The sufferings faced by innocent Kashmiris for the last 271 days under the illegal Occupation of Indian Forces haven’t yet been abated at all as the Hindutva regime in New Delhi has further aggravated their lives under the garb of lockdown to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Though almost eight million Kashmiris had already been fighting for their right of self-determination for decades and evidently paying the price for that by being subjected to the Indian repression.
But the Indian government led by Hindu hardliner Narendra Modi in August 2019 went one step ahead and turned the entire valley of Jammu and Kashmir into a prison, detained its leadership, shut markets, and suspended all Communication Channels; thus the region wore a deserted look and the life went to a standstill.
Yet it couldn’t deter Kashmiris as they remained perseverant and determined for their cause.
Therefore, now in the pretext of preventing the outburst of Coronavirus, the New Delhi regime has placed more restrictions, beefed up search operations to apprehend resolute Kashmiris, and held & booked Kashmiri journalists including Masrat Zahra, Peerzada Ashiq, and Gowhar Geelani.
Since the advent of the holy month of Ramazan, the Indian forces have martyred seven innocent Kashmiris while they martyred a total of 29 people last month.
In his article published on The Washington Post titled “India is using the pandemic to intensify its crackdown in Kashmir”, a Kashmir-based freelance journalist Tariq Mir wrote “The residents of Kashmir are no strangers to life under restrictions. But today we are under siege. The streets and alleys of the capital, Srinagar, have been barricaded with coils of concertina wire and stone-filled oil drums, a crushing reminder of the long loss of freedom and dignity for the people of Kashmir.”
“The trademark machismo of armed troopers in the street has given the pandemic lockdown a peculiarly surreal feel. It’s as if the virus is a tangible being and there is a hunt underway to catch it. Once they catch it, perhaps they would haul it to one of the torture chambers and make it disappear there, as the authorities have done with many locals.”
Tariq Mir noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the fear, despair and oppression felt by many in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K).
Furthermore, he wrote that the repressive actions of the Indian government in IOJ&K are only adding more fuel to that large pool of misery and recrimination out of which resistance to India emerges.
“Nearly 2,500 people have been arrested, a thousand vehicles impounded and scores of grocery stores “sealed” for “defying government orders,” he mentioned.