In response to Chandra Roy’s letter published 22/08/19, I’m astonished that he sees the oppression of the Kashmiris and those trying to bring the issue to the fore as politics.
This is not politics, it is a matter of basic human rights, and these rights were snatched – without any vote nor any consultation – from the Kashmiris overnight by nothing less than a dictator.
However, for the moment let’s assume this was a political rally, even so Chandra Roy makes two simple mistakes in his letter. Firstly, he has this perception that the Cathedral Square should not be used for political rallies and then expects others to follow this view. Secondly, he assumes that Peterborough Cathedral has not been used for political rallies before, this is incorrect and evidence of this is available online as recently as the last by-election. Having lived in Peterborough since 1975 and being an eagle-eyed observer of the mayor’s chains being worn at the rally, it would be reasonable for someone with the calibre of Mr Roy to have known this.
The truth is, this was not a political protest, as representatives from both main parties were present and gave speeches – a fact that Chandra Roy chooses to ignore. In fact, it was a rare occasion for those in politics to share a platform – if the Kashmiri issue was a political one, would this have been possible, given how politically polarised the UK currently is?
Whilst Chandra Roy makes several inferences which are baseless in his letter, the wildest one being “the Square could turn into a battlefield”, was there anything that happened at this rally for Chandra Roy to come to this conclusion – or is he simply whipping up a frenzy or undermining the purpose of the rally by presenting a strawman?
The saddest part I find is, that Chandra Roy took out time to write a letter (whilst full of errors and misinformation) when he could have articulated and highlighted the abuses happening in Kashmir and condemned PM Modi’s corrupt, messy, nasty, totalitarian and undemocratic decision against the Kashmiri people.
Letter: Genocide in the occupied Kashmir -an issue of Basic Human Rights.
I refer to the letter page of 22nd of August and the comments of Chandra Roy and story and pictures in the previous week's PT about the Kashmir issue.
Chandra made couple of observation about your story and pictures in the PT of 15th August 2019- First -using Cathedral square as a place for the Rally and second-mayor being present while wearing
the mayoral chain. The people who booked the Cathedral Square for the rally and those who approved should answer that question and similarly answer to the second question should be given
by the legal department of the Peterborough City Council.
I would only like to draw the attention of Chandra Roy and many other people of all nationalities, religion or colour living in Peterborough regarding the most deplorable situation in Occupied Jammu
and Kashmir administrated by India. I briefly set out below the true facts about the situation in occupied J&K and make it clear that it is not an issue of politics or religion but of Humanities and
1. Before 1947 whole India was under the control of British Raj and in August 1947, India was given independence and partitioned in to two separate countries- India with Hindu majority and Pakistan
with Muslim majority. There were several hundred “princely” States in the whole India itself and all these States were given the choice to decide to Join with India or Pakistan - taking into consideration
the makeup of their population and geographical position.
2. Most States decided without much of a problem apart from 3 States. 2 of the States had Hindu population but Muslim Rulers and 3rd Jammu and Kashmir had 95 % Muslim population but Hindu Ruler. The 2 states with Muslim Rulers wanted to Join Pakistan but India took control of both States by force because the population was Hindu. The Ruler of Kashmir was reluctant to join either of the country due to the makeup of the population but India sent in the army to force him to join India against the wishes of the people.
3. In late 1947 there were skirmishing between Indian army and Freedom Fighters from Pakistani side over the Kashmir issue.
4. The prime minister of India went to the United Nation on 1st January 1948, seeking cease fire and promised at the UNO that “people of the Jammu and Kashmir will be given the right of self
determination through a free and fair referendum to decide their own future if they would like to join India or Pakistan.” This pledge was repeated several time thereafter.
5. Sadly that pledge was not honoured. On 14th of May 1954 India changed its constitution by adding article 370 and 35A to give some kind of autonomy to the Kashmir whereas India will only
have defence, foreign affairs and currency. Majority of the Kashmiri people did not accepted this lolly pop gesture and waited for the UNO, Britain and other world powers to force India to honour its
pledge given at UNO.
6. The World Powers put trade before Justice and basic human rights for 11 million people. In late 1980s the people of Kashmir themselves stood up against Illegal Indian occupation of Kashmir and
India tried to quell them by sending thousands of soldiers.
7. The latest figure of Indian army in Kashmir is 700,000 which was increased during the past few weeks which represents about one soldier to every 8 Kashmiri person.
8. During the past 30 years 100,000 men ,women, children have been killed-- over 80,000 seriously injured- 600 people lost their eyesights by the pellet guns being used by the Indian army-- 110,000
people imprisoned without trial or missing-thousands of young girls and women being assaulted/raped-- thousands of houses and businesses being destroyed.
9. On 5th of August 2019 India illegally removed Article 370 and 35A from its constitution making Kashmir its “legal” part and imposed 24 hours curfew and almost made whole of the Kashmir a prison camp .This move is illegal and unconstitutional as Kashmir is a disputed territory according to the UNO. The purpose of such move was same as the Israel has done in occupied areas in Palestine and Syria to settle the Jewish people. India plans to get the Hindus settled in Kashmir to increase the population of Hindus in Kashmir and reduce the population of Muslims.
10. Since 5th of August over 5 000 people have been locked in prisons even those leaders who were supporters of Indian government. Due to the curfew around the clock , there is no food , no
medicines and no other necessities for the Kashmiri people.
11. All the above figures and situations stated above could be verified by the Human rights organisations, Amnesty International, and United nations own reports.
12. The purpose of the Rallies, and other actions taken by the Friends of Kashmir Organisation is to make the public aware like Chandra Roy and thousands more about the most serious breaches of
Basic Human Rights, Ignoring UNO resolutions and to speak up for the innocent people of Kashmir.
I know for a fact that British people are caring not only for human beings but also for animals and they do speak up loud and clear any atrocities committed anywhere in the World. Both India and
Pakistan are Nuclear countries and if there is war between these two countries the whole region will turn into ashes. Let us stop it before it happens.
Abdul M Choudhuri
ex resident of Kashmir