Indian Re-Education Camps In Kashmir – Is New Delhi Inspired By Chinese Xinjiang Strategy?

In Kashmir, amid a state of incommunicado, there’s a silent crackdown on mosques and clerics taking place. Clerics in Kashmir are being counselled at army camps to discourage them from speaking on Article 370. Those raising objections and being critical of the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state are being threatened with arrests, reports the Scroll.

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Peer Haji Bilal Ahad Hamdani, the cleric at Khanqah-e-Moula, a 14th century-old shrine in old Kashmir revealed that it was for the first time in 600 years that this place was barred from hosting Eid celebrations and Friday prayers.

He stated that despite all uprisings this shrine has not stopped from offering prayers and now it’s for the first time that the prayers have been curtailed after the abrogation of Article 370 that extended special provisions to the state of Kashmir.

He unveiled that after August 5, when the declaration was made about the quashing of special provisions, the local authorities have not allowed the usual Friday prayers to take place, according to the Scroll.

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The representatives from the local police station asked the clerics at  Kahngah-e-Moula to suspend Friday prayers right after the announcements were made by the government of India.

On being questioned, the local police threatened to send these clerics to jails in Jodhpur. Hundreds of people in Kashmir have been rounded up by the local police and have been sent to jails even outside Jammu and Kashmir as per the media reports. As many as six clerics and religious heads have been detained in Kashmir.

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These hints at a situation of a crackdown on Mosques and religious heads in Kashmir to prevent them from raising their voice against the government’s decisions. Threats of imprisonment echoes loudly in Kashmir and are being used anyone who wishes to express dissent against the government.

Is New Delhi getting inspired by the Chinese Re-Education Camps in Xinjiang or the Modi government is ensuring that Pakistani propaganda against India gets curtailed?

Chinese Re-Education Camps

China has escalated its campaign of mass detention, impertinent scrutiny, political brainwashing and forced cultural conformity against the region’s Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups.

According to Amnesty International, the Chinese authorities label the re-education camps as centres for “transformation-through-education” but most people refer to them simply as “re-education camps”.

Those sent to the re0-education camps are not put on trial, have no access to lawyers or right to challenge the decision. Detainees could be left to rot in the prisons for months, as it is the authorities who decide if and when a detainee has been “transformed”.

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Those who oppose or fail to show enough progress face harsh penalties ranging from verbal abuse to food deprivation, solitary confinement, torture and use of restraints and stress positions. There have been reports of deaths inside the facilities, including suicides of those incapable to bear the violation.

“So-called ‘re-education camps’ are places of indoctrination, torture and suffering that date back to the darkest hours of the Mao-era, when anyone suspected of not being loyal enough to the Communist Party could end up in China’s infamous labour camps.

Do you find any similarity between Uighur Muslims and Kashmiri Muslims? OpEd penned by Divesh Gill with inputs from Scroll and Amnesty International. Views Personnel