A demonstration aiming to highlight ‘human rights abuses’ by Indian forces in Kashmir was held today in Burnley.

Around sixty demonstrators took part in the protest outside the Central Library on the first anniversary of a decision by India to revoke the region's special status. The socially distanced event attracted people from across Lancashire and heard from activists who are calling for an end to the lockdown in the region. Attendees were also asked to wear masks and gloves.

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Shanaz Saddique, Chairperson of the Kashmir Council UK who attended the event said, “One year one from the illegal Indian siege on Jammu Kashmir we are here at a peaceful gathering with people from across the North West to share their views and opinions against the Modi regime who continues to violate the basic fundamental rights of the people of Kashmir.

“One year on from the complete lockdown, with no mass communication we are gathered here to ensure we expose Modi and his regime and with a firm message which will go out to all the parliamentarians and all the councillors and public officials who today have not attended. Because we feel their have been given a guidance from the Government which continues to support the ‘fascist’ regime. They continue to do the trade details.

“By doing so you are continuing to oppress the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

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India has said it revoked Kashmir’s special status in order to improve investment in the region but Kashmiris see the move to use settlers to engineer a demographic change the Muslim-majority region.