Alistair Scrutton on Reuters
Might Of The State
The world’s largest democracy locks up protest leaders without charge, shoots dozens of demonstrators dead, beats and intimidates ordinary citizens and raids homes without warrants.
Welcome to Indian Kashmir, where the biggest separatist protests in two decades have clashed with the might of the state.
Anger Against India
The crackdown may also be counter-productive. Residents say the deaths and violent crackdown have fuelled anger against India and boosted the separatist cause after years of relative peace.
“The government of India does not have a strategy,” said Siddharth Varadarajan, diplomatic editor of The Hindu newspaper.
“It is relying heavily on coercion, arresting top and middle-level leaders in the hope it will break the back of unprecedented protests.”
Most Militarised Region
For decades there has been simmering resentment at the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops stationed in Kashmir, making it one of the most militarised regions on earth.
One surgeon, who asked to remain anonymous because of fear of retribution from Indian authorities, said he has received around 400 wounded people in three weeks, 150 of them hit by bullets.
“These are target killings. It’s simple to see,” said the doctor, explaining that many of the chest wounds were from weapons such as AK-47s. “Most of these were intended to kill. They were not to disperse a crowd.”
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