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I am writing to you in continuation of my letters of 1, 6, 13 and 26 August, 16 September, 31 October and 12 December 2019 and 9 March, 10 April, 21 May, 1 August and 18 September 2020 on the highly concerning developments in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, marked by grave and systematic violations of human rights; illegal demographic changes in violation of Security Council resolutions, the Charter of the United Nations and international law; and escalating threats to peace and security.

Besides the continued military siege and communications blockade for more than 15 months, extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians in fake encounters and collective punishment for Kashmiri communities, the present Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-inspired Indian Government has accelerated its illegal steps to institute demographic changes in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Since its illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, India has been implementing an elaborate and well-planned strategy of military occupation, land confiscation, influx of non-Kashmiris and creation of alien settlements in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

In pursuit of its agenda to convert the Muslim majority of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir into a minority, the Indian Government has reportedly issued more than 2 million “domiciles” to non-Kashmiri settlers under the so-called “Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020”, promulgated on 18 May 2020. At the same time, the procedure for acquiring “domiciles” has been made suspiciously simplistic, with fines being imposed on government officials who would fail to grant a domicile within 15 days.

On 27 October 2020, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party regime issued the “Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order”. Among other things, it revoked and amended a series of laws meant to provide fundamental protections to the people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, allowing “citizens of India” to purchase non-agricultural land in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir without ever having held residency or domicile in the occupied territory. The Order also permits Indian occupation forces to designate certain lands as “strategic areas” and bring them under their use for “development” purposes. This provision will enable the Indian occupation forces to construct more cantonments and military colonies to settle serving and retired Indian military officials in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the Indian Government’s own records, the Indian military has already seized 53,353 hectares of prime forest, agricultural and commercial land in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir under the guise of “national security”.

The Indian Government has also abolished the “Big Landed Estates Abolition Act of 1950”, which brought land reforms and distributed land among poor farmers by ending the jagirdari (landlord) system. This is being done at the behest of big business enterprises, real estate tycoons and wealthy sponsors of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party regime who wish to acquire as much land as possible under the guise of so-called “development”. Since July 2020, under a new “Affordable Housing, Slum Redevelopment and Rehabilitation and Township Policy”, incentives are being offered to outsiders, especially those from the “Hindi speaking belt” in India, to settle in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir on the land of the Kashmiris.

Through these illegal measures, Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir is in danger of being completely colonized by outside settlers, with the indigenous Kashmiris losing their political and cultural identity, their rightful demographic majority and ownership of their properties in their own homeland.

The Indian Government’s unilateral and illegal actions are in direct contravention of the Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, the Charter of the United Nations and international law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, in which, in article 49, paragraph 6, it is clearly stated that “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

To divert international attention from its brutal repression in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, India continues to engage in serious violations of the 2003 ceasefire understanding with Pakistan by continuously targeting civilian-populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-calibre mortars and automatic weapons across the Line of Control. This year alone, India has committed more than 2,700 ceasefire violations, resulting in the deaths of 25 innocent people and serious injuries to more than 200 civilians.

India is also trying to falsely project itself as the “victim” of terrorism in a perverse attempt to try to delegitimize the Kashmiris’ just struggle for self-determination and to try to divert international attention from its own State-sponsored terrorism against the Kashmiri people and against its neighbours, of which Pakistan has presented irrefutable evidence.

India will never be able to succeed in suppressing Kashmiris’ legitimate struggle to secure their inherent right to self-determination, as reaffirmed by the Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.

Under the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, and according to its resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, the Security Council has a direct responsibility to prevent India from perpetrating its criminal colonial project to change the demographic structure of a disputed territory and to secure the implementation of its resolutions, which recognize the Kashmiris’ legitimate right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations.