Kashmiris - Struggles and their Implications

t is no mystery that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 along with the abrogation of Article 370 was met with widespread criticism throughout the nation.

Team Law Community
July 23, 2020


It is no mystery that the Citizenship (Amendment)Act, 2019 along with the abrogation of Article 370 was met with widespread criticism throughout the nation. Any form of activism and display of dissent needs to be in conformity, to the provisions laid down in law. With this having been said, it is pertinent to direct our attention towards Jammu & Kashmir(well mostly Kashmir) to understand how the ‘Orwellian siege’ , state has been placed in . This particular scenario is a blatant violation of human rights of the Kashmiri citizens. Brutal suppression of dissent is something which has been witnessed at various instances in recent times and is going to form the crux of this discussion.

The ruthless manner in which any form of protest has been crushed, has reduced Kashmiris to a sub-human condition of life which is in complete contravention to the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity upon which India has been founded upon. Such an embargo upon the enjoyment of basic freedoms has been condemned at a national as well as international level by activists, leaders and scholars alike.

144 CrPC- Draconian Law or Arbitrary Imposition?

Recently, application of 144 in areas of ‘unrest’implies internet shutdowns for preventing the spread of dissent through cyberspace, so to speak. The law which was earlier used by the British Administrators to suppress the Indian National Movement and is now being used in an arbitrary and unfair manner to infringe upon the basic rights and liberties of Kashmiri citizens. Ever since the territory came under direct control of the Central Government, there has been an overflow of power for the purpose of cracking down on every single voice which opposes the government’s policies.

The prolonged internet shutdown in Kashmir which was conditionally lifted in March, 2020 after an unprecedented period of eight months came as a welcome relief to the Kashmiri citizens. This action was taken in furtherance of the Apex Court order dated the 10th of January,2020. The right to access of internet was characterized as an integral component of the Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.It recognized the terrible living conditions that had come about in Kashmir Valley and was of the opinion that such deprivation of basic entitlements through prolonged and high handed imposition of 144 CrPC is unconstitutional.

The death and destruction that Kashmir has had to face owing to faults on both sides, i.e. the militant organisations as well as the administration’s response without much care for collateral damage has caused very drastic effects for the innocent citizenry of Kashmir and has received major coverage due to the same reason. The police and army brutality that was witnessed in certain sections of Kashmir after imposition of 144 CrPC has been criticized by organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch as well as the UN. It can therefore be implied that 144 though having its advantages has a very great potential to be grossly misused for curbing any dissent whatsoever. Even though the Supreme Court has categorically held such an abuse of power to be unlawful, administrative high handedness cannot be preempted and can only be rectified in hindsight.



It needs to be stated that unwarranted violation of human rights through unlawful implementation of the provisions laid down in law is in contravention to accepted norms of constitutionality. The situation in Kashmir needs to be normalized and the victims be given justice for what they have had to face owing to abuse of power by the Central Government. Judicial intervention and relief camps organized by various NGOs seem to be the only hope currently for these aggrieved citizens especially now in the times of a global pandemic.

Internet shutdowns in unreasonable manner are not in consonance to the law of this land and cannot be used as a method for arbitrarily curbing the voices of dissent. Freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under Article 19 and cannot be curbed upon the whims and fancies of the ruling government. Judicial review of such maladministration is essential to ensure that the democratic nature of this great nation.