India Starts Launching FIR on Users After Months of Ban of Social Media in Kashmir

India appears to have lost all of its democratic credentials under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as police are registering FIRs against the youth from occupied Kashmir for misusing social media. Will these actions aggravate the volatile situation?

Kashmir

As Indian armed forces and police in occupied Kashmir are committing gross violations of human rights, the youth is being subjected to draconian laws. In a latest development, Indian police have registered a general FIR — the first of its kind — against “various” suspects in occupied Kashmir on the charge of misusing social media.

An official of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government condemned the Indian move as “yet another draconian measure” on the likes of mass graves, mass detentions and mass slaughter.

Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, the senior minister in AJK government, in a tweet claimed it “happens nowhere but in India-occupied Kashmir that an entire population is booked for exercising its right to expression. The world must take note of it.”

The FIR was registered by Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone in Srinagar against “various” social media users for “defying government orders and misusing social media platforms”, according to a press release issued by police headquarters in Srinagar.

India had clamped communications blackout in occupied Jammu and Kashmir on Aug 5 last year after stripping the disputed region of its special status and placed it under a military lockdown.

It is important to note that India is on its way to becoming a Hindu extremist state. Since the electoral win of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, the country has been undergoing a massive socio-political change and moving towards an extremist Hindu state. Media reports suggest that freedom is under threat in India where secular values are being replaced with extremist Hindu ideologies where religious minorities enjoy little space to practice their religious teachings.

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Muslims are the most vulnerable target to the extremists in India who offer them two options; become Hindu or leave the country. “First, a campaign was launched to convert religious minorities to Hinduism. The right-wing groups called it ‘home-coming.’ Now, they are demanding bans on certain books and beef-eating. Those who don’t listen to these groups are being targeted every now and then,” Rakesh Batabyal, an associate professor at the Centre for Media Studies in New Delhi, told an international media outlet.

Human Rights Violations in Kashmir

Pakistan has been making all possible efforts to highlight the state of human rights in Indian occupied Kashmir where innocent Kashmiris are being targeted. Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had called upon the United Nations Human Rights Council to immediately set up an independent investigation commission to probe human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir as recommended in the two OHCHR reports on the disputed territory.

A report was also issued by the UN expressing severe reservations over human rights violations in the valley. The report of the United Nations’ Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on Kashmir concluded that the situation in India occupied Kashmir is worst. Christine Chung, one of the authors of the report was invited to the event by the sub-committee.

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It is worth noting here that the OHCHR issued its first-ever report on the situation in Kashmir June 14, 2018. The report highlights the protests after the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in 2016 and the brutal use of pellet guns against protesters among the human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir. The report noted that Indian armed forces not only use force indiscriminately but also rape and humiliate Kashmiri women. A member of the European Parliament also called on India “to end violence against women & children in IOK. Voices of Kashmiri women & children must be heard.”

The international community has raised its concerns over the brutalities being committed by India. Recently, the European Parliament stood up for the people of Kashmir. “Members of the European Parliament called on India to immediately put a halt to its atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir and carry out investigations into the incidents of grave human rights violations.”

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