“We are sure to see that the problems which have been preventing Kashmir from realizing its true potential will go away and a new world of opportunities and possibilities will open for the people of J&K.”
These above-written words are of home ministry at the time of abrogation of Article 370. But the actual situation of Jammu and Kashmir is totally different.
The 11 months long lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir has led to the “denial of the right to bail and fair and speedy trial, coupled with misuse of draconian legislation, such as the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), to stifle dissent,” a report claimed.
A report by The Forum of Human Right in Jammu and Kashmir titled ‘The Impact of the Lockdowns on Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir, August 2019-July 2020’ has revealed
“Frequent closures, harassment at barricades and checkpoints, and restrictions on mobile telephony and internet connectivity, Counter-insurgency concerns have been given absolute priority over public, civilian and human security, leading to an across-the-board violation of human rights, including the vitiation of protections…” which immensely affected public health, and caused trauma and stress among the people.
This report is led by former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan Lokur and former member of the Group of Interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir Radha Kumar. The report also claimed that restrictions on the internet made it difficult for doctors to keep up with medical research, including the latest information on dealing with Covid-19.
Kashmir dispute is now Tri-lateralized-
The report stated that “China’s attempts to mobilize the UN Security Council against the August changes, and its own army’s May 2020 intrusions in Eastern Ladakh have added further diplomatic and security concerns for the Indian Government. They have also highlighted a tri-liberalization of the dispute over Kashmir between India, Pakistan and China, lending a new edge to the strategic China-Pakistan nexus against India, specifically in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Ceasefire violations increased-
The report said that due to sudden restrictions net infiltration increased and so did cease-fire violations which mounted from 449 in 2016 to 3,168 in 2019.
Plight of children and students-
Only 27.62% of households in J&K could access online classes against the national average 41%. Between Aug 2019-March 2020, schools opened for nearly two weeks. After the outbreak of Covid-19, 2G connectivity made students incapable to attend the online classes.
The report said the privileges of youngsters to a trauma-free environment was self-assertively overlooked and the effect on their studies was “severe”, as schools and universities have worked for scarcely 100 days since 2019.
400 people still in preventive detention-
According to the report 444 people were booked under Jammu and Kashmir’s Public Safety Act (PSA) of 1978. In total 6605 people were in prevention custody among them 144 are minor, including politicians, activities and stone- pelters, as per home ministry’s data.
Media suffered the most-
It said the media content, readership and incomes have endured a sharp decay bringing about numerous writers losing their positions. Additionally, it stated, the new media policy presented restriction by the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) in a joint effort with security offices and this was a “death blow to the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression.”
Effect on Industry-
As per the economic times huge no. of youth will face unemployment due clampdown despite the fact 23000 government posts are vacant. A report published in Observe Research Foundation claimed that 90000 jobs had gone in IT, handicraft and tourism due to clampdown. According to economic times industry bear the loss of 15000cr till December 2019.
Citizens of Kashmir are living like prisoners in their own state for about an year. Today, after a year when this huge step was taken, finding normalcy in Kashmir is as impossible as finding stars in Delhi’s pollution. Like always, we have also forgotten about this issue along with the government. Amidst the call for development and nationalism, the exploitation of Kashmiris, halting the lives of innocent children are nothing but collateral damage for all of us.
After one year we should also introspect that the aims, reasons for which government has locked the Kashmiris in their houses are accomplished or not.Or if those objectives are also being forgotten of just like * Democracy?
Written By Chanderveer Singh
Image Source Google