Statement: In Solidarity with the People of Kashmir
The following statement has been issued by the Luton Mosques:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the decision of India’s Government to revoke Article 370 of its constitution. We dispute the legitimacy of this decision and assert that there are significant legal and constitutional issues with the order itself and the manner in which it has come about. The article guaranteed Kashmir a special status and a great degree of autonomy from India, including exemption from the Indian Constitution. It is important to recognise that Article 370 protected Kashmir’s distinct demographic character as the only Muslim-majority state in India. The action taken is an undeniable attempt to shift the demographics of the region and must be viewed in the context of growing anti-Muslim attacks which stem from the rhetoric and policies of Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalist Government. The decision to revoke the article removes the legitimacy for any Indian presence in Kashmir and changes their status to that of an occupying military force.
The decision comes alongside the deployment of 35,000 additional Indian soldiers into the already heavily militarised area. Residents have been cut off from the rest of the world with internet and mobile connections suspended. Tourists have been asked to leave the area, and a strict curfew has been imposed. These actions represent an unprecedented escalation in hostility in the region and further infringement of the human rights of Kashmiri’s. This is a humanitarian crisis, with residents living in fear of imminent genocide.
The world must not remain silent. We call for immediate action from our Government in Britain and from leader’s around the world. Britain, in particular, cannot detach itself from a conflict created by her colonial history and must take responsibility in ensuring a lasting peace is created in the region. We strongly and unequivocally support the Kashmiri people’s right of self-determination and resistance of an occupying force. We call upon the international community to seek to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 47, adopted on 21 April 1948, to conduct a free and impartial plebiscite for the people of Kashmir.
Visit the Luton Mosques website to register your support by signing the statement: https://lutonmosques.org/kashmirstatement