Jamaat-e-Islami Hind joins civil society delegation to Kashmir, interacts with common people to find their problems
New Delhi: A joint delegation comprising of prominent civil society members visited Kashmir from 7th to 10thOctober 2019. The team included S.R. Darapuri (Retd IG, UP Police), Malik Mohtashim Khan (Secretary Jamaat e Islami Hind), Shweta Verma (Women & Child Right Activist), Mujtaba Farooq (Secretary General, All India Muslim Majis Mushawarat), Prashant Tandon (Senior Journalist), Nadeem Khan (Social Activist), Owais Sultan Khan (Social Activist), and Khalid Saifi (Social Activist).
The purpose of the visit was to do a ground analysis and find out the various means by which they could provide relief to the people of Kashmir. The team visited Srinagar, Baramulla, and Pulwama Districts and met scores of locals, social activists, lawyers, NGOs and religious organizations. The team observed that the biggest issue that the people of Kashmir are facing is the communications lockdown that the authorities have imposed on them since the last two months. People are unable to contact their loved ones even in emergencies. They find it very difficult to call hospitals for medical emergencies. Patients undergoing dialysis are facing huge problems due to non-availability of local transport and there is a huge shortage of medicines.The team met a few organizations helping poor patients who complained about the shortage of medicines and requisite funds. The visiting delegation noted down a list of such medicines that are required on a regular basis. Closing of internet service has also made life difficult for people, especially the student community.
A study suggests there is a huge rise in cases of anxiety and mental illness after the abolition of Article 370 and 35A on 5 August 2019 by the Government of India. Children of age between 8 to 16 years are also suffering from depression as their schools are closed. NGOs dealing with children suggested starting of activity centers in villages. There are 39 such centers running with the help of UNESCO but they suggest the need of at least a 100 more such centers. Those who are the worst affected by this situation are from the urban economically weaker sections like daily wage earners, auto and taxi Drivers. Public transport is not functional and there is no information about its status in villages and rural areas.
Public Safety Act (PSA) and police detentions are a major concern as no one has any correct picture about the total number of detentions. The team visited Srinagar High court and spoke to several advocates.Their estimate is that there are between 8000 to 24,000people under detention and a majority of them is juvenile.Many office bearers of the Srinagar High Court Bar association have been arrested under PSA.
The delegation will release a detailed report in a few days. After the release of the report, the joint delegation will coordinate with other organizations and NGOs for relief operations, mainly medicines, and children's mental health.