Indian Occupied Kashmir has been brutalised for years, but since the lockdown in August last year, Indian security forces have become even more inhumane. Wednesday’s incident is a visible manifestation of the value of Kashmiri citizens to the Indian state. A man lay on the side of the road while his murderers placed his three-year-old grandson on his bullet-ridden corpse for a grotesque photo-op.

If the videos of a young boy recounting this harrowing tale do not stir anger at the injustice of what took place, our collective conscience is as good as dead. As always, in the perpetuation of this senseless violence, the Indian state is only giving Kashmiris more cause to take up arms against their oppressors and take their struggle for freedom towards a successful conclusion.

The reality of Kashmir is that human rights as a concept seems to be inapplicable and life is considered to be dispensable so long as it promotes political gain. Ever since January 2020, 229 men, women and children have been killed mercilessly by the increasingly violent and territorial Indian government. Laws which promote demographic flooding have been passed and severe restrictions have been placed on the media. Fear is used as a weapon for control and civilians are terrorised despite adhering to the rules of the lockdown and expecting their home to be an escape from the cruelty.

With every year that passes, each report, reach statistic and each picture that is born out of Kashmir dehumanises the people and the violence perpetuated by the Indian government goes unchecked. However, each case stands as proof of the fervour with which Kashmiris fight for their rights and their freedom in the face of immense opposition. India will have to let the Kashmiris decide their future. Anything short of that will ensure that violence continues.