Braid chopping: An act of terror

Indian held territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the valley in particular, has been at the heart of a violent conflict for decades. Since the people of the region are engaged in freedom struggle, India that had forcibly and illegally occupied the territory,  has deployed over half a million military and paramilitary troops to suppress the legitimate struggle of Kashmiris thereby choking every dissenting voice by the dint of force. On one hand India has been using all its hard power to crush the popular sentiment through use of excessive force, while on the other its secret agencies seem hectically engaged in hatching conspiracies to deflect people’s attention away from the real issue.

The shameful incidents of braid chopping taking place in the restive region have refreshed the old memories when people, in early 90s, were frightened and petrified in similar fashion under the pretext of Bhoots (ghosts) and there was a widespread perception that these ‘ghosts’ were men from security agencies trying to scare people. After a long time the ghost of terror, with ghostly goals, has raised its head again in order to create chaos and anarchy by attacking vulnerable segment of the society.  These harrowing incidents of terror are by and large seen as a well-planned ploy of Indian agencies to deviate people’s attention from the ongoing freedom movement besides creating chaos and anarchy in society.  It is quite interesting to see that the vicious campaign that has been going on unabated in the region over past several weeks has been set off at a time when human rights violations and use of lethal pellet guns by Indian troops in Kashmir were making headlines all over the world. In a short span of time more than 100 braid chopping incidents have been reported at different places in Kashmir.

These ruthless attacks carried out by unknown attackers have sent shockwaves across the valley. The womenfolk that have been worst victim of the long-drawn conflict are shell-shocked, they are under attack. In a traumatized society like Kashmir, women have been always on the receiving end. Being vulnerable segment of the society the women in IHK have witnessed worst kind of oppression at the hands of occupation forces. Most importantly they are traumatised due to prolonged depression of conflict in which a huge number of women have become widows. They have lost their loved ones; husbands, brothers and sons, some of whom were killed in cold blood and some never returned.

It goes without saying that India has been responsible for countless war crimes in Kashmir which include extra-judicial custodial killings, enforced disappearances, mass graves, and sexual violence of the worst kind. Besides facing other challenges the mothers, sisters and daughters of Kashmir having witnessed their near and dear ones hunted down, maimed and killed by occupying forces have gone through trials and tribulations of serious nature. And now the braid chopping attacks which are seen as an attack on the honour and dignity of the women have put them in serious trouble forcing them to live in a state of constant fear and consternation.

The authorities at the helm of affairs seem quite unmoved over the sorry state of affairs in the region and the puppet chief minister who happens to be a woman has miserably failed to initiate any action against the perpetrators involved in these dastardly incidents despite the fact that many security personnel in civvies were spotted on the scene and caught red handed by the people at different places. These shocking incidents, on the other hand, speak volumes about how low the Indians can stoop to while carrying out their sinister designs against Kashmiris.

It is worth to mention here that Kashmiris in the recent past have witnessed many similar conspiracies whereby Indian secret agencies tried to create anarchy in the valley. The vicious campaign is largely seen as part of greater conspiracy to instill fear amongst Kashmiri masses who refused to budge before Indian tyranny and oppression. And Indian authorities have yet again resorted to this kind of shameful tactics to target the women-folk of the region who have created a new history of bravery and resilience.

In today’s civilized world no society can tolerate such kind of atrocious and shameful acts, which amounts to brazen assault on dignity and honour of womenfolk. It is an act of terror that should be deplored by all and sundry.

The PDP led coalition government in IoK has miserably failed in protecting life, honour and dignity of Kashmir people besides failing in fulfilling the avowed responsibilities under UNCIP resolutions as under this agreement both the governments, India and the local government of the disputed territory, are duty bound to protect the interests of the people of the troubled region. It is time that the UN should take effective notice of the matter and impress upon the government of India to fulfill its avowed responsibilities under UNCIP resolutions.

About Arif Qureshi

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