Srinagar, (KW): The international human rights day is observed in Kashmir valley with a difference – imposition of curfew, placing leaders under house arrest, detaining others and use of force to debar people from raising their voice against the unabated “state terrorism”.
People elsewhere in the world mark the day by pledging to protect and work for the rights of people, but in Kashmir people are caged on this day to prevent protests. Some of them are seeking whereabouts of nearly 10,000 people disappeared after being arrested by the different wings of the government forces during last 27 years.
The association of parents of disappeared persons (APDP) held a silent protest here on the occasion of international human rights day coinciding with the monthly sit-in that APDP hold on 10th of every month to remember those disappeared, to find their whereabouts and seek justice for them and their families for years now.
Despite stringent restrictions imposed by the authorities, scores of APDP members led by Parveena Ahanger assembled at press enclave here and held protests seeking whereabouts of their missing dear ones.
They reiterated their demand for the setting of an independent judicial commission for investigating into the cases of enforced disappearances and of ratifying the international convention of protection of all persons from enforced disappearances and the convention against torture.
Leading a protest rally, Engineer Rasheed being taken away by police (Image: AIP)
The enforced disappearance at the hands of the Indian forces have not stopped. The most recent case reported is of Manzoor Ahmad Khan, a daily wage labourer from village Devar-Lolab in district Kupwara, Parveena said.
She said the family of the victim and the witness testified that the victim was abducted on August 31, 2017 by the personnel of Indian army belonging to 27 Rashtriya Rifles stationed at Trehmukh, Devar-Lolab.
The family later filed an FIR in the lalpora police station. The family has also filed a heabus corpus petition before the state high court, which issued a notice to the indian army and asked to respond within a week, Parveena said adding, as we have experienced in context of other cases in the past the indian army denied its involvemhis family.
The APDP also reiterated its demand for an independent investigation into the excesses that armed forces indulged in during the uprising of 2016 and prosecute those found guilty.
We also demand that Indian state should allow unconditional access to UNHRC and special Rapporteurs to Kashmir. We once again salute the resilience and strength of families of the disappeared and of those who have suffered state violence since last 27 years, she said.
“Militarization of Kashmir to crush the 1989 uprising led to gross human rights violations in the region. Since then, we have been counting our disappeared, killed, raped and tortured and the ones who have been blinded in recent years. For the state it is collateral damage but for us it is entire generations lost”, Parveena said.
She said “this has been further amplified and encouraged by the perpetual use of draconian legislations like AFSPA, 1990 and public safety act, 1078 which has spawned a culture of impunity and utter lawlessness, with complete disregard for the rule of law. All the basic fundamental rights remain suspended, as Kashmir continues to remain in a permanent state of exception.”
The joint resistance leadership which is spearheading the ongoing freedom struggle in kashmir had decided to hand over a memorandum to the local office of the United Nations Military Observers’ group for India and Pakistan
Authorities, fearing trouble, imposed restrictions in the areas falling under police stations Rainawara, Nowhatta, Khanyar, M R Gunj, Safakadal, Maisuma, (Partially in) Kralkhud, Kothibagh and Ram Munshi Bagh.
Chairman of hurriyat conference (M) Mirwiz Umer Farooq was placed under house arrest on Thursday, Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been under house arrest since 1020, while Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained while he tried to march towards UNMOGIP) from Hamza Masjid Lal Chowk.
Malik had gone into hiding to avoid arrest and appeared at Hamza Masjid Kokerbazar this morning and tried to march towards sonawar but was taken into custody by the police.