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India incentivizes spying against self-determination movement in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir Police announced rewards to the persons for sharing information regarding pro-Kashmiri self-determination activities on February 12th. 

The police issued a long list of monetary rewards for “informants” whose information leads to the arrest of pro-freedom Kashmiris. 

For example, a reward of 100,000 rupees has been announced for an individual who gives information about mosques, Islamic seminaries, schools or colleges where any sympathetic activity towards Kashmiri right to self-determination is carried out. 

According to Kashmiri rights group, Stand With Kashmir, “mosques and Islamic seminaries form an important part of the daily lives of Kashmiri Muslims. Encouraging spying in these spaces makes individuals feel uncomfortable in spaces where they are supposed to gain some respite.” 

The move also aims at exploiting the all-time high poverty and unemployment in Kashmir. This poverty has been systematically created and encouraged, through acts such as the implementation of world’s longest communication blockade in 2019 or the persistent dismantling of local businesses such as apple trade. Therefore, at a time when people are struggling for economic survival, the announcement of cash-rewards for spying against pro-freedom activism is part of a sinister design.

The move also aims at creating discord and disunity among the people of Kashmir. India has felt threatened by the tight-knit nature of the Kashmiri community, and encouraging spying within a community will definitely lead to cultivation of mistrust and acrimonious social relations.

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