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Indian Authorities Refuse To Issue Death Certificates In Kashmir To Portray Normalcy

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In order to tone down the crisis scenario in occupied Kashmir, the Indian authorities have stopped issuing death certificates and are also forcing medical personnel to refrain from acknowledging the use of force by their security forces.

An exclusive report in The Independent has put doubt on Indian government’s claims that the situation in Kashmir is normal following the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

In spite of the hurdles for movement and communication, foreign media has managed to report from the valley and has described the occupied territory as witnessing brutal suppression of protests through the use of live ammunition and shotgun pellets.

A doctor from Srinagar informed foreign media that the Indian authorities have issued verbal instructions to hospitals to keep their admissions related to the clashes to a minimum. Staff have also been ordered to discharge victims quickly in order to keep the statistics down.

It had recently been reported that data from Kashmir’s hospitals indicates hundreds of injured with many injured not being acknowledged. The latest reports add to the horrifying situation with people not being issued death certificates for their loved ones.

Locals have expressed their frustration to foreign media due to their failure to get doctors to formally acknowledge the role played by the clashes in their relatives’ deaths, or even issue death certificates for them.

Narrating one such incident, Rafiq Shagoo, a resident of Bemina, informed media that following a clash between protesters and security forces, the latter had pelted the area’s houses with stones and shot teargas canisters at them. Shagoo’s wife, Fehmeeda, inhaled a lot of gas and was taken to a hospital where she died.

When Shagoo was given the death certificate, it did not state the real cause of death, instead of just mentioning the cause to be ‘sudden cardiac pulmonary arrest’.

In a related incident, the family of a teargas shell victim was unable to have doctors state the real cause of death on the death certificate. On top of that, the family was prevented from conducting the funeral, with the security forces limiting the number of attendants to less than 10 by breaking up the crowd with the use of pellets.

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