SRINAGAR: Haryana-based Ashoka University students and faculty in an open letter to the Government of India have asked it to demilitarize Jammu and Kashmir and hold a plebiscite as promised by first Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.
“Kashmir is the world’s most densely militarized colony with over 700000 military, paramilitary and militarized police. We demand that Army is withdrawn from civilian areas in the Valley and not to use the Army for maintaining regular law and order. We also appeal to the Indian State to confine the job of the army to just the ‘borders’. We also demand that colonial laws like AFSPA and Public Safety Acts should be repealed keeping in view their draconian nature and the history of human right abuses they have been responsible for,” the latter a copy of which was also send to Kashmir Reader said.
The letter further reads that a plebiscite was promised to Kashmiris as early as 1948 by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India in a white paper released by the Govt. of India.
“We demand that this promise of Indian State to the Kashmiris is honoured and a plebiscite should be conducted in the next two years in both the Kashmirs, the Indian Occupied Kashmir and the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. We believe that the self-determination right of the Kashmiris is an inalienable right. We demand the Indian state to retreat from Kashmir, and let the Kashmiris decide their future and sovereignty,” it said.
The letter reads that the violence perpetrated by the Indian State after the extrajudicial execution of 22-year old Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani is highly condemnable. “The Indian Army, Police and other task forces have reacted violently with bullets, pellets and lathis in the clashes that erupted after Burhan’s funeral. This was immediately followed by many more protests and demonstrations as part of Kashmiri resistance to the military occupation of Kashmir by the Indian State.” It added.
“We, unequivocally, condemn this brutal use of force by the Indian State in dealing with the protests after the killing of Burhan Wani,” the letter further said.
The armed forces are seen attacking hospitals and ambulances and stopping people going to funeral processions, it lamented. “Consequently, alarming images of Indian police, army and task force brutalities against women, children and youth have surfaced on social media, the letter pointed out.
The students demanded of India to demilitarize Kashmir which is the world’s most densely militarized colony with over 700,000 military, paramilitary and militarized police, repeal of colonial laws.