On 15th May, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, stated…
To Conceal the Ugly Face of Its Militarization, India Transforming Security Bunkers in Kashmir into “Smart” Bunkers
On 4th May, ahead of the G-20 meeting in the occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India took up the revamping and repair of military bunkers by converting them into “smart bunkers” at different locations in the valley. India has taken up the work on a fast-track basis to ensure the completion of works before the event. Srinagar is getting a makeover with newly-laid footpaths and realigned roads.
The outer layer of the military bunkers, which are symbols of India’s military repression in Kashmir, is covered with photos of tourist spots of the valley. It symbolizes India’s approach towards Kashmir: oppress the local population of Kashmir and simultaneously project Kashmir as the “paradise” on earth to the world through the imagery of snowclad mountains and lush green landscapes.
The makeover of the city is being done in order to give an impression to the visiting G-20 members that all is normal and thriving in Kashmir. Previously, India has not allowed the visiting foreign officials to meet the local population, due to the fears that an honest conversation with locals may disrupt India’s falsely constructed normalcy in the region.
Additionally, if Kashmiris observe a strike, shutting down their shops, in order to convey their protest to the visiting foreign officials, India has forced shopkeepers to keep their shops open during such visits. The shopkeepers have been threatened with confiscation of their shops in case they observe a strike.