We in Tamil Nadu protest the killings in Kashmir

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On July 19, the  Nationalist and Periyarist Movements in Tamil Nadu held a protest in Chennai in solidarity with Kashmiri people and to condemn the Indian state terror and violence on people of Kashmir.

Protest  were held at 4 PM at Valluvar Kottam, Chennai.  Hundreds of people various Tamil movements and the public participated in the protest.

Here is the statement:

Ever since Kashmir was announced as an integral part of India,  state sponsored violence has taken place in Kashmir. As a result of the Kashmiris agitation for their right to self determination, in 1948 the then prime minister of India  Jawahar lal nehru promised the people of Kashmir on the floor of Indian Parliament as well as in the United Nations that a referendum will be conducted for the people of Kashmir. But for the past 60 years the Indian government is betraying the people of Kashmir without fulfilling that promise.

The UN charter defines “The right to self determination” as a fundamental right of the people. But the Indian government continues to portray the people who are fighting for self determination as terrorists. The Indian state has consciously portrayed the struggle of the people of Kashmir as an act of terrorism to the rest of India. Instead of using Parliamentary democratic means, India has always responded to the demands of the people of Kashmir by using Armed forces and has oppressed the people of Kashmir through its state terror. It is clear that India wants a solution through violent means and not through peaceful methods.

When the current BJP government came to power it announced that it is going to withdraw Article 370 of Indian Constitution which gives special powers to Kashmir and thereby created fresh conflicts. Every demand made by the people of Kashmir is being responded with a threatening tone by the Indian state.

As per the official statement by the Indian state the number of people killed in Kashmir between 1990 and 2011 alone is around 43,000. But according to the reports by various human rights organisations the number of people killed in the same timeframe is above 70,000. Over 1 lakh Kashmiris have been killed so far. Many mass graves have been discovered throughout Kashmir. The Human Rights Watch has reported in its report that the Indian Army is using Rape as a weapon against the women of Kashmir. Thousands of women have been subjected to rape by the Indian Army and since most of them are in  the villages, the Human Rights Watch says that the exact statistics cannot be known.

Following the killing of Hizbul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by the Indian armed forces on July 8,  2016, huge protests have erupted in Kashmir. More than 2 lakh people had gathered to attend the last rites of Burhan Wani. Following this the Indian armed forces have unleashed violence and oppression on the people of Kashmir. The Indian army has used pellet guns against the protestors and as a result thousands of people have been severely injured and many of them have lost their eyes. There are now accusations that the Indian army is consciously aiming at the eyes of the protestors so as to blind them. Even children have not been spared in this attack. In the past 10 days alone  44 Kashmiris have been killed.

Our Tamil leader and chief of self-respect and  rationalist movement ‘Thanthai’ EVR Periyar as early as in 1940s and 50s voiced his support of Kashmir and opposed attaching Kashmir to Indian sub-continent. He also pointed out that “It is Kashmiri who has the right to decide where to join and where not to. Only Kashmiris have to take a call about their future. Neither India nor Pakistan have the right to decide the fate of Kashmir. Both of them should get out of Kashmir” 

The May 17 Movement, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, Tamilar Vidiyal Katchi came together and  have organised a protest to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir in their struggle for justice.

We Demand the Indian state to:

  • Stop the genocide of the people of Kashmir
  • Repeal AFSPA Withdraw the 700,000 Indian army troops from Kashmir immediately.
  •  Do not refuse the fundamental right of the “Right to self determination of Kashmiris”
  • Fulfil the promise of referendum made to the people of Kashmir in UN.

In solidarity with Kashmiri People

Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kalakam  (‘Thanthai Periyar’ Dravidiyan Movement)

Tamilar Vidiyal Katchi  (Tamils Dawn Party)

 

 

 

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