IOK lockdown enters 102nd day

Friday – November 15, 2019
SRINAGAR (India): In Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK), normalcy continues to elude the IOK Valley and Muslims-majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh regions as inhuman Indian military lockdown entered 102nd running day, on Thursday.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), restrictions under section 144 remain enforced. Although majority of the landline connections are functioning and voice calls on postpaid mobile phones are allowed but the residents continue to suffer immensely due to suspension of internet across all platforms, SMS and prepaid cellular services.

People in the IOK Valley are resisting Indian attempts to show some signs of normalcy returning in the territory by observing civil disobedience. As part of this informal movement, shopkeepers keep their shops shut for most part of the day and students stay away from educational institutions. Offices also witness thin attendance.

Meanwhile, as per a report, the Indian Army will soon use robots during cordon and search operations (CASO) in occupied Kashmir. These robots will be used to lob grenades at the buildings belonging to general public.

The Indian Ministry of Defence has already started the process of procuring around 550 robotic surveillance units with minimum 25 years of service life.

On the other hand, Brussels-based disinformation watchdog has cracked open a nexus of dormant companies including think tanks, non-government organisations (NGOs) and fake media outlets lobbying India’s diplomatic interests.

An investigation by European Union (EU) DisinfoLab, an NGO tracking sophisticated disinformation campaigns targeting EU countries and institutions, has listed some 265 such fake media outlets across 65 countries.

These platforms allegedly promote India’s geopolitical interests in the EU and also the United Nations (UN) by constantly targeting Pakistan. The entire campaign ultimately dovetails with India’s August 5, 2019, move and garner support for the New Delhi at international fora.

The recent controversial visit of members of European Parliament to the IOK Valley is also linked to such a global network of think tanks, NGOs, and media outlets.

A four-member panel of Kashmiri academics and civil rights activists during a talk at Encina Commons at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, termed India’s recent actions in occupied Kashmir as a siege and a continuation of a colonial occupation that had occurred since 1947.

The creation of the panel, hosted by the Stanford South Asian Society, was motivated by India’s August 5, 2019, decision of revoking special status of occupied Kashmir, blocking communications and deploying thousands of troops in the occupied territory. The panelists included Muskan Shafat, Hafsa Kanjwal, Ammad Wajahat Rafiqi and Ather Zia.