Cii Radio |Sabera Sheik Essop|29 July 2016|24 Shawwal 1437
The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Kashmir is only the most recent in the three decades of Indian militarisation since the 1990s. The death toll is nearly at 60. Toddlers and teenagers have been injured alongside more than 3,500 civilians who are in a critical condition.
Abdul Rehman who is a shop keeper in Srinagar Kashmir explains the situation and says it has been 15 days since the curfew was imposed. According to him and thousands of others, normal life has been paralyzed and the people of Kashmir are facing ongoing problems.
The lack of food and medicine is one of the biggest problems they face. Due to the curfew people are not allowed to leave their homes. Some restrictions include the shutdown of mobile and internet services as well as the Kashmiri press being banned for days.
Abdul Rehman says people in groups of four are not allowed to be seen together on the roads as police will make them head back to their homes. Basic amenities such as milk and food cannot be found. The police presence in Kashmir is stifling and as such has not allowed the essentials to reach the people.
There have been many occasions when villagers have tried to come to the city to sell produce and basics to the people but again were not allowed by the police. Abdul Rehman says they don’t even get fruit and vegetables anymore. The scenario painted of hospitals in Kashmir is a bleak one, there are no medicines available in hospitals as the stock has run out with no hope of being replenished.
On July 26 the curfew in Indian administered Kashmir was partially lifted. It had been in place in various areas for 17 days.
The current protests, and those in the three bloody summers of 2008-10, reflect the resilience of the Kashmiri people and their demand for the right to self-determination guaranteed by UN resolutions and promised by the Indian parliament in 1948.