India forcibly landed its military in princely state of Jammu and Kashmir on October 27, 1947 in a gross violation of law and ‘Partition Plan of the Indian Subcontinent. Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir Hari Singh and, Boundary Commission head Sir Radcliff colluded in this crime against humanity. Consequently, India announced accession of Jammu and Kashmir under a controversial ‘Instrument of Accession’ in total disregard to the Partition Plan as well as popular will or Kashmiris since it was a Muslim majority state and was most likely to accede with Pakistan owing to its geography, people’s aspirations, culture and religion.

Secondly right from day one, freedom-loving people of Kashmir did not accept India’s illegal occupation and launched an indigenous armed struggle in 1947. Sympathisers from Pakistani tribal areas entered Jammu and Kashmir to support their brethren in legitimate quest for freedom. India approached UN Security Council on January 1, 1948 for arbitration, which through its successive resolutions impliedly nullified Indian occupation of Kashmir, declaring it as a disputed territory. It approved a ceasefire, demarcation of the ceasefire line, demilitarization of the state and a free and impartial plebiscite to be conducted under the supervision of the World Body (UNO). The ceasefire and demarcation of ceasefire line were immediately implemented but demilitarization of the occupied territory and a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN supervision remain unimplemented to-date and the Kashmir dispute keeps on lingering.

As a result of the demarcation, about 139,000 square kilometres area of Jammu and Kashmir remained with India while 83,807 square kilometres constituted the territory of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Indian rulers announced till 1957 that they would provide the Kashmiris the right to decide their future. The promise still remains unfulfilled and the struggle for Kashmiris’ inalienable right to self-determination continues.

After the failure of all peaceful means to settle the Kashmir dispute, the Kashmiris started an indigenous uprising in 1989 to end the status quo and secure their right to self-determination. This public movement gathered momentum with the passage of time and forced India to negotiation table with Pakistan in 2004. The dialogue process between the two countries continues to date but without yielding any substantive result towards resolution of Kashmir dispute. Prime reason is India’s non-seriousness and its intransigence on the dispute. Since initiation of the peace process, New Delhi has been missing no opportunity to halt it on one pretext or the other.

The unabated Indian state terrorism, particularly since 1989 - when Kashmiris stepped up their liberation struggle, has made the life of Kashmiri people miserable. Occupied forces are enjoying unbridled powers under the protection of draconian laws like ‘Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Disturbed Areas Act’ in the occupied territory, have broken all records of human rights violation. During the past 24 years alone, the trigger-happy forces have martyred 93,935 thousand Kashmiris, widowed nearly 23,000 women, orphaned 107,461 children and molested or gang-raped more than 10,000 Kashmiri women. Thousands of innocent youth have been subjected to disappearance in custody and their whereabouts remain untraced. Besides these cruelties, menacing occupation forces have usurped all kind of civil liberties by frequently imposing restrictions on people as well as pro-liberation leadership to suppress their sentiments of dissent. India is adamant to change the demographic configuration of the territory by converting Muslims into a minority.

Kashmiri all over the globe observe October 27, as a ‘Black Day’ by endlessly endeavouring to draw world’s attention towards their miseries and peacefully urging international community to help implementation of UN resolutions for resolving the Kashmir dispute. It is also aimed at sending a loud and clear message to India that Kashmiris reject illegal occupation of their homeland and are determined to continue their struggle till final victory over menacing state terrorism.–(A Contributor)