APP — ”Bringing Kashmir to heel has been a Hindu-nationalist dream” — the only Muslim-majority state that India annexed on Aug. 5, setting off a grave crisis in the disputed region, The New York Times said in a comprehensive dispatch published Friday.
“Kashmir was an obvious sore for the nationalist political movement that has flourished among India’s Hindu majority, powering (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s stunning rise,” the Times reported from New Delhi in a dispatch by-lined to four of the newspaper’s correspondents.
“For decades,” it said, “Kashmir has been racked by militancy, oppression and unrest. Kashmiris are feeling especially demoralized and cornered now. The fear is that the area is about to blow, and even with phone lines cut, leaders in jail and soldiers on every street, protests are erupting. Some are peaceful. Others descend into stone-pelting clashes.
“But the fury is there, always,” the Times declared.
“There is only one solution!” the crowds cheer, the newspaper, adding: “Gun solution! Gun solution!”
Citing critics, the newspaper said that even under India’s tough public safety laws this is illegal, and that Prime Minister Modi is bending the Indian legal system to cut off any possible criticism in Kashmir and go after anyone with a voice — be that a successful merchant, a politician or a professor.
“Kashmir is silent as a graveyard,” Vrinda Grover, a human rights lawyer, was quoted as saying.
“The Indian government isn’t revealing what charges the detainees face or how long they will be held. Some were reported to have been flown on secret air force flights to jails in Lucknow, Varanasi and Agra,” the Times said.
On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Office said it was “gravely concerned.’’
And five UN Human Rights experts expressed concern that the measures, imposed after the Indian Parliament revoked the Constitutionally-mandated status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, would exacerbate tensions in the region.
“The shutdown of the internet and telecommunication networks, without justification from the Government, are inconsistent with the fundamental norms of necessity and proportionality,” the experts said in a statement.