India’s armed forces reached a new low point in long annals of human rights abuses in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir when they beat and then tied a 24-year-old shawl weaver named Farooq Ahmad Dar to the front of a jeep on April 9, using him as a “human shield” against stone-throwing crowds. As the jeep drove through nine villages, Mr. Dar lamented, “I saw people breaking into tears on seeing my state.” Dar was on his way to a relative’s house in a nearby village to attend funeral services of a family member.
The matter only surfaced when a video went viral on social media. This incident provides an astute insight into a revolution that has only grown over nearly three decades. The abuse of Dar occurred the day Kashmiris voted to fill a seat in the local Srinagar Assembly. Pro-freedom people had called for a boycott of the vote. Despite that Dar voted. Such cases of abuse are not new. Conflict reached an all-time high last July after a 22-year-old nationalist was killed by Indian security forces. The police retaliated to the unrest by firing on protesters with pellet guns, killing and blinding thousands so far.
Such fettling will push Kashmiris into a black hole where increasing brutishness will only be met by an increase in the existing bellicosity leading to conditions of extreme desolation and depravity. Hence, Modi’s government must warrant that human rights are being protected in Kashmir and ensure that Kashmiris are given a fair shot at a prosperous future… or at least a peaceful one. This is in the best interests of not only itself but for the entire region.