Kashmir is no stranger to Indian state repression. Since 1947, successive Indian governments have brutalized Kashmiris and denied them their right to self-determination. Yet the level of violence, torture and human rights violations being committed by Indian security forces under the Modi government now is unprecedented – even for Kashmir.
Kashmir had already been under a state of continuous siege for the past nine months. Now, the novel coronavirus pandemic has given India another excuse to impose a lockdown within a lockdown. Kashmir is, in effect, under a “double lockdown.”
At a time when other countries are facilitating the free flow, exchange and sharing of information to fight the pandemic, India has imprisoned Kashmiris in an information black hole. As if this was not enough, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sneakily introduced a new ordinance to effect demographic change in Kashmir, believing that the world would be too distracted to notice.