Protest in Manchester against ‘violence’ in Kashmir aimed at Muslim population
- Protest organised in Piccadilly Gardens supporting struggle of Kashmiri Muslims
- Campaign organised to raise awareness of alleged violations by Indian Army troops towards Kashmiri citizens
- Curfew imposed on 14m Kashmiri people
More than 80 people gathered in Piccadilly Gardens to protest against what they see as the “violation” of Kashmiri Muslims by Indian Army troops.
The protest was organised by Kashmir Campaign Global to raise awareness of what they say is the “outrageous” behaviour of the Indian army towards the citizens of Kashmir. Indian forces are currently stationed in Kashmir.
The situation worsened in August when the Indian government introduced a curfew on 14m people in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as imposing a communication blackout, media blackout and restrictions on movement.
One of the women from a family affected in Kashmir said: “I am a daughter of those parents who are stuck in a valley. It’s been two months now, no medication had been let through to Kashmir, no goods had been transported to Kashmir. I can’t imagine how people are surviving there.
“Children are taken by Indian forces, just to threaten and terrorise them. And their parents are just queuing outside the police station.
“I don’t understand what can 11-year-old do with a man with a gun? What kind of threat can 11-year-old boy could impose on a government?”
It has been 70 years since Kashmir issue flared up and it remains unresolved to this day. The states of Jammu and Kashmir were given an opportunity to either become a part of Pakistan or either become a part of India.
As Kashmir is a Muslim majority area, many citizens wanted to move towards Pakistan. Because of the issue over its status and partition, tensions in the area remain.
Speaking to NQ after the Manchester protest, the chairman of Kashmir Campaign Global, Zafar Ahmad Qureshi, said: “The struggle didn’t started in 1970s or 1980s, the struggle had started from last 72 years where people of Kashmir are still awaiting of that chance, to make decisions about their future, and if they want to be part of the dominion of Pakistan or India.
“The Human Rights team of United Nations has documented the violations of Kashmir on the ground. From imprisonment without any trials, without any legal justice system, all the way through to molestation, rape and killings. We know 10,000 of women on record, but we don’t know how many women off the record who had been raped and even gang raped.
“I wish United Nations would make any effort apart from peacekeeping statements. United Nations has a duty of international peacekeeping and security especially towards Kashmir. But we can’t see any positive reaction from United Nation.
“Now it’s important that any negotiations should include the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people.”