Thousands of people, many waving Pakistani and Kashmiri flags, protested outside the Indian High Commission in London on Indian Independence day on Thursday observing it as Black day in support of the Kashmiris living in Indian occupied Kashmiris.Protest demonstrations were also held in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium in front of Indian embassy and European Union Headquarters.India’s decision to revoke special status for the portion of Kashmir it occupies, along with a communications blackout and curbs on movement, caused fury in Pakistan and all over world.
In London, protesters carried banners reading “Kashmir is Burning”, “Free Kashmir” and “Modi: Make Tea Not War”. Ahead of the scheduled time for 1pm (London time), hundreds had already gathered on the right side of the building. Pro-Pakistan activists from London made speeches calling out Indian aggression and demanding freedom for Kashmir.
Activists and speakers from local Kashmir councils also spoke out, demanding that India end the occupation of Kashmir. Furthermore, a sizeable number of Sikh supporters holding Khalistan banners lent their support to Pakistan.
Police were keeping a small counter-demonstration apart from the main protest as on the other side, Indian supporters chanted pro-India slogans.
British MP George Galloway also took the podium to speak on the occasion.
“Modi has taken the world to the brink of war — nuclear war — and as a result risked the safety and security of people all over the world,” he said.
Many of the London protesters had come to the capital from other English cities on specially chartered buses.
“We want to show our solidarity with our Kashmiri brothers,” said Amin Tahir, a British pensioner of Kashmiri origin who came from Birmingham on one of the coaches.
“Since 1947 Kashmir has been struggling to be free from India. Now Modi has changed the law by force to stop Kashmir’s autonomy,” he said. Kashmiri Council Europe (KC-EU) organized a protest demonstration to mark the “Black Day” 15th August in front of Indian Embassy in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium.
Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world observe the Indian Independence Day as “Black Day’’ on Aug 15 every year. This year this day is being observed as India has revoked special status of Jammu and Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) is witnessed of severe situation as curfew has been imposed there for last ten days.
A large number of people from all walks of life including Kashmiris, Pakistanis and representatives of different organizations based in Belgium and other EU countries attended the demonstration. Participants of the protest gathering raised slogan against Indian occupation of Kashmir and brutalities committed by the occupation forces in IOK. It was a unique scene that at the same Indians were inside the embassy in order to celebrate their Independence Day, while at the same time, a huge number of Kashmiris and their sympathizers were protesting against anti-Kashmiris behavior of Indian authorities in front of the embassy.
During the protest, a memorandum addressing the Indian regime was also presented to Indian embassy in Brussels.
The memorandum called upon the regime to immediately end curfew and release the political figures and activists with out any delay. It also asked the Prime Minister of India to fulfil the promise of his great predecessor Jahwaharial NEHRU to give a voice to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and to allow them to determine their own political future.
On the occasion, chairman Kashmir Council Europe (KC-EU) Mr Ali Raza Syed said, we gathered here against Indian recent actions for ending special status of Jammu and Kashmir and starting blockade of occupied Kashmir for last ten days for committing human rights violations in the disputed territory. Expressing solidarity with the people of IHK, Mr. Ali Raza Syed determined that the peaceful struggle for liberation of Kashmir would be continued.
He added, people are facing shortage of food and other necessary items. No one from human rights activities or even journalists are allowed to travel the occupied territory. Phone and net connections are disconnected and there is no contact of occupied land with rest of the world for last ten days.
He further, though rights under Indian rule was not real destination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir but the BJP-led Indian government has attempted to repeal special status and erase identity of people of Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Articles 370 and 35-A.
Other speakers of the gathering also condemned recent actions of Indian government in Indian occupied Kashmir. They called for end of curfew in the occupied territory and release of the Kashmir leaders and activists.
The demonstrators called for immediate international attention on the existing situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.
They specially urged that UN Security Council to take its responsibility on the issue of Kashmir by taking serious action against Indian atrocities in occupied land.