Appendix to India 2016 – A brutal and violent year in the Kashmir Valley
In 2016, in concomitance with the worsening in the India-Pakistan relations, the situation in the Vale of Kashmir, which is part of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, took a turn for the worse. Although the reciprocal Indian and Pakistani claims to the whole of the formerly princely state of Kashmir remain the main bone of contention between New Delhi and Islamabad, the deterioration of the situation in the Vale of Kashmir was caused mainly by internal reasons, largely unrelated to the increase in India-Pakistan tension. The Indian central government and the Jammu and Kashmir state government reacted to the manifest and manifestly increasing frustration of the inhabitants of the Vale of Kashmir by making use of the iron fist. The year under review saw the unchaining of a most violent and brutal repression, which was in a way epitomised by what a well-known English daily defined «the world’s first mass blinding». As usual, the reaction of the Indian media and the Indian public opinion was – with few and commendable exceptions – one of turning a blind eye to what was happening in Kashmir, when not openly applauding the brutality of the repression and asking for more of the same.