ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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When Will the State Learn?

The People’s Union for Democratic Rights strongly condemns the 13 September bloodbath in which 17 persons were shot dead by Indian security forces and 131 injured in different parts of the Kashmir Valley. Although, the protests were organised in response to the alleged burning of the Koran in the United States, it is clear that all protests in Kashmir, in the recent times, are hammering out the same message to the Indian state: Azadi. The fact that no less than 90 persons have died and 1,600 have been injured since 11 June, confirms the brutality of the State which continues to hurt, kill and maim the people of Kashmir.

A form of “collective punishment” is being meted out to the entire civil society across Kashmir. Hundreds of young people are being “rounded up” and arrested. People are forced to live under very long spells of daily curfew and are fired upon if they venture out of their houses to get provisions. They can also face police fi ring (as happened near SMHS hospital in Srinagar on 13 September) when they respond to calls from mosques for blood donations as there are severe shortages in hospitals. Most recently, electricity has been cut off in downtown areas in Srinagar. Needless to say, these acts of “punishments” directly violate article 4(b) of Protocol Additional II, 1977 (relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts) of the Geneva Convention (12 August 1949) which prohibits collective punishment.

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