Over 700,000 Indian troops in Kashmir aggravate population
Views from Srinagar
IMUSHAAL HUSSEIN MULLICK NDIA has left no stone unturned through nefarious designs to suppress the Kashmiris’ legitimate right to self-determination but has failed to break the will of the Kashmiri people. The presence of over 700,000 Indian troops in held Kashmir certainly incites unnecessary incidents of violence which further aggravates the populace, serves as an explanation for warlike situations, violation of ceasefire line, draconian laws, disappeared persons, half widows, half mothers, rape victims, economic blockades, lockdowns and curfews that last for weeks and weeks.
Just imagine a woman who is a wife and a widow at the same time, she does not know, where her spouse is, whether he is dead or alive, would he ever return home or not? A mother, who continuously hopes to hear the footsteps of her son, is stuck in a life of a shuttle cock between hope and fear. A child who is unable to decide if he or she is not fatherless or an orphan, with curious eyes constantly glued to the door and a sister watching outside from her window with neverending tears in search of her missing brother.
These people sadly, have extraordinary titles as they face extraordinary challenges. These are the half widows, half mothers, half orphans and half siblings of the society. There is little left to say from them except to keep on searching for the traces of their loved ones who have entirely vanished from the face of earth. The impacts of dealing with such enforced disappearances and invisibility have far deeper impacts compared to seeing the spill of blood of their loved one.
The saying Hope never dies fits perfectly with Kashmir’s missing Saga. The only faith that clings to families searching for their kith and kin is not being able to see or recover the dead bodies of their loved ones. Most of the emotional, psychological and financial burden is carried by the Kashmiri women, the mothers, the daughters, the wives and sisters of such vanished persons. Parveena Ahanger who heads the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) is an organization that seeks the whereabouts of the missing persons. She herself is a mother of Javaid a militant of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front who went missing in 1992. Ever since, her untiring journey began to find clues, evidences of her missing son. In the process it brought her in contact with thousands of families from Kashmir facing identical challenges and obstacles in pursuing the whereabouts of their relatives. 30th August marks the Global Disappearances Day to show solidarity with the victims of the worse form of human rights violation. According to the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, ‘No circumstances whatsoever, whether a threat of war, a state of war, political unrest, public emergency may be involved to justify enforced disappearances. Such days for victims are only another painful and catastrophic reminder of what they have been robbed of or what has been hijacked from them. While missing persons is not a new notion to the Kashmir conflict nonetheless the ratio has kept rising at a mounting percentage in the current years. Even though Indian States inhuman behavior in Occupied Kashmir is decades old but if take a close view of figures ranging from January 1989 to 2016 the statistics are quiet gruesome and shocking. According to Kashmir Media Service Report during this period 94,212 innocent people have been killed, Custodian deaths are 7,031, 106,036 structures destroyed, 22,801 women widowed, 107,539 children orphaned, 10,149 women gang raped/molested by Indian troops. Killings, arrestments, enforced disappearances are also continuously being reported during these periods.
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights established the working group in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and whereabouts of disappeared relatives. India signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in February 2007; however, it miserably failed to obey by the laws of the convention. ‘Missing Persons’ terminology is quintessential criminal act that was first adopted by Adolf Hitler in his Nacht und Nebel Erlass (Night and Fog Decree) of December 7, 1941.
The single-mindedness of this decree was to seize persons in occupied territories “imperiling German security” who were not immediately executed and were taken secretly to Germany, where they were disappeared without a trace. German authorities banned officials from providing any information in order to achieve the desired intimidating effect. The same tact was practiced in Latin America in 1970s and 1980s.
Under international law, forced disappearances (or enforced disappearances), as they are officially called, are considered one of the most serious violations of the fundamental rights of human beings, as well as a “sin to human dignity and self-respect” and “a grave and abominable offense against the intrinsic dignity of the human race.” The United Nations General Assembly has said that forced disappearance “constitutes an offence to humanity, a grave and flagrant violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and a violation of the rules of international law.” Kashmir has the highest number of Half Widows in the world. The irony is that those involved in such crimes are the ones offering justice, what relief or compensation can be expected by the families of such victims. —Email