2023: A Grim Year of Tragedy and Repression in IIOJKJanuary 1, 2024
In the year 2023, Indian troops continued their unabated acts of state terrorism in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, resulting in the tragic martyrdom of 120 innocent Kashmiris, including four women and as many boys. This grim toll, outlined in reports, shed light on the harrowing realities faced by the Kashmiri people.
According to the reports, 41 of the martyrs met their untimely demise in fake encounters and custody, showcasing the alarming extent of extrajudicial actions by Indian forces. Shockingly, even members of the Hindu community were not spared, with one individual killed in custody in the Jourian police station in Jammu and another falling victim to Indian troops in the Showara Khour Akhnoor area.
The repercussions of these actions reverberated through Kashmiri households, leaving 18 women widowed and 58 children orphaned. Additionally, seven women suffered molestation, abuse, or disgrace at the hands of Indian forces. The destruction of 13 residential houses and structures added to the plight of the already beleaguered Kashmiri population.
The use of brute force by troops, paramilitary, and police personnel resulted in at least 107 injuries, while a staggering 3,610 individuals, including Hurriyat leaders, activists, students, and women, were arrested during house raids and cordon and search operations. Many faced detention under draconian laws such as the Public Safety Act (PSA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Prominent figures among the detainees included APHC leaders, journalists, and human rights defenders.
The suppression of religious freedom was evident as Indian authorities barred people from offering Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar 11 times. Furthermore, religious functions like Shab-e-Baraat, Shabe Qadr, and Eid Milad-un-Nabi (S.A.W) gatherings were disallowed, exacerbating the already tense atmosphere in the occupied territory.
Notably, resistance leaders, including APHC Chairman Masarrat Aalam Butt and human rights defender Khurrum Parvaiz, remained unjustly detained in Delhi’s Tihar Jail under fabricated charges. Over 4,000 individuals, including political and religious figures, languished in different jails of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and India under repressive laws.
The Modi regime’s heavy-handed approach extended to the economic front, with at least 14 Kashmiri Muslim employees facing suspension or termination, and 72 properties, including agricultural lands, houses, and shops, being attached to stifle the voice for the right to self-determination.
The month of December 2023 alone witnessed the martyrdom of seven Kashmiris, including three in custody, and the arrest of 97 youth, including women. The report emphasized that since August 5, 2019, when the Modi-led Hindutva government revoked the special status of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, 852 Kashmiris have been martyred by Indian forces, with a staggering total of 96,285 falling victim to bullets and extrajudicial killings over the last 35 years in the occupied territory. The relentless cycle of tragedy and repression continues, demanding global attention and concerted efforts towards a just resolution for the people of Kashmir.