Srinagar, January 18, 2020 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, people belonging to different walks of life have taken strong exception to former Indian Army Chief and incumbent Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat’s recent statement wherein he hinted at setting up Nazi type concentration camps for the Kashmiri youth. General Bipin Rawat while addressing a conference in New Delhi said that young Kashmiri children are being radicalized and they need to be identified and put in de-radicalization camps.
Rights activists and Kashmiri intellectuals talking to The New York Times said that General Rawat’s words revealed how the highest levels of the Indian military viewed Kashmiri people and that his comments could presage another disturbing turn of events. Noted Kashmiri historian, Siddiq Wahid, said that it was shocking the General would even suggest this.
A professor of political science at Central University of Kashmir, Noor Ahmad Baba, said that India might now try to crush all political dissent in occupied Kashmir. He said, Kashmir is a political issue that needs a political solution, not de-radicalization camps. Mumbai-based civil rights activist, Saket Gokhale, said that this was the first time he had ever heard of deradicalisation camps inside India. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference and other liberation organizations in their statements have already said that in the name of de-radicalization, the Kashmiri youth would be tortured in new camps.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir Valley continued to reel under India-imposed military lockdown and internet blackout on 167th running day, today. Informed sources said that the announcement of the authorities regarding restoration of Internet service in parts of the Jammu region and setting up of 400 broadband kiosks in the Kashmir Valley was yet to be reflected on the ground. They added that no site can be accessed, except banking, travel and some government websites.
South Asia Director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly, in a statement posted on the website of the organization said that India was failing on Kashmiri human rights. She deplored that the Indian authorities have sought to justify their rights violations on the grounds of national security.
On the other hand, Indian troops launched a cordon and search operation in Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Badgam district, causing huge inconvenience to the local people. An Indian soldier committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle in a military camp in Rehmbal area of Udhampur district of Jammu region. This incident raised the number of such deaths among Indian troops and police personnel in occupied Kashmir to 444 since January 2007.
The Vice Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Employees Movement, Imtiaz Wani, and the Vice Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peer Panjal Freedom Movement, Qazi Muhammad Imran, in their separate statements issued in Islamabad paid rich tributes to the Kashmiri youth who were recently martyred by Indian troops in Pulwama, Badgam, Doda and others areas of occupied Kashmir.
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