Kashmir showdown | DW Documentary

Posted By on March 5, 2020

The news travels fast. Local residents have come to see the
funeral procession for a young man killed in a counter-terrorism
strike by the Indian army. We have a new martyr. His name was Danish. He was 18 when he joined the militants. He was a student. He was my neighbor. Look at all the people who
have come to his funeral. Danish died on the path of Allah. Emotions are running high. The same goes for the movement. That’s why the children are here. The one receiving their prayers today had spent his last two months
as a resistance fighter? with an armed Islamist separatist group
alleged to have close ties to Pakistan. He was one of not even
300 fighters facing the 500,000-strong
armed Indian forces. The insurgency in Jammu and
Kashmir began in the late 1980s? but the conflict over this
territory goes back much further. Kashmir is located in
the Himalaya Mountains, and is now considered one of the world’s
most heavily-militarized regions. In 1947, the partition of British
India into separate countries? India and Pakistan? brought an end to nearly 200
years of colonial rule, and left behind the disputed
principality of Kashmir. Both newly independent nations
laid claim to the territory, and fought out war after war over it. A demarcation line was established,
separating the mostly Muslim population. Over the following years,
Kashmiri separatist groups continuously carried out numerous
attacks against Indian troops? including suicide attacks. In Pulwama, in southern Kashmir, residents remember February 14th,
2019, as if it were yesterday. That day, a suicide bomber drove
a car packed with explosives into a bus carrying Indian troops. 40 soldiers died. India blamed Pakistan? Pakistan denied responsibility. War was imminent. The assailant lived in this small, quiet village. We went to visit his father, who makes
his living here as a vegetable farmer. My son’s name was Adil. He left us one spring day in 2018. He took off on his bike. We thought he was just going for a ride. He was gone for about a month? and then he turned up in some photographs. That’s when we realized that
he’d joined the militants? and we could already imagine
what was going to happen to him. When I think about it
now, I still get upset. What drove him to do that? I think it all started after
he attended a political rally. The army arrested him, and pushed
his head into his own spit. That outraged him, and that
anger stayed with him. He felt humiliated that they would do
that to him in front of so many people. Afterwards, he asked again and again,
‘Why would they humiliate us like that?’ All parents have dreams
for their children. We try to raise them right, and
hope that they’ll be successful. What happened to him breaks my heart? but I think I would have done the
same, if that had happened to me. We’re all going to die here anyway. After India elected a
Hindu-nationalist government in 2014, it cracked down hard on
Kashmiri separatists. This video was shot in a
village in northern Kashmir, just after a militant was
reported to be in the area. 1,000 soldiers were sent in. Local residents were
ordered to stay indoors. The shooting continued for several hours. Then, the troops blew up a house
where the alleged activist was believed to be hiding. In retaliation, angry young Kashmiris
threw stones at the soldiers? who responded with gunfire and tear gas. Afterwards, in the wake of the attack,
many local young men vowed revenge. Shock waves from the explosion destroyed
several other nearby homes in the village. Some lost all they had. Hardly anyone dares speak to us on camera. They fear what might happen if they do. But one woman does speak up. I’m not afraid to talk. Do they think that we
Kashmiris are criminals? I say to India: Go ahead, keep harassing
us and destroying our property? and soon, we’ll take up
arms and defend ourselves. Soon, the women will fight, too. Independence is near, God willing. We’re ready to make any
sacrifice to win our freedom. If anything, India’s
anti-terrorism campaign in Kashmir has made a lot of enemies. And yet, despite the tens of
thousands killed or wounded, and the countless destroyed or
abandoned homes and villages, one word cannot be suppressed: “Azadi” Freedom. It rings out over the ruins, in
the hearts of the separatists, and in sermons of the some of
the local religious leaders. Mohammad Umar Farooq is considered the
Muslim spiritual leader of Kashmir? the “Mirwaiz”. He enjoys great respect. We put this on social media, everywhere. That’s important, because the Indian
media doesn’t give us any coverage, so we have to use the social media. He has 200,000 followers online. Farooq has led Kashmir’s Muslim community
since his father was assassinated. His grandfather is in jail. We don’t support the fact that Kashmiri
should become suicide bombers. We don’t want our youth
to get killed like this. In fact, we want them to live. But we feel that these
are acts of desperation. ‘What is leading these young boys towards
militancy?’ is the big question. If you look at the stories,
if you follow their stories, they’ve been harassed by the
police, by the security agencies. Their families have been harassed,
their parents, their brothers. The fact is that, today, there
is anger again the state, there is anger against Indian policies
of repression and oppression. They want to raise posters, banners.
That is banned! You’re put in jail for that. The police is after you. The agencies are after you. They feel that nothing is working and it’s
better to get killed and kill someone. Farooq is under tight surveillance. More than once he’s been
placed under house arrest. You can kill me? and then what? Go on, open the door! You want to arrest me, right? Then go ahead and do it! Today, Farooq can travel to the mosque
in Srinagar for Friday prayers. Just two weeks back, the
police hadn’t let him go. I cannot be quiet on what’s
happening in Kashmir, especially the human rights
violations, the killings. So probably, the government, if it doesn’t
like that I’m speaking to the people, because they want that there
should be minimal engagement between the leadership and the people. Jamia mosque is the target: They don’t want people to assemble there. And whenever they feel there’s anger among
the people, they lock down the mosque. Last year, in 2018, the mosque
was locked down for 16 weeks. So that is also angering
people, that brews anger, that religious places
are being closed down. Hundreds of people have
gathered at the mosque today? not only to pray, but to hear Farooq’s
sermon on the situation in Kashmir. For years, the authorities have been
banning religious organizations, and silencing students,
imams, and politicians. They want to show the people of India
that they rule Kashmir with an iron fist. But we know what the reality is: because of this oppression our young people are sacrificing
themselves as human bombs. They tried to frighten
us, and intimidate us? but they didn’t succeed. They don’t understand that this is
not a struggle of one individual or one political party, but the
struggle of an entire people who are ready to sacrifice their lives. Riled by Farooq’s sermon, and frustrated
by the tight curfew in Srinagar, some tried to provoke a
confrontation with the police. But officers didn’t respond. But this is what can happen
when the police do crack down. Arrhan often takes part in these protests
when the Friday sermons get out of hand. He’s a medical student. He says he’s been arrested
and mistreated several times for throwing stones at police. Arrhan is willing to talk to us? but only if we agree to
protect his identity. I’m covering my face, because
if the police find out I’ve been talking to foreign reporters
about Kashmir, I’ll get into trouble. There’s so much repression. For many in Kashmir, expressing
their opinion is dangerous? even behind a mask and thick walls. We move to a different location,
away from any curious listeners. I still reject the use of armed force, because I believe in a peaceful
solution to this conflict. But I don’t believe that the
authorities are interested in peace. We want a stable future, so that
we can build a life for ourselves? continue our studies, or start a career. But with all the curfews? every week, every month? that’s impossible. If you do decide to take up arms,
would it be to defend Islam? or to fight for Kashmiri independence? Above all, we want to defend Islam. Our religion teaches us that we should
protect our brothers from cruelty. In light of such injustice,
it calls for jihad. But we also demand independence. As the ideology becomes more radical? in homes, at universities, on the streets? the Indian authorities are
taking steps to counter it. The problem is particularly
serious in southern Kashmir. So the police in that region
have put together a team of Muslim attorneys and psychologists
who are experts on radicalization. Today, one of the psychologists is
going to talk to some young protesters who were recently arrested. You were at the demonstrations. Did you throw stones? Yes, and the cops arrested us. Did you enjoy throwing stones? I did. Did you know that the word ‘jihad’ really
means ‘to overcome your selfish desires?’ Have you ever heard it put that way? No. You’re not interested in that? Is killing people all you care about? That’s right. What if India lets us go? Do you know how many other
countries we’re surrounded by? Sure: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan. What if one of those countries annexes us? Should we fight them? No, they wouldn’t do that. Why not? Because we’ll be independent,
controlling our own country, and they can’t do anything about that. These youth on the brink of
militarism want to be heard. Police also meet with the
parents of young people. Altaf Ahmad Khan, a district
police chief in South Kashmir, has organized a community
outreach program. Today, he’s talking to a group of fathers
worried about their childrens’ arrest. I don’t know whether Parvayz
has ties to the radicals? but we arrested him. Give me more names. Aamir. Aamir will stay in jail. Any other names? Ishfaq. Him, too. Asif. The same. I’ll tell you straight out: the Prophet Muhammad said that ‘Parents
are the shepherds of their children.’ You have to teach them right from
wrong, until they’re adults. I asked Amir’s father what
his son did during the day? and whether he sits down with
his parents and talks to them. The father said, ‘No.’ How can a father look after a
son if he doesn’t talk to him? These three young people
have ties to the militants. They won’t be released. We’re still questioning them. We haven’t beat them. Ishfaq was injured by
the police in Srinagar? but we’ve taken him to a
doctor, and he’s fine now. We had a guy we let go. He’d only been in jail for three months. And what did he do? He’s behind bars again. It happens all the time. If we could have talked to him,
we would have set him straight. The Indian authorities allowed
us to film this meeting because they want to show that the police
are taking a new approach to the situation. In the past, local residents
and human rights organizations have sharply criticized police brutality? including beatings, extrajudicial
executions, forced disappearances. The Special Powers Act of 1990
gives the security forces wide-ranging authority to deal
with the Kashmir insurgency. Critics say that these powers
include immunity from prosecution. Lawsuits against the security
forces almost always fail. Parveena’s son was arrested
more than thirty years ago? and she hasn’t heard from him since. Now, she campaigns on behalf of other
children who have disappeared. My heart just sinks when
I look at this photo. You can see his injuries. I’ll never forget this. If they’ve arrested him,
where are they holding him? The authorities are all in this together. Why don’t they tell us? We don’t want money; we just want
to know where our children are. There have been so many
human rights violations? including rapes, beatings, and murders. Children have been crippled for life, and
their parents have to take care of them. This is what our young people
have had to go through? and that’s why they’re filled with hate. They’ve grown up with this hate. I’ll meet you at the park, OK? On the tenth of every month,
Parveena joins with others to remember the 8,000 people who’ve
been disappeared in Kashmir since 1989. How are you, Roshan Jan? I hope you’re well. There are women here who’ve lost sons or
husbands, and children who’ve lost fathers. They have all experienced the
painful loss of loved ones. I’m like your mother? If there’s anything I can
do for you, let me know. You’re a good boy. If he’s still alive, he’ll
come back, God willing. Every day, I pray that he’s still alive. If he is, I hope that God
will protect and guide him. If he’s not, I pray that he’ll be forgiven. I filed a lawsuit in 1997. If I’d won, it would have
given hope to others? but nothing has happened for three decades. The authorities twist our statements,
and invent their own version. So they gather here every month, to call
attention to their missing family members. The authorities allow this
protest, but little more. Some Kashmiris now believe
that things here are changing. One of them is Waheed Para? leader of the youth wing of the
People’s Democratic Party, or PDP. The PDP believes that the best way
to resolve the Kashmir conflict is through dialogue and reconciliation. Right now, he’s on his way to meet
with a group of young people. 60-percent of Kashmir’s
population is under 30, and Waheed hopes that they
will vote for his party. We’ve announced a number of proposals
aimed at helping young people. But what is everyone talking about? The latest suicide bombing, and how it’s brought India and Pakistan
to the brink of an atomic war. Waheed tries to win people over through
persuasive debate, rather than violence. But the political situation in
Kashmir is enormously complex, so he has to proceed with caution. I think a lot of people aspire for freedom? given the history of the conflict. But people like us who are into the
mainstream democratic process, we see solutions within sovereignty, where we should give more democratic
space to the Kashmiris and our identity. There should be some nationalism of
Kashmir, that should be recognized, that should be acknowledged,
that should not be diminished. We don’t want assimilation, but
we are okay with integration. But not at the cost of
assimilation of our own identity. In the previous Indian
parliamentary elections, the turnout in some parts of
Kashmir was dismally low. If Kashmiris are serious about embracing
democracy, that will have to change.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 100 comments


  2. This is a lesson for western countries to manage their immigration policies better. Today they are letting in muslims in by the thousands. In 25 years, they will create major trouble.

  3. burning down someone's house is definitely wrong, a house is someone's priced possession and result of years of savings and efforts but please note all these militants are religious fighters they anyhow dont care for their or someone's life as they have dreams of paradise in their minds. Due to this in the crossfire many innocent people die , which is even worse than burning a house.

  4. 16:56 Indian forces turn these meeting with the parents of Kashmiri youth into humiliation and disrespect to them and their religion .

  5. You should do a documentary on Ladkah area too. U will find they welcome Indian troops but curse Kashmiris.
    You talked about a new law from 1990 why didn't you talked about why from 1990? Dont tell me you didn't do a research on it. Do you know a High court judge was killed in 1990? Due you know an Union Minister's daughter was kidnapped in 1990. DO U KNOW THAT NEWSPAPER THREATENED HINDUS TO GET OUT OF THE VALLEY? And when the exodus took place the 6 millon hindu population reduced to 3000 of today. People had to leave everything behind.
    So next time you tend to call India a non secular country look back, cause when Hindus were chased off. Entire nation was silent cause we didn't want to make things worse.
    I know lot of mishap is taking place in that area of Kashmir, but please dont cut a sorry figure and innocence of the land. Just go back couple of years back. And you think its a polarized veiw. Just take feedback from Ladkah area of J&K.
    Also I want you to do a doc on humanitarian rights in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. There is no concept of Azad Kashmir over there. Go and gauge the standard of living and talk about rights over there. Try doing it.

  6. Many Pakistani separatists are using anger and blood of innocent Kashmiri kids to fuel their ulterior motives

  7. Majority of Kashmiri people are Muslim and India dont like muslims so why not let Kashmiri be with Pakistan its simple

  8. When you talk about freedom,where were you when hindus were driven out of kashmir and let me tell you their intention is to make kashmir into an islamic state which is not possible.

  9. All fault is of indian govt they should take whole of a kashmir inspite of taking half from pakistani during 1942 war…. Noobshit indian govt

  10. Freedom is a man right free Kashmir. According to the international agreement between India And UN Kashmir people given the right to the election to choose either independence or join Pakistan or stay with India. Those elections never happen from more than 60 years> Give the right to choose to Kashmir people

  11. The Kashmiri movement dead when they killed there own Kashmiri hindu , There official language is Urdu ( So called Islamic Language ) instead of Kashmiri and They settled Rohingyas just because Rohingyas are Muslims . They are fighting Islam not Kashmiriyat .

  12. Why no media talks about Kashmiri pandits which are also a part of Kashmir. Whatever media is doing interviewing militants Awesome!!

  13. Good documentary by DW.
    Please make documentary about Northeast India Peace process, secret killings and politics.

  14. Chutya western media, making these separatists famous… Now you are letting these bustards into Germany, you will pay the price very soon and will understand the reality then… soon Germany will be divided 👍

  15. DW TV …. if he was a white European he would be a "Freedom fighter" fighting against the 3rd Reich, but because he is a brown Muslim he is a "militant" shame on your injustice and hypocrisy.

  16. Can't believe you made this documentary with such bias. You are useless. I wonder what Germans do with stone pelters. Wait and you will see when this happens in Germany.

  17. Really u guys posting videos like this.Whts wrong?
    Indian army never do wrong there.Wht u want to show by this video.

  18. Indian occupied Kashmir will get freedom soon insh Allah and then they will decide which country want to merge… Love you Kashmir

  19. I would have done genocide of these jihadist if I would have been in place of modi 😡after that the way they are fleeing from Syria and yamen same way they would have to flew from Kashmir…

  20. Your documentary much support to separated leader created by pak. Also cameraman lower the camera when ISIS flag is wave. Kashmir is part of Indian Constitution legally. And the word freedom is brainwashed of Kashmir youth by pak isis for unstable environment of Kashmir. LOC is creating for peace in region not for conflicts. But pak use as for create unstable environment. As Indian we also want peace and
    democracy in Kashmir.

  21. The Hindus were the local people for more than 5000 years….. Muslim came…..did forceful conversion and reproduced quickly….and now they claim that Kashmir is theirs…. Western media is biased

  22. dear europeans, see again whom you let in. you cannot change someone who is willing to kill or be killed for mere idealogy.

  23. * If you throw stones at police, you will be humiliated…. there isn't a question.
    * Childrens have been crippled because their parents brought them to militarized and violent protests.
    * Follow the law, and then you will progress… SHARIA is not the law, unfortunately..if you want that , cross the border and move to pakistan.

  24. Do this people know anything how Indian army and paramilitary works how they deal with radicalised Islamic youth.they try to make least casualties and officers,man , Special force operatives have losing there lifes on daily basis to make collateral damage as minimal as possible.

  25. @DW as a western journo, you should be more aware of the rise of radical islamism. Waving ISIS flags are examples of Islamism and that precisely is the contention. So, grow up and get more insights into this global problem rather being myopic!

  26. Thanks DW for showing the us how stone pelting that was once common in Kashmir and unheard of in India, is now common in India and zero in Kashmir. In Kashmir these were Islamic extremists. In India they are Islamic extremists. In the world they are Islamic extremists.

  27. Inshallah, one day Kashmir will get INDEPENDENCE from India the same way East Pakistan got from West Pakistan. The Indian military are persecuting and repression the people how the West Pakistan did to Bangladesh. Respect and Love to Kashimiri people from Bangladesh.

  28. if you want to see hindu VS muslim go to kashmir , if you want to see catholic VS protestant go to irlandia …. we need 1 religion to rule them all

  29. Great to see one side of story from western media, farooq’s family including himself in terror in kashmir.

  30. You would not like to see saperatist actions happen in Germany. Thousands of Kashmiri pandits were fled from kashmir, becouse of the militants.

  31. Pakistan and Kashmir had natural bound………….India cannot change this reality…..
    respect for Kashmir from Pakistan
    Also Visit "NTv Urdu Studio" YoutubeChannel

  32. At “11.11”, given the experience and involvement of DW Documentary in covering regions around the globe,
    Are they so naive and immature that they are unaware that in Islam mosques can only be used to offer prayers ( Namaz ) in the name of Allah.
    Giving Lectures, seminars or Debates inside the Mosque premises is Haram in Islam.

    Can’t you feel the Agenda behind this so called innocent uprising of PEACEFUL People in Kashmir.
    Any legitimate and responsible Government will certainly ban or close such religious places,
    Which the Govt of India does to prevent any untoward incident.
    Its India , a democracy , that’s the only reason such scums are allowed to abuse the Govt or security forces.
    Be it any other nation,
    Then they would taste what a Lockdown really feels like.

  33. This is scripted documentary. Its not even filmed in Kashmir it's remote Baloch… And the gun shots video is also scripted and acting

  34. Hey I Got A Question .. yesterday I was playing pubg & I asked man who were talking in Hindi or Urdu are they from India or Pakistan he replied no we aren't Indians / Pakistani I got lil bit confused (cuz they were speaking Hindi very well) than I asked where u from they told me we are from Kashmir .. quick question isn't some part Kashmir in (India & Pakistan) or there are Kashmir in other countries too..? 🤔🤔

  35. These peaceful people have destroyed the whole world…..
    Now EU is not taking these peaceful in there countries but want Indians to suffer……..
    Look what these peaceful have done to London……

  36. India will recapture the parts of kashmir ,that is held by pakkstan illegally ,whole of kashmir belongs to india legally ,and india will get it in next war

  37. When AL-JAZEERA makes a documentary on Kahmir You say its biased . When VICE makes a documentary on Kahsmir you call it biased . When VOX makes a video on kashmir you say its biased. Finally. DW Documentary probably the most unbaised organisation makes a documentary and you still call it biased. so whats the true story? im curious. pls drop links of INIDA TODAY and NDTV 🙂


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