Restore Internet, Release Politically Detained Persons: US Resolution Seeks Justice for Kashmir

Indian-American lawmaker Pramila Jayapal has introduced a resolution to restore internet, end detentions in Kashmir. The resolution has been introduced in the US House of Representatives.

In an interesting new development in the US House of Representatives, Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal spoke up vehemently against the communication blockade and mass detention of people in the Kashmir Valley in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 and she has introduced a new resolution demanding that normalcy be restored in the Valley. 

The resolution will be put to vote in the US House. It urges the Government of India to lift all the restrictions on communication and restore internet access across the Valley as swiftly as possible and release all politically detained persons. 

The US House of Representatives made an acknowledgement of the current situation in India but said that it stands to completely reject excessive force against civilians and the suppression of peaceful expressions of dissent as proportional to security challenges. Both the Democratic and the Republic leaders have expressed deepest concerns over the situation in Kashmir in the aftermath of the reading down of Article 370.


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The Context 

We know that the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has been experiencing an internet ban ever since the historic Article 370 was read down on August 5. 

Even as the Centre cites safety concerns whenever there are protests for ensuring back internet communication in the Valley, the truth really is that we don’t know when exactly the Valley would again be able to access regular internet. 

But to assert a disapproval of an internet ban that has been imposed on the Valley in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, the US Congress has urged India to lift the communications clampdown, release the political detainees and give back religious freedom to the citizens of Kashmir.  

The US Congress is likely to see the easy passage of this important resolution. 

The resolution was first introduced in the house on December 6 by the first Indian American congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal. The house is likely to see the resolution being passed. The draft resolution states that, 

The House rejects arbitrary detention, use of excessive force against civilians, and the suppression of peaceful expression of dissent as promotional responses to security challenges.”

It also urges the Indian governed to recall its commitment to the goal of universal human rights in every part of the country and to respect the international humanitarian law in actions taken in pursuit of legitimate security priorities.

The resolution also has a series of recommendations for New Delhi such as the lifting of restrictions on communication channels, restoration of internet access, release of all the people who had been arbitrarily arrested and to allow the easy entry of journalists and human rights activists in the Jammu and Kashmir region.

It also urges the Indian administration to make the most strongest possible condemnation of violence that is religiously organised and violence that victimises and targets the minorities. 

Jayapal had earlier gone ahead and pressed the US government to build pressure on the Indian government to immediately end the communications blockade in Kashmir and release arrested political leaders.

 

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