India Singles out Kashmiris for Issuance of Smart Cards

New Delhi, December 04 (Kashmir Voice): The Narendra Modi-led Indian government is planning to issue a special card for residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to media sources, the Indian Home Ministry is planning to annul all other identity cards in Kashmir and introduce “hybrid smart card” to have access to data of each Kashmiri resident. The proposal includes having a unique identification code for the Kashmiri people, which can be used to access their data anytime. A senior official in New Delhi said that the government of India had decided to consult the Mehbooba-led regime in the territory on this proposal. The card will be another intrusion in personal lives, especially in a region already under elaborate surveillance with a huge military apparatus in place. The resistance organization, Dukhtaran-e-Millat has already denounced the plan. “It only means that they want to increase the surveillance in Kashmir and want to bring every Kashmiri under their surveillance net,” DeM General Secretary Nahida Nasreen had said in a statement in Srinagar. “The privacy of Kashmiris has already been breached to extreme level and now this new conspiracy of issuing these cards means that India actually wants to go beneath the skin of people in Kashmir,” she added. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s programme Coordinator Venkatesh Nayak questioned the concept of a “hybrid” card. “What is so hybrid about it? Will it have electronic chip? It will raise suspicions that every activity of the people is being traced through some or the other method. This is unequal treatment and India needs to come clean on it,” Nayak said in a media interview in New Delhi. Meanwhile, APHC leaders Hakeem Abdul Rashid and Muhammad Yousuf Naqash in their statements expressed dismay over the Indian government’s plan to issue new identity cards to the Kashmiris. They vowed to oppose the move, tooth and nail. KASHMIR VOICE
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