Hartal is their fightback, says fact-finding team on Jammu & Kashmir

The 11-member team comprising advocates, trade union members, activists and a psychiatrist visited the Kashmir Division from September 28 to October 4.

Published: 01st November 2019 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st November 2019 09:16 AM   |  A+A-

Filmmaker Sanjay Kak, advocates Aarti Mundkur and Clifton D Rozario, Nagari Babaiah of People’s Democratic Forum and others hold up X-rays of Kashmiris who were shot with pellets, in Bengaluru on Thursday | Nagaraja Gadekal

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The abnormal normalcy which is what Jammu and Kashmir has always seen isn’t abnormally normal anymore, according to a fact-finding team from Bengaluru that visited all the nine Union Territories.

The 11-member team comprising advocates, trade union members, activists and a psychiatrist visited the Kashmir Division from September 28 to October 4. Their experiences in the Kashmir Valley has been recorded in a 160-page report titled ‘Imprisoned Resistance: 5th August and its Aftermath’, which was released at a press conference on Thursday.

The team went to Kashmir to understand the current situation of its people. According to Clifton D’Rozario, an advocate from Bengaluru who visited the area, said “hartal is their fight back”. According to him, all the communities - Muslim, Pandits and Sikhs - have expressed their resistance towards the central government’s lockdown of the state.

Swathi Sheshadri, one of the team members and an independent researcher, expressed her dismay in the state of judiciary and government services in J&K and said that the Centre must be held accountable for democracy to prevail.

“All state services have collapsed including public transport, schools, colleges and postal services. This is the sense of normalcy that is being portrayed. On the other hand is the violent oppression of the military through night raids, molestation of women and torture of men in Masjids,” she said.

Responding to Swathi, a filmmaker and a Kashmiri Sanjay Kak said it is not a collapse of the state, but a shutdown. “While Kashmir is known to be a state of terrorists, it is ironic that the entire state is being terrorised,” he said.

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