There has been widespread revulsion at Indian crimes in Kashmir. Over the past two weeks, there has again been an escalation in violence by the Indian army of occupation against innocent Kashmiris. Hundreds of Canadians of all backgrounds also added their voices to condemn the violence and brutality unleashed by the Indian occupation army on the Kashmiri people. A rally was held outside the Indian Consulate July 16 to condemn India.
Saturday July 16, 2016, 20:27 DST
Hundreds of Canadians from all walks of life gathered outside the Indian Consulate in Toronto today denouncing Indian army crimes against innocent Kashmiris. Organized by the Friends of Kashmir, the rally attracted Canadians of different backgrounds including many of Kashmiri and Pakistani origins but also a large number of Sikhs and other Canadians.
They not only raised slogans against Indian crimes but speakers also drew attention to the decades-long oppression of Kashmiris by the brutal Indian army. It was repeatedly emphasized that Kashmir is not part of India and has never been. There are several UN Security Council resolutions calling for a referendum in Kashmir. When the Indian army first occupied Kashmir in October 1947, Indian rulers promised to respect the wishes of the people but as they tightened their grip on the state, they backed out of this pledge given not only to the people of Kashmir but also the entire world.
Today, India maintains an army of occupation of more than 700,000 of which some 300,000 are stationed in Srinagar, the capital city. This makes Srinagar the most militarized city in the world with one soldier for every three civilians.
The latest spike in protests occurred in the aftermath of the Indian army’s killing of Burhan Wani, a charismatic 22-year-old commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. Wani had become an icon in the Kashmiri struggle and inspired a large number of youth to join the freedom struggle. He was media savvy and used the social media to good effect.
Initially, the Indian occupation army chortled at its “success” in killing Wani in a remote village on the night of July 8. However, as soon as news of Wani’s death spread, people came out into the streets condemning his killing and demanding the immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from Kashmir.
Indian occupation forces responded with their customary brutality and have already killed some 43 people and injured several thousand others. Men, women and children have been mercilessly beaten up. In a new twist, Indian troops are using rubber-coated steel pellets and deliberately aiming them at people’s eyes. Hundreds of Kashmiri youth have gone blind as a result of being hit with these pellets.
Toronto rally organizers also called upon the Canadian government to take note of these Indian crimes and demanded that sanctions be imposed on India to force it to comply with international law and Security Council resolutions. They also called upon the Canadian prime minister to cancel his forthcoming visit to India until it fulfills its international obligations.
The rally participants and organizers vowed to continue their protests until Kashmir achieves its freedom from the clutches of the brutal Indian army.