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India Modi’s government moving to expel Kashmiris, grabbing their land by force: Report 

India Modi’s government moving to expel Kashmiris, grabbing their land by force: Report 

By The South Asia Times 

 

 

KASHMIR - The Indian Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched an anti-encroachment drive to grab local Kashmiris’ lands and dispel them from the valley.

 

The move was widely criticized by international rights organizations and local Kashmiri leaders, calling it an Israeli model that grab land in Palestine.

 

“India has been treating Kashmir as its colony right from 1947 when its troops illegally landed in Srinagar on 27th October 1947 against the partition plan of the subcontinent and the aspirations of the Kashmiris,” Kashmir Media Service said in its latest report.

 

According to the report, Modi regime’s August 5, 2019 illegal move to repeal the special status of the occupied territory was another step towards colonizing Kashmir. It said colonization of IIOJK has since long been a dream of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Marginalization of indigenous population and policies of land grab are obvious manifestations of Modi’s colonial project in the occupied territory.

 

On Wednesday, Indian authorities also arrested former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti in the capital New Delhi where she was protesting against the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s anti-encroachment drive in the valley.

At the protest site, Mufti said: “Jammu and Kashmir has been turned into Afghanistan by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The administration is using bulldozers to demolish the homes of the poor in the name of an anti-encroachment drive,” according to Anadolu. 

Mufti said the ruling BJP has already taken jobs and lands from Kashmiris and is now taking away shelter from them.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has launched a campaign in the valley, demolishing local people prorates and expelling them from their homes and business centers 

 

On Tuesday, Amnesty International demanded that the Indian authorities must immediately halt the demolition drive and ensure that safeguards against forced evictions as outlined in international human rights standards are put in place before any evictions are carried out.

“The ongoing demolitions appear to be an extension of the brutal human rights violations the region of Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim majority region of India, has historically witnessed. These demolitions could amount to forced evictions which constitute a gross violation of human rights,” the agency quoted Aakar Patel, an Amnesty International official in India, said in a statement.

 

He also said that they (authorities) must offer adequate compensation to all those affected without discrimination, ensure that victims of forced evictions have access to an effective remedy, and those responsible are held to account.

According to media reports, the municipal authorities and district officials demolished many structures in four districts of Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, and Budgam in Jammu and Kashmir last week.

 

On Feb. 1, Amnesty International said that Indian government using force and grabbing lands of Muslims in different states of India. 

 

“Amnesty International is gravely concerned about the imminent threat of forced eviction faced by at least 4,500 families in Gaffur Basti located in Haldwani town of Uttarakhand state in India. The disputed area is inhabited by one of the most economically and socially vulnerable communities, mostly Muslims, in Uttarakhand state. The affected people maintain that they are the rightful owners of the land on which they live and have resided in the area for over four decades. Most of them are currently litigating before various courts to establish their ownership rights. The forced eviction will affect at least 50,000 persons,” said the rights group in a statement. 

Amnesty accused the Indian government to target the most marginalized groups in society who are victims of forced evictions.

 

“ Draconian planning laws are frequently used to further disenfranchise and segregate these communities. According to Housing and Land Rights Network, which works for the realization of the human rights to adequate housing and land in India, at least 567 people were evicted every day in the year 2021 in India and the implementation of court orders by state authorities resulted in the eviction of over 106,014 people. At least 28 percent of those affected by forced evictions in 2021, belonged to marginalized groups, including, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, nomadic communities, migrant workers, and Muslims,” its said. 

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