Resentment among Kashmiri youths is a major cause of unrest in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, according to the Editorial Board of influential US newspaper, the New York Times, which has criticised the powers given to the Indian troops under the Armed Forces Special Power Act, (AFSPA).
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Kashmir is engulfed in a renewed phase of violence, many see as the most serious once since 1989 after Indian security forces killed Burhan Wani, a charismatic 22-year-old freedom fighter on July 8, the editorial said.
His death triggered widespread protests and resulted in the death of some 40 people so far after Indian forces tried to suppress the voice of the young Kashmiri youth who are demanding freedom from the Indian rule.
“Thousands have been injured, many by pellet guns wielded by the police and security forces as a crude form of crowd control. Kashmir’s hospitals are overwhelmed, and more than 100 people, mostly young, are threatened by pellets lodged in their eyes,” the Editorial Board said referring to brutal tactics adopted by the Indian security force.
According to the editorial, a major cause of the ‘uprising’ is the resentment among Kashmiri youths who have grown up under the brutal rule by the Indian security forces ‘that acts against civilians with impunity’.
The Muslim-majority disputed state where Kashmiris have waged a valiant struggle for freedom from the Indian yoke, is subject to India’s AFSPA, which gives the Indian troops the authority to arrest and shoot to kill. “The result is a culture of brutal disdain for the local population,” the Editorial Board said.
The valley is once again shaken by the violence which, the Board said, is a major setback for peace in the region.
The report said that Kashmiris were living in a state of siege, under a strict curfew which has blocked access to almost all sorts of communication, including cellular, landline and internet services. Police also raided many newspaper offices and banned publication for three days.
The board criticised the indiscriminate use of pellet guns during protest rallies with hundreds of people admitted to hospitals threatened with blindness.
The report called for an independent investigation into the use of forces by security forces.
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