By Parul Verma:
In Kashmir, the police has already fired more than 1.3 million pellets, during the first 32 days of the Kashmir protest, said the Central Police Reserve Force. India’s state of geographical lust for Kashmir has no bounds, no ethics and definitely no sanity.
India’s militarised occupation of Kashmir is through unilateral force, for a unilateral geographical lust, thereby implementing a civil and state-sponsored militarism by unilateral action. The causalities of this geographical lust is at the cost of a common Kashmiri man’s mortal death. The ground zero troop presence in Kashmir is around 700,000 which constitutes one soldier for 17 Kashmiris, as mentioned by Khurram Pervez. The numbers not only reveal the abnormal lust for a geographical region, but also the deviated militarised systematised regime of the state. The regime not only preserves the insanity of the violence being committed on the Kashmiris rather but it also gives security forces a virtual immunity from the prosecution (AFSPA). The Indian forces in Kashmir have been involved in rape, torture, killings and detentions,with no noted legal consequences.
However, what is worth observing is that the use of contractual rigid military operations used by the Indian Army forces against Kashmiri natives, is similar to that of Israel Defence Forces. The structure of militarised operation of the Indian Armed Forces in Kashmir borrows its militarised strategies from Israel, the most common being the concept of ‘collective punishment‘ that aims to repress the resistance from the suppressed and to embed a sense of constant fear of facing mortal death or permanent disability if resistance emerges in the future.
Yossi Cohen, the national security adviser of Israel, met Rajnath Singh in 2014 along with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, and senior diplomats from the Ministry of External Affairs to discuss “common challenges” faced by the two countries and their solutions, emphasising his country’s “willingness to expand cooperation in all fields and in any level.” The aftermath of the meeting resulted in sophisticated weapons being introduced at the Punjab borders as well as in Kashmir.
Indian authorities started ‘Operation Chakravyuh‘ in July to strengthen the border shared with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat. The BSF plans to acquire hi-end sensors and cameras to secure the Pak border in addition to centralised control rooms being established. Approximately Rs. 18-20 crore will be spent in the first phase itself. What one is not being told by the mainstream media is the usage of pellet guns and other weapons is creating an inhumanitarian carnage. The psychological technique of collectively punishing the Kashmiri population has been the prime stratum. The concept has been borrowed by the Israel Defence Forces that operates with the same stratum, but on the occupied West Bank and Gaza populations.
Parts of Kashmir are under strict curfew as protests and violence rocked the Kashmir valley, two months after security forces killed rebel leader Burhan Wani and two other fighters in southern Kashmir. It has been a mayhem of bloodshed and injuries inflicted among the Kashmiri population as the tension is rising. Since the riot, police have been witnessed using pellet guns to subside the protest. Pellets guns penetrate the skin’s soft tissue and brutally damages it. Since the eyes have soft tissue, it becomes a vulnerable target that causes damage and might lead to blindness. Once fired, they don’t follow a definite path and can cause injury to any bystander or a protester.
“Pellet guns are inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate, and have no place in law enforcement,” says Zahoor Wani, senior campaigner of Amnesty International India. “Once it goes into the eyes, it rotates and destroys everything inside. Its physics. This is a high velocity body. It generates high amount of energy. The lens, the iris, the retina gets mattered up” explained Dr. Qureshi to the New York Times. Since the initiation of protests in Kashmir in July, more than 570 cases have been administered in Srinagar’s government hospital for the ruptured retina, caused by these pellets. This is the core soma of collective punishment, deliberately target the population violently rather than the accused individuals.
The concept of collective punishment is not an unfamiliar process of handling protesters. Israel is often accused of bombarding, detaining and shooting the Palestinian population rather than the individuals involved in protests. Since 2000, Israel has had military operation lasting a few weeks every few years. The operation started in response to the rockets fired by the Hamas towards the Israeli cities. But instead of targeting Hamas, IDF initiated a operation that targeted the Gaza population as a form of the collective punishment. An investigation by the United Nation concluded that Israel had used both “disproportionate force” and “collective punishment” against the population of Gaza, and stated that it had committed “actions amounting to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.” The cause of the operation was said to be the firing of rockets by Hamas but as witnessed, Israel bombarded and created an inhumanitarian havoc on the Palestinian population rather than targeting Hamas.
Both Kashmir and Palestine have become the victims of the geographical lusts of India and Israel, respectively, that has resulted in the humanitarian crisis in the region with the most frequently used psychological tool of the military occupation being the collective punishment. But, as the death toll rises, the voices of the dead of the Kashmiris and Palestinians manifest into a resistance with a new voice – only stronger than the last.