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KASHMIR: Human Rights Violations in Kashmir

Although the human rights violations in the Indian-held Kashmir has been continuing by the Indian security forces since the partition, yet the same practice has intensified in wake of the current phase of Kashmir struggle which began on August 12, 2008 when Indian forces killed Hurriyat Conference leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz along with five other persons who were protesting against the government decision to allot 800 kanal of Kashmiri land to a Hindu shrine.

However, seeing no progress for the resolution of Kashmir issue, in 2008, Kashmiri once again renewed their peaceful protests. In a dangerous pattern more than 300 persons mostly teenagers, were killed since January this year in disproportionate use of force mainly by the Indian police and paramilitary troops. Indiscriminate firing by the Indian security forces have become a routine matter, while quelling the peaceful protests.

According to a recent report on Human Rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir by Indian Army and its paramilitary forces, there have been deaths of 93,274 innocent Kashmiri from 1989 to June 30, 2010. Besides this alarming figure of open killings by its security forces, there have been 6,969 custodial killings, 117,345 arrests, destruction, and razing of 105,861 houses and other physical structures in the use of the community as a whole. The brutal security forces have orphaned over 107, 351 children, widowed 22,728 women and gang raped 9,920 women. In June 2010 only, there have been 33 deaths including four children besides, torturing and injuring 572 people. The brutal Indian security forces molested eight women during the month of July. This brief account indeed, is the reality of Indian achievements on which they are trumpeting for their success in the Kashmir through counter insurgency operations.

Over the two decades of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch has documented numerous failures to ensure protection of human rights. It has called for the repeal of laws such as the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, and the Public Safety Act. These laws provide the armed forces with extraordinary powers to search, detain, and use lethal force, leading to numerous human rights violations. They also provide immunity for security forces. Prosecutions of security force personnel, even where the facts are well established, are rare.

While in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out grave human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir by indicating: “The Indian government's disregard for human rights in Jammu and Kashmir means in practice that people reportedly died in custody in Jammu and Kashmir and that the whereabouts of the “disappeared” persons continue to be unknown…government forces continue to commit serious violations of humanitarian law…the Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers including authority to shoot suspected lawbreakers, and to destroy structures suspected of harboring militants or arms.”

Kashmir Quarterly has reported, “Indian Forces killed a number of citizens, torched mosques, shops and houses in various parts of the valley. As a result, there were demonstrations in many cities. Troops desecrated the central Srinagar mosque and tortured worshippers whom they found inside.”

It is notable that there has been a routine failure of justice in Jammu and Kashmir. In the recent past, hundreds of unidentified graves with more than 3000 bodies were discovered in the Indian-held Kashmir. Sources have accused Indian RAW of the custodial killings of the Kashmiri people through brutal methods. In this context, even the European Parliament has passed a resolution, condemning New Delhi for human rights violations.

It seems that non-condemnation of these Indian acts of massive human rights violations by the so-called civilized international community has further encouraged India to step-up its brutalities on the armless Kashmiri masses. Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. India perhaps reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the Kashmiris' movement for the freedom from the Indian rule. This indeed is the continuation of their resistance against the Dogra Rule, started in early part of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, human rights abuses have been a part of a campaign by the Indian army against Muslim Kashmiris. The abuse is manifested in the following types of violations: burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

On the one hand, India claims that Kashmir uprising has slowed down and the situation is returning towards normalisation, while on the other, Kashmir movement has intensified in the recent weeks.

In this connection, on July 10 this year, a rigid curfew was imposed in most of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), while shops and businesses were closed and public transport was off the roads after the All Parties Hurriyat Conference declared a strike. During strike, none of the nearly 60 newspapers published from Srinagar for four days.

The clampdown in IHK has come after street protests and clashes, surged in the controlled territories, and more than 30 people have died over the past six weeks in shootings by the police and paramilitary soldiers. Despite curfew-like restrictions, arrests and detentions, Kashmir movement continues unabated.

It is mentionable that owing to the new strategic alliances, India has become a partner of the major powers like the US, Russia, UK, Germany and France. These major countries have their political and economic stakes in India. That is why, they are silence over Indian human rights violations in the controlled Kashmir.

Besides, there is a big question mark on the role of the United Nations Organization (UNO) in connection with the Indian held Kashmir the only International Organization, mandated to redress the oppressed people of the world. The organization has badly failed to implement its responsibilities and its own resolutions towards a rightful solution of the issue.

There is a need of awakening the international conscious. Closing of the eyes and ears by the international community on the massive human rights violations in Kashmir by Indian security forces would not end the issue. Rather the seething protest against Indian human rights violation would endanger the world peace.

There can be no lasting political settlement in Kashmir unless human rights abuses that have fueled the insurgency are addressed. However, there has been no policy change in the repressive activities of Indian security forces. Indian security forces continued human rights violations in Kashmir unabated.

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India: Repression Persists in Jammu and Kashmir

Restrictions on Rights 3 Years After Constitutional Autonomy Revoked

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(New York) – Indian authorities are restricting free expression, peaceful assembly, and other basic rights in Jammu and Kashmir three years after revoking the region’s special autonomous status, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s repressive policies and failure to investigate and prosecute alleged security force abuses have increased insecurity among Kashmiris.

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government, promising security and reform , revoked the constitutional autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two federally governed territories. The government action was accompanied by serious rights violations including arbitrary detention of hundreds of people , a total communications blackout , and severe restrictions on freedom of movement and peaceful assembly. Since then, the authorities have released many of the detainees and restored the internet, but have intensified their crackdown on media and civil society groups , including through frequent use of counterterrorism and public safety laws.

“Three years after the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s constitutional status, the Indian authorities appear to be more concerned with projecting an image of normalcy than ensuring rights and accountability,” said Meenakshi Ganguly , South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government needs to end the assault on fundamental freedoms and act to protect minority groups at risk.”

The authorities have invoked the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, as well as terrorism allegations, to conduct raids and arbitrarily detain journalists, activists, and political leaders without evidence and meaningful judicial review. The authorities have also barred several prominent Kashmiris from traveling abroad without providing reasons. Since August 2019, militants have killed at least 118 civilians, including 21 people from minority Hindu and Sikh communities .

In November 2021, the authorities arrested a prominent Kashmiri human rights activist, Khurram Parvez , on politically motivated charges under the abusive counterterrorism law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Parvez, 44, is the program coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society and the chair of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances. He has documented cases of enforced disappearances and investigated unmarked graves in Kashmir, and as a result, the Indian authorities have repeatedly targeted him for his human rights work.

United Nations human rights experts , calling for his immediate release, expressed “regret that the Government continues to use the UAPA as a means of coercion to restrict civil society’s, the media’s and human rights defenders’ fundamental freedoms.”

Journalists in Kashmir face increasing harassment by security forces , including raids and arbitrary arrests on terrorism charges . Authorities in India have shut down the internet more often than anywhere else in the world. A majority of those shutdowns have been in Kashmir, where they are used to curb protests and access to information.

Since August 2019, at least 35 journalists in Kashmir have faced police interrogation, raids, threats, physical assault, restrictions on freedom of movement, or fabricated criminal cases for their reporting. In June 2020, the government announced a new media policy that made it easier for the authorities to censor news in the region. In 2022, the authorities rearrested Fahad Shah , Aasif Sultan, and Sajad Gul under the Public Safety Act after they had been granted bail separately in other cases filed against them in retaliation for their journalism work.

Since 2019, the security forces have been implicated in numerous abuses including routine harassment and ill-treatment at checkpoints, arbitrary detention, and extrajudicial killings . In March 2021,  five UN expert mandates wrote to the Indian government seeking information about the detention of a Kashmiri politician, Waheed Para; the alleged killing in custody of a shopkeeper, Irfan Ahmad Dar; and the enforced disappearance of Naseer Ahmad Wani, a resident of Shopian district. They raised concerns about “the repressive measures and broader pattern of systematic infringements of fundamental rights used against the local population, as well as of intimidations, searches, and confiscations committed by national security agents.”

There has been no accountability for these recent alleged extrajudicial killings or past killings and abuses by security forces, in part because of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) , which gives members of the armed forces effective immunity from prosecution. Since the law came into force in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990, the Indian government has not granted permission to prosecute any security force personnel in civilian courts. Rights groups have long documented that the law has become a tool of state abuse, oppression, and discrimination, and called for its repeal. Affected residents, activists, government-appointed committees, politicians, and UN human rights bodies have also criticized the law.

Hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris – many of them Hindu, known as Pandits – were displaced from the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley after a spate of attacks by militant groups in 1989-90. The government has failed to provide for their safe return. Kashmiri Pandits employed in government jobs in Kashmir Valley have been on an indefinite strike , demanding relocation, after gunmen shot Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit government employee, in his office in the Budgam district in May 2022.

The government claims that it has provided government jobs for 5,502 Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley, and that no Kashmiri Pandit has migrated from this region since 2019. However, on June 1, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti , a group representing the minority population in the region, wrote to the region’s chief justice raising concerns for their safety, accusing the government of preventing them from relocating, and seeking high court intervention.

Instead of addressing human rights concerns, Indian officials have sought to project the appearance of progress, Human Rights Watch said. A year ago, the foreign minister said government policies in Kashmir have led to real “democracy, development, good governance and empowerment.” In July, during a visit to Kashmir, the home minister said that “a new era was established in Kashmir,” and that it was on the “path of peace and development.”

“The security forces’ raids and targeted attacks by militants in Kashmir are grim reminders of the unending cycle of violence linked to repressive Indian government policies and the failure to bring abusive forces to account,” Ganguly said. “The Indian authorities should ensure justice for security force abuses and end policies that violate the fundamental rights of Kashmiri people.”

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Human Rights Violations in Kashmir

Profile image of DR. MUZAFAR A H M A D DAR

From Magna Carta to the bill of rights, from an authoritarian regime to democratic set up, no one has declined the value of human rights. Human rights are indispensable for democratic life and realization of their best selves by human beings. They are the product of increasing levels of enlightenment and peoples; quest for equality and dignity. This paper will present the human rights violation in Kashmir through the lens of rape, crackdowns, and tortures of detainees in Kashmir. The conflict in Kashmir, which has its origin in the states disputed accession to India in 1947, sees a great violation of human rights from both countries alongside the border and stepped up their attacks, murdering, kidnapping and soon. The paper will present the current scenario in Kashmir and the work done by human rights organization like Amnesty international and Human rights watch, and also highlight the work done by NGOs and measures taken by government of India.

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Journal ijmr.net.in(UGC Approved)

This article is about Human rights abuses in Indian-administered portion of Kashmir. Indian-administered portion of Kashmir is suffering with every moment death of human rights. Mass killings, forced disappearances, torture, rape & sexual abuse to political repression & suppression of freedom of speech have become an integral part of their day to day life. The Indian central reserve police force, border security personnel and various militant groups have been accused & held accountable for committing severe human rights abuses against Kashmiri civilians. The Kashmiri insurgents are of the view that Indian-administered portion of Kashmir is a part of Pakistan. Hence only the Pakistanis have the right to live on that land. But the question arises how far it is appropriate to create one's existence at the cost of crushing the existence of those who are quite innocent & have no fault of their own, except that they were given birth on that land. This chaos has put innumerable questions before us demanding serious attention & immediate solution.

research paper on human rights violations in kashmir

Andi Suwirta

A BSTRACT: Kashmir is an intractable conflict between the two South Asian countries : India and Pakistan. It had affected people of tiny nation badly. Every individual suffered here in this vale of paradise which was known as the beautiful region across the globe. But its irony that due to unrest, turmoil , and cycle of violence , people lost their kiths and kens ; and because of all that , State of Jammu and Kashmir suffered a lot. This valley has seen plenty of untold stories of massive violations of human rights committed by Indian army, police , and by some of the militant groups. Since 1989, the people of Kashmir were killed, tortured, humiliated , and injured. Thousands of the people were killed due to cycle of violence prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir. Thousands of the people got injuries and they became disabled to work. Many are those who lost their beloved children’s, daughters, sisters, mothers , and some women have lost their beloved husbands, who were only the source to c...

International Journal of Kashmir Studies

Raja Sajjad Khan

The Kashmir conflict is not only a territorial concern for India and Pakistan but along with its diplomatic, economic, legal, political and regional dynamics, it is an issue which is directly related to the intrinsic and inalienable right to life of millions of people. However, the brutal acts of the Indian government Kashmiris have been denied the right to life, property, education and significantly the right to self-determination.

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javaria Nizam

Afghanistan. India's Mughal rulers, who conquered much of the territory in 1586, were so taken by the beauty of its landscape that they called it jannat—paradise. For the last six decades Kashmir has been a paradise lost, its people trapped in the vortex of a bitter sovereignty dispute between India and Pakistan over their lives and land. Genesis of sovereignty dispute over Jammu and Kashmir can be traced back to the British colonial period in Indian history. Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the Indian Union under very special circumstances in 1947, with Maharaja Hari Singh's hands being forced by the Pakistani-backed invasion of tribal raiders. To fight whom the maharaja needed the services of the Indian army. Because of this Jammu and Kashmir continued to witness serious human rights violations. Security forces were responsible for plenty of custodial killings. Hundreds of people have disappeared in Jammu and Kashmir since the internal armed conflict began in 1990. Civilians were often killed by security forces as retribution for killings of security forces. The Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act; and Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act of 1990 provide impunity to the security forces. Under Section 6 of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act of 1990, no legal proceeding can be brought against any member of the armed forces without the permission from Central Government. This paper aims to study the main issues regarding such frequent violation of human rights, the reasons of unabated violence, human rights abuses, denial of civil and political rights, absence of mechanism of justice heightened militarization and survellience because of counter terrorism strategies in Jammu and Kashmir.

Waseem Ahmad Dar

Fareed Khan

barkat ali from swat kp

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WHO launches new toolkit to improve care for neurological disorders

WHO has today published a new implementation toolkit to the Intersectoral global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders (IGAP), outlining specific actions and resources for countries to improve services for people with neurological disorders in preparation for meeting IGAP’s targets for 2031.

Neurological conditions are the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. Provision of services for these conditions is insufficient, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Worldwide, people living with neurological disorders and associated disabilities continue to have difficulties accessing treatment and rehabilitation, and many also experience discrimination and human rights violations.  

“Implementing IGAP requires the concentrated efforts of many stakeholders, with everyone having a part to play,” says Dévora Kestel, Director of the Department of Mental Health, Brain Health and Substance Use. “Our mandate is to make it easier for countries to plan their actions in a way that suits their needs and objectives.”

The neurology action plan, unanimously adopted in 2022 by the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly, sets out an overarching course of action to improve services that involves strengthening policies, systems and services, raising awareness, reducing discrimination and fostering research and innovation. The plan has 10 targets for countries to achieve by 2031 with the support of national and international partners, as well as the WHO Secretariat.

The implementation toolkit is the go-to resource for those involved in shaping neurology policies and services. It is primarily intended for use by policy-makers at national and subnational levels as well as programme managers and service planners across various sectors such as health, social services, education, environment, finance, employment, justice and housing. The toolkit is designed to correspond to the IGAP strategic objectives, focusing on 5 strategic areas:

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  • promotion of brain health and prevention of neurological disorders
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Listing specific steps as well as 90 tools and resources, the toolkit allows plans for IGAP implementation to be customized according to the context of the country, recognizing the advances in neurological disorder care that may have already been made in that setting.

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