Media blockade in Kashmir

Condemn the attempt of the state to silence the voices of protest of the Kashmiri people!

On July 16, police raided the offices and printing presses of some of the major daily newspapers in the Kashmir Valley late at night, confiscated the printed issues of the newspapers and arrested their employees. From July 16-21, a complete ban on all printed newspapers was imposed throughout the Kashmir Valley.

The Kashmir Times reported that the policemen seized the metallic printing plates and more than 70,000 printed copies of the newspaper and forced the printing press to close down. They assaulted the employees present, snatched away their cell phones and beat up those who tried to resist the police. Similar attacks by the police were reported by another leading English daily Rising Kashmir and other newspapers. In some cases, the employees were taken into custody and asked to identify the newspaper distribution sites. Vehicles of the media were seized and their occupants and drivers arrested.

Telephone, mobile and internet services have already been shut down throughout the Kashmir valley since July 9.

The police, CRPF and army have been brutally attacking and killing the youth and people, who have come out onto the streets in thousands, protesting the fake encounter killing of Burhan Wani and the firing and attacks on protestors throughout the Valley. Bullets, pellet guns and tear gas have been used to attack the people. More than 45 people have been reported killed by the security forces, while more than 2000 lie wounded. Women and children have been mercilessly attacked. Children as young as five are among the nearly 600 reported with serious pellet injuries on their faces and eyes, many of them in danger of losing their eyesight forever. Observers and human rights activists have noted that the army and security forces appear to be attacking with the aim, not of confining the protests, but of killing and beating down the Kashmiri people into submission. News reporters and journalists investigating the cases of victims of police repression have been threatened and harassed.

The Communist Ghadar Party of India condemns the killing of innocent persons and the continued state terror unleashed by the Indian state in Kashmir. The Communist Ghadar Party of India condemns the attacks on the media by the Indian state and its security forces.

The problem of Kashmir is a political problem which demands a political solution. Crushing the people and their voices under the jackboots of the Army and denying the people the right to self-determination in the name of “defending national unity and territorial integrity” has been the worn out line of the ruling class of our country.

The AFSPA gives the army and paramilitary forces complete freedom to carry out all kinds of bestialities against the people. The course pursued by the Indian state and the rabid, chauvinist, anti-Kashmiri propaganda of the ruling class has been the biggest factor endangering the unity and solidarity of our people. In the name of “defending the unity and territorial integrity of India”, major sections of the monopoly capitalist controlled TV media spout venom against the Kashmiri people who are demanding an end to state terror, portraying them as “anti-national”. Kashmiri youth and students in other parts of the country face brutal attacks by the state.

The Home Minister has shamelessly defended the brutality of the security forces and blamed Pakistan for the violence and deaths of innocent people in Kashmir. This is in accordance with the standard practice of the Indian state – to justify its barbaric repression of the Kashmiri people and the gross violation of human rights in the name of “fighting cross border terrorism”, without producing a shred of evidence to substantiate its claims.

However, any serious attempt to expose the criminality of the Indian state, its security forces and intelligence agencies in Kashmir, to bring out the injustice done to the Kashmiri people and the real aspirations of the Kashmiri people, has been brutally crushed. Newspapers in Kashmir have been attacked several times in the past as well, in 2008, 2010 and 2013, and other times, in a desperate attempt to suppress any news and information about the atrocities of the Indian state in Kashmir.

The Indian state must end this policy of state terror towards the people of Kashmir. The hated AFSPA must be repealed immediately and the army withdrawn to the barracks. The problem in Kashmir is not a “law and order” problem, but a political problem requiring a political solution. Respecting the aspiration of the Kashmiri people for self-determination, to live free from state terror, in peace and dignity, lies at the core of any just and enduring solution to the problems of the Kashmiri people.

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aug 1-15 2016    Voice of the Party    2016   

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