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Teachers Arrested in Kashmir Amidst Protests

Teachers Arrested in Kashmir Amidst Protests

Hundreds upon hundreds of teachers took to the streets in Kashmir’s capital of Srinagar on Monday, standing in solidarity to government officials. They were demanding higher pay in a country that has been torn by extremely high levels of militarization and years of struggle between India and Pakistan.

The protest was led by the group Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum. Police quickly dispersed the peaceful protest with giant water cannons that blasted teachers away from the scene of the demonstration in front of Khalsa Public School, Greater Kashmir News reports.

One witness estimated that as many as 5,000 teachers and allies lined the streets in protest. The witness also told Greater Kashmir that at least two dozen protesters were injured as the police attempted to disperse the demonstration. There were no exact numbers of how many people were arrested during the protests, but many sources speculate that at least dozens were detained.

Demonstrators feel that the police and officials have not listened to their demands and are trying to drive attention away from the difficult situation they are left in. The men who were protesting in the streets were blasted with purple water from a giant water cannon that blasts human bodies back with extreme force. MSNBC’s photo blog shows the image of a lone man, drenched in purple water, holding a sign aloft with the words “Is it possible in 2012 to work for just .50/day” in English.

Protests are often squashed quickly in such a highly militarized area. There are at least 500,000 Indian troops currently stationed in the Muslim-majority Kashmir at the moment, but there might be as many as 1 million. The population rests at around 4 million, according to AJ&K, making it one of the most militarized places to live on the planet, with about one armed soldier for every civilian.

More than 100 people were killed last year during a summer protest against Indian forces. Indian officials claim that they will reduce the number of troops in the area if the violence dies down, according to the BBC. Many residents fear detainment by these Indian forces. Countless numbers of people have disappeared over the years of Indian militarization, often after they expressed discontent with the current situation. Human Rights Watch states that families of people who have disappeared are terrified to file complaints, worried that swift retaliation will follow.

It is to be hoped that the detained teachers who participated in the peaceful rally will be returned to their families and their work and that they will not disappear because of their outspoken wishes and hopes for their communities.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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19 comments

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5:35AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I fail to understand the mentality of some people that they will vilify Muslims even if they are at the receiving end of atrocity. This is not a religious matter but a humanitarian outrage being perpetrated against peaceful demonstration against their poor living wages.
Instead of being sympathetic, there is further outrage against the victims and mostly to do with Islamophobes inner hatred against Muslims and that is also demonstrated by the Indian Police's brutality against defenceless men, women and children over the past 6-7 decades.

Since the Indians hold the power (same as Zionists) are experts at the spin and important to the Western interests, their excessive use of power and brutality is over looked - this would not be the case if the position was different and Muslims were the rulers.

All human beings have the same needs to keep themselves and their families fed, clothed and sheltered and denial of this is totally against fair play and not for the Care2ers.

2:51AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Sarah, I am sorry but you are highly ill informed about propoganda. Please visit Kashmir and see it for yourself. In 1950s the population ratio in Kashmir used to be 60% muslims 40% hindus. Now its 97% muslims. How did that happen? They secretly tortured hindus out over the last 50 years. I dont have to prove it , you can google it yourself. Search for Kashmiri pandits. These so called protests are mostly lies where a bunch of hooligans get together and chuck stones at every one paid by Pakistani propagandists . Earlier everyone thought India was lying about Pakistan being a terrorist state, how we were eventually proved right. See again we will be proved right to everyone. Unlike our neighbour we dont enjoy wasting time in fighting with everyone, we are just poked at.

7:26PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Is it wise to attack protesting teachers with water cannons? What does it teach their students and supporters? Except many how to disrespect authority and organzie protests.

1:46PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Eliminating religion will not cause people who are corrupt to act decently. Nor will it make demagogues stop using some excuse to retain power. It will rob the poor of help and set up no standard of right and wrong.

People need to learn to respect and care for others and those who do not respect or care for others are wrong in their thoughts and actions.
While I do not follow Islam it does teach that people are to be honest and help the poor. But false leaders many who are males corrupt everything they touch to benefit themselves. This happened in countries that had no religion at all.

1:31PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

May we always protect our precious freedom of speech...there are many more voices who need to speak through us.

11:57AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:04AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

thanks.

8:52AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

I can't imagine living on 50 cents a day...such economics leads to revolutions the theorists tell us

6:40AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

the picture is of delhi and not of kashmir!

6:39AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Dear Sarah Vrba, it was quite interesting to read your article as it gave me a 1st hand feel of how propaganda is propagated. Your knowledge about Kashmir and its history of problems could easily fit into a flea's navel.
These processions are usually mustered together by the terror groups or lets call them separatist groups. Then they blow up a suicide bomber and the police have to clean up the mess including why did they not know that there was a suicide bomber about to encash his '72 virgins coupon'. So, for the sake of preventing such bloodbaths ...they disperse the crowds. Kashimiris are also drama queens like most muslims crying poor or acting like they are victims. AND FOR YOUR INFORMATION....no one in India gets Rs0.50/day. KAshmiris on the contrary get all things at subsidized rates. The reasons why the Kashmiri people are poor is because they have preferred to stay invoked article 370 where by Kashmir has a special status and non kashmiris cannot buy property there. But Kashmiris can buy properties anywhere in India- AND THEY DO!
1. Kashmir was named after the Hindu Saint Kashyap...hence the hindu claim. Actually, so were places in Afghanistan...like Gandhaar (now called Kandhar). Bamiyan has proven that it was Hindu-budhist untill Mohammad's hoardes came in and on the edge of their sword forced everyone to "EMBRACE ISLAM". Same happened in Kashmir and during the time King Aurangzeb non muslims were impaled on spears like shaslik kebabs. If mothers refused to EMBR

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