Free Kashmir: Resisting the Occupation

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The people of Kashmir have suffered under brutalities and excesses of repression and militancy for many years. In 1947 the Indian subcontinent got independence from the British empire and the partition of India and Pakistan took place. Kashmir chose initially to be independent and neutral but the princely ruler Hari Singh asked India for support because of instances of violence in the region. This led to the first of 3 wars with Pakistan (1947). Eventually with the intervention of the United Nations Security Council India and Pakistan entered into an agreement for an immediate ceasefire and that a free and fair plebiscite would be held when armed troops are withdrawn from the region. For the next 50-60 years there has been armed conflict and war and the intensity of discord also led to the nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan. The Indian army has carried out ruthless massacres in different parts of Kashmir. The insurgency for the liberation of Kashmir gained popular support especially after elections in 1987 that were believed to be rigged. There are militant and peaceful movement that demands freedom or azaadi for Kashmir and the self-determination of the people as is their right. However there has been mass repression, torture, violence, disappearances and rape of the people of Kashmir especially by the Indian army and police, and the extent of this is largely unknown. Islamic heritage, shrines, dargahs and temples have been destroyed in this period of conflict.

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