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UCU calls for end to lockdown in Kashmir

Responding to recent events in Kashmir, the UCU general secretary Jo Grady has issued the following statement:

'The Indian government's unilateral decision to revoke article 370 of the constitution strips Kashmir of its autonomy, undermines the rights of the Kashmiri people and makes the prospect of a just and peaceful settlement to the conflict in the region even more remote.

'It is extremely concerning that the move was accompanied by an unprecedented lockdown that still continues, with strict curfews, phone lines and internet cut, public gatherings banned, and Kashmiri political leaders arrested. This state of siege, which has continued for more than two weeks with only periodic breaks, is a gross violation of the basic rights of the Kashmiri people.

'As a trade union of educators, we are particularly troubled by the closure of educational institutions and reports of the arrest of academics and students. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues and the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

'The Indian government must end the lockdown, release those who have been arrested, and restore freedom of movement, communication, speech, and assembly in Kashmir. Article 370 must be restored, and the democratic will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be respected.

'Any just and peaceful solution to this protracted conflict, which has blighted the lives of successive generations of Kashmiris, will require India and Pakistan to work together. But above all it will mean upholding the right of Kashmiris to determine their future, as affirmed by the United Nations more than seventy years ago.'

UCU has also written to the Minister of State for South Asia, Lord Ahmad, calling for action from the UK government.



Last updated: 17 March 2021