Since August 5, the Muslim-dominated Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) region has been under lockdown. Schools and offices are closed, businesses are shut down, communications are cut off. The month-long strict curfew is causing enormous difficulties for people. People are confined to their homes to give the world an impression of normalcy in the region. But reports of journalists, testimonies of doctors who say that life-saving drugs have run short tell another tale. What’s coming out of Kashmir tells the global community a story of brute force.

When life necessities force people to go out of homes, Indian soldiers welcome them with pellet guns. One can well imagine how the Indian state will respond to Kashmiris’ demanding their right to self-determination. The security forces treat them with sheer humiliation. The Indian state has intensified its military clampdown on ordinary Kashmiris to orientate them with an Indian tutorial of curbing ‘terrorism’.

Independent international media houses and journalists, human rights organisations and rights activists reporting from Kashmir have been telling the world India’s oppression in the valley. The whole world knows that the ruling BJP Indian administration starkly violated 1972’s Simla Agreement with Pakistan. BJP government unilaterally stripped the valley’s autonomy by degrading and splitting the disputed region into two union territories – J&K and Ladakh.

The Indian ministry of external affairs has a different take on the boiling conditions in its controlled part of Kashmir. It says that the local government is maintaining law and order with maturity. According to the ministry, reports of a shortage of life-saving drugs in hospitals are false. Indian military officers shamelessly negate the charges of killing people.

The worsening ground conditions in the ‘heavens on the earth’ outrightly defy the whacky Indian claims. And the presence of more than 700,000 military troops in J&K and the deployment of additional tens of thousands of paramilitary forces additionally refute the recent assertions that all is well.

For decades, New Delhi has been claiming Kashmir as its integral part. But the ongoing austere actions and the massive military deployment shows India’s love for its integral part. The Indian repression in the valley indicates that it would “annexe” Kashmir into the Republic of India in violation of the international law.

In a bid to discredit and demean the local population, the central government of India has enacted the Public Safety Act (PSA) in J&K. Under the said Act, Indian forces have detained more than 2,000 people since August 5. The controversial legal provision empowers the local administration to book any person without charge and trial for up to 2 years.

Authorities previously denied giving an exact number of detainees. But later, unable to hide the numbers, confirmed that there were only a “few preventive detentions” of over 100 people including politicians, activists, and academics immediately after the abrogation of the Article 370.

But the figures provided by a local magistrate were shocking. On the condition of anonymity, he told AFP that as many 4,000 people had been arrested. “Most of them were flown out of Kashmir because prisons here have run out of capacity.” A police officer described the numbers as high as 6,000 and ratified the fact that the people took in custody were “flown out of here in military aircraft.”

Where are these detainees kept? No one knows. As if that was not enough that allegations of enforced disappearances of Kashmiris had emerged in media at a time when the world was marking the International Day against enforced disappearances on August 30.

A vile piece of legislation Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), provides Indian soldiers to control vast swathes of Kashmir forcefully. AFSPA also empowers the Indian forces to forcefully disappear Kashmiris with impunity against all international accords on such practice. This draconian law and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) have led to destitution, infringement of human rights, medical lethargy, and misrepresentation of the facts in the region.

AFSPA grants enormous powers to Indian armed forces such as shoot to kill, arrest anybody without a warrant, and detain local people without any specific time threshold. As the monstrous law forbids the prosecution of soldiers without formal approval from central government – which is rarely granted – Indian army routinely tortures and maltreats Kashmiris during interrogation in the army barracks.

Admitting the atrocious nature of the AFSPA, the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh had vowed to the international community to repeal the Act in 2004. Disbanding of the statute has become one of the major demands of the Kashmiris and the leading opposition parties in India. But the Indian army and the ruling BJP party have scrubbed all democratic efforts to rescind the law.

Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights presses much upon respecting the right of freedom of opinion without interference. However, the authoritarian Indian regime continues to protect contentious PSA. Its laws encourage enforced disappearances. The most notable in a plethora of such repressive laws is AFSPA that provides legal cover to Indian military to gag freedom of expression, inflict restrictions on access to information, and deny the right of peaceful protests to Kashmiri people. These are the fruits of living under the largest democracy in the world. Probably, BJP does not realise that by revoking the constitutional articles 35A and 370, it has already sowed the seeds of discord in India.