Situation for the People of Kashmir Is Not Good: Angela Merkel

PM Narendra Modi meeting the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Angela Merkel, in New Delhi on November 01, 2019. Photo: PIB
PM Narendra Modi meeting the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Angela Merkel, in New Delhi on November 01, 2019. Photo: PIB

The Modi government had imposed curfew in Kashmir and millions of people (most of them are Muslims) have been locked in their homes since August 4.

By Rakesh Raman

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her concern over the persisting human rights violations being committed by India in Kashmir.

Merkel – who was on a 3-day visit to India during October 31 to November 1, 2019 – raised the Kashmir issue and the hardships that the people of Kashmir have been facing for the past 3 months.

According to DW News (a global English-language news service from German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle), Merkel criticized Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s clampdown in Kashmir. She said that the situation for the people of Kashmir is not sustainable and not good.

Merkel’s comments come close on the heels of the release of a new UN report that reveals gross human rights violations by India in Kashmir. Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet, said in a press note that the UN human rights office is extremely concerned that the population of Kashmir continues to be deprived of a wide range of human rights and it urges the Indian authorities to unlock the situation and fully restore the rights that are currently being denied.

Currently, Kashmir is facing extreme human rights violations being committed by the Indian security forces, as the government headed by PM Modi has abrogated Article 370 which gave special privileges to the people of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).

Expecting backlash from the Kashmiris, the Modi government had imposed curfew in Kashmir and millions of people (most of them are Muslims) have been locked in their homes since August 4, a day before revoking Article 370 for J&K.

A United States (U.S) Senator from the Democratic Party has claimed that the Indian authorities denied him permission to visit Kashmir, which has been forcefully occupied by the Indian security forces.

Senator Chris Van Hollen – who was in India in October – said he wanted to visit Srinagar in Kashmir to assess the extent of human rights violations being committed by India, but he was not allowed to go to the troubled valley.

According to a report published in The Washington Post, Van Hollen is one of 50 members of U.S. Congress who have expressed concern over the situation in Kashmir, which is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

The Senator said that the Indian government did not want him to see what is happening in Kashmir, adding that if you have nothing to hide then there is nothing to fear by allowing visitors to travel in Kashmir.

It is stated that India has deployed nearly 900,000 security people to control unarmed Kashmiris (nearly 80% are Muslims), and nearly 80,000 civilians have been killed in the conflicts during the past 7 decades.

The Modi government’s annexation of Kashmir is a unilateral, authoritarian move, which is expected to make Kashmir a veritable inferno because most people of Kashmir do not want to live under the Indian rule where Modi is the ruler.

Today, nearly 2 billion Muslims of the world expect the global community – including the U.S. – to save the Muslims of Kashmir who are being treated as slaves by the Modi government.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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Rakesh Raman