No-one can dare oppose Modi, raise a pro-Pakistan slogan or sympathise with Kashmiris in indefinite prison. On June 29, 2020, a businessman Mubeen Shah was arrested and charged with sedition for lifting residency restrictions. In April, the police slapped criminal charges on Gowher Geelani and Peerzada Ashiq, both journalists, and Masrat Zahra, a photojournalist, for their social media posts dubbed “anti-national”. On July 31, editor Qazi Shibli was detained.

The government has announced a new media policy to gag media. It empowers the authorities to decide what is “fake news, plagiarism and unethical or anti-national activities” and to take punitive action against media outlets, journalists, and editors.

At least nine UN rapporteurs also called upon New Delhi to reconsider the closure of the State Human Rights Commission and “undertake prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into all alleged enforced disappearances…and take measures to identify the remains in each of the thousands of unmarked graves”. There are at least 8,000 Kashmiris disappeared by Indian forces and probably killed in custody.

The UN special rapporteurs asked the Indian government to investigate the alleged torture and custodial killings of several Kashmiri Muslim men since January 2019.

SAMAN MALIK,

Rawalpindi.