LONDON: Thousands of British Kashmiris staged an anti-India protest on the eve of India’s Republic Day against the rising human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir.
Kashmiris across the Line of Control (LoC) and in other parts of the world observed the Republic Day as black day to remind the world that India has snatched the right of self-determination from Kashmiris for the last over seven decades.
Protesters across the south and north areas of United Kingdom (UK) gathered in front of the Indian High Commission London and shouted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans: “One slogan one track, go India go back” and “We want freedom”.
While addressing the protesters, Tehreek-e-Kashmir (TeK) UK President Raja Fahim Kayani pointed towards the Indian High Commission building saying: “This building is the symbol of slavery and violent face of so-called Indian democracy.”
When the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) have no access to the basic right of vote and internet usage and in such environment India’s Republic Day is a bid to hoodwink the world community, he added.
Kayani went on to say that India is not a democracy but it has certainly put democracy in danger since the abrogation of Article 370 that gives the special status to IOK.
On August 5 last year, New Delhi had stripped the disputed region of the special autonomy it had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order.
“It is India that snatched the statehood, flag, constitution and autonomy of Kashmiris and now the Modi government is working to convert the only Muslim-majority state of India into minority to settle outsiders in IOJ&K,” he added.
Later, the TeK president and opposition leader in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly (AJKLA) Chaudhry Muhammad Yaseen presented a memorandum to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to use his office to end the siege in IOK.
"The Tehreek-e-Kashmir as representatives of 700,000 British Kashmiris urged the prime minister of UK to immediately call upon the government of India to immediately lift the curfew and reinstate Articles 370 and 35A, and permit independent UN observers access to IOK," the memorandum stated.
'India neither democratic nor a secular state'
In the memorandum, Kayani said that the people of Occupied Kashmir, their families and the world come out to oppose "a fascist, caste conscious regime that has caged millions of innocent people in IOK".
“During the Second World War, the Kashmiris gave their blood and stood up against fascism and again on 26th January 2020, we stood up against fascism before concentration camps start appearing in other parts of India and the world is again to plunge into darkness,” the memorandum also read.
In the memorandum, the TeK also highlighted that Ladakh, in the Himalayan territory, is an eco-sensitive region that has been turned into a union territory directly under the control of Modi, with no state assembly. "This strategy will then be employed in other parts of India to take away people's land."
The beauty of this region known as 'paradise on earth` is being destroyed due to the seven decades long occupation in the region.
The memorandum also underscored atrocities by the Indian government — violating the UN basic principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials and the UN code of conduct for law enforcement officials.
“Over a hundred thousand people have already been killed in Kashmir. Under The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Indian armed forces can kill, rape and torture with immunity from prosecution, and since promotions and bonuses are linked to the number of people killed, and innocent people are killed in fake encounters to gain promotions. These troops will soon be deployed into other parts of India with equally disastrous consequences,” the memorandum reads.
In the memorandum it was also mentioned that the Kashmir dispute is an international issue and Justice for Kashmiris is responsibility of the international community and upon the UK— it is a long-standing moral obligation.
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