Legality of Indian Claim on Kashmir

Following the World War-II, there has been an unremitting resistance by the people of Subcontinent against the ruling British colonial power. Under the swelling pressure of the people of subcontinent, the British Government finally had to announce the partition of the Subcontinent on June 3, 1947. However, the British Parliament formally passed “The Indian Independence Act-1947” on July 17, 1947. As per provision of Article-I of the Independence Act, India was to be partitioned into two Dominions namely “India” and “Pakistan” from 15th day of August 1947.

However, Article 7 of the Indian Independence Act very clearly states that from 15th August 1947, “the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian states lapse and with it lapses all treaties and agreements in force at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and the rulers of Indian states”. Consequent upon this, all powers and functions, which were exercisable by the British Government in relation to the Princely States, also ceased.

All agreements of British governments with either rulers or states also lapsed on 15th of August 1947. Since the state of Jammu and Kashmir was a Princely State with a special autonomous status, therefore, it can be very conveniently said that on 15th day of August 1947, the Maharaja Sir Hari Singh was not the permissible ruler of the state of Jammu and Kashmir as all his treaties with British India lapsed on that day. Once he was not a ruler of the state, he had no right to sign the instrument of accession (if at all he signed that) with the new Indian dominion. This title to the state was granted to him by the British Government (East India Company) under the Treaty of Amritsar (Kashmir Sale deed) signed on 16 March 1846 and lapsed on the appointed day of 15th August 1947.

Besides, on July 25, 1947 in his address to special full meetings of the Chamber of Princes held in New Delhi, Lord Mountbatten categorically told all princes of Princely States that they were practically free to join any one of dominions; India or Pakistan. He however clarified that, while acceding to any dominion they could take into account geographical contiguity and wishes of the people. In case of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, either of the above factors was favouring state’s accession to Pakistan, but Maharaja Hari Singh did not accept this basic precondition of accession.

Indian claim that its forces landed Srinagar Airport on October 27, 1947, only after signatures on Instrument of Accession by Maharaja and the Indian government is also fallacious. Indeed, a heavy contingent of Patiala State was involved in fighting against the Kashmiri rebellions in Uri Sector on 18 October 1947, which means that they were very much inside the State`s territory much earlier than October 27, 1947.

On 24 October 1947, Kashmiris formally declared their independence from Dogra Raj and established their own government with the name of Azad (Free) Kashmir Government. Following this Maharaja Hari Singh sent his deputy Prime Minister Mr. R.L. Batra to New Delhi for Indian military assistance to his Government against those revolted and tribal from NWFP who joined their brethrens against a tyrant rule. He (Batra) met the Indian Prime Minster and other prominent Indian leaders and requested for assistance without making any mention or promise of state’s accession to the Indian Union. The Indian government instead sent Mr. V.P Menon (Indian Secretary of State) to Kashmir to assess the situation on the spot by himself on 25 October 1947.

After assessing, the situation in Kashmir Mr. V.P Menon flew back to New Delhi on 26 October 1947, together with Kashmiri Prime Minster Mr. Mahajan, who met top Indian leadership, seeking military assistance. He was refused to get that until state’s formal accession with India. On this Kashmiri Premier threatened the Indian leadership that if immediate military assistance was not granted, he would go to Lahore for negotiations with Pakistani leadership over the future status of the state. In a parallel development, Sheikh Abdullah met Indian Premier, Jawaharlal Nehru, on the same day, October 26, 1947, who agreed to despatch military assistance to the Kashmir government.

As stated by Mahajan, the Kashmiri Prime Minister, that V.P. Menon accompanied him to convince Hari Singh for accession of the State with India on 27 October 1947. Under the compulsion, Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession on the same day i.e. 27 October 1947, which was later taken to Lord Mountbatten (Indian Governor General), who also signed that on the same day (27 October), which was practically difficult. V.P. Menon, however, states that all these formalities of signatures were completed on 26 October 1947, which is impracticable. This version, however, seems concocted as even contradicted by pro Indian Kashmiri Premier. Both however are unanimous on one point that Indian state forces landed at Srinagar airfield in the morning of 27 October 1947 and a battalion of Patiala State received them there, which was already there. Read more of this post

Yasin Malik threatens return of militancy in Kashmir

Kashmiri Protests

NEW DELHI: Indian-administered Kashmir risks a return to militancy and violent protests if New Delhi fails to push a stalled peace process in the disputed region, one of the state’s most influential separatist leaders said on Tuesday.

Yasin Malik’s comments came amid a spurt in militant attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir in the last week, combined with diplomatic limbo between India and Pakistan.

Talks over Kashmir between the Congress party-led government and separatist groups broke down in 2006.

While at least 150,000 people have been killed since the start of an insurgency in 1989, the region has gradually become free of violence in the last few years.

Huge and mostly peaceful protests by pro-separatist Kashmiris in 2008 and 2009 sparked hopes New Delhi may try to reignite a peace process, but both sides made little progress amid mutual suspicion and New Delhi’s fraught ties with Islamabad after the Mumbai attacks.

“The need of the hour is to restore the credibility of the dialogue process,” Yasin Malik, head of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front which pushes for a peaceful campaign for Kashmiri independence, told Reuters during a conference in New Delhi.

“It has taken us so many years with a very hard effort to bring a transition from violent movement to non-violent movement. This transition needs to be respected … If Kashmiris are not given respect they could fall back to a violent past.” Read more of this post

Indian police kill two in Kashmir demo

Indian troops have killed two suspected militants in Kashmir during clashed on Sunday, as demonstrators held the second day of protests over the death of a Muslim youth.

The suspected militants were killed during clashes with Indian troops in the southern Reasi district, army spokesman Biplab Bath told AFP.

The clashed erupted during demonstrations over the Friday incident in Srinagar, in which Inayat Ahmad was fatally shot by India’s paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force. Eight others sustained injuries when the police used tear gas to push the crowd back.

Chanting anti-India slogans, hundreds of Kashmiris stormed the streets in defiance of a police ban on demonstrations following the death of the 16-year-old.

“They killed our son. What was his fault? He was killed on his way home from school,” a protesting relative told Press TV on Saturday.

Over the past two decades, the conflict in Kashmir has left over 47,000 people dead by the official count, although other sources say the death toll could be as high as 90,000.

“We are protesting against the Indian occupation as we do not want to live with India. We are occupied here. We are showing the world that we want to be free and want to be independent,” another Kashmiri demonstrator was quoted as saying on Saturday.

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