British MP to Modi: You Cannot Silence the People of Kashmir

Photo: Liam Byrne
Photo: Liam Byrne

‏Liam Byrne – a Member of Parliament (MP) of the British Labour Party – has warned India’s Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi that he should not commit human rights violations in Kashmir.

He led a huge protest of thousands of people on Tuesday (September 3) with the message to Modi: “You cannot silence the people of Kashmir.”

Byrne has also started an online petition to be sent to the House of Commons about the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir, which has been occupied by the Indian security forces.

The petition informs that the Indian Government, in revoking Article 370 and 35a of the Constitution has stripped the people of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) of their long-settled political status and rights, deployed thousands of troops to a heavily militarized state, and shut down communications.

In a despotic move, Modi government has imposed a curfew in Kashmir and millions of people have been locked in their homes since August 4, a day before revoking Article 370. The Modi government is also not allowing the press to cover the burning situation in Kashmir.

These steps, according to the petition, contravene UN Security Council Resolution no. 47. The petitioners ask the House of Commons to take all necessary steps to the demand that the UK Government make urgent representations to the Indian Government, directly, through the Commonwealth, and through the UN to ensure safeguards against human rights abuses are immediately put in place.

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Byrne’s petition also seeks restoration of Kashmir’s special status; to ensure demilitarization, restoration of communications, and to immediately allow full access to human rights observers.

A few days ago, UN Secretary-General António Guterres also had expressed his concern over reports of restrictions on the Indian side of Kashmir, which – he said – could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region.

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Rakesh Raman