KL NEWS NETWORK
The Non-Resident Kashmiris based in the United States staged protest march in centre of Chicago to raise alarm about “sweeping” human rights violations in Kashmir
“Dozens of civilian killings, thousands of injuries at hands of Indian soldiers tear at diaspora community,” a statement released by Kashmir Solidarity Council of North America said on Tuesday.
“India has imposed constant curfew across the region for the last seven weeks, while fatalities and injuries occur almost daily across Kashmir at the hands of Indian soldiers,” the statement said, “Chicago’s immigrant Kashmiri community came together this Sunday to draw a sharper spotlight on the little – covered humanitarian crisis – and to call for an end to the brutality of this latest wave of military violence.”
The statement informed that hundreds of Kashmiri-Americans gathered with their allies at centre of Chicago, and marched from there to try to raise public awareness about what they say is a growing political and humanitarian crisis that threatens the entire region.
Many Kashmiri-Americans live in the metro Chicago area, and their relatives are among those who’ve witnessed – or experienced – the violence in this “latest wave of Indian repression in the contested region”.
“Many of those injured confront a terrible fate – the loss of their eyesight, since troops have been shooting at protesters’ faces with ‘non-lethal’ pellet guns,” the statement added.
“Yet the state-sponsored violence has occurred largely within a media black-out, as India’s right-wing government has blocked all TV channels in the region, restricted reporters’ mobility and shut down internet and mobile phone access in the region, while the Indian army has ordered the burning of all copies of newspapers in the Valley. Facebook came under fire last month for participating in the censorship,” it said.
“Local Kashmiri-Americans are calling on the Indian government to end the indiscriminate killings of civilians and lift its draconian media blackout of the region, at the same time that they’re urging the US legislators to join human rights activists in condemning the state-sponsored violence,” the statement concluded.