New Delhi, October 20 : A documentary titled, “Forced labour under the largest democracy” was released at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on the occasion of a programme organized to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people.
During the release of the film, the director of the film, Shafkat Raina briefed the audience about the nature of forced labour that was conducted by the Indian troops in Kashmir during the ’90s.
Further, the filmmaker told the audience about the circumstances and the negative effects that this forced labour had on the psyche and life of the victims.
He says this documentary film depicts the pain, agony and sufferings of the Kashmiri people, who suffered at the hands of Indian troops during the 1990’s, soon after the armed resistance broke out in Kashmir. “This forced labour was imposed mostly in the outer peripheries of Kashmir, especially in the bordering regions of north Kashmir, which was inaccessible to the media, human rights groups and civil societies.”
This forced labour, he adds, was institutionalized in such a manner in which the Indian army backed renegades were made responsible to get the local men for work in various fields, like building the bridges, construction of bunkers, sawing of timber, searching for land mines and explosives before the army convey as the human shields.
Forced labour is still prevalent in many areas of Kashmir like Pulwama and other villages. In Pulwama, the Indian troops still forcibly confiscated the vehicles from the drivers and later on use these vehicles for encounters and other night raids, said. In this film two former Members of so-called legislative assembly of Jammu & Kashmir are acknowledging about the unprecedented form of forced labour carried out by the Indian army in their respective constituencies.
This forced labour not only affected the psychological, economical and social life of Kashmiris but it also affected the education of school going students as they had to leave their school days unattended during their turn for the forced labour.
One member of constituency assembly, Eng. Rashid tried to go to the court along with the witnesses and evidences but the High court disqualified all his petitions citing unreasonable excuses
This film also speaks about other issues which the people of Kashmir suffered during such a harsh and inhumane practice of forced labour.