India replicating Israeli model of West Bank’s settler colonialism in IIOJK

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The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC-AJK) chapter and Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFK) jointly organized a press briefing for the launch of a report on the imminent situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of New Delhi’s settler colonial programme.

The report titled Colonial Diary—a repository of settler colonial diktats in IIOJK— was launched to apprise the international community of Indian machinations political, legal, and economic subjugation of Kashmiris which amounts to war crimes under International Law.

The report has been compiled by the team of Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFK). It includes around 220 legislations, administrative changes, orders, notifications, and press releases by India in the last three years (August 2019 – August 2022) after the abrogation of Article 370.

Colonial Diary is the repository of settler colonial diktats by the Indian administration in IIOJK. The documents included in the repository are the various legislations, administrative changes, orders, notifications, and press releases by the Indian state after the abrogation of Article 370.

The repository includes various laws, articles, and bills on different issues and with diverse themes including Land acquirement for military purposes, the Roshini Act, Termination of government employees under 311 (2) (c), Waqf properties, Pandit Migration, Jammu Kashmir Reorganization Act (2019), Domicile Certificate, Delimitation Commission, etc.

On August 05, 2019, Indian parliament unilaterally passed Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 containing provisions to reconstitute the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories (UTs) called Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, and became effective on 31 October 2019. The Reorganization act consists of 103 clauses, extends 106 central laws to the UTs, repeals 153 state laws, and abolishes the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council.

According to Al-Jazeera’s October 28, 2020 report, “Kashmiris fear the new laws are aimed at a land grab to dilute the Muslim-majority character of the region, whose partial autonomy was scrapped in August 2019, bringing it under New Delhi’s direct control.”

Kashmiri lawmakers believe that it is a pathway to replicate the Israeli model of occupation and colonization of the West Bank in Kashmir towards disempowerment and dispossession of the locals, particularly Kashmiri Muslims, to exercise hegemonic control through new settlers.

The Narendra Modi-led BJP government is adamant to engineer the demography of Kashmir valley which has around 97 percent Muslim population. The long-term objectives include abolishing the Muslim identity of the state; manipulating the results of the plebiscite in favour of India. Short-term objectives include inflicting damages to the local economy; and to deprive the Kashmiris of all basic human rights and crush the indigenous voice for freedom from Indian occupation.

The RSS-backed BJP government delimited the Legislative Assembly electoral constituencies on the basis of geography instead of the population in order to allocate more seats to Hindu-dominant areas of Jammu, further oppressing Kashmiri Muslims by minimizing their political representation. Accordingly, 43 seats were reserved for Jammu and 47 for Kashmir, whereas, population-wise there should be 51 constituencies for Kashmir (6.8 million population) and 39 for Jammu (5.3 million population). This delimitation will pave the way for a Hindu CM in a Muslim-majority region.

Post-August 5, 2019, the Indian government introduced many new laws and amended several others to facilitate the issuance of domicile and land-owning rights to non-Kashmiris, mostly Hindus. Until June 2022, 4 million such certificates have been issued, making it very clear how India is wantonly altering the demography of Kashmir.—INP

 

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