Over 500 Academics, Scientists Concerned About IOK Crisis

(@FahadShabbir)

Over 500 academics, scientists concerned about IOK crisis

Over 500 academics and scientists in a statement have expressed deep concern about the humanitarian crisis caused by continued curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Sep, 2019 ) :Over 500 academics and scientists in a statement have expressed deep concern about the humanitarian crisis caused by continued curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

IOK has been under lockdown since August 5, when the Indian government repealed the special status of the territory, reported by Kashmir Media Service.

The signatories said while they held differing views on Article 370, all of them are appalled by the shutdown of the communications system and internet in the territory. "We understand that landlines have been restored in some parts of Kashmir, but since landline tele-density in Kashmir is below 1% according to the government's own statistics, this measure has failed to provide substantive relief to Kashmir's residents," they said in the statement. "In our own institutions, we have witnessed students suffering because they are unable to maintain contact with their families," they added.

The signatories revealed that the restrictions had apparently made it difficult for citizens to even buy medicines and children attend school.

"We believe the authorities' actions in detaining and restricting the communications of opposition leaders and dissidents in Kashmir are deeply undemocratic," the signatories said. "Whatever views one might hold about these individuals, a fundamental norm in a democracy is that the party in power does not have the right to lock up its political opponents when they have not even been accused of any crime," the statement said.

The academics and scientists said they were disturbed by the reports of human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. "We would like to express our solidarity with the people of Kashmir and offer our support to those outside Kashmir who have been cut off from their families and friends as a result of these decisions taken by the Indian government," they said.

The signatories said the authorities were duty-bound to uphold the rights and welfare of all citizens.

They demanded that full communications means be immediately restored in Kashmir, restrictions be lifted, opposition leaders released, and investigations conducted into violations of human rights in the territory.

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