Fact-Sheet on Human Rights Violations in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK)
After partition of the subcontinent following the end of British colonial rule in 1947, Indian annexed the fertile and resource rich territory of Jammu & Kashmir, despite the wishes of the predominantly Muslim population of the region to join Pakistan. India took the dispute to the United Nations and in a series of landmark resolutions the United Nations decided that the Kashmiris should be allowed to determine their own future through a fair and impartial plebiscite. That plebiscite has still not taken place after 70 years as India leaders reneged on their promise of plebiscite and have sought to crush the Kashmiris’ struggle for their right of self determination through murder, rape and pillage and other human rights atrocities that are acknowledged by the United Nations, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch.
2. The Kashmiris have suffered tremendously in the last 70 years and have witnessed violation of all their human rights including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights by Indian Occupation forces.
3. As per Kashmir Media Service (KMS), around 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed by Indian occupation forces in IoK since 1989. Out of these, more than 7,120 persons have been killed in Indian custody. 109,200 structures have been destroyed. 22,896 women have been widowed, 107,754 children have been orphaned and more than 11,110 women have been raped and gang raped by Indian occupation forces. More than 7000 unnamed mass graves have been discovered with thousands of victims of fake encounters.
4. After the extra-judicial killing of Kashmiri youth leader Burhan Wani on 08 July 2016, India intensified its brutalities and unleashed an unprecedented reign of terror in IoK. As a result, more than 755 civilians have embraced martyrdom and around 25,265 have been injured so far.
5. Indian occupation forces have mass blinded Kashmiri civilians, including youth, women and children, by deliberately targeting the eyes with pellet gun shots. As of January 2019, 8500 Kashmiri youth have been injured due to deliberate use of Pellet Gunshots. Of these, 207 have been blinded in one eye, while 130 have been totally blinded.
6. India has curbed all the fundamental freedoms including freedom of expression, association and movement etc. of the valiant Kashmiris. Last year, India blocked 22 social media websites in IoK so that they could silence the voices of youth of Kashmir from reaching to the outside world. This action was also criticized by Special Procedures of the United Nations.
7. More than 7,00,000 Indian security forces are committing crimes against humanity on daily basis against unarmed innocent Kashmiris with full impunity under the protection of draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA).
Incidents in the last one year
8. 2018 was one of the deadliest years in the history of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir in which Indian occupation forces killed over 450 innocent Kashmiris and blinded and maimed many more including women and children.
- An 8-year-old girl Asifa was rape, strangled with her own scarf and bashed in the skull with a rock. Her body was found in a forest on January 17, 2018.
- On April 1st, 2018, Indian occupation forces killed at least 17 innocent Kashmiri civilians during search and kill operations in different part of IoK, where more than 100 protestors were injured;
- On 21stOctober 2018, Indian troops martyred 9 Kashmiri youth and injured more than 50 in Larooo area of Kulgam district;
- Hiba Nisar, the 20-month old youngest pellet gun victim in IoK, who got her eye ruptured by pellets fired by the Indian occupation forces. Pellet fire perforated her cornea. She underwent an operation on her right eye but it is unlikely she will regain sight;
- In November 2018 alone, 48 civilians were killed by Indian occupation forces in the so called search and cordon operations;
- On 15thDecember 2018, Indian occupation forces once again unleashed a horrific bloodbath in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK), martyring more than 14 innocent civilians, and injuring over 300 protestors in Pulwama district of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir. The martyrs included, 13 year old Aqib Bhat, student of 8thclass from Prichoo, the oldest child of his parents, and Abid Lone who had returned from Indonesia after having completed his MBA and was recently married;
- The bloodbath of innocent Kashmiris continues unabated. In January 2019 with the year barely begun, Indian forces killed 18 innocent Kashmiris;
Latest Situation in IoK:
9. Around 44 Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy along Srinagar-Jammu highway at Lethpora area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on 14 February 2019.
10. In the aftermath of the attack, the Indian government and media without any evidence or investigation whatsoever accused Pakistan of the attack. Unfortunately India’s knee-jerk and preposterous accusations against Pakistan following the attack were not unexpected as they are a regrettable feature of its domestic politics where terrorism is used as a convenient bogeyman of petty electoral advantages.
Pakistan Prime Minister’s response on Indian accusations:
11. In a televised address Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered dialogue to India. He has guaranteed that Pakistan will take action if India shared actionable intelligence. Prime Minister Khan said that Pakistan itself has been a victim of terrorism with over 70,000 casualties. Now that Pakistan itself has gained stability, it has nothing to gain from terrorism in the region. Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used against any other country nor will it tolerate other countries using their territory against Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan said that India needs introspection on why Kashmiris have been alienated. After 17thyears of war in Afghanistan, the world has reached consensus that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. Similarly, using military force against innocent Kashmiris will not solve the core issue of their right to self-determination. Prime Minister emphasized that incase India took any military action against Pakistan then Pakistan will certainly retaliate.
Reprisal attacks against Kashmiris after Pulwama incident:
12. In the aftermath of Pulwama incident, reprisal attacks against Kashmiris in IoK continue, alongwith deliberate targeting of Kashmiri students in India, with complicity of the Indian government, which remains inactive in the face of heightened communal sentiments.
- The cohorts of the Sangh parivar, an extremist Hindu nationalist organization, attacked Kashmiri traders and students in Jammu city of IoK;
- A mob attack was reported in the Gujjar colony in Jammu city of IoK;
- Many Kashmiri students from Haryana, India were reportedly thrown out of their rented accommodations within hours of the news of the attack;
- A mob surrounded Kashmiri women students at a university hotel in Dehradun and forced them to lock themselves in;
- Nearly 300 Kashmiri students studying in campuses in Dehradun, capital of Uttarakand, fled to Jammu and Delhi following threats from right-wing extremist political parties of dire consequences if Kashmiri students were not evicted from the colleges;
- Reportedly a Pakistani prisoner was attacked and lynched by inmates in a jail in India on 20thFebruary 2019.
International acknowledgement of Indian human rights atrocities:
13. Indian human rights atrocities are increasingly being acknowledged by the international community. The most significant of these are the two reports of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UK Parliament’s All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG). On 19thFebruary The UN Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet noted with concern reports that some elements in India are using Pulwama incident for targeting Kashmiris and Muslims.
OHCHR Report on Jammu and Kashmir
14. The OHCHR published its first ever report on Kashmir in June documenting gross human rights violations in IoK including excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests, detentions and disappearances, cases of mass graves and continued sexual violence, harassment of journalists and human rights defenders as part of overall impunity enjoyed by Indian security forces in Kashmir.
15. This Report reaffirms that Kashmir is a disputed territory and corroborates various reports from different stakeholders regarding the grave human right abuses committed by India in IoK. Moreover, it calls for the grant of right to self-determination to the Kashmiris in line with the UN Security Council resolutions. It also calls for the establishment of ‘Commission of Inquiry’ for international investigation into human rights violations in IoK.
Report of UK’s All Parties Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPKG)
16. The UK’s All Parties Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPKG), a multi-partisan group on Kashmir, launched its report in the British Parliament in 30thOctober 2018, assessing human rights situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK).
17. APPKG’s Report questions the morality and legality of parallel Indian legal apparatus in the IoK; criticizes impunity being enjoyed by Indian occupation forces; deplores IoK government’s reluctance to ascertain identity of bodies in unmarked graves and condemns the use of pellet guns by Indian occupation forces.
18. The publication of this report over the heels of UN OHCHR Report on Jammu and Kashmir, lends further credence to Pakistan’s argument on the Indian atrocities in IoK.
Reports of Civil Society Organizations
19. The Indian authorities have responded to the wave of strikes, rallies, protests and demonstrations with disproportionate use of force and severe repression which has been documented by many reputable civil society organizations.
20. Asia Watch and Physicians for Human Rights in their report “Rape in Kashmir-A crime of War” state that rape by Indian police is common place throughout Kashmir. The report gives horrific accounts of use of rape as a form of collective punishment by Indian security forces in IoK.
21. Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its World Report 2018 has criticized the impunity given to the Indian security forces under by draconian law like AFSPA in Kashmir. According to HRW, lack of accountability for past abuses committed by security forces persisted even as there were new allegations of torture and extrajudicial killings in Kashmir.
22. Amnesty International has regularly criticized the suppression of Kashmiris in its yearly reports. Its 2015 publication, “Denied” clearly articulates that due process is frequently denied both to those accused of militant activity or support, and to those victims-along with their families and communities –of state security abuses.
23. Amnesty International’s report titled “Losing Sight in Kashmir- The Impact of Pellet Guns” gives a pictorial description of the young women and children who have witnessed world’s first mass blinding in IoK by the use of pellet guns by Indian security forces.
24. In a report entitled “Lethal in Disguise”, the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations and Physicians for Human Rights made it clear that pellet rounds cause “an indiscriminate spray of ammunition that spreads widely and cannot be aimed” and that they are “likely to be lethal at close range, but are likely to be inaccurate and indiscriminate at longer ranges”.
Pakistan’s perspective on Jammu & Kashmir & the Pulwama Incident:
- The current situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK) emanates from the denial by India of the Right to Self Determination of the Kashmiri people through a free and fair plebiscite, which was assured to them by the United Nations in its multiple resolutions.
- Pakistan strongly rejects the baseless and knee jerk accusations of the Indian Government against Pakistan following the Pulwama attack which are designed to inflame public sentiment for domestic politics and detract from India’s own terrorism and atrocities in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
- Indian claims are not based on any credible and transparent investigation but on verified social media content. India is using a video released online by the alleged suicide attacker but refuses to accept confessions of its own national Kulbashan Yadav on video on his role of promoting terrorism in Pakistan.
- The only viable solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions for a free and impartial plebiscite in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.