Every year the people of Kashmir and their friends worldwide commemorate October 27 as “Black Day.” This year was no exception but even before the people observed Black Day, the Indian occupation troops had intensified their crackdown against peaceful protesters. Several youth were gunned down in cold blood prior to October 27.
This has now unfortunately become routine and evokes little concern globally, much to the disappointment and distress of the Kashmiris. Take the case of Firdausa, a pregnant woman shot and killed by Indian colonial troops in Pulwama on October 19. Justice (Ret’d) Bilal Nazki of the Kashmir Human Rights Commission demanded a full report from the police to be submitted to him by December 13, 2018.
Firdausa’s murder was shocking enough. It was followed by the brutal killing of the scholar, Dr. Sabzar Ahmed Sofi, and his associate, Asif Ahmed Gojri. Immediately, the Kashmiri leadership called for a complete strike. Almost all cities and towns joined it.
Leading to the observance of Black Day, the entire Kashmir Valley was shutdown. No offices, shops, schools, or colleges were open. People boycotted everything. Cities and towns were completely deserted. Only hospitals remained open because the 700,000 Indian colonial troops continued to kill and maim Kashmiri youth. In one instance, in Larroo village, the mother of a murdered youth was sprayed with occupation forces’ pellet fire into her house causing serious injury to her eyes. She was rushed to SHMS Hospital in Srinagar.
Amid the escalating brutality, Indian army chief, General Bipin Rawat added fuel to the fire by his provocative rhetoric. He said the “[Indian] Army is enough to ensure JK remains part of India.” The Indian army chief who has gained notoriety for provocative statements was openly admitting that India would continue to suppress the people of Jammu and Kashmir with brute force regardless of what the Kashmiris think.
Unfortunately, Indian oppression of the Kashmiris has intensified in recent years, especially since the rise to power of the bigoted and xenophobic Narendra Modi of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). It is a Hindu fascist party that openly espouses admiration for Nazism. In October 2017, the Indian army launched what is referred to as “Operation All Out.” Under this policy, Indian occupation troops were given carte blanche to shoot and kill any Kashmiri youth suspected of being a “militant” or even a “militant sympathizer.” This shoot-to-kill order has augmented the already oppressive law, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, under which Indian colonial troops are exempt from prosecution if they kill innocent Kashmiris.
It was such oppressively brutal measures and acts that led the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) to issue a scathing report on Jammu and Kashmir in June 2018. The 49-page report details the horrific crimes Indian troops have perpetrated in Kashmir and called for yet another independent inquiry.
India dismissed the report and has refused to allow independent investigators to visit Kashmir. So much for Indian democracy; it sounds more like Indian demagoguery!