Kashmiri diaspora protest in US against killings, rights violations

Kashmiri diaspora protest in US against killings, rights violations

Question use of pellets on protesters in Kashmir

Kashmiri diaspora staged a silent protest demonstration against civilian killings and human rights violations in Kashmir outside the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia.

Human rights advocates from several countries, including India, participated in the protest, organized by J&K diaspora in Atlanta, said spokeswoman, Insha Qari. 

“Over the course of a week, thousands of protestors took to the streets clashing with the Indian police, leaving 78 officers injured and damaging police vans and buses. But there were zero casualties at the hands of the police force and zero pellets fired,” she said.

In February of this year, thousands of the Indian Jat community took to the streets of Delhi to protest caste job quotas, she said. “The protestors sabotaged a canal leaving 10 million Indians without water, and their clashes led to the death of 16 people. But still zero casualties were a result of the Indian police force and 0 pellets were fired.” But in Kashmir, an estimated 2 million pellets have been used during recent protests, said Qari.

“Are pellet guns only to be used against Kashmiri’s?” she asked. “Why is it that when Kashmiri’s take to their own streets, in much much smaller numbers, to protest the injustices that are done to them on a daily basis, we see casualties and injuries in such high numbers due to the Indian police and their pellet guns.” 

In the last 50 days alone, over 10,000 Kashmiri’s have been injured, more than 500 of which have been left blinded or with serious inflicted damage to the eyes due to pellets, and at least 70 have been killed, said Qari.

She said that India claims Kashmir as one of their states but the discrimination against the Kashmiris is very clear. 

“If India cannot guarantee the Kashmiri citizens Indian rights, they should at least respect their basic democratic and human rights.”

She said that Kashmiris are left with no option but to appeal to all humanity for help. “Now because the mechanisms of justice put in place under Indian administered Kashmir have repeatedly failed for the last 70 odd years, Kashmiris therefore are left with no option but to appeal to all of humanity to help.”