Ben Arnoldy From Srinagar

From Christian Science Monitor: “India’s Strategy of Suppression could backfire

“…separatist leaders and police officials are now warning that the government’s apparent strategy of curfews and suppression lacks a political roadmap and could, in the long run, send the current generation of rock-throwing boys back to the gun-and-grenade warfare that dominated the 1990s. Human rights groups say 19 civilians have died since June 11 in clashes between protesters and security officials.”

“He and most Kashmiris say their struggle is not religious at its root, but about self-determination. However, Mr. Farooq warns that the closure of main mosques – smaller mosques have remained open – starts down a dangerous path.”

“If the government is not letting the people pray then it’s mandatory for the people at a certain time to declare war against the state. And I think this is something the muftis and the religious scholars will have to think about,” he says.”

“As an elder politician, Mr. Mohudin says he’s seen the full 60 years of the struggle in Kashmir for separation. “They talk of independence,” he says. “As a Kashmiri, I feel that first we should be an economically viable state.”

“Conversations with half a dozen rock-pelters, however, revealed only optimism about the economic prospects of an independent Kashmir. None of the youths were themselves unemployed and they denied that economics were key to their motivations.”

“Because we are not allowed to protest democratically this is a natural consequence,” says one youth, a doctorate student. “We are not allowed to vent, so stone pelting becomes a spontaneous way to vent.”

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