Kashmir Solidarity Protests in London

SEVERAL hundred people took part in an Emergency Vigil for Kashmir at the Indian High Commission London on Monday 5 August, called by the South Asia Solidarity Group, in condemnation of the massive escalation of militarisation, cutting off all communications from Kashmir, detention of political leaders and the subsequent secretive, conspiratorial, and illegal abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir by the Modi Government.

Pledging to stand with the Kashmiri people, and defend their right to determine their future, speakers from various organisations, including students’ groups, trade unions and civil society organisations and Kashmiri groups questioned the legality of abrogating Article 370 and Article 35A.

They also stated that they would raise the issue with various international bodies and continue to keep international attention on Kashmir and the Modi government’s gross human rights violations.

On 15 August, India’s Independence Day, Kashmiri Students Action, South Asia Solidarity Group (SASG), and SOAS India society called for a ‘Stand With Kashmir’ protest at Trafalgar Square, London. The demonstration was also supported by a Green Party MEP, Palestine and Sudan Solidarity Campaigns, Imkaan, UK’s largest Black and Asian women’s organisation and several Indian organisations, including the Indian Workers Association.

A statement issued by the SASG said, “We in South Asia Solidarity Group express our deep solidarity and our unwavering support to the people of Kashmir. Kashmiris are today in the eleventh day of a brutal siege.”

The SASG Statement also referred to the growing attacks on Dalits, adivasis, and women in Modi-ruled India, saying, “it is beyond ironic that today in his Independence Day speech Narendra Modi has claimed that his actions in Kashmir will benefit women, children, Dalits and Adivasis. We know all too well what is happening to these groups in India under BJP rule. We’ve also heard the voices of young women of Kashmir who told the team, that they don’t need the Modi government to come and save them. This rhetoric of saving women is exactly the same as that which was used in Afghanistan and Iraq to justify invasion and occupation.”