In Depth

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“As night falls on my journey far I find myself at a riverbank. I search my pockets and not a cowry there. What shall I pay for the ferry fee?”   It started with a wedding and ended in a march. In between many innocent souls were murdered ruthlessly on the streets of Kashmir. Love was the chain that pulled and bound many of us, and it also set us free. Love of a belief that refuses to die – a belief in a just world, a belief that people’s power can give impetus to a peaceful process for the

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Ten days after a special law protecting army personnel from prosecution was promulgated in new areas  of Arunachal Pradesh, 12 soldiers have been accused of groping and sexually harassing three women in the state’s most populous district. The act raises fears of a new cycle of violence in Arunachal—previously witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir, and Manipur—where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is now in force in 12 of 14 districts declared “disturbed areas”, to help the army combat two major insurgent groups. Of the 38 requests made to the Centre for prosecution of army personnel between 1991 and

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Three years after Harud (autumn) Literary festival was called off, amid scathing criticism by Kashmiri writers and civil society activists, for insisting on being controversially “apolitical” in a highly militarized conflict zone, this time J-K Government itself has stepped in to collaborate with an NGO to organize a literary festival- Sounth (spring). As state owned Doordarshan and Radio Kashmir put together the literary festival and with J-K Governor inaugurating the event, the festival looks more like an exercise meant to counter the new writing and art emerging out of the valley. “The literature festival will focus on the changing life

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Hundreds of people held a vigil at Trafalgar Square in London last evening to remember those killed and injured in the attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris earlier yesterday. Some stood silence, others cried, but all were united in their condemnation and sense of outrage following the assault by gunmen carrying Kalashnikov rifles on the French satirical magazine’s offices. Those gathered sung La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, held aloft pens and placards, bearing the words ‘Je Suis Charlie’ in solidarity. There was a large French contingent among the crowd. Anne Sophie, a 29-year-old designer living in London,

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It was early morning on Tuesday, a lorry enters in the courtyard of Mohammad Yusuf Bhat’s house carrying a makeshift tent that will be pitched in the courtyard where dozens of women have gathered to mourn the killing of his son. “Oh brother, are you hungry? Do you want tea? Oh groom, we are not crying, we are singing,” screams a woman. “He was a kid and they pumped bullets in his body. They are killing us in front of the whole world. We are innocents. We are being killed and then given a bad name. We want blood for

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After two civilians were killed by army last evening here in Nowgam area of Kashmir, today early in the morning both the bodies were buried. The funeral prayers were attended by hundreds of men, as several people couldn’t reach due to the curfew imposed by the authorities in the area. Burhan Yusuf Bhat, 14, and Mehraj ud Din Dar, 21, were shot dead when they were on way to see a Muharram procession in the nearby area. According to the eyewitnesses, both of them including two more friends were in a Maruti 800 car and were showered with bullets at

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Part I Why I didn’t attend the ‘million march for Kashmir’ By Rabia Latif Khan This year October 26 saw the coming together of many British Kashmiris to London for a demonstration to highlight the forgotten conflict in Kashmir. For many disillusioned Kashmiris it was a welcome step in pushing for greater dialogue on the conflict. However, upon learning that the march had been organised by the former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir my support for the march dwindled. As a proponent of ‘azadi’ in its literal and absolute sense – meaning no India, no Pakistan and a free Kashmir,

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One of the Southern districts of Kashmir Valley, Kulgam, where nine people died in the devastating floods that has claimed more than 300 lives in the whole state so far, has been badly destroyed. This district was one of the first areas that was affected by the floods in the first week of this month. In one of the villages, Kilam Gund, around 40 houses have been completely swept by the floodwater; cutting the roads, changing the paddy fields into water streams filled with cobblestones. The remaining 165 houses in the village are unsafe to live in, locals said. People

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After the massive floods in Kashmir valley several houses were swept by the floodwater, leaving thousands homeless. The government response to the floods fury has been ineffective but several voluntary organisations and individuals have contributed to restore life to some extent, donating medicines, food, clothes, and tents. In Srinagar’s various areas, tents have been put up for people who lost their houses to the floods. Around 300 people have died in the state due to floods and the economy has seen a major downfall, that may not be recovered in just a few years. People living on roads, streets, relief

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In one of the of orphanages of Kashmir 450 orphans from different parts of the state became homeless in one day as the valley was submerged by massive floods, almost a fortnight ago. The Jammu and Kashmir Yateem Khana, an orphanage located on the outskirts of the summer capital Srinagar, is a permanent home for the children. Like many in the valley, these children too had to leave to save themselves from the floodwater. “Water started coming in from every direction late in the evening. At first we moved all the children to first floor, but as water level continued

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