IIOJK Insurgency

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new Kashmir rhetoric is dying a natural death. The insurgency in the occupied valley and ambushes on the occupying forces have become more frequent, exposing the false sense of normalcy. Recently, a grenade attack by insurgents killed five soldiers, and two more were killed earlier in Kulgam District. These events draw attention back to the insurgency fighting for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, suppressed by a large number of occupying forces.

The heavy presence of military, paramilitary, and Central Reserve Police Force personnel has failed to deter the native insurgents. These forces operate under special powers allowing on-sight shooting and cordon and search operations. India is replicating Israel’s occupational tactics in Palestine, including settler colonialism. However, Kashmir’s insurgency has survived and become more emboldened. Against international obligations to hold a referendum in occupied Kashmir and decide the fate of the valley as per the will of the native Kashmiris, India opted to suppress, attack, kill, detain, and occupy. It even went a step further by constitutionally altering the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir. The surge in insurgent attacks on the occupying forces implies that all these tactics are failing. Perhaps India needs to acknowledge that. J&K has a long seventy-year history of freedom fighting and resistance. Deprived of any agency, the native freedom fighters use ambushes and attacks to express their dissent and unwillingness to accept Indian occupation. In addition to these on-ground fighters, Kashmir’s diaspora plays a significant role by lobbying for UN resolutions that require India to hold a referendum. Recently, the Legal Forum for Kashmir released its biannual report, recording an upward trend in state repression in the valley from January to June 2024.

In the face of persistent repression and counter-insurgency operations, the insurgents hit back whenever possible, calling on the world to recognize their agency, right to self-determination, and freedom.

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