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Kashmir: Brutal numbers reflect a brutal reality

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Sometimes cold numbers show the degree of oppression and brutality more impressively than the strongest and most passionate words. The Online issue of the Pakistani newspaper Dawn recently reported astonishing and at the same time shocking figures.

Its author, Shahid R. Siddiqi, wrote: “A recent report on Human Rights violations states that between 1989 and June 30, 2010 the number of Kashmiris killed at the hands of Indian security forces stands at 93,274. Additionally, there have been 6,969 custodial killings, over 107,351 children have been orphaned, 22,728 women widowed and 9,920 women gang raped. In June 2010 alone, 33 people were killed including four children, 572 people were tortured and injured and eight women were molested, 117,345 people were arrested and 105,861 houses or structures in the use of the communities were razed or destroyed.” (Shahid R. Siddiqi: Kashmir: the new wave of uprising, 01 Aug, 2010,

To understand the full meaning of these figures let us remember the following: In Indian-occupied Kashmir there is a population of about 8 million. Of these, about 5 million are Muslims.

We can rightly assume that, in suppressing the Kashmiris’ struggle for liberation, the Indian security forces focus on killing mostly Muslim (and not Hindu) Kashmiris.

This means that the figure of 93,274 Kashmiris killed by the Indian security forces has to be seen in relation to the 5 million Kashmiri Muslims living in Jammu and Kashmir Valley. In other words 1.9%, i.e. nearly 2%, of the Kashmiri Muslims have been murdered since the beginning of the uprising in 1989. In addition to this, as the report says, nearly 10,000 women have been gang raped by marauding bands of Indian soldiers. We also have to assume that, if nearly 100.000 Kashmiris have been killed by the Indian security forces, many more have been injured. And the astonishing figure of 105,861 houses or structures destroyed indicates that a significant proportion of the Kashmiri Muslims have had to flee their homes.

In other words, this report gives a horrifying picture of the national oppression of the Kashmiri people by the Indian state. It shows the almost genocidal dimension of the Indian state oppression.

The figures also show that the cause of the Kashmiri people’s struggle for national liberation is fully justified and deserves the support of all consistent democrats and socialists around the world. Why should they continue to live in a state which kills rapes and displaces them?! The international working class movement must make the cause of the Kashmiri people its cause.

The League for the Fifth International calls for international solidarity with the struggle of the Kashmiri people for national liberation. If the class conscious workers and youth organise themselves in a revolutionary party and take the lead in this struggle and combine it with the socialist perspective of permanent revolution in the whole of South Asia, then there is a great future for the oppressed in Kashmir and the whole region!

See also our recent article on the Kashmir Intifada: