End the All Pervasive State Violence on Kashmiris NOW!; Stop Brutalising Kashmiri Lives and Muzzling of Their Voices!

AISA condemns the arrest of Kashmiri human rights activist, Khurram Parvez who was earlier denied the right to travel to Geneva to attend the UNHRC session. This is not the first time that Parvez has been targeted. During the height of civilian killings in Kashmir, the landline phone connection of Khurram Parvez’s was snapped. While atrocities on civilians continue unabated in Kashmir, the state is using all possible tricks in the book to harass and silence those who speak up against the state’s misdeeds. Khurram Parvez has, for several years now, played an active role in documenting human rights abuse in Kashmir, and he also represents the Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society. The muzzling of such voices shows the height of state repression in Kashmir. AISA demands unconditional release of Khurram Parvez, and also demands the restoration of his right to travel abroad. By denying the right of people to travel outside, the government is simply confirming that Kashmir is a mass prison.

The remorseless nature of the failed civilian government both at the Centre and at the state level is reflected from the arrogant “press conference” held by Rajnath Singh and Mehbooba Mufti, in which they justified the killings of even kids, followed by derogatory comments thrown at journalists. The current spate of bloodshed in Kashmir once again shows the total failure of the elected representatives and their inability to connect with the people. This is not an accident, considering that the very practice of democracy in J&K is remote-controlled by the Indian Intelligence Agencies. Due to crushing of any democratic means of political expression, the puppet formations such as PDP and NC do not have any credibility among the people.

On Eid, the communication lines were snapped, people going to offer prayers at the Eidgah were fired upon, and strict curfew was imposed. Funeral processions are being attacked regularly, CRPF is firing into people’s homes, attacking ambulances and other vehicles. Earlier, the army itself issued statements regretting the civilian killings in Qazigund and also the killing of a lecturer, Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, who was picked up from his home and tortured to death. However, the remorselessness of the armed forces is further reflected from the “Operation Calm Down” that has been launched in some parts, to quell civilian resistance with a heavy hand. Anyone who is familiar with the Kashmiri political landscape knows all too well that this will breed further anger and protests. We need to ask why the governments at the Centre are working to worsen the situation.

That the governments are working to worsen the conditions becomes evident from the fact that a prominent leader of the PDP, ex-MP Tariq Hameed Karra, has resigned both from the Lok Sabha as well as from PDP, holding the PDP-BJP alliance responsible for the current turmoil in Kashmir. AISA welcomes the resignation. We stands in solidarity with the people of Kashmir against all pervasive state brutality and muzzling of their voices and political aspirations. AISA calls upon all progressive sections to come together and demand an end to atrocities on Kashmiris, and a lasting political resolution of the Kashmir issue at the earliest.

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