The Kashmiri Faultline

India’s failure to placate current protests may have turned them into an uprising.

By Rajendra Prabhu.

In September, Kashmir entered its third month of rioting. Over 60 nights of curfew have been imposed by Indian security forces, but youths have taken to the street day after day to protest and fight with police. Over 70 people have been killed in the clashes, mostly by police, and thousands more have been wounded. Business and schools in the area have been shut down for over two months, and India has regularly turned off Internet and mobile phone connections in an attempt to stop the demonstrations.

The Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, which lies in the buffer zone between India and Pakistan, is in continued unrest. It is the worst violence in the region in more than a decade. Though the state has been under Indian control since 1947, Pakistan and India have fought three wars over the disputed territories and remain in a form of prolonged cold war—at the center of which is Kashmir.

Millions, a majority of them Muslim, call the region home, thousands of whom have now marched daily in the streets, ever since Indian security forces killed Burhan Wani, in July. Though Wani had been a militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmiri-separatist group designated a terrorist organization by India, the European Union, and the United States, he was popular on social media for his denouncing of the Indian government. The protests were triggered by his death, but the people in the streets say they are angered by many more alleged human rights violations committed by Indian national forces in the region. Heavy-handed responses by security forces have resulted in more deaths and fueled the unrest. The situation risks turning into …

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