India Insight

Are Muslims of troubled Kashmir treated unfairly by Indians?

October 20, 2009

Parvez Rasool, a Kashmiri cricketer, was briefly detained in Bangalore on suspicion of carrying explosives, an incident which triggered anger in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir valley.

This is not an isolated case.

Earlier actor and model Tariq Dar, a Kashmiri Muslim, was mistakenly imprisoned in New Delhi for weeks for having terror links. But Dar was later found innocent.

Delhi University lecturer S.A.R. Geelani, a Kashmiri, was even awarded the death sentence in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case, but was later released.

Are Kashmiri Muslims, weary of decades of violence, treated unfairly by Indian authorities in different parts of the country?

The Kashmiri cricketer’s detention did not go down well in the strife-torn region, where anti-India sentiment still runs deep.

Rasool’s detention comes at a time when New Delhi has decided to resume peace talks with the leadership of the Himalayan region aimed at ending over 60 years of dispute.

Kashmiri travellers and traders who talk of being harassed after militant violence in any part of India, say such incidents are pushing ordinary people further away from the Indian mainstream.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief of Kashmir’s main separatist alliance All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, said he would be taking up the issue of Rasool’s detention during his talks with New Delhi.

Tens of thousands of people have died during 20 years of anti-India insurgency in Kashmir. The strife has left nothing untouched in the scenic region, once the heart of Sufi Islam in the subcontinent and home to an easy-going society.

Kashmir’s young chief minister, Omar Abdullah, said it is easy to see young Kashmiris as terrorists but urged New Delhi to handle the youth of his state carefully and help heal the wounds of violence.

Kashmiri sportsmen say these things humiliate people in Kashmir where violence between Indian troops and separatist militants has brought untold misery to the residents.

Does being a Muslim from Indian Kashmir invite suspicion in a predominantly Hindu country?

Comments
55 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

its true. There are excesses by indian agencies hat can be seen in the human right articles regarding the state. If the treatment within ur own home by alien forces is so bad how can u expect better hospiatbe atmosphere out of home. Now some may say the article is biased. But so many right abuses cant be biased. this is not the first stuory. its one of the stories

Posted by sam | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Sheikh Mushtaq:
Kashmir is no special place, it happens all the time in rest of the country and in all parts of the world. From personal experience I can tell you this happened in Punjab, my Sikh friends and I never complained like you are doing here. I have been witness to the students being picked from hostel in their vest/pajama by 3AM raid (a norm those days) and next day released when confirmed innocent. Nothing personal here by the Police. Rather we appreciated that police has the guts to do so and keep the terrorists on toes. In another incident in 199?, while going to my hostel walking around 12 midnight, I heard someone shouting “hands up” in pitch dark. I could not see anyone and I heard the guy repeat and asked me to move in certain direction and then I saw that the guy who shouted was standing in the dark and was in fact a CRPF Jawan on duty with his AK-47 pointed at me (In those days he had shoot at sight orders). He wanted to clarify what the hell I was doing walking in the campus at that time. Well, we had good10minutes exchange/discussion with my hands on head/no body movement and his hands on the trigger; in the end Jawan is satisfied that I am harmless, both of us are relieved, nothing personal and both of us get back to our respective business.

Try to see the complexities of the situation. Do not think simplistically. It is better to be safe than sorry. Terrorists do not have label on their head. I hate to say please do a favor to Kashmiris by writing both sides of the story.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Mr Rajeev.
Good to know your story. here is one more. Ther is an army camp a little away from our home. Couple of months back ther were several bullet rounds shot at midnight making whole area panic. The next morning we came to know that 2 dogs were killed as they were moving thru bushes near the camp. they bullets were fired by army. i think that is the difference between shoot at sight orders in ur your state and kashmir

Posted by samir | Report as abusive
 

You pick any state in India or Pakistan, we will give 10 instances where young man is arrested for lack of evidence, women may be raped by security/police force. It is serious. But it is serious for all states.
So what is the difference. Other state have some development agenda and they are making at least some progress.
The whole issue is that there is no development in JK. It is hilly state, terrain, weather is difficult, so transport will be difficult. Hence, growth will be slower e.g. take example of NE states or Waziristan.

JK People make issue of any small thing and things become complex. There is no solution but to suffer. Even if JK becomes independent, becomes part of Pakistan, they will continue to suffer. There is ONLY hope if they are part of India. Thats it.

Also, after being in discussion for last 60 years (right from 47), it is a matter of pride for every Indian. We may not talk much on NE states etc, which are almost having similar problems, but matter is different for JK. This is beyond political issue, it is a pride issue. I know, this makes it more complex. But thats how it is. Kashmiris have to understand, every Indian have a special place for JK in their heart. We need to hold JK over our dead bodies, period.
Finally, I do agree, there are issues in JK like any other state, but separation is IMPOSSIBLE.
We will go out of our way to help any Kashmiri but it is not true that Indians any way want to hurt Kashmiri. Believe me.

 

Rajeev, you were right in pointing out the fallacy in thought. Its easy to denigrate our security forces but, we’ve to understand that those people live by hours, locking eyeballs with the enemy.
And this goes to the detractors-If you have to raise a din, do it for accountability, do it for better methods of policing, don’t just spew venom on the men in olive green. I think its high time the citizens cooperate with the government- else, if the nefarious designs of the terrorists succeed- they may not have a government to complain against.

Posted by dwijaa | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •