-Washington’s Human Rights report exposes Indian brutalities in Jammu & Kashmir
Foreign Desk Report
NEW YORK: A prominent Kashmiri leader has expressed the hope that the recent US State Department human rights report, which reproached India on its rights record, will mobilize American policy makers and members of Congress to do everything in their constitutional power to stop the killings in occupied Kashmir.
In a statement, Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, said the report, which deals with the year 2020 and was released on Tuesday, takes “the veil of secrecy off India’s crimes against humanity,” referring to what he called “graphic documentation” of the Indian military’s human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir.
“This is a significant step towards greater international recognition of the serious abuses committed against Kashmiris at the hands of Indian army,” he added.
Fai called the report “well documented” about the developments following India’s annexation of Jammu and Kashmir that resulted in massive human rights violations, particularly targeting women and children. “The sanctity of women has been violated, in a gruesome and unforgiving fashion,” he said.
The country report also said, “There were allegations of enforced disappearance by the Jammu and Kashmir police. Although authorities denied these charges and claimed no enforced disappearances had occurred since 2015, the International Federation for Human Rights reported that cases of enforced disappearances continued through 2019.
“In February the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances identified seven cases under its standard procedures concerning individuals who were arrested, detained, or otherwise deprived of rights.” But, it said, the Working Group had not received permission to visit the country since it first submitted a request to the government in 2010. The country report cites specific incidents where the Indian Government violated the principles of human decency and democratic freedom in Kashmir.
“In responding to demonstrations that started in July 2016, Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries. One of the most dangerous weapons used against protesters during the unrest in 2016 was the pellet-firing shotgun.”
About arbitrary arrests and detention, it says, “Following the central government’s August 2019 abrogation of a special constitutional provision that provided autonomous status for Jammu and Kashmir, authorities used a public safety law to detain local politicians without trial. Most detainees were released during the year. “In April,” the report says, “Mohammed Yasin Malik, leader of the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was arrested and charged with murder in the death of four Air Force officials in 1990.