BRUSSELS: As the world continues to express outrage at the brutal death of African American George Floyd in the US, Kashmir Council Europe (KC-EU) Chairman Ali Raza Syed has urged the global community — particularly the European Union — to also pay special attention to the “violently discriminated behaviour” of Indian authorities with the people of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Syed’s remarks came during the launching ceremony of the Kashmir Council’s yearly activities at the Brussels press club.
Condemning the brutal death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Syed in a press conference said, “Let me begin with condolences for George Floyd‘s death […] the world must notice and react in the same manner to brutalities committed by Indian security forces against oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir and as well as violently discriminated behaviour with the minorities in India.”
He said the last words of George Floyd ‘I can’t breathe’ provide a window into what Kashmiris have faced for 74 years.
“It is now 305 days as they face a continued lockdown imposed by the Indian authorities after the Modi regime annulled the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and implemented restrictions on citizens’ rights in occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir on 5th August, 2019,” said the council chairman.
Syed said that seven decades of brutalities have left the people there “with no choice but to raise their voice through peaceful protests”.
“I would like to pay homage to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who even after seven decades of repression, are still peaceful and continue their struggle in a largely nonviolent manner,” Syed added.
Describing the numerous occasions on which such “brutal actions” took place, he said that recently, on May 19, 15 houses of innocent civilians “were completely destroyed by Indian forces under the garb of a military operation at Nawakadal area of Srinagar, the capital city of Indian occupied Kashmir”.
He also recounted how earlier that month, the body of a 14-year-old boy named Hazim Bhat, who had developmental delays, was found near a shooting site in Handwara area of occupied Kashmir where Indian military forces retaliated to killing of its three armed forces a month ago.
Furthermore, a 22-year-old named Peer Mehrajuddin was shot dead by armed forces for allegedly not stopping at a check point at Narabal of Budgam area.
In another incident, the Indian occupation forces tortured many people and destroyed their properties at Nasrullahpora locality in Budgam area, he said.
The council chairman said while it is highly praiseworthy that when police brutality occurred in the US, the EU high representative Josep Borrell issued a statement to express his shock, why does he remain silent when people in occupied Kashmir and in India are subjected to discrimination by Indian authorities.
“Why did Mr Borrell not issue a statement against Indian security forces and their brutalities?”
He demanded that EU speak out loudly against Indian state fascism perpetrated against the people in occupied Kashmir and against the minorities in India.
The council chairman expressed his gratitude to the chair of sub-committee of human rights of the European Parliament for sending a letter to the Indian home minister in protest over discrimination against the minorities in India and a letter by 15 MEPs to the president and vice president of European Commission urging them to raise the issue of human rights violations in occupied Kashmir with Indian authorities.