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They want to erase us’: the Kashmiri suburb defying Indian control

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by terry5, Sep 12, 2019 at 12:02 AM.

  1. terry5

    terry5 FULL MEMBER

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    They want to erase us’: the Kashmiri suburb defying Indian control
    Civilians in the Srinagar suburb of Anchar say they are engaged in a fight for existence

    Azhar Farooq in Srinagar
    Wed 11 Sep 2019 07.12 EDT

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/11/kashmiri-suburb-indian-control-anchar-srinagar



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    Prayers had barely finished when the teargas was fired and a trail of smoke arched in the sky. Security forces had launched another assault on Anchar, the only major pocket of resistance in Kashmir.

    “Others have only heard the word doomsday, we have lived a doomsday,” said Fazi, a grandmother who lives in Anchar, a suburb of Kashmir’s main city, Srinagar, situated on the banks of a lake of the same name.

    Teargas and pellets were fired into a park near to the shrine where crowds were attending prayers, she said. Residents rushed to the frontline on Anchar’s outskirts, barely 500 metres away, to push back against security forces. She said the assault, on 30 August, lasted five hours.


    “It was like rain. There were pellets everywhere, smoke everywhere,” she said. “We have no weapons. We have only God’s name and God will do justice with us.”

    It is now more than five weeks since the Indian government revoked the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir and placed the state under strict lockdown. Many Kashmiris fear that their way of life in India’s only Muslim-majority state is at risk. A heavy troop presence, a communication blackout and widespread detentions have mostly prevented large protests.

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    People run during clashes in Anchar last month. Photograph: Farooq Khan/EPA
    Paramilitaries control every inch of Srinagar, except Anchar. Residents, mostly creative artisans who weave pashmina shawls, have used JCBs to dig trenches around the neighbourhood. Tin sheets, waste containers, mesh wires and logs have been placed as barricades. At night, teams keep watch to spot if security forces are approaching.


    It is thought to be the first time in recent decades that civilians in Kashmir have prevented Indian paramilitaries and local police from entering an area. Entire families join in with the efforts. “When we throw a stone, our women are always there to give us a stone,” said one man.

    “We do it for three reasons,” said Mohammad Subhan, in his early 50s, who was among those who took part in the night watch. “One, so the youth are not detained. Two, so our homes are not ransacked. Three, so the honour of our daughters and women is not violated.”


    Subhan’s wife and four daughters were at the shrine of Jenab Sahab when the assault began. Like many women, Saima, 22, the eldest daughter, ran to help those defending Anchar.

    “It is the women who do all the logistics work: they gather the stones, they bring us the water, they bring us salt,” said one man. “It would be impossible to fight without their support.” Saltwater is used to counter the effect of teargas.

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    Women shout slogans during a protest in Anchar. Photograph: Farooq Khan/EPA

    Saima and two of her sisters – 14-year-old Maysara and 12-year-old Qurat – were wounded by pellets during the assault. A metal pellet pierced Maysara’s eye. She was smuggled to her aunt’s home elsewhere in Srinagar and underwent treatment in hospital.


    Qurat was wounded in the head. Saima was hit on the neck and arms. “First I felt like hot sand was thrown on me and then I felt my neck is burning,” said Saima.

    She was treated at the shrine late in the evening by doctors who had been smuggled into the neighbourhood. They administered painkillers and injections to prevent infections.

    “I don’t know how [Maysara] is, whether she is still admitted or she has been discharged,” said Subhan. The communications blackout means people have no idea if their relatives are safe.

    Fazi’s 22-year-old grandson, Bilal, was blinded in his right eye by a pellet. “The bleeding was not stopping, so we sent him to the hospital but doctors said they cannot save his eye,” said Bilal’s father, Mohammad Ramzan. “The doctors recommended that we should take him to a specialised eye hospital outside Kashmir.”

    He was smuggled out of the city. Ramzan has no idea where his son is or if he is safe.

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    ‘Welcome Taliban’ graffiti in Anchar. Photograph: Supplied/The Guardian
    Phone and internet services were suspended last month when the government in Delhi made its revocation announcement. Some landlines have since been restored but these remain unreliable. Few in Kashmir know about the scale of events in Anchar, and few in Anchar dare to leave their neighbourhood.


    Elsewhere in Srinagar, markets remain shut – an act of defiance on the part of workers, who refuse to comply with the Delhi government’s claim that everything in the region is returning to normal. Public transport also remains shut.

    The revocation of Kashmir’s special status stripped the region of its constitution and flag. Rules that prevented outsiders from buying land in the territory also disappeared.

    In Anchar, posters of fighters are pasted across shuttered shops. “Don’t call them militants,” a young man said. “They are mujahideen, they fight for our cause.” Many believe these fighters are their only source of hope in the wake of Delhi’s decision.

    The Indian government has said its actions will rid the state of terrorism and bring development. It maintains that the situation remains calm.

    “They say things are normal. What normalcy is this?” said Subhan. “They have shut our main mosques. Jamia Masjid is locked. If this is just the beginning, what will they do afterwards?”

    He said he would continue to take part in the night watch. “Anchar is fighting for all of Kashmir,” he said.

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    A student’s pellet wounds. Photograph: Supplied/The Guardian
    At night-time, groups of youths are stationed along routes into the city. “When the alarm is raised, everyone comes to defend this place,” a college student said at his home where he was recovering from pellet injuries.

    More than 100 pellets were lodged in his body, neck and head, he said. “It was very painful. When I was hit it was like a hundred needles had pricked me.”


    Khatija, his mother, said her heart trembled every night as she feared another raid. “God should now have mercy on us,” she said.

    Khatija’s elder son, a 24-year-old shawl weaver who regularly attends the night guard, said people came out of their houses “like bees” when the alarm of an incoming raid was raised. “We are like one family here, like a folded hand,” he said.

    He described Anchar’s resistance as a “fight for existence”, adding: “We are fighting for haqq[truth], we are fighting for azadi [freedom].”

    He added: “They want to erase us, they want to erase our history. We will not let that happen.”




     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 12:08 AM
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  2. masterchief_mirza

    masterchief_mirza FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan and its sons and daughters shall not rest until justice is wrought upon the Hindutva nation. We shall fight these zalimuun and avenge every crippling pellet wound, every dishonoured woman, every tortured innocent, every weeping elder and each and every martyr.
     
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  3. Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

    Pan-Islamic-Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    May Allah swt give them success and may the hidden hand of Allah swt be with them in all their battles.
     
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  4. Trango Towers

    Trango Towers ELITE MEMBER

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    No guns...
    Make crossbow. You have to learn to adopt. Throwing stones is not enough
     
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  5. Dual Wielder

    Dual Wielder FULL MEMBER

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    Its the duty of Pakistan to protect them, they are its citizens.. they were the unfortunate ones who were not liberated 70+ years ago, you can only subdue Indian armed terrorists by slaughtering them, we can never have a peaceful coexistence with these heartless monsters, they need to be put down like the rabid dogs they are.. their mere presence has made whole of IOK najis
     
  6. American Pakistani

    American Pakistani ELITE MEMBER

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    We have shameful rulers. These ch thinks they will achieve peace with bharti terrorists. Here bharat now hit another sixer by claiming Pakistan theory is responsible for world terrorism. Never we had such bangle wearing govt in history.
     
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  7. WarKa DaNG

    WarKa DaNG FULL MEMBER

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    Why not supply them with weapons !!! Till when we will hear their cries