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Monday Oct 28 2019

Kashmir-Council EU holds Black Day protest in Belgium capital

BRUSSELS: The Kashmir-Council EU (KC-EU) on Sunday held a Black Day protest in the Belgian capital in front of the Indian Embassy in the European Union headquarters.

Kashmiris — on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) — as well as those based in other parts of the world observe Black Day on October 27 to mark the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India.

This year, however, it was even more significant as the protest was held at a time when it has been about three months since India has laid siege to the occupied Kashmir wherein there is a communications and media blackout as well as constant curfew imposed by New Delhi. A large number of Kashmiris, Pakistanis, and supporters attended the demonstration in Brussels.

Protesters dropped a memorandum at the Indian embassy demanding New Delhi to terminate curfew, end violence and brutalities, withdraw its forces from Kashmir, and fulfil its promise for giving right of self-determination to the Kashmiris.

During the protest in Brussels, KC-EU Chairperson Ali Raza Syed said: "We demand New Delhi to end curfew in occupied Kashmir and free Kashmir and give right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"October 27, 1947 is the darkest day in history of Jammu and Kashmir when India in total violation of all international norms and democratic values landed its troops in the state against the will of the people.

The chairperson also condemned Indian border forces' use of mortar shells on the civilian population of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) near the LoC and deplored the termination of the Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission by the Indian government.

Other speakers of the protest gathering said India claims to be the world's largest democracy but refuses the basic and democratic rights of the Kashmiri people through illegal occupation and atrocities, which have been going on for the past seven decades.

They said peace in Kashmir is connected and crucial to South Asia. If Kashmir witnessed peace, the whole region would be a witness to peace and prosperity. They made it clear that Kashmiri was not ready to compromise on its people's right to self-determination.

The protesters demanded the world community to come forward and stop the siege of Kashmiris and the violations of their basic rights. They asked the global fraternity to pressurise India to give right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir.