Saturday, 24 February 2018 | Login
BREAKING NEWS
1 Army Man Killed, 4 Injured in Shopian Encounter - Saturday, 12 August 2017 16:16
3 Feet Militant Responsible for Tral Killing - Sunday, 22 October 2017 08:19
60 Students Fuelled the Students Uprising on 2017, Says NIA - Thursday, 28 September 2017 06:29
9000 Injured after the Killing of Burhan Wani - Friday, 12 January 2018 10:29
A Hindu can never be a Terrorist - Thursday, 22 June 2017 11:26
Abu Dujana had become a nuisance for Girls - Tuesday, 01 August 2017 08:00
Adil was never associated to Hizb - Wednesday, 20 September 2017 13:34
Al Qaeda in Kashmir is only a conspiracy - Thursday, 27 July 2017 13:49
All Militants will be killed before this winter - Wednesday, 31 May 2017 03:29
Amarnath Attack case Solved - Sunday, 06 August 2017 10:41
Saturday, 24 February 2018 06:04

Kashmir Has Zero Rate of Crime Against Tourists

February 24

Despite the portrayal of Kashmir in a certain light by sections of the elite Media, Kashmir according to an official data is the safest heaven for tourists.

According to official statistics, attack on Amarnath pilgrims remains the sole incident where they tourists were subjected to any violence.

The director of the tourism department in Kashmir, M A Shah said that attack on Amarnath yatris was an “isolated incident to scare away visitors” and such attempts will not succeed.

Data reveals that Jammu Kashmir is the only state in the country which has zero crime record against tourists and it registered one lakh foreign tourist footfall in 2017, while the number of domestic tourists crossed 1 crore.

"There have been sections of media who have wanted to portray Kashmir in a negative light to satisfy their nationalist agenda," Nihakrika Singh told The Kashmiriyat.

Official data also reveals that during the civilian uprisings of 2008, 10 and 2016 there has been no violence against tourists, infact cross sections of the society have been engaged in ensuring their safety.

Kashmir also has lately emerged as the safest travelling destination for women.

The state pertinently has recorded zero violence against women tourists, in fact, a group of female tourists from India recently had said, "The locals ensured that we are safe and they took pains in that direction."

Published in Travel

February 23

ON FEBRUARY 23, 1991, Kunan and Poshpora, the twin villages in North Kashmir became the spot of mass rape of 53 women and sexual torture of men by the Indian Government Forces.

The alleged criminals have escaped justice and Indian governments have refused to even acknowledge the horror despite the victims recording their statements in the courts as well as knocking every door for justice.

The Army raided the village and the men of the villages were confined to a few rooms and tortured the entire night and then the Minor girls, those dumb and deaf, the physically handicapped, and the pregnant women were not spared either.Mothers were raped in front of their daughters. Grandmothers and their granddaughters were raped in the same room. The survivors said that they had bite marks on their chests, everywhere on their body, even on their hips. Many of them described bleeding from the mouth, from their private parts and from other injuries.

One of the survivors in her statement to the police given in March 1991, narrated to that she heard a knock on the door at 11 p.m. As the door was opened army men barged in and took her husband and brother-in-law with them. Some remained behind and searched the house. As they found nothing “objectionable” they caught hold of her and raped her.

“They were having liquor while raping me. My children screamed but there was no one to help me”. She fainted and only regained consciousness in the morning. Her husband and her brother-in-law too returned in the morning. Her brother-in-law was bleeding and was in a critical condition. Some days later, the police came to record her statement along with the Deputy Commissioner. She handed over her clothes as evidence. They were provided medical treatment, she states. She also recollects that she saw police constables with the army that night but says that, “they could not help me. They had themselves been beaten by army men”.

All houses had similar stories, some concerning one or two and some concerning entire households of women.

Many of them told us that the minor teenaged girls who were in the house were also raped, but that they collectively decided not to mention their names to the police.

In many of the statements, the survivor mentions only her own name or that of married relatives. Often they mention that all the “vulnerable” women other than themselves were away from the house that night, perhaps to protect them.

Published in News

February 13

More young people are taking up arms in violence-hit Himalayan region of Jammu Kashmir, which has been the reason of three wars between Asian Nations, India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947.

State government data released on February 0 7 revealed that an increase of more than 40 percent in local youths joining militant ranks to fight Indian forces.

Some 280 local youths have joined militants in the last three years, with 126 joining in 2017, 88 in 2016 and 66 in 2015.

These numbers are higher in comparison to the previous years of  2014, when 53 Kashmiri youths took up militancy, with just 16 in 2013, 21 in 2012, 23 in 2011 and 54 in 2010.

The Indian government claims that militants fighting Indian forces in Kashmir sneak in from Pakistan and the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir aided by Pakistan — an allegation Pakistan has consistently denied.

The idea of ‘Shahdat’ (Martyrdom) has been romanticized in Kashmir added to lack of political opportunities to resolve one of the longest standing dispute that youth are luring to the former idea.

The region has witnessed a 30-year armed insurgency to free it from Indian rule witnessed a new wave of uprising after a local militant, Burhan Wani was shot dead by Government Forces on July 8, 2016. The following five months of violence claimed 90 lives and injured 11,000.

The Home Ministry has asked Jammu and Kashmir state to formulate a surrender policy for militants and provide the young men with an economic rehabilitation program to bring them back to the mainstream, as per media reports.

At least 450 people, including civilians, militants and armed forces, were killed in the state last year, said a report by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society released in January. The killings of civilians were the highest ever recorded, it said.

By official records, an average of 1,500 people have been killed each year over the last 30 years in Kashmir, compared with the annual average of 1,200 killed in the Israeli-Palestine conflict since 1920.

Published in News

February 13

The Srinagar-Jammu highway today remained closed for the second consecutive day due to snow, landslides and slippery road conditions.

The national highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley and Jammu was closed yesterday after fresh snowfall.

Meanwhile, the highway, linking the Ladakh region with Kashmir valley and the Mughal road remained closed since December last year due to non clearance of snow.

Published in News

February 13

One more Dead Body of army personnel found at Sujawan Encounter site inside the army Camp, taking the Death toll to 7 (including 6 army personal & 1 civilian).

The Government Forces have been conducting search operations inside the Army base of 36 brigade of the Jammu Kashmir Light Infantry.

As per reports, 3 Militants, 6 Army men and 1 Civilian has been killed so far in the encounter, Many Civilians also sustained injuries.

The Indian Army has called it a Fidayeen Attack and held Jaish e Muhmmad operating from other side of the LOC responsible for the attack.

Pertinently a group of Fidayeen had entered the Army compound in wee hours of the morning in Sunjwan area of Jammu.

"There is no firing on either of the sides other than some occasional gun shots being heard, " Sources told The Kashmiriyat.

However the Indian Army has said that one militant is still holed up inside the Army compound and the operation is still on.

Published in News
Monday, 12 February 2018 15:35

Srinagar Airport Closed Due to Snowfall

February 12

The Sringar International Airport was today locked down due to snowfall in the Kashmir valley.

Flights to/from Srinagar were delayed with consequential impact across network.

"Due to snowfall, runway at Srinagar Airport has been closed until further notice," an airport official told The Kashmiriyat.

Published in Kashmir

February 12

A gunfight broke out between militants and government forces at Karanagar area of Srinagar City on Monday morning.

A police officer told The Kashmiriyat,that two militants carrying pithu bags and armed with AK 47 appoaching towards CRPF camp of 23 bn at Karanagar was observed by the alert OP sentry who immediately open fire at around 0430 hrs.

“Immediately search operation of the camp periphery launched,” he said.

The officer said that after several hours of search operation the militants were traced and accordingly an exchange of gunfire started between the two sides.

Earlier, CRPF has claimed to have repulsed the attack, however sources said that the militants had reportedly managed to sneak inside the CRPF camp of 23 bn at Karanagar.

The police officer meanwhile told The Kashmiriyat, that it can not be ruled out that the assailants might be fidayeens.

 

LIVE UPDATES

1100: Heavy Exchange of Gunfire ensues between Militants and Government forces

1120: More Troopers rushed to the spot

1150: The Government forces have cordoned off the entire area around Karan Nagar

1130: Clashes begin between Civilians and Government forces

1202: CRPF man critically wounded during the Gunfight Succumbs to his injuries, Operation Continues.

1225: "2 militants tried to barge into CRPF headquarters in the morning. They couldn't enter the headquarters but sneaked in a building close to the HQ. 5 families have been evacuated. Operation is on," IG CRPF Ravideep Sahai

1238: CRPF jawan killed in the encounter has been identified as Mujahid Khan.

1250: More Troopers from Indian Army and SOG of Jammu Kashmir Police rushed in as At least two fidayeen militants hold up in a building inside CRPF camp premises.

1310: Clashes Intensify in Srinagar, Tear Smoke Shells being used to disperse the protesters.

1325: Firing continues between militants hold up in a building and Government Forces.

1400: Militants Allegedly cornered as Troopers move in closer to the building.

1415: Policeman Critically Injured, Shifted to the Army hospital for treatment.

1500: Mobile Internet Suspended in Srinagar.

1520: Clashes continue, spread to nearby localities around encounter site.

1530: Mehbooba Mufti calls for talks with Pakistan.

1600: Army brings in more weaponry, Troops.

1622: Lashkar e Toiba Claims responsibility of the attack, says it has nothing to do with Sunjwan Attack.

1700: LED Lights installed.

1800: Encounter is still going on, Details will soon be made available, says CRPF

1900: No Firing on either side, Silence prevails as Government forces hardly make any movement.

2000: Occasional Bullet Shots heard

2030:Heavy Firing Starts on both the sides.

2100: Sounds of Huge blasts being heard in the locality amidst heavy firing.

2130: Firing and blasts continue near the encounter side.

DAY 2

0900: After a Lull, Fresh Firing starts, Operation Intensifies

1000: 1 Militant Killed, Identity not confirmed.

1130: Firing Continues on both the sides, Encounter may be in it's final stage.

1145: Second Militant Killed, Operation Continues.

1230: Mopping Operations Start, Heavy Presence of Troopers conducting Search Operations.

1300: Encounter Ends with the death of two Militants, 1 CRPF Man, 1 Policeman Wounded.

1320: Unconfirmed reports suggest that both the Militants are Locals, residents of South Kashmir.

Published in News

February 11

The first documentary of famous Kashmir Journalist, Fahad Shah titled ' Bring Him back' was released today on the 34 death anniversary of Maqbool Butt, the founder of Jammu Kashmir Liberation front.

The film is produced by Talat Butt, Co-produced by RåFILM Sweden and JKTV Manchester.

The film that has been shot over a period of three years from 2013 to 2015 in Kashmir was released for public on Sunday.

It was initially released in London at the University of Westminster in 2015 and later on screened at the Humboldt-University of Berlin, Lund University of Sweden, British Parliament, This is the first time that the filmmakers have released the film worldwide for public.

Fahad Shah's documentary follows Shahmali Begum, the 84-year-old mother of Bhat, who has been campaigning to get her son's mortal remains back to Kashmir for last 34 years.

The film's director, Fahad Shah, who was educated in London, is a journalist and editor currently based in Kashmir frequently writes for international publications. He is the founding editor of The Kashmir Walla magazine and the editor of the anthology Of Occupation and Resistance: Writings from Kashmir (2013). 

Fahad Shah has ground reported from nooks and corners of Kashmir valley bringing the issues of utmost concern in public domain. He is currently working on his second book.

The producer of the Documentary, Talat Bhat is a Sweden based Kashmiri activist, documentary filmmaker, and trade union campaigner, who has a Masters degree in Media Production and is researching the impacts of new media technologies in conflict zones. 

Link to film: https://www.facebook.com/JammuKahsmirTV/videos/1644805638887849/

Published in News
Sunday, 11 February 2018 08:29

Maqbool Bhat- A memoir

February 11

The concerns of Maqbool resound in the poem that he wrote about a widespread anxiety underpinning the Kashmiri people during his incarceration at Srinagar Jail.

Taksuur yeli gasih shesthrwen panjran
Adeh hai nairan saen arman
Baaleh yaar, yeli sheen gali
Adeh hai nairan saen armaan

When the cages will be decimated
Our dreams will come to life
When snow will melt from mountains
Our dreams will come to life.

 

Writing his story on 12 April 1972 from Camp Prison Lahore in a letter about the initiation of his political career, Maqbool Bhat wrote:

“It was 1945 or 1946 when I was eight or nine years old child. At this time Kashmir was ruled by the Dogra Family and the entire Kashmiri nation was living a life of slavery. One of the many forms of slavery is called feudalism. The Dogra rulers had appointed jagirdars in our country. The peasants did all the labour but the owners of the lands and their produce were these very jagirdars.”

The First Political action of Maqbool Bhat found its genesis in the Marxist Theory, “Social classes and the accompanying class struggles inherently exist in a capitalistic society. In their 1848 political pamphlet ‘The Communist Manifesto’, Marx and Friedrich Engels explained how capitalism creates two classes of people in the society: The proletarians composed of the working class and the bourgeois composed of the capitalists or the owners of the means of production.ean then.”

It was the feudal system in the Maharaja’s Kashmir that forced Maqbool Bhat to participate in the first political action in his life long struggle against suppression, occupation and for equality, freedom and social justice.

Maqbool Bhat commenting on the inequality carried out by wealthy Political assailants wrote, “Therefore when hundreds of children laid themselves down in front of the Jagirdar’s car he was pleaded either to stop the further collection of grains or crush these starved and naked children under his car. I was also amongst these children and remember till this day that great big hue and cry.”

Maqbool Bhat was born on 18th February 1938 to a peasant family in Trehgam village Tehsil Handwara, district Kupwara. His father was called Ghulam Qadir Bhat. Maqbool Bhat was 11 years when his mother died. His father married again to provide mothering for his children. From second wife he had two sons, Manzoor and Zahoor and three daughters. The early years of Maqbool Bhat’s life, like thousands of other Kashmiri children were shaped by the harsh living conditions that characterized the life of peasants at this juncture of Kashmir history.

Maqbool Bhat in his teenage used to gather people from his village and discuss with them the ills of growing capitalism and ‘suppression’ of lower classes of the society. Maqbool during those days was very vocal against the power infested into the hands of wealthy men and his idea of Freedom was where all people be it peasants, Farmers or any class, caste or gender of the society, it should be treated equally.

Recalling his migration from one part of Kashmir to the other in an interview with weekly ‘Zindgi’ (life) after the Ganga Hijacking in 1971, Maqbool Bhat said:

“The arrests of freedom fighters post the arrest of Sher e Kashmir (Sheikh Abdullah) also started at the same time. My last exam was on 2nd of April and Sheikh was rearrested on 27th. Student activists were chased and arrested.”

Maqbool Continued, I was also an obvious target. Therefore, I went underground. After three months when the result came, I asked my father to go and bring the ‘temporary certificate’. Then we came to Pakistan in August 1958. First we came to Lahore but then in September 1958 settled in Peshawar.”

 In this journey that changed his life course forever Maqbool Bhat was accompanied by his uncle Abdul Aziz Bhat.

To take care of his expenses Maqbool joined ’Injam’, a weekly magazine, as sub-editor and started working life as a journalist. He finished his MA (from Pehswar university) in Urdu literature and worked with ‘Anjam’ till the start of full time politics in 1960. Meanwhile his marriage was arranged by his uncle with a Kashmiri woman Raja Begum in 1961. He had two sons from this wife, Javed Maqbool born in 1962 and Shaukat Maqbool in 1964. In 1966 he married to a school teacher Zakra Begum and had a daughter Lubna Maqbool from her.

Maqbool Bhat contested and won the Kashmiri diaspora seat from Pehsawar in 1961.On 12th May 1963 the middle class Kashmiri activists including journalists, students, businessmen and lawyers began oppose the proposals by the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers for dividing Kashmir on communal basis. This committee was headed by the Kashmir State Council member GM Lone who few years back Maqbool Bhat had campaigned for him. After the end of India Pakistan talks without any conclusion the committee also became inactive.

In an encounter with the soldiers while crossing the Line of Control for the first time, one of the NLF members Aurganzeb from Gilgit got killed and Kala Khan received injuries. Eventually Maqbool Bhat and two of his comrades, Kala Khan and Amir Ahmed were arrested. The government of Kashmir wanted the case to be dealt in a military court. But the case was heard in civil court for two years. The verdict was given in August 1968. Two among three were given death (Maqbool Bhat and Amir Ahmed) and one (Kala Khan) life sentence. Their members from Kashmir were given from three months to three years which included Nearly three hundred people including students, engineers, teachers, traders and government employees and they belonged to all parties including Plebiscite Front, Congress, and National Conference etc.

But Maqbool Bhat knew more work was to be done so they started planning escape from the prison and within a month and half managed to escape from the prison in Srinagar.It took them 16 days to reach to the first border check post of Azad Kashmir on 25th December where they were interrogated in the interrogation centre of Muzaffarabad till March 1969.

They were released and in November 1969 during the annual convention of Plebiscite Front Maqbool Bhat was elected as its president.

While recognizing the set a back of the premature exposure of NLF in the IOK, Maqbool Bhat was of the opinion that the above incident inspired and motivated more Kashmiris to join the armed struggle. Explaining this point in the above interview he says ‘now we have entered in a new phase. Not only are we able to speak in the language of power that is the only language India understands but also are able to make the world community, which has ignored our existence, to recognize us. In this world you have to have your existence recognised. We have our existence recognised and we will rest only when the existence of the entire Kashmiri nation is recognised, Inshallah. (op. cit.)

After being elected as the president of PF Maqbool Bhat spent next few years in campaigning for the political rights in Gilgit Baltistan and ‘Azad’ Kashmir. The PF launched a week long activities to highlight this situation and announced that next convention of PF will be held in those areas. During this week PF activists including Maqbool Bhat, Khaliq Ansari, Mir Qayyum, Amanullah Khan and GM Mir were arrested and forcefully exiled from the State boundaries.

What brought Maqbool Bhat into limelight was the Ganga, an Indian airliner that was hijacked on 30 January 1971 at 1305 hours while carrying 30 people including four crew members. The Hijackers were two young Kashmiris Hashim and Ashraf Qureshi. They brought the plane to Lahore airport and demanded the release of about two dozen political prisoners of NLF in the Indian prisons. On February the 1st 1971 all the passengers and crew were sent back to India via Amritsar and the ‘Ganga’ was set on fire. This situation later led to the 1971 war between India and Pakistan over the creation of Bangladesh.

The case started in December 1971 against Maqbool Bhat and after a long trial in which  all but Hashim Qureshi were cleared of all charges other than dealing with arms and explosives etc. He was sentenced for fourteen years imprisonment.

Maqbool Bhat was executed in revenge, no one was allowed to see him before execution and he was buried inside the prison premises after execution. Maqbool Bhat’s sister says ‘I wish they let us have some soil from his grave in the prison’

Another Kashmiri who was imprisoned in Tihar for his involvement in freedom struggle wrote to ‘Kashmir Times’ Britain in 1995 that during his time in Tihar prison he spoke to several prisoners and prison staff about Maqbool Bhat. They all remember Maqbool Bhat with great respect for his dignified behaviour and for his struggle in prison for the rights of prisoners and the lower rank prison staff.

“I can say without any hesitation that I have not designed any conspiracy nor have I been a part of any group of conspirers. My character has always been transparent and unambiguous. However, I have done one thing and that is the rebellion against ignorance, greed of wealth, exploitation oppression, slavery and hypocrisy. If the ruling class of Pakistan that is a product of imperialism and represented by the bureaucracy and military dictatorship of this country views this as conspiracy then I have no hesitation in accepting the charge,” Maqbool had said in a statement to an Indian Court.

If Maqbool’s Political career is deeply studied, he was a follower of the communist ideology and his constant referrals to distribution of capital and poverty is a testimony to the same. His vision regarding the class politics and shaping up of a classless society as foretold was nothing other than Marxism. The shaping of Kashmir political discourse puts him among the great global revolutionists of all time. 

The Only thing that remains to be found out is if Maqbool Bhat ever studied Marx, but surely the ideas and dogmas of the Marxist Political thought were deeply ingrained in him.

Published in Write ups

February 11

Thousands of people gathered early morning on Sunday in Shopian of South Kashmir to bid farewell to Saima aged 20 who succumbed on Saturday evening.

She was injured during a gunfight between militants and government forces on January 24 in Chaigund hamlet of the district.

With her death, the number of civilians killed in Shopian since January 25 has reached six.

Pro Freedom slogans and ‘taranas’ reverberated in the entire area  over public address systems during the funeral of the slain.

Eyewitnesses told The Kashmiriyat that thousands of people started rushing to Chaigund area of South Kashmir’s Shopian District from Islamabad (Anantnag) and all the other three districts of South Kashmir.

Multiple rounds of funeral prayers were held for her and she was laid to rest with moist eyes.

Saima was the sister of the slain Militant, Sameer Wani who was killed in the gun battle with forces.

Meanwhile a shutdown is being observed in Pulwama and Shopian districts against her killing without any strike call from any group.

Mobile Internet service has also been suspended in both the districts.

Published in Shopian
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