Protests Amidst Elections In Kashmir Leave 8 Dead And 200 Injured

India has increased their security in Kashmir after deadly incident amidst local elections, reports Violent protests had resulted in the Indian parliamentary forces, along with the police fired upon protesters, leaving 8 people dead and over 200 injured. Kashmir has always been an area of turmoil due to high contest for the undisputed region of it between both India and Pakistan. Last year in July, a rise of violence in the region was seen when India killed two pro-separatist leaders in Kashmir.

The former state Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah stated the election was to be peaceful, and it was the government who was at fault. “Elections should have been peaceful. This government has failed in giving a peaceful atmosphere for people to come and vote”. The Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Shant Manu stated that “violent protests happened at many places… protestors damaged and snatched EVM’s (electronic voting machines) at some places. It was not a good day.”

The rise of Indian security forces in Kashmir will not help the issue. Neither would security forces from any other nation. Kashmir must be separated and go through a nation building process for its own people. India and Pakistan both enter Kashmir for their own agenda, leaving the actual nation-building process for Kashmir to remain in the background. To be a nation with its own peacekeepers is what Kashmir needs. The majority of security issues stem from Kashmir from outer influences, mainly the India and Pakistan dispute.

The Kashmir conflict stems since 1947. The leader of Kashmir at the time, Hari Singh, had signed it over to India. Since then, a series of wars have been fought leaving a Pakistan-owned division of Kashmir, and Indian-owned division Kashmir and an independent or unclaimed Kashmir. Since July 2016, Kashmir separatists were killed by the Indian military, leading to a chain of violent events. Most notably, the use of rubber bullets by the Indian forces hitting civilians, which in turn caused hundreds to turn blind.

Kashmir has been a long sought territory by Pakistan and India, decades of violence and resentment leave the solution for Kashmir to be a complex one. Security forces from both India and Pakistan have been causing issues in Kashmir since 1947, leaving the peace and security for Kashmir to be nonexistent. By furthering their own tensions, India and Pakistan through the Kashmir conflict deter peace and security for their own citizens as well, leaving them vulnerable to violence from either side.