Hurriyet leader Yasin Malik’s hospitalisation as a result of his hunger strike in incarceration is only further evidence of the injustice being meted out to the Kashmiri leader due to his stance against Indian oppression. Malik has been on a hunger strike since Friday, after the Indian state ignored his plea to be allowed to face his trials in Jammu in person.

The demand being made is not altogether unreasonable, especially since the Kashmiri leader has maintained his innocence in both cases where is the primary accused individual. One of them pertains to a kidnapping while the other involves the alleged killing of Indian Air Force officials. Both cases are thirty years old, which is why the sudden ruling against Malik and the way in which the appeals process has been handled indicates that these are hardly the open-and-shut cases that the Indian state claims they are.

It is no secret that the Modi government has increased its attempts to marginalise the people of Kashmir and their leaders to the point of breaking any resistance efforts against the assimilation of the disputed area with the Indian mainland. Leaders such as Yasin Malik are emblematic of the fighting spirit of Kashmir, even after the military siege and forcible occupation has been ramped up since the semi-autonomous status of the region was reversed. This is exactly why human rights activists the world over have called for transparent proceedings—the first step of which would be to allow for Yasin Malik to attend his own trial proceedings.

It is hoped that the Indian state can see some sense and allow for Malik to be present in the court. In the meanwhile, the Pakistani state must continue to diplomatically raise this issue and the larger plight of Kashmiris in Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK). This will continue to be a national responsibility until the right to self-determination is fully realised.