We really need to highlight the comment of Indian Home Minister Amit Shah about the telecommunications blackout in Kashmir that “people are trying to create a hue & cry over lack of mobile connections for few days. Lack of phone connection is not human rights violation.” For 56 days, Kashmiris have not been able to call each other to make sure elderly family members have food & do not need medical care; cannot report or get consolation from others when their children are kidnapped in midnight raids by Indian soldiers; cannot talk to family members outside Kashmir to assure them they are alive & safe or that they survived the earthquake; cannot call an ambulance for emergency medical care; cannot report deaths & family illnesses to others, especially those working or studying outside Kashmir; cannot get information about what is happening to them & are kept hermetically sealed from each other & the rest of the world.

For Shah’s information, that’s more than a human rights violation. It’s a war crime which should be prosecuted in an international war crimes tribunal. Except that it’s hard to call Kashmir a war when one side has all the weapons & the other is completely unarmed. Stone pelting is self-defense, not criminality. The oppressed have a right to defend themselves by any means necessary.