Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Indian PM holds first public event in Kashmir since clash



Indian PM holds first public event in Kashmir since clash

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Muslim-majority Kashmir saw a large-scale crackdown following the 2019 removal of autonomy, with thousands arrested. AFP/TAUSEEF MUSTAFA

Indian PM holds first public event in Kashmir since clash

India’s prime minister promised peace and development for Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, during his first public event in the disputed territory since it imposed a sweeping security clampdown nearly three years ago.

Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has sought to quell a long-running insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir and strengthen its hold over the Muslim-majority region, which is also claimed by neighbouring Pakistan.

India nullified the area’s limited autonomy in August 2019, when authorities arrested thousands and imposed the world’s longest internet shutdown, seeking to forestall local opposition to the move.

Tight security was in place for Modi’s appearance at Palli village in Jammu, the Hindu-majority southern part of the territory, which celebrated New Delhi’s introduction of direct rule as a defence against Kashmir’s separatist movement.

As he inaugurated new road and hydropower projects, Modi told the gathered crowd of thousands that his government had put the restive region on the path to prosperity.

“I want to tell the youth of the valley that they will not have to face the difficulties and travails that their parents and grandparents had to deal with,” Modi said.

Sunday’s event marked Panchayati Raj, a day that commemorates grassroots democracy – although Kashmir has been without an elected regional government since 2018.

Its last chief minister was detained during the clampdown and only released more than a year later.

Modi’s government has long said its decision to end Kashmir’s limited autonomy was aimed at fostering a lasting peace and bringing investment into the troubled region, where tens of thousands of people have been killed over the years.

Today, it is the most militarised part of India, with more than half a million soldiers and paramilitaries deployed across the fractious territory.

Police say violence has declined since Kashmir’s status was changed, but almost 1,000 people have been killed since 2019 – among them soldiers, militants and civilians.

Young men continue to join rebel groups that have fought Indian rule of Kashmir for more than three decades.

Militants threw grenades at a bus carrying security forces on Friday, killing an officer, in an incident around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the venue of Modi’s public appearance.

Two suspected rebels were killed in the ensuing firefight with security forces.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro