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Calls to remove Modi ring out at Kashmir protests in KL

Malaysiakini Team

Published
Modified 7 Sep 2019, 12:43 am

Two demonstrations were held in Kuala Lumpur today over India's withdrawal of autonomy for Kashmir and flooding of the region with military personnel.

A demonstration involving some 100 people at Masjid Negara after Friday prayers saw protesters chanting "Hidup Kashmir" (long live Kashmir) and calling for the removal of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Protest leader and Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) president Mohamad Raimi Ab Rahim urged Parliament to speak up against the persecution of Muslims in Kashmir.

"Why are our MPs keeping quiet? Even MPs in UK are protesting against what is happening in Kashmir," he told the press.

Abim, in representing 40 NGOs, later submitted a protest note to the Indian High Commission.

Across town, another group of 20 protesters gathered in front of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy to protest against the country's decision to grant its highest award - Order of Zayed - to Modi.

Protest leader and president of Ikatan Rakyat Muslim Malaysia (Irimm) Amir Amsaa Alla Pitcay said Malaysians were concerned about the possibility of Kashmir becoming "another Palestine".

The protesters had attempted to submit a protest note signed by 42 organisations to the embassy, but were not entertained by any of the embassy staff.

The group had initially planned to submit a protest note to the Saudi Arabian embassy, but called off the event after being ignored by the UAE embassy.

Their message for the Saudis, according to Amir Amsaa, was that Riyadh should raise the plight of Kashmiris to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations.

Kashmir is a Himalayan region which has been subjected to territorial conflict since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

The Muslim-majority region of Jammu and Kashmir is Indian territory, but was granted special "temporary" autonomy under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

On Aug 5, 2019, the Indian government revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir. 

Following this, New Delhi had cut off communication in the region, increased military presence and locked up local political leaders.

Kashmiris are concerned that ceding control of the territory to New Delhi would open the floodgates to land grabs by outsiders.

Reporting by SHAKIRA BUANG, FADHLI SULAIMAN & SYAHIERUL FAKHRI.

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