Kashmir – Heaven On The Earth is in Lock-down

With a heavy deployment of troops and barricades of barbed wire, India authorities impose the strict restrictions in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir on 5th August, 2020, as the day marked the first anniversary of India’s decision of Himalayan region’s illegal annexation. Modi’s government revoked Kashmir’s special autonomy by abrogating article 370. According to Indian authorities, reason of enforce a lockdown was to prevent any violent protests after Indian government stripped Kashmir- India’s only Muslim-majority state – of its special rights and split the state into two federally administered territories.

Residents in Kashmir valley endure a lot of human rights violations which include extrajudicial killings, disappearances, destruction of homes and farmland, arbitrary arrests, restricted access to water and harassment by security forces.

Major Developments During Clampdown:

3rd August, 2019: Tourists flee and government announced deploying at least 10,000 more soldiers. Indian-occupied Kashmir became one of the world’s highest militarized areas.

5th August, 2019: Indian government revokes article 370 for seven decades through a rushed presidential order.

8th August, 2019: 500 Kashmiris arrested since 5th August, 2020. Also clampdown challenged in India’s top court by Tehseen Poonawalla (opposition Congress party activist).

9th August, 2019: In Srinagar, around 10,000 people protest for special rights. Indian police used pellets and tear gas to push back the crowd at Aiwa Bridge.

14th August, 2019: Pakistan observed Independence Day as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ with Kashmiris and highlight their plight.

15th August, 2019: India’s Independence Day was observed as Black Day across Pakistan.

16th August, 2019:  United Nation Security Council (UNSC) nullify India’s claim that this was an internal matter in exclusive meeting on occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

23rd August, 2019: Kashmiris protest against Indian government’s decision to withdraw autonomy. During protest, they throw stones on the occupation forces. Police used tear gas against protesting Kashmiris.

26th August, 2019: India banned politicians from visiting occupied Kashmir.

3rd September, 2019: As lockdown entered its 30th day, more than 5,000 people protest in London to express solidarity with Kashmiris. They marched to the Indian High Commission to protest Kashmiris’ oppression at the hands of Indian security forces. Protesters were holding play cards that describes “Terrorist terrorist, Modi is a terrorist”, “Modi as another Hitler” and “Hum Cheen Kay lain gay – Azaadi” (We will take by force – freedom!).

5th September, 2019: Amnesty International India launched ‘urgent campaign’ to end blackout.

28th September, 2019: Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan speak up for Kashmiris at 74th session of the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) in New York.

10th October, 2019: The Governor [Satyapal Malik] directed that the demand for tourists to leave the valley should be raised immediately on the advice of the Home Department.

31st October, 2019: Occupied Jammu and Kashmir officially loses special status and is divided into two union territories; one Jammu and Kashmir and the other one is Buddhist-dominated high altitude region of Ladakh.

2nd November, 2019: The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs issued a new political map of India which showed areas under AJK inside Ladakh, and not in Jammu and Kashmir as depicted earlier.

3rd November, 2019: Pakistan rejects new political maps of India, saying the maps issued by India were “incorrect, void, legally untenable and in complete violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions”.

12th November, 2019: Occupied Kashmir marks 100 days of lockdown.

10th December, 2019: Prime Minister Imran Khan appealed to the international community to act against the “illegal annexation” of occupied Kashmir on the occasion of global Human Rights Day.

20th December, 2019: Indian FM cancels a meeting with US lawmakers over Kashmir criticism.

31st December, 2019: After five months security and communication lock down, India announced they will restore text messaging services.

9th January, 2020: European ambassadors rejected India’s invitation for ‘guided tour’ to occupied Kashmir.

10th January, 2020: India’s Supreme Court terms shutting down the internet “unconstitutional”.

27th January, 2020: Hundreds of Kashmiri and Sikh protest outside the Indian High Commission in London as India marked its Republic Day.

6th February, 2020: Indian government extends detention of four political leaders in occupied Kashmir, including ex-chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

14th February, 2020: Four key US senators request for assessment of human rights situation in occupied Kashmir.

19th February, 2020: India cracks down in occupied Kashmir on use of virtual private network (VPN) applications to get around social media ban.

25th February, 2020: During two-day visit New Delhi, US President Donald Trump reiterates his earlier offer to mediate between two countries on Kashmir issue.

4th March, 2020: Ban on social media access lifted.

19th March, 2020: As the first case of Covid-19 observed in occupied Kashmir on March 18, Pakistan asks India to lift communication blockade and ensure supplies of essential commodities in the occupied Kashmir.

1st April, 2020: India issues new domicile law for occupied Kashmir. According to this law, a person who has resided for 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir will now apply for domicile.

9th April, 2020: Pakistan ‘deeply concerned’ at the lack of medical supplies and assistance in occupied Kashmir.

3rd May, 2020: Five security men and four suspected Kashmiri fighters were killed in occupied Kashmir.

2nd June, 2020: Pakistan government urged the world to interfere over human rights abuses by Indian forces.

2nd July, 2020: Hundreds of Kashmiri protest after Indian forces kill elderly man in front of his 3-year old grandson.

5th August, 2020: One year on, clampdown destroy economy of occupied Kashmir.

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