Written by ZAINAB GAZALA
We always heard these lines for Kashmir:- “Agar firdous baroye zameen ast, hami asto, hami asto hami ast
If there is paradise on earth, It is here, it is here, it is here.” But the question is, Is this what Paradise is meant to be?
Civilians are being killed in cold-blooded murder in Shopian since 27 Jan 2018. The killing was an inhuman and barbaric act Govt forces are carrying the genocide in the valley. Why international human Rights organisations are not breaking their silence on the human rights violation in Kashmir. The international organisations should take cognizance of the bloodshed going in Kashmir.
Youth were killed in cold blood and to shield the guilty stories are being made up. The Army officials are making concocted story to cover up the fake encounter. The killing of civilian is a well thought out genocide policy. It was worst example of barbarism, centre and it’s armed forces are working under a well designed plan of genocide of Kashmir. Killing of civilians has become routine in the disputed region. The day to day killing of Kashmiri people have proved beyond doubt that Government forces have been tasked to kill the freedom of people living in the valley. Freedom to live peacefully is dream for the people of Kashmir. The people of Kashmir are being killed by well planned conspiracy. More than 15 million people of the State of J&K have been denied justice for the past six decades. Kashmir exist in a permanent state of violent . The violence has turned the valley into an open air prison in the world.
In July 1990 when the Indian military was given special powers under an Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA), which human rights groups claim gives the security force virtual immunity for crimes committed.The law provides them a shield, when committing human rights violations. This law is widely condemned by human rights groups. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillayhas urged India to repeal AFSPA.
“All three special laws in force in the state assist the government in shielding the perpetrators of human rights violations from prosecution, and encourage them to act with impunity. Provisions of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act clearly contravene international human rights standards laid down in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as members of the UN Human Rights Committee have pointed out. One Committee members felt that provisions of the act including immunity from prosecution were highly dangerous and encouraged violations of the right to life.”
— A report published by the Amnesty International, 1995.
Human rights watch has also accused the Indian security forces targeted reporters and human rights activists, they have also been accused of committing over 200 rapes. International Committee of the Red Cross briefed US officials in India, alleging that India “condoned” torture and that “sexual penetration” formed part of the maltreatment of victims. The ICRC alleged that of the 1296 detainees interviewed, 681 had reported of being tortured. Of those, 304 individuals complained of sexual torture and abuse.
In 2005 Medecins Sans Frontieres conducted a survey in Kashmir and found that the number of people who had witnessed rape in Kashmir since 1989.
In 2005 Medecins Sans Frontieres conducted a survey in Kashmir and found that the number of people who had witnessed rape in Kashmir since 1989 was comparably far higher than the number of people who had witnessed a rape in other zones such as Chechnya and Sri Lanka. Dr Seema Kazi states that rapes committed by Indian security forces outstrips the rapes committed by militants in both scale and frequency. Professor William Baker stated at the 52nd United Nations Commission on Human Rights that rape in Kashmir was an active strategy of the Indian forces to humiliate Kashmiri people.According to local human rights organizations estimates about 70,000 youths mainly belonging to the age group of 15-25 years have been killed by the security forces and about 40,000 youths have been tortured in the interrogation centres and jailed more than 20,000 are missing equal number have become disabled due to injuries, torture, and psychological Breakdowns.
Since the armed uprising of 1989 thousands of Kashmiris have fallen victims to these stage-managed encounters undertaken by different security agencies to get out of turn promotions and other rewards.The custodial death of Sopore youth Nazim Rashid and a fake encounter of a beggar in Poonch have again brought disgrace to the repute of men in uniform.
There are list of incidents recorded which shows how military forces are violating human rights in the Valley and are humiliating the people of Valley.
Like the incident of Kunan-Poshpora in 1992
Lal Chowk , Bijbehara Massacre , Sopore Massacre of 1993
Murder of Jalil Andrabi in the year 1996
In 2009 Shopian Rape and murder case
Handwara Incident of 2016 and The Kashmir unrest since 2016 after the Burhan Wani’s Death.The Radiance Weekly reported statement of Kuldip Nayar in June 1993 that numerous people,professors,doctors,lawyers and students have been picked up by the security forces on mere suspicion and given the third degree at various interrogation centres before release. Many have died in custody. According to a leading newspaper of India The Hindu (12 June 1994) A team of human rights activists comprised of Dr Ritu Dewan(Professor at University of Bombay), Ms Manimala(a correspondent) Ms Gouri Choudhry(a social activist) and Sheba Chhachhi(an artist) visted Kashmir in 1994 and reported every home that they visited in the valley whether rich or poor told a story of humiliation, loss, pain and death.
Apart from AFSPA another Act was granted in the year 1978 the PSA (Public Safety Act) which also helps in large scale human rights abuses. It gives sweeping powers to the Indian security forces to enter any house at any time, to interrogate anyone anywhere to detain anyone for any length of time. The Chief Justice of J&K High Court Bahauddin Farooqi remarked the abuse of human rights in valley as unprecedented and also says in theory we are governed by the constitution but in practice we are governed by methods unknown to law,unknown to any civilized society (The Guardian 3 August 1991)
The International Commission of Jurist Geneva visited the valley in March 1995 and issued a report which stated the frequent military crackdown the inhuman torture of innocent persons,the indiscriminate shooting at people and occasional rapes committed by the security forces have increased the disgust and resentment of the people of Valley. They also added that it is important to keep in mind the sheer scale of security forces and the extent of their operations.
As far as the Shopian incident is concerned forces are making stories to get out of the matter. The civilians were killed in the cold blooded murder they were not caught in the crossfire. Army frame the civilians as Over Ground Workers (OGW’s) ,they are trying to justify the killing by quoting civilians as OGW’s . OGW is essentially a non-combatant isn’t this a violation of International Law? How the hell can they get away with this? You can’t kill anybody who supports militants there is a clear difference between A combatant and a non-combatant ,How does the army of the largest democracy of world not know this. Giving such statements to the press are not justifiable. If this is not an extra-judicial killing then what the hell does that even mean. Words fail in describing this barbaric act. Actually they don’t even need an excuse anymore to kill a Kashmiri.
As far as the Shopian incident is concerned forces are making stories to get out of the matter. The civilians were killed in the cold blooded murder they were not caught in the crossfire.
Politicians are realising their statements by condemning the act, mere condemnation is not enough to justify the barbaric killing. Situation in Kashmir is extremely grim by the day 13 civilians have been killed by forces in the last six weeks, where eight civilians have been shot dead by armed forces. Our government is not taking cognizance of the matter they are just busy in saving their seats and power. Apart from this J&K Govt in Supreme Court says no accused named in the police FIR registered in the brutal killing of civilians in Shopian,while all along they were beating the drum that the accused has been identified and named and Justice will be delivered.Abdul Rashid Bhat father of Javaid Ahmed Bhat one of the civilian who were brutally killed states We have no faith in Govt ordered probe. He added it is useless to wait for the govt report. He also says show a single instance when the magisterial probe has achieved anything in hundreds of like incidents since 1989.
Father of Suhail Javaid said His son was at home on that day and was not part of the protest. Around 3PM an indiscriminate firing started in the village which continued for at least 30 mins and Suhail was beside me at our home when he heard the firing has stopped he went outside and forces from some 100 meter of distance fired on him.
Another civilian Sohail Khalil Wagay who has been killed was on his way to drop his mother to his sister’s home and was returning with some labourer when he was shot dead with two others.
I asked what was the fault of these civilians only because they were Kashmiri.
The case filed against the Army official is prejudice in the Court and on 5th March 2018 The Supreme Court order to stay the probe into the Shopian firing case till 24 April came after the central government underlined that the state police could not have registered a case against Major Aditya Kumar and other personnel without the centre’s permission.
The investigation into the death of civilians killed in the Shopian firing case in J&K in January has been put on hold by the Supreme Court on 5th March. The Court’s came after the J&K government underlined that Major Aditya Kumar had not been named as an accused in the FIR registered by the police but as the army officer leading the police convoy. A bench chaired by Chief Justice Dipak Misra ordered the state government to put the investigation on hold till April 24 when it would deliver its ruling in this case. Besides Supreme Court Order our Govt is taking no cognizance over the incident not only this incident there are list of like cases still unsolved. The Govt can’t talk or take action over any issue of Valley as they are busy in saving their seats.
“HUM KO TO WIRAST ME HATH AYI HAI GHULAMI_WA_TABHAYI
DEKHTE RAHE KARISHME HUM APNE HUKUMRANO KI HUKUMAT KE”
Zainab Gazala Sheikh is pursuing Law from The Law School, Jammu University.
♦Opinion expressed in this article are writers own.