Photo Story: Children as nation-builders in conflict zones


The children of the valley have been victims of the conflict between India and Pakistan. Kashmiri millennials have only seen violence, bloodshed and killings in the three decades. Be it pellets or bullets being fired by Indian forces, the hapless children always bear the brunt. This not only affects their physical health but affects their psyche as well.

1.

children of conflict kashmir
A Kashmiri girl cries after Indian police used teargas canisters amid violent clashes that erupted between protesters and Government forces post Eid-ul-Adha prayers in Eidgah Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir.

2.

children of conflict kashmir
A Kashmiri girl wails to mourn the death of a neighbor boy, Abbas Ahmad Rather who was martyred in firing by Government forces during polling for Srinagar parliament constituency in Dalwan area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on April 09, 2017.

3.

children of conflict kashmir
Kashmiri girls crying while watching the funeral procession of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat at his native village Ratsuna in Tral area of south Kashmiri’s Pulwama district some 45 kilometers from Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir. Sabzar and a fellow militant Faizan Ahmad bhat, a 10th class student were killed in a gunfight between Indian Army at Saimo village in Tral on May 27, 2017.

Noted Psychiatrist in the valley, Dr. Arshad Hussain has said that conflict leaves a long lasting effect on the psyche of children leaving them traumatized.

Since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani – many youngsters have taken up arms to fight against what they call, the Indian occupation. The same psyche compelled the students across the valley to come out of their schools and colleges to protest against the atrocities caused by Indian forces last year.

4.

children of conflict kashmir
A Kashmiri girl peeps through the window pane of her house as she watches the funeral procession of slain Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT) rebel, Arif Lelhari at his native village Lelhar area of Pulwama district some 35 kilometers from Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir. Arif was killed in a gunfight with Indian army along with his fellow rebel Abu Dujana, the chief operational commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT) at Hakripora area in Kakpora village of South Kashmiri’s Pulwama district on August 01, 2017.

5.

children of conflict kashmir
A Kashmiri boy stands raveled near a barbed-wire during restrictions imposed by authorities in Downtown area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir.

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children of conflict kashmir
A father rests with his little son against a shopfront with a Graffiti (FREEDOM) marked on the closed shutter of the shop amidst shutdown in Downtown area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir.

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children of conflict kashmir
A Kashmiri child along with his mother walks past a police jeep amidst shutdown in Downtown area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir.

8.

children of conflict kashmir
Kashmiri girls walk past a barbed-wire during restrictions imposed by authorities in Downtown area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir.

9.

children of conflict kashmir
A Kashmiri boy sits in front of a closed shop with a Graffiti (Al’Mujahideen) marked on the wall during restrictions imposed by authorities in Downtown area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir.

In an interview to Iranian state television Press TV, an 8-year-old boy was asked, Why are you cleaning the grave of late Burhan Wani. He answered,
“Burhan was our hero. He was fighting for freedom. He would have given us freedom but he got martyred before freedom.”

Will the current resentment against the Indian state lead to another phase of the uprising?

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