The purpose of this LTB is to highlight to branches the ongoing crisis in Indian-administered Kashmir and the plight of people there who are currently subject to a communication blackout, while a number of political leaders have been imprisoned. The issue was debated at the September NEC and we are aware that a number of CWU members feel strongly about it and may have friends and relatives who have been affected.
There has been a decades long stalemate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir and years of conflict in Indian-administered Kashmir. At the start of August, India’s Government removed the special status for Indian-administered Kashmir, that gave it significant autonomy under its constitution, and cut off telephone lines and the internet while sending in tens of thousands of troops and imposing a curfew and a media-blackout.
The CWU has a strong record of international work and in particular we are concerned about reports from Amnesty International of food and medical shortages together with gross human rights abuses by security forces. Following the debate at the NEC it was agreed that we would issue this LTB to raise awareness of the situation among our members and work with like-minded organisations and MPs to put pressure on the UK and Indian governments to alleviate the suffering of those affected, which we will be doing over the coming weeks.
As an affiliate of Amnesty International, we would encourage members to sign the petition on its website urging, the Indian government to lift the communications blackout and allow unconditional access for the media, which is available here amnesty.org.uk/actions/lift-communications-lockdown-kashmir. We would also encourage members to lobby their local MP to raise it with the UK government.
Any queries on the contents of this LTB should be addressed to email@example.com and further work on this will be reported in due course.