Statement of protest by Tamil Nationalist and Periyarist Movements from Tamilnadu.
Ever since Kashmir was announced as an integral part of India , several state sponsored violence has happened in Kashmir. As a result of the Kashmiris agitation for their right for 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 its 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 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.
Indian army and CRPF have continuously maintained a state of tension in Kashmir. The people of Kashmir are protesting for the withdrawal of Indian army from their soil. Inspite of that around 7 lakh Indian troops has been stationed in Kashmir and has entire Kashmir has been under the grip of military which is the prime reason for these many deaths. There has been no proper investigation done on the cases of killings and rape by the Indian army. Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) has given limitless power to the army that has been used against the citizens of Kashmir. Under this act the Indian Army has the power to arrest and interrogate anyone without any warrant. Human rights activists world wide have continuously protested against this draconian act and demanded for its withdrawal. The killings that have happened in Kashmir over years are parallel to the Genocide of the Tamils in Tamil eelam. We the Tamils, who are fighting for justice for the Genocide of Tamils and the ongoing structural genocide, righteously voice our support for the people of Kashmir against the oppression of Indian state.
Our tamil leader and chief of self-respect & rationalist movement ‘Thanthai’ EVR Periyar as early as in 1940s and 50s voiced in support of Kashmir and opposed the attaché of 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 has 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 come 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 7,00,000 Indian army troops from Kashmir immediately.
- Do not refuse the fundamental right of the “Right of self determination of Kashmiris”
- Fulfil the promise of referendum made to the people of Kashmir in UN.
In line with above demands we are conducting protest in Tamilnadu capital Chennai on 19th July at Valluvar Kottam evening 4 PM onwards.
In solidarity with Kashmiri People
Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kalakam (‘Thanthai Periyar’ Dravidiyan Movement)
MAY 17 Movement
Tamilar Vidiyal Katchi (Tamils Dawn Party)
July 19, 2016