Surveillance Census – JK Police Launches Drive to Collect Personal and Sensitive Information of All Kashmiris

February 19, 2024
Poonch, Indian-occupied Kashmir.



In a first of its kind move, the indian regime in Kashmir has decided to conduct a survey through its Police. Hence, in an effort to gather extensive personal information, the Jammu and Kashmir police have initiated a data collection drive. This aims to acquire details concerning residents’ foreign travel history and potential ties to armed resistance groups. While the official census of india, which is conducted every 10 years, was postponed in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this exercise has been initiated only in the occupied territory of Kashmir.




How is this being done on the ground?



While locals from Srinagar city in the Kashmir Valley have reported that policemen have been visiting households, distributing forms, and asking residents to provide personal information, the story is a little different in the rural areas. The police in villages (especially in Islamabad district) have sent forms to the Mohalla Auqaf committees (local committees that manage mosques). These have been accompanied by strict instructions that every household needs to fill and return them within a couple of days, or there will be “consequences”, as reported by Aashiq Hussain (name changed) from a village in district Islamabad.




What do the forms say?



These forms delve into residents’ personal lives, requesting detailed information about the head of the household, along with family members residing outside the region. This includes particulars like age, contact details, Aadhar numbers, and vehicle registrations. Furthermore, the forms inquire about installed CCTV cameras and even probe into family members’ potential links to armed resistance.




Additionally, they must provide photographs and pinpoint their home’s exact location using latitude and longitude coordinates (geo-tagging). The operation’s lack of transparency has caused unease among residents. Forms, distributed by various police stations and labelled “Census 2024,” request standardized information from residents, despite slight variations across stations.




Pressure on locals:



“My parents live by themselves and lack the necessary know how of taking proper photos, leave alone ones with geo-tags. The pressure from the police was so intense that they were forced to hire someone to click these photographs for them and then print them out,” said Junaid (named changed), a resident of Islamabad district who works in Delhi. “They even took the registration number of our car. I have been feeling eerie ever since. I don’t know but something about this doesn’t sound right,” said Fatima (named changed), a resident of Srinagar city.




The History:



In the 1990s, during peak armed resistance movement, indian occupational forces conducted door-to-door surveys to build household databases and monitor resident movements, aiming to gather intel on resistance groups. Since 2019, indian forces have created databases on prominent figures, including journalists, academics, and activists. This intensified in September 2021 when many journalists faced requests for personal details, sparking accusations of harassment and intimidation. Dedicated police units now monitor journalists, activists, and academics. One unit, “Dial 100,” verifies their entire careers, including work history, family relations, foreign travel, etc. Another, “Ecosystem of Narrative Terrorism,” profiles and monitors their work and activities. Notably, this “Census 2024” marks the first time of this being done systematically and extensively to create a database of the entire population.




The Fear:



The indian settler colonial project in Kashmir adopts new strategies every day to speed up its implementation and achieve demographic change in Kashmir. It is not very difficult to imagine what a state with motives like these, is capable of doing with data sets covering the entire occupied population. Fake encounters, enforced disappearances, destruction of residential properties, all have been part of india’s ‘security apparatus’ in Kashmir, and now with all this data at hand, it is only a matter of time these are taken to a whole new level.


At such a time, it becomes very important for us to talk about this and spread awareness, before we see a whole new level of atrocities being unleashed onto Kashmir and Kashmiris.



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Stand With Kashmir (SWK) is a Kashmiri-driven independent, transnational, grassroots movement committed to standing in solidarity with the people of indian-occupied Kashmir in ending the indian occupation of their homeland and supporting the right to self-determination of the pre-partition state of Jammu and Kashmir. We want to hear from you. If you have general inquiries, suggestions, or concerns, please email us at


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