Anticipating fresh protests, Indian authorities authorized thousands of more troops into the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, which has already been at the heart of arbitrary arrests, police brutality, torture tactics on citizens, and even extrajudicial killings.
India moves to divide Kashmir into two with direct rule from New Delhi
India has decided on formally splitting up the contested region of Jammu and Kashmir, amidst the ongoing brutal crackdown orchestrated by the Indian government. Kashmir has been on lockdown for almost three months now, with ongoing protests against India’s harsh rule.
In what India describes as a move to help control security issues, the region will be split into two federal territories, with direct rule from New Delhi. One territory will be Jammu and Kashmir, while the other will be the remote Buddhist territory of Ladakh.
Anticipating fresh protests, Indian authorities authorized thousands of more troops into the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, which has already been at the heart of arbitrary arrests, police brutality, torture tactics on citizens, and even extrajudicial killings. Travel in the region has been heavily restricted, and internet connections are still unavailable to the majority of Kashmiris.
In addition to the heavy security clampdown, hundreds of citizens as well as Kashmiri politicians remain in jail, while many have been moved to prisons across the country in different provinces to stop families and legal aid from reaching them. Many have been jailed to act as a warning to others to not join in protests.
This all comes amidst India’s decision in August to revoke Article 370, which gave the region of Kashmir relative autonomy. By revoking this law amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over control of Kashmir, the Hindu-nationalist BJP party of India, led by Prime Minister Modi, have caused scenes of chaos within government and within the region of Kashmir.
Now following India’s most recent decision to split the region in two with direct rule from the capital, crowds have begun gathering in the city of Srinagar, the largest city in Kashmir. Protests have erupted as well, in frustration at India’s continued crackdown on almost all aspect of life in Kashmir. India continues to act with impunity as it controls and suppresses the lives of ordinary Kashmiris, who continue to fight against India’s harsh rule.
Indian Prime Minster Modi is set to appoint a new governor for the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir today, GC Murmu, a former bureaucrat from Modi’s home state of Gujarat. Murmu will be sworn in today as the first lieutenant governor of the now unified territory, directly ruled from New Delhi.