As Kashmir is once again dealing with grief and loss of life inflicted by State forces, hatred directed at its people by many Indians via the social media stream is getting translated into crimes on the streets as well inside hospitals. Government forces have attacked ambulances carrying the dead and the injured to hospitals, dragging the injured out and beating them up again. Even a dead Kashmiri was reportedly dragged out of an ambulance and thrown out like a sack of meat! Doctors have reported how the government forces attacked even hospitals bursting tear gas inside emergency facilities. Patients, particularly with lung diseases admitted there choked to near-death where they had gone to wrest a lease of life. “Patients were being managed in emergency room when tear gas shelling was done inside which caused severe suffocation to those poor patients,” the doctors in Srinagar’s main hospital, SMHS, reported in a statement Sunday.
A statement issued by a local NGO reads, “besides the protesters, the CRPF and Police at various places have assaulted the patients and attendants inside the hospitals and ambulances. So far we have reports that Indian armed forces raided the Islamabad District Hospital, PHC Lalpora and SMHS hospital.” Attacking hospitals and ambulances is a crime under the International Humanitarian Law and Indian armed forces have been repeatedly accused of this crime in Kashmir, the statement added.
In the international humanitarian law safety of the injured and sites where they are treated is guaranteed. It is not just cowardly but also a crime to attack hospitals or any vehicles shifting the injured for treatment. Hospitals as much as the streets of Kashmir have become sites of crime while government officials including the chief minister herself talk about some unknown Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) they appear to have invented just to pad their obfuscatory statements. The attitude of the administration is too revealing of this when you read statements from it about the most recent bloodbath on the streets of Kashmir. One was almost threatening the protesters justifying direct firing on them by troopers if they raised the level of their protest against the armed forces. The police statement at the same time almost painted the protesters as some alien demonic and possessed attackers who just kept burning government property. It had no mention of how many civilian protesters its personnel and other government forces killed even as they were armed at the most with stones and anger. This system has transformed entire Kashmir into a site of crime against its people that the world chooses to ignore!