Oppression in Illegally Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) continues as the BJP government clamps down on journalists once again, this time forcing The Kashmir Walla—a news portal—to dismantle and vacate its offices. Just two days prior, its website and social media accounts were also blocked. Freedom of the press is a concept that is dying in Kashmir, leaving the locals little to no platforms through which they can voice their opinions or stories. Remarkably, the international community has still not taken a step to curtail India’s atrocious actions in the region.
As per news reports, the occupational forces had shut down the news portals online platform in order to maintain control over the media and news as a whole. The Kashmir Walla’s website and social media was blocked, and with the latest development of forcing workers and journalists out of the office.
Evidently so, this is part of a larger clampdown against the press in the disputed region. Ever since the region’s autonomy was revoked forcefully by India, journalists and media workers have experienced extreme hostility. People have been regularly arrested, questioned by the police and in most instances, have had their lives taken due perceived backlash ‘against the state’. These are extremely restrictive and authoritarian policies that have only added to the woes of the Kashmiris. Not only are they unable to fight back, but any little agency they have to get their voices heard by the international community has been completely stripped away from them.
State-terrorism has become the norm, and we have a situation where even international humanitarian workers and their organisations are not allowed to operate freely in IIOJK. As activists are jailed and journalists are harassed over trumped up charges, there is little protest or outcry from the international community as the BJP government continues to clamp down on the indigenous movement for fundamental rights.