Stories about Srinagar

The Pulwama attack is more than a massacre – it’s an unfortunate reminder

The recent killing of 44 security personnel belonging to the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) outside Srinagar has opened up a can of worms, and everyone should be bothered at this development. It’s not that this is the first time there has been an attack on Indian security forces in the valley, inflicting serious damage in terms of casualties. However, this attack is quite significant for the many issues it reveals, not necessarily for the lay person. The first and most important problem we need to confront is the attitude of the Indian state and its unofficial auxiliaries who have ...

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As bodies pile up in IoK, strong condemnations are appreciated, but they are not enough

December 15th was just another Saturday, but nobody knew then that it would be a bloody one. News came that an encounter broke out between forces and militants in the Sirnoo area of Indian-occupied Kashmir’s (IoK) Pulwama district. Then, at around noon, news emerged that one civilian had been killed by the forces. The toll only stopped at seven as the day passed. At the end of day, seven civilians had been killed and around 250 were injured with pellets and bullets. That night people slept in anger. As news of a massacre arrives from home in Kashmir, I realise it’s ...

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Shujaat Bukhari: The saner voice in a place where insanity prevails

On Thursday evening, barely a day before Eidul Fitr, senior and most respected journalist Shujaat Bukhari was killed just outside his office in Press Enclave, Srinagar. Bukhari was the editor-in-chief of English daily Rising Kashmir published from Srinagar I was not far away from where the incident occurred. I was in the newsroom, where I along with rest of the staff was working on Friday’s edition of our newspaper when we heard gunshots. Panic gripped us, but one of my colleagues mentioned that it couldn’t have been gunshots, Eid was nearing, and maybe kids were out playing with firecrackers. Thinking ...

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After all, killings of Kashmiri youth do not make it to primetime shows

A week ago, clashes erupted between Indian security forces and protestors just outside the Jamia Masjid Srinagar. What followed was scary, but was not happening for the first time. A police vehicle ran over two young boys; one was seriously injured and the other one, Qaiser Amin Bhat, died of his injuries at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) later on the same day. The incident was not something new; one such incident had already taken place in Srinagar earlier in the month, when a police vehicle ran over a youngster, Adil Ahmad Yadoo, killing him on the spot. Earlier, ...

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The media is relentless in its pursuit of exclusives, and Kashmir is always a good harvest

(Disclaimer: Graphic images below) Me: “So why don’t you start studying again?” Baba: “No, I can’t…” Me: “But why?” Baba: “It’s of no use; I have eight FIRs against me madam. The first one was registered when I was on my way to school. They picked me up, slapped me, let me off after three days. The second FIR was for illegal possession of weapons and the third…” Baba went on explaining the list of police cases against him as the car criss-crossed Srinagar with blaring music. Me: “Even then, you should at least complete your studies? Things will change…” Baba: “Even if I am able to resume my second year in ...

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Given the Pakistan-India rivalry, how pragmatic is it for IOK to be part of CPEC?

The dominant view from Indian-held Kashmir is that the disputed region could greatly benefit from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Provided both Islamabad and New Delhi declare all parts of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, Jammu, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B)) as a ‘single free economic zone’. Cutting across the ideological lines, leading stakeholders from India-held Kashmir argue that, “Kashmir can in fact become a gateway for India to be part of the CPEC, provided there is a settlement of the dispute first.” Without a whisker of doubt, the multi-billion dollar CPEC will definitely impact the socio-political and economic landscape of a certain part of the erstwhile ...

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It’s mourning in Kashmir

My confusion regarding whether the explosions were Eid crackers or gunshots was short-lived; slogans followed the shots, which are a rarity in the uptown area of Srinagar, where I live. I rushed downstairs to hear my father announce that Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander, had been killed in an encounter. My mother looked at me in a way that suggested she needed to hear it wasn’t true. I didn’t know yet. I quickly checked my phone and saw missed calls from my friends and fellow journalists. Sheikh Saaliq, who works with Hindustan Times had called. Kyah chu karun (what do we do). Between the shock and ...

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An open letter to Shefali Vaidya: How can you justify killing humans in order to protect cows?

Dear Ms Shefali Vaidya, I saw your post dedicated to ‘Indian Liberal Intellectual’ through a dear friend of mine. Let me confess, I may agree partially on the facts with you, but I do disagree with your intentions. And this disagreement in terms of intentions itself draws me to write this reply to your post. You dedicated your post to the ‘Indian Liberal Intellectual’, and blatantly describe him to be “neither Indian, nor Liberal, nor Intellectual!” Ms Vaidya, can you please define these terms so that we get some clarity on the issue to examine how one becomes an ‘Indian’, ‘liberal’ and ‘intellectual’? Or do ...

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As a Kashmiri, I ask, will my scars ever heal?

When people talk about the effects of conflict on the psyche of the youth in Kashmir, I automatically recall my experiences in a conflict-ridden Kashmir as well. With every passing murder of innocent youths in the area – such as the recent killing of Khalid Muzaffar in the North-Kashmir area of Tral, or the earlier case of the Pathribal and Machil fake encounter –  I wonder how I could have been in their place or could have ended up taking arms against the perpetrators to avenge the pain inflicted upon us. So here I am, writing my story, a story which nearly every Kashmiri can relate to. I ...

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Blind the Kashmiri protesters: A new tactic employed by India

This is the story of a teenager. His face is disfigured. One eye is lost forever. I have not spoken to him in person since he is lying in a bed in New Delhi, while I sit and write this in Islamabad. But if you see his face the way I saw it when his story broke, you will not be able to forget it. And you will begin following his story updates more vehemently. He should not have lost his eye. Who loses an eye for carrying a placard, shouting slogans, and partaking in a peaceful protest for a political cause? I often ...

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