More than 70 days have passed since Kashmir blackout
On August 5, India’s government under the leadership of its populist Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to strip Kashmir off its autonomy. It has been more than 70 days since the Kashmir blackout where all forms of communication have been curtailed for Kashmiris. On Monday, a glimmer of hope came in the form of post-paid mobile phone lines being opened for calls for 4 million Kashmiris, but millions others remain in the blackout, still.
All Kashmiri lives are bearing consequences of political instability and here are some of those countless heartbreaking stories:
1. Stepping outside of homes is not an option and so education is being compromised for these children because of the Kashmir blackout
Two bright school kids from DPS Srinagar on my News Wiz show: both haven’t gone to school since August 5. relying on private tuition/home work instead. ‘How do we go when there is no mobile network, our parents don’t want to take any risks!’Two months no school! Normalcy anyone?
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) October 11, 2019
2. The economy is collapsing and people are suffering. Shayan Nabi is one of the many people who suffered
Shayan had to dissolve his company because of the internet shutdown in Kashmir. He shared his story on Twitter, and while he received sympathies, he also faced backlash.
“I’m just a common concerned citizen from Kashmir,” he said while talking to MangoBaaz, “As a businessman POV it has had a huge impact on the economy of Kashmir, KCCI gave an estimate of around $1.4bn loss in the last two months.”
he further explained, “I am a very small entity, my losses are pretty small because I was just a startup, but people have lost a lot due to this communication blockade and lockdown of Kashmir.”
3. Children below the age of 18 are being abducted during the Kashmir blackout and their families have no idea about their whereabouts
India’s war on childhood in #Kashmir:
J&K police admit to ‘arresting’ 144 minors since August 5. https://t.co/Oh74z0j6Ss
— nooran🍁 (@purpleremnants) October 1, 2019
4. This nine-year-old boy, whose mother had passed away and was abandoned by his father, was arrested by the Kashmiri police when he went out to get a loaf of bread. He spent two days in lockdown and was BEATEN till he bled. He was left traumatized for life.
One of the 144 children that were picked up by the police between August 5 and September 23, was this nine-year-old
“I started bleeding but they showed no mercy and took me to the police station,” the nine-year-old said, “My grandmother had sent me to a baker to buy bread. I showed them the loaf and told them I had no parents. But they paid no heed and locked me up for two days.”
the grandmother further explained that the experience had scarred him such that he turned into a recluse.
Kashmir doesn't record the exact number of children being treated. However, according to a study by IMHANS the number of children treated in the psychiatric ward of the Srinagar hospital almost doubled between 2016 and 2019, from around 17,000 to 30,000.https://t.co/t3tCTyJAim
— Ali (@Gaamuk) May 21, 2019
5. Helpless Kashmiri women have to endure harassment every day at the hands of Indian troops “guarding” them during the Kashmir blackout
The Kashmiri police don’t forgive children, they do not forgive women. They do not stop at physical torture. Kashmiri mothers, sisters, wives and daughters encounter absolute horrors when they have to face assault.
"Women said they have seen members of armed forces unzip their pants in front of them…The forces also threatened women giving the example of the alleged mass rapes of Kunan Poshpora in 1991." :Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression #Kashmir https://t.co/WLUJvQbGgu
— nooran🍁 (@purpleremnants) October 10, 2019
6. This pregnant woman risked her life to bring a new life in a chaotic hell that Kashmir has become
The inability to travel within Kashmir, the shut down of all public transport comes at the cost of unborn babies. It comes at the cost of wailing mothers, it comes at the cost of the lullabies that Kashmiri mother sing to their stillborns, at the cost of motherless infants.
“A pregnant woman was in severe labour pain,however, the police forces did not let her leave the region.The situation was so bad that she had to be brought to her mother's house for delivery. She's still suffering due to absence of essential medical care with no chemists open…”
— nooran🍁 (@purpleremnants) September 21, 2019
7. Women are one of the worst affected by the Kashmir blackout as doctors can’t help them cover basic hygiene for them anymore
basic necessities for women, like sanitary napkins
#Kashmir: Masarat Jan, a Valley-based doctor, said that women use old clothes and cotton to manage the situation during such crisis which ultimately takes a toll on their health. Unhygienic menstrual management could make women vulnerable to many diseases. https://t.co/qIzNF7g7mx
— nooran🍁 (@purpleremnants) September 25, 2019
8. Indian authorities have started using pellet guns and they have caused injuries. one of the victims is Insha, a 14-year old who was blinded.
“Sometimes I think about all this, and sometimes I cry,” says Insha, “I was in a coma for 12 days.”
“I want to write books about the injustice happening in Kashmir. I will write my story. I will write everyone’s story.”
On the other hand, here’s Insha who too was a 14-Year-Old Schoolgirl, when Indian pellets blinded her for life.
She too wants to write a book one day. A real schoolgirl with a real story. A story of the most unconscionable injustice. pic.twitter.com/Nz5buerP6e
— Mirza Waheed (@MirzaWaheed) October 10, 2019
9. Another victim of violence was 8-years-old Faizan Mir.
8 years old #FaizanMir who martyred on spot in #Indian shelling in #Kashmir on Thursday evening. His parents,2 siblings and 2 cousins were among the 13 wounded persons in #NeelumValley.@UNHumanRights @UN @hrw @amnesty @thesaarc @OIC_OCI @BBCUrdu @nytimesworld @AJENews @trtworld pic.twitter.com/iZwIsaWRVY
— All Kashmir Forum (@AKF_Official1) October 11, 2019
10. The declining health facilities have caused so many Kashmiris to lose their lives. one of them being Saja Begum’s 22-year-old son, Amir Farooq
“Mom!” he said, ” I’ve been bitten by a snake. I’m going to die.”
Amir’s mother shouted for help to the district hospitals. They arranged for an ambulance to take him to a hospital in Srinagar. However the ambulance was stopped by the soldiers on the way many times, and amir lost his life in the journey.
When the Siege ends, the statistics will be harrowing: #Kashmir
“At least a dozen patients have died because they could not call an ambulance or could not reach the hospital on time, the majority of them with heart-related disease”https://t.co/wsCFjPffTv pic.twitter.com/rudPXZOnpf
— nooran🍁 (@purpleremnants) October 7, 2019
11. People who have their loved ones stuck in Kashmir are fighting battles of their own. living in despair, hoping everything back home is okay
I kept brainwashing myself that “all must be well” with my family (parents in law, two brothers in law & their wives; two sisters in law and their spouses). Then one day I got a call from the cop station (only working phones in Srinagar) that Dad was dead.
— Marryam H Reshii (@reshii) October 7, 2019
12. This guy lost a close person in his life and the dead person’s family couldn’t find out until it was too late
13. Journalists are being imprisoned for speaking up the truth about the injustice in Kashmir like this editor of a news website who was detained by troops for reporting on the situation on-ground
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https://cpj.org/blog/2019/09/kashmirs-news-media-faces-existential-crisis-amid-.php #standwithkashmir #withkashmir #timeforkashmir #kashmirbleeds #soskashmir #endkashmirblockade #kashmir #alleyesonkashmir #violence #endtheoccupation #article370 #redforkashmir #freespeech #freedomofspeech #democracy #savedemocracy #deathofdemocracy #humanrights #militarization
It is not just about these 70 odd days, Kashmiris have been suffering since the past 72 years. They have been butchered mercilessly over these years over the game of power. Do their lives matter less? Does their blood hold no value? Or is the war between two third world countries more important than actual lives?
Cover image via: kashmirglobal.com