Kashmir Crackdown Angers India Muslims
India’s Muslims are dispirited by their country’s double-standard policy in dealing with the volatile situation in the Indian controlled part of Muslim-majority Kashmir.
"Security forces under the protection of the questionable Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) have run riot against the Muslims of the Valley while same forces act as mute spectators in the face of continuing defiance of curfew in Jammu," the All India Muslim Majlis-Mushawarat (AIMMM) said in a statement mailed to IslamOnline.net.
The umbrella organization condemned the "carnage" committed by the armed forces against peaceful and unarmed processions in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Trigger-happy Army and paramilitary forces have already killed about 30 innocent persons including the prominent Kashmiri Hurriyat leader, Shaikh Abdul Aziz who was leading a peaceful demonstration."
One was killed and another injured earlier Thursday when police again fired at Muslim demonstrators in Sringar, the scene of four days of massive anti-India protests.
About thirty seven people across Jammu and Kashmir have been killed so far during the last one week.
The unrest, triggered by the local government's decision in June to donate local land to a Hindu pilgrimage trust, highlighted Muslims' growing frustration and revived independence calls.
Kashmir is divided into two parts and ruled by India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars since the 1947 independence over the region.
Pakistan and the UN back the right of the Kashmir people for self-determination, an option opposed by New Delhi.
The AIMMM, the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organizations, pressed for an investigation into the incidents.
It also demanded the prosecution of officers and soldiers responsible for the "bloodbaths."
Senior citizens of Kishtwar, outside Jummu, also called for a probe into days of violence against them.
"We smell rat in the acts of local police and STF personnel who resorted to firing with out any provocation," a local resident told IOL, referring to Kashmir police’s Special Task Force.
Muslim houses in Jammu were burnt down on Tuesday, August 13, after police had killed one person and injured 50 when Muslims were protesting.
Over the past three weeks, at least 72 attacks were reported on Muslim homes in Jammu and Kashmir, state officials said.
The authorities began to relax the Kashmir curfew, imposed on Monday August 12, to allow funerals of those killed in police firing.
"Soon after the curfew was relaxed men and women rushed to the markets to purchase stock of essential for maximum days as the situation in Kashmir over the road blockade is termed as to be tense," sources told IOL.
Villagers in north and south Kashmir collected vegetables for the people residing in towns and distribute among them.
Hindu hardliners had been blocking the Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only link to Indian cities in Kashmir valley.
The blockade is resulting in severe shortage of medicines, food items and other commodities in Muslim-majority areas.
"The Valley is reeling under an economic blockade with the tacit support of the national and state authorities and the Kashmiri fruit growers are not allowed to export their produce to the other part of their own state which is held by Pakistan," said the AIMMM.
"The economic blockade and the trigger-happy behavior of the armed forces are pushing the troubled state back to militancy."
By Farooq A Ganai, IOL Correspondent
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