Police Arrest Kashmiris for Palestine Mural, Peaceful Protests and Speeches

Srinagar: The safety companies within the Valley are keenly watching the thrill on social media platforms amid fears that the Israeli bombing of Palestinians in Gaza could “disturb the peace” and set off “dysfunction on Kashmir’s  streets”.

A handful of peaceable protests have been reported prior to now few days in components of Kashmir. And on Saturday, the Shopian police detained a well-liked non secular preacher, Sarjan Barkati for talking in regards to the unraveling scenario in Palestine.

Barkati’s spouse, Shabrooza, mentioned he had delivered a sermon on the eve of Eid in Reban village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district during which he prayed for Gaza and an finish to the killings of civilians, together with youngsters within the Israeli airstrikes.

“A police occasion took him away within the (Saturday) afternoon,” mentioned Shabrooza, a homemaker, including that Barkati, who spent 4 yr in jail after he was arrested in 2016, was launched solely in October 2020. The couple has two youngsters.

In 2016, Barkati grew to become one of many faces of the huge protest motion in Kashmir sparked by the killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen’s Burhan Wani in an encounter with the safety forces.

Barkati’s highly effective method of sloganeering pulled crowds within the 1000’s, incomes him the sobriquet of the ‘pied piper’ in newspaper headlines and on social media platforms.

He was booked beneath the Public Security Act on October 10, 2016 and thrown into jail.

“I used to be already struggling to make ends meet. I’ve exhausted all our financial savings in getting him launched and taking good care of my youngsters in these years. I don’t understand how we’re going to survive now,” Sabrooza mentioned.

Artist detained for pro-Palestine mural

The J&Okay Police additionally detained a 32-year-old artist, Mudasir Gul, on Friday within the wake of a pro-Palestine protest that broke out in Srinagar’s Padshahi Bagh locality earlier within the day.

A mural was drawn by Mudasir on the gates of a spillover channel of Jhelum river close to the locality and it confirmed the weeping face of a girl, her head draped beneath a Palestinian flag, with ‘We’re Palestine’ written in daring, white letters.

Mudasir additionally participated within the protest together with different children who reportedly set ablaze an Israeli flag. The video of the protest had gone viral on social media.

Mudasir’s brother, Badr-ul-Salam informed reporters in Srinagar {that a} police staff raided their house quickly after the video circulated on social media. “They took him to the place the place the mural was drawn and requested him to deface it,” Salam mentioned.

After the mural was defaced. Photograph: Particular Association

“We don’t know the place they’ve saved him or if they’ve pressed any expenses,” he added. Although some studies claimed Gul has been booked beneath the PSA, there was no official affirmation of this.

Kashmir’s Palestine connection

Kashmiris instinctively bond with Palestinians as a lot out of solidarity as from a way of shared helplessness in being disempowered in their very own land.

As the photographs of Israeli aggression on Palestinians are beamed from tv screens and circulated on social media platforms, Kashmiris have seemed for tactics to reply creatively.

Up to now, there have been a whole lot of pro-Palestine demonstrations in Kashmir throughout which younger Kashmiris have clashed with safety forces. With demonstrations nicely nigh-impossible within the aftermath of the scrapping of J&Okay’s particular constitutional standing and statehood, the one avenues left to indicate solidarity are prayers, grafitti and writing.  However because the arrests of Barkati and Gul present, even these peaceable acts usually are not being allowed.

“Encashment of public anger”

In an announcement on Saturday, Kashmir police chief Vijay Kumar mentioned there are “components who’re trying to leverage the unlucky scenario in Palestine to disturb peace and order within the Kashmir valley.”

“We’re knowledgeable pressure and are delicate to public anguish. However J&Okay police has a obligation to make sure legislation and order as nicely. It, nevertheless, wouldn’t permit cynical encashment of the general public anger to set off violence, lawlessness and dysfunction on Kashmir streets,” Kumar mentioned.

“Expressing opinion is a freedom however engineering and inciting violence on streets is illegal. All irresponsible social media feedback that leads to precise violence and breaking of legislation together with Covid protocol will entice authorized motion. We urge cooperation of all residents,” Kumar added.

Assault on freedom of expression

Mir Suhail, a Kashmiri artist primarily based within the US who graduated from Srinagar’s School of Tremendous Arts together with Mudasir, the detained artist, mentioned the crackdown is an try and silence dissenting voices.

“Mudasir has been an apolitical artist since our faculty days. The truth that he has been rounded up by the  police for a seemingly innocent mural looks as if a message to everybody else,” Suhail surmised.

“That even the artists can’t converse their thoughts is a telling assertion of the state of democracy in India,” he mentioned.

On Friday night time, a police staff raided the Padshahi Bagh locality the place the anti-Israel protest had taken place throughout the day and detained a minimum of six extra children.

Locals mentioned the brothers of two suspects, who had reportedly participated within the demonstration, have been additionally whisked away. They have been let loose solely after their ‘offender’ brothers surrendered earlier than the police.

Inspector basic Vijay Kumar didn’t reply repeated telephone calls and textual content messages in regards to the newest detentions.

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