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Kashmiri police imitates Israel’s in arresting pro-freedom artist

Srinagar police spokesperson said that after counseling, 17 boys were handed over to their families by police in its endeavor to strengthen the bond between police and public and to ''bring teenagers back into the mainstream''. Their only crime was supporting the Palestinian cause.

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Indian police in Occupied Kashmir make headlines again for their freedom oppressing behavior. In recent viral news, a 32-year-old Mudasir Gull, a Kashmiri artist was reported to have been arrested on Friday by police after he drew graffiti in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Gull, along with 16 people were released on 16th May, two days after the arrest. The police spokesperson, SSP Srinagar Sandeep Chaudhary-IPS, said that the counseling session with the arrested ‘misguided youth’ and their families was held to “bring teenagers back into the mainstream.”

Talking to famous MENA region news agency AlJazeera, the family of the artist termed this arrest as an act of “censoring freedom of expression of an artist.”

Mudasir Gull’s sister Muzamil Firdous raised a question that while the entire world is speaking against Israel’s atrocities in Palestine, why is raising voice a crime for the Kashmiris?

The artist was made to deface the graffiti that read “we are Palestine” and depicted a woman sobbing with her head wrapped around the Palestinian flag.

Reportedly, a small group of people in the Indian-occupied Kashmir came out in support of Palestine following “Juma Prayers” on Friday.

Along with the artist, according to Aljazeera, a 30-year-old Imam has been arrested too for praying in solidarity with Palestinians.

The Imam’s only crime was leading a prayer to support the oppressed population of Palestine.

Read More: PM Imran Khan vows to stand with Gaza, Palestine

Gul’s relative and neighbor, Janbaaz Mustafa, was also worried for his 25-year-old brother Dilwaz, who was among those arrested on Saturday.

Speaking to Arab News, Mustafa said that Dilwaz made flags for the protest. Police arrested him because they said that we cannot protest against Israel.

He added, “This is how Kashmir is; where no one is allowed to speak, and police can do anything.”

SSP Sirinagar said, “The youth were properly counseled and advised to focus on their studies, professional work and utilize their energy in a positive direction.”

The airstrikes in Gaza have left nearly 188 Palestinians, including 55 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people wounded. Eight people in Israel have been killed, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.

Gaza-Sirinagar similarities

It is worth mentioning, that since the revocation of article 370 which granted Jammu and Kashmir a special status under the Indian Constitution, the government has had a tight grip on public affairs. Protests are seen as a trigger to the separatist movement that has been calm following the oppression by the government.

Read More: PM Imran Khan, Malaysia’s Mahathir discuss Palestine

Kashmir has been under a six-month-long lockdown since 2019, freedom to the movement was curtailed for almost a year and Internet services remained suspended for almost a year.

The situation right now is similar in Palestine, with media houses being a direct target of airstrikes, people being forcefully evicted out of their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, and protestors not being allowed to protest as they want.

Both areas are similarly experiencing systemic ethnic cleansing by their oppressors while fighting for their rights, thus Kashmir supports the Palestine struggle.

Showkat Hussain, a Srinagar-based political analyst, told Aljazeera that “Kashmiris have always been supportive of Palestine ever since the issue erupted.”

He added, “Though they (Kashmiris) have themselves been involved in a similar type of situation. But the fact that they too understand the pangs of subjugation made them more sensitive towards the Palestine issue as compared with other parts of the sub-continent.”

It must be remembered that the Indian stance is aligned with Israel, while Pakistan supports the Palestinian resistance.

Read More: Indian Gov’t website declares 97% of Kashmiris are Hindu

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