through years of protest, civil disobedience, and a commitment to self-rule, Kashmiris were being denied those very liberties.

With each passing day that this is allowed to continue, India inches closer to fascism, and further from democracy.

While thousands protest outside the United Nations in New York, here in Ahmedabad the police ​refuses​permission to protest. Gujarat is where the very spirit of dissent has been crushed under the weight of a state actively and tacitly supported by the majority. The state has attempted to control the media narrative, shuttered places of protest, and ​stifled​age-old democratic institutions like the Gujarat Vidyapith and the Mehdi Nawaz Jung Hall. The Sabarmati Riverfront, touted as a monumental reclamation of public space, does not allow for public assembly and dissent.

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Despite this, we assert that there are still voices in Gujarat calling for change, voices that some have tried their best to quell, but that refuse to remain silent. Among civil society leaders, there is a sense of fear, uncertainty and helplessness. And yet, and still, there is dissent.

The Indian state has decided that the value of land is greater than that of human life. We cannot let this stand. ​We the undersigned stand in solidarity with Kashmiris, and demand that Kashmiri voices be heard.

Now, more than ever, is the time to remember those who fought for our freedom, B.R. Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, among so many others. These freedom fighters had a dream for this country, a pluralist democracy composed of states and peoples who willingly came together to preserve the idea of India. This dream of a free state did not and could not have included shutting an entire people out of the democratic process and imprisoning them.

It is imperative today that we remember their vision of a state in which justice, equality and peace could reach everyone, and in their memory, fight for freedom once more, from those who wish to usurp the very idea of what this country stands for.

We urge the Indian government to ​lift the communication and media blockade​,restoring fundamental human rights to freedom of movement, assembly and information.

We call for the ​release of all political prisoners – leaders and young people – ​who have been detained without trial since August 5.

We call for the ​demilitarisation of Kashmir​,and the ​initiation of a meaningful conversation with the Kashmiri people on the future of the state.

Signatures of 250 activists, academics, students and artists including:

In Gujarat

Dev Desai, Social Activist, Anhad

Maansi Shah, Teacher, CEPT University

Sharik Laliwala, Researcher

Maya Ratnam, Teacher, Ahmedabad University

Akshaya Vijayalakshmi, IIM Ahmedabad

Navdeep Mathur, Teacher, IIM Ahmedabad

Inayat Singh Kakar, Researcher, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan

Ishu Gupta, Researcher, IIM Ahmedabad

Hiren Gandhi, Activist, Samvedan Samsritik Manch

Aziz Minat, Concerned Citizen

Shraddha Kulhari, Concerned Citizen

Cedric Prakash, Activist

Rakesh Basant, Concerned Citizen

Dhaval M Chauhan, PhD Student, Gujarat University

Parth Trivedi, Activist

Poornima Varma, Academician

Prasad Chacko, Social Worker

Swati Goswami, Writer, Artists Unite Ahmedabad

Rachana Mudraboyina, Transgender Rights Activist

Anilbhai, Concerned Citizen

Aparajith Ramnath, Academic

Shyam Shah, Architect

Jignesh Sengal, Banker

Nitish, Student, SFI

Sonia Mishra, Concerned Citizen

Bhargav Oza, Researcher

Kavan Gediya, Student

Dixit Kumar Parmar, Activist, RDAM

Ikram Beg Mirza, President, Welfare Party of India, Gujarat

Navdeep Mathur, Teacher, IIM Ahmedabad

Mohammed Marfatiya, Concerned Citizen

Maneksha Varghese, Concerned Citizen

Suahila, Concerned Citizen

Sejal Dand, Activist

Atish Indrekar Chhara, Theatre Activist, Budhan Theatre

Ghanshyam Patel, Concerned Citizen

Rathore Rameezkhan, Teacher, Azad Foundation

Krishnakant, Volunteer, NAPM

Prashant Patel, Photojournalist, Amar Photography

Ketan Satish Deshmukh, Student, IIM Ahmedabad

Svati Shah, Concerned Citizen

Nirjhari Sinha, Activist, Jan Sangharsh Manch

Ghanshyam Shah, Retired Professor, JNU

Abbas Ghulam Mehdi, Teacher

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Persis Ginwalla, Concerned Citizen

Firoz Rangrez, Politician

Daud N. Kitharia, Activist, Action for Juhapura Infrastructure Movement (AJIM)

Rohit Prajapati, Activist

Nimmi Chauhan, Independent Development Communications Practitioner

Aruna, Concerned Citizen

Neha Shah, Teacher

Danish Qureshi, Legal Activist, Democratic Minority Forum

Varadharajan Ramakrishnan, Software Entrepreneur

Rachana Varadharajan, Pharma Industry – Operations

Balendra Vaghela, Concerned Citizen

Huma Nizami, Teacher

Riaz Motiwala, Concerned Citizen

Divya R., Concerned Citizen

Najir Patel, Activist, Ahmedabad Task Force

Adil, Concerned Citizen

Kadir Shaikh, Concerned Citizen

Ammar, Teacher

Salman Mansuri, Concerned Citizen

Salim Mansuri, Concerned Citizen

Aslam Langha, Social Worker

Tofik Kazi, Android Developer

Naeem Ansari, Service

Murtaza T Madraswala, Versatile Designer

Saiyed Mohsin Saiyedali, Tailor, SDPI / ATF

Saiyed Mohammedyunus, Police Service

Shabana Patel, Activist

Mirza SoyebBeg YashinBeg, Student

Mohammadfarhaz Shaikh, Student

Ansari Akib Ali Akbar Ali, Student

Javed Gori, Self Employed

Vhora Alfaz, Concerned Citizen

Zakwan Mansuri, Data Scientist

Ashraf Husen Liyakat Husen Shaikh, Student

Gautam Priyadarshi, Student

All Concerned Citizen

Tausifahmed Diwan, Underwriter, Star Health

Isharahmad Khalilullakhan Pathan, Manager

Gulammohiyuddin Muntazimoddin Kazi, Engineer, Tuv Sud South Asia Pvt Ltd

Azhar Saiyed, Architect And Social Worker

Natasha M., Concerned Citizen

Sumaiya, Government Servant

Leepi Agrawal, QA Engineer, Automation Anywhere

Mridul Gupta, Student

Dishant Lodaliya, Concerned Citizen

Nachiketa Desai, Freelance Journalist

Abdul Hafiz Lakhani, Editor, Gujarat Siyasat Newspaper

S.Bandukwala, Concerned Citizen

Munawar Hussain, Journalist

Shamshad Pathan, Lawyer, Alp Sankhyak Adhikar Manch

Imran Bhohariya, Social Worker

Sameer Yadav, Academic Associate, Anant National University

Neha Patel, Student

Bhavesh Jain, Gandhinagar Institute of Technology

Amaani Vaniya, Concerned Citizen

Manav Sumara, Concerned Citizen

Abdul Qayyum, Concerned Citizen

Joseph Mattam, Emeritus Professor

Reetika Khera, IIM Ahmedabad

Payal Ganga, Student

Salim Hafezi, Concerned Citizen

Terrin Manjila, Student

Navnath Baliram Sonwane, Student

Prof Mehboob Desai

Nikhil Sharma, Teacher

Rajan, Business Owner

Ayush Patel, Student

Sneha Jain, Student

Renu Khanna, Development Professional

Stalin K., Concerned Citizen

Uttam Parmar, Activist

Vishal Rajput, Student

Sulekha, Student

Rafi Malek, Activist

Anurag Shukla, Doctoral Student, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Farooq Abdulgafar Bawani, Freelancer

Utpal Anish, Research Scholar, Gujarat Vidyapith

Malek Atik, Student

Akki, Student

Sameer Yadav, Academic Associate, Anant National University

Simran Mulchandani, Student

Raghavan Rangarajan, Professor

Viral Shankarbhai Konkani, Social Worker, Adivasi Ekta Parishad

Karthik Rao Cavale, Assistant Professor, Ahmedabad University

Manas Kandi, Research Scholar, Central University of Gujarat

Jay Patel, Student

Svati Joshi, Academic, Activist

Hiren Patel, Concerned Citizen

Harsh Kinger, Student, MSU

In India (outside Gujarat)

Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, Anhad

Sathya S, Consultant and Activist

Sylvia Karpagam, Public Health Doctor

Jimmy Regina C. Dabhim, Navsarjan, Xavier’s Cell for Human Development

Saravanan V, MPhil Scholar, Delhi

M. Shrimali, Former Professor of History, Delhi University

Kamayani Swami, Concerned Citizen

CB Choudhary, Activist, Samajwadi Jan Parishad

Anand Teltumbde, Teacher, Goa Institute of Management

Jagmohan Singh, Activist, General Secretary Association For Democratic Rights (Punjab)

Tushar Parmar Marxpriya, Communist Party of India (RP)

Mohd Abuzar , Activist, Anhad

Sylvia Karpagam, Public Health Doctor and Researcher

Batul Hamid, Principal, Viva College of Law

Manjusha Bhagade, Lawyer

Swati Lavand, Professor, Sardar Patel College of Engineering

Runu Chakraborty, Activist

Prasad Chacko, Social Worker

Bindu A Karedan, Concerned Citizen

Owais Afzal Khan, Indian National Congress Volunteer

Laboni Singh, Activist

Shanmuga Pillai, Concerned Citizen

Chinmoyee Roy Chowdhury, Concerned Citizen

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Insurance Advisor, Atheist Republic Kolkata Consulate

Arun Prasad Sinha, Activist

Balaji Gurude, Farmer

Dev, Shayar, Writer, Teacher

Akash Debnath, Concerned Citizen

Manchala Gangadhar, Chief Editor, Democratic Teachers’ Federation

Amar Nath Parcha, Activist

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Ritesh Nath Tiwari, Concerned Citizen

Amitabha Basu, Retired Scientist

Jasvir Singh Arora, Concerned Citizen

Dimple Oberoi Vahali, Concerned Citizen

Atul Mhase, Software Professional

CMRB India, Consultant

Rachana Desai, Homemaker

Harishchandra, Activist, Anhad

Sokat Malik, Social Worker

Saify Saraiya, Life and Wellness Coach, ZVM

Monalisa, Professional

Armaan, Concerned Citizen

Talaha Nandoliya, Civil Engineer

Shaheen Ansari, Program Coordinator, Arkitect India

Sujata Patel, National Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study

Nazim Shekh, Senior Citizen

Vimal Bhanot, Retired Professor

Bharat Chitale, Advocate

Amrita, Researcher, Wildlife Institute Of India

Antonio Jose F.X. Colaco, Retired Banker

Teesta Setalvad, CJP

Chitransh Saxena, President, Padbank

D. Parthasarathy, Teacher

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Activist

Jitendra, Student

Mahesh Kumar, Freelance Journalist

Sudhir Chopra, Retired Joint Director

Asha D’Souza, Consultant on Development and Labour Rights

Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, JNU

Ranjeet Kindo, Director, Tribal Research and Training Centre

Tapan Bose, Filmmaker, Writer & Human Rights Defender

Dr. Lubna Sarwath, Telangana State General Secretary, Socialist Party(India)

Arun Kumar, Concerned Citizen

Ms. Rahman, Professor

Harshit Mitruka, Concerned Citizen
Hussain A Babat, Compliance Officer,​IMS

​Ritik Raj, Student, Law College Dehradun

Prakash Louis, Teacher

Ameer, Concerned Citizen

Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, Teacher

Madhu Bhaduri, Retired Ambassador Of India

Kalpana Kannabiran, Concerned Citizen

Tehzeema, Concerned Citizen

Irfan Engineer, Concerned Citizen

Faraz Ahmad, Freelance Journalist

Asha Ahmad, Retired Ophthalmologist

G. Thiraviyam, Concerned Citizen
Subhasis Bandyopadhyay, Faculty,​Iiest, Shibpur

​Pamela Philipose, Journalist, Public Editor, The Wire

Sannybhai, Activist

Govinda, Professor, Council For Social Development

Bianca, Concerned Citizen

Appanasamy, Journalist

Ram Naresh Jha, Retired School Teacher, PUCL

Donald Xavier, Director, Green India Foundational Trust

Nidhi, Concerned Citizen

Abhinav Jain, Co-founder, Oye24

Kerketta, Activist

Anjali Noronha, Concerned Citizen

George K., Concerned Citizen

Preeti, Development Worker

Sudha, Social Worker, Arpanam Trust

Samuel Asir Raj S., Professor

International

Arul Anthony, Australia

Malik Malik, Data Analyst, United States

Nikeeta Shah, Student, United States

Rishi Doshi, Doctor, United States

Pooja Doshi, Physical Therapist, United States

Fatima Hassan, Student, United States

Elle Davidson, Student, United States

Aaron Dickinson, United States

Heena Shah, Physician, United States

Arul Pandian, Australia

Apurva Shah, Physician, United States

Samir Shah, Student, United States

Ghazia Shamim, Student, Canada

Nagarajan V., Student (Studying Abroad), Germany

Saifuddin Mohd, Activist, United States

Tina, Attorney, United States

Neel Doshi, Physician, United States

Bhaswati Bhattacharya, Sr. Research Fellow, Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Germany

Zeelan Bahsha, Accountant, UAE

Rimsha Chaudhry, Student, United States

Ismail Poonawala, Professor Emeritus UCLA, United States

Rao Rampilla, Actor, United States

Stephen Perenara Marr, Maori, Councilor Local Government, New Zealand

Shaukat Ajmeri, Canada

Sarah Kuo, Environmental Scientist, United States

 

DND News Agency adds

What we know about situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir?

  • Over 70 Days long curfew and communication blockade continues
  • Medical services still not available in IoK,
  • Women, girls, children and even young boys are sexually abuse by Indian military and law enforcing agencies
  • Disappearance and abduction of youth continues
  • Serious humanitarian crises grips IoK as food stocks are inadequate
  • Tourism and hotel industry completely collapsed in IoK
  • Orchards owned by Muslim Kashmiris are cutoff to ground so there would be no fruit value addition industry available once clampdown is lifted
  • Night house-raids and picking up men by law enforcing agencies continues
  • Estimated deaths due to non-availability of medical services in Valley crossing the figure of 7,000 patients (deceased patients).
  • Educational institutes are still closed and Kashmiris are denied basic right of health and education