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Abuses by Indian Forces Continue in Kashmir

Srinagar, January 20: Human Watch on Thursday voiced serious concern over the human rights excesses committed by “Indian Army and paramilitaries since more than two decade in Indian Occupied Kashmir”. Extrajudicial executions by Indian Forces are common in Kashmir. Impunity has been enabled by Indian Law. There hundreds of cases where Indian Forces have shot civilians under the authority of laws such as the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The Human Watch accused Government of India for failing in putting an end to the widespread impunity, which the International Body believes fuels conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. “Everyone Lives in Fear”- in Kashmir”. The HW says: “Indian security forces have committed torture, disappearances, and arbitrary detentions, and they continue to execute Kashmiris in faked encounter killings.

It is perhaps for the first time in the past 21 years that any United Nations Special Rapporteur has been allowed to visit the Kashmir to assess the situation and to submit a report to the Human Rights Council of the International Body about the situation in Kashmir including human Rights violations in the Valley.

Being critical of the laws in force in Jammu and Kashmir which grant special powers to the troops, Human Watch, Chief Said , said: “It’s absurd that the world’s largest democracy (India), with a well-developed legal system and internationally recognized judiciary, has laws on its books that prevent members of its security forces from being prosecuted for human rights abuses.

It’s time for the Indian government to repeal laws like Armed Special Powers Act, Disturbed Area Act and Public Safety Act and recommit itself to justice for victims of all abuses, whoever the perpetrators may be.”

On this occasion, People’s Political Party (PPP) urges the concern authorities of affected parts of the globe to “Release Human Rights from detention.”The “Human Rights & Self-determination are inseparably inter-linked “and originate from U.N.Charter with top priority and are very vital for maintaining International peace, Security and fraternity of human beings. The United Nations Charter says that fight for human right is just and right.PPP also disapproved extra-ordinary Penal Laws which root-out the very existence of fundamental human rights, because such laws are generally misused by governing Body of concern States & the men in uniform get a free license to behave like outlaws and even beasts.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958-AFSPA. It gives special powers to the army and other central forces operating in J & K. Section 4, clause a,b, of the Act says even a non-commission officer can enter a house, search and can arrest without any warrant can even shot on mere suspicion. No penal action can be taken up against the forces without sanction of Central Government that even the Chief Minister of J & K can’t punish the soldiers, even if, proved guilty in a court of law, without New-Delhi’s consent.

The abuses have been taking place against backdrop of struggle against illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional Indian Occupation in Jammu and Kashmir since October 1947. It is the fact the Kashmiris are fighting for the birth right of Self-determination by following the golden principles of United Nations Charter that Human Rights and Self-determination is the body and soul. Since 1989, Armed-political struggle which has been waged by Kashmiri freedom fighters is within the relevant provisions of United Nation Charter has claimed more than hundred thousand ( 100000) lives in Jammu and Kashmir . It is the fact that Kashmir which is on the top of UN Agenda remains a potential flashpoint between two Nuclear Powers of South-Asia.

“No civilized state can have security services that have the right to shoot to kill,” he said, adding, “India is a very large power. It needs to set an example by respecting human rights.”

Emphasizing that burgeoning power like India should invite Independent National Commission, international human rights groups and various bodies of United Nations to come to Kashmir and see what they want to see on all aspects of human rights abuses. “Of course it will bring out a lot of dirt, lot of cases, but if we have a Prime Minister who is talking about zero tolerance. They should take the initiative to extend invitations to independent groups”.

The prevailing circumstances in Kashmir, Human Watch Chief, said the situation is very critical. “There is fear all around. Every Kashmiri I meet tells me that they are not sure who will be tortured, enforced to disappearances, arrested, and killed in a fake encounter.”

Human Watch Stated that “ it is absurd that the world’s largest democracy , with a well developed legal system and international recognized judiciary , has such black laws on its books that prevents members of its security Forces from being prosecuted for human rights abuses”.

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