Home > Press Releases > IPTK Files Allegation on Kashmir Killings with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

IPTK Files Allegation on Kashmir Killings with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

STATEMENT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Srinagar, August 9, 2010

INTERNATIONAL PEOPLE’S TRIBUNAL ON
HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE IN INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR (IPTK)
www.kashmirprocess.org

From:
Dr. Angana Chatterji, Convener IPTK and Professor, Anthropology,
California Institute of Integral Studies
Advocate Parvez Imroz, Convener IPTK and Founder, Jammu and Kashmir
Coalition of Civil Society
Gautam Navlakha, Convener IPTK and Editorial Consultant, Economic and
Political Weekly
Zahir-Ud-Din, Convener IPTK and Vice-President, Jammu and Kashmir
Coalition of Civil Society
Advocate Mihir Desai, Legal Counsel IPTK and Lawyer, Mumbai High Court
and Supreme Court of India
Khurram Parvez, Liaison IPTK and Programme Coordinator, Jammu and
Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society

Queries may be directed to:
Khurram Parvez
E-mail: kparvez@kashmirprocess.org
Phone: +91.194.2482820
Mobile: +91.9419013553

IPTK Files Allegation on Kashmir Killings with UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights

IPTK filed a complaint letter with the Office of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights, and submitted a 16-page dossier to
Dr. Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or
Arbitrary Executions, requesting an investigation into the killings of
civilians in June-August 2010 in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The allegation documents a list of 51 civilians who were reportedly
killed by military, paramilitary, and police forces in Kashmir between
June 11 and August 8 of 2010.

The Special Rapporteur is expected to address the allegation to the
Government of India, typically requesting a response within 60 days.
We request that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights
hold the Government of India accountable, investigate the conditions
of repression in Kashmir, and ask that a minimum agenda for conflict
resolution be followed.

The general context of the humanitarian crisis is described on Pages
1-6. The allegations pertaining to the specific killings are on Pages
7-16. For the text of the allegation, see
http://www.kashmirprocess.org/UNAllegation2010/.

Whose Law and Whose Order?
Civilian killings by police, paramilitary, and military:
Between June 11-30, 2010: 13 deaths: All Muslim boys and men
Between of July 1-31, 2010: 13 deaths: 12 Muslim boys and men, 1 Muslim woman
Between August 1-8, 2010: 25 deaths: 23 Muslim boys and men, 2 Muslim women
Total civilian death count: Between June 11-August 8, 2010 = 51

Widespread peaceable protests across Indian-administered Kashmir
dissenting the suppression of civil society by Indian forces have been
continuously brutalized by the police, military, and paramilitary
without provocation. Indian forces have acted with the knowledge and
sanction of the Government of India and the Government of Jammu and
Kashmir, using human rights violations to maintain military governance.
In numerous instances, the repeated repression by state forces
provoked civilians to engage in stone pelting and to be in
non-compliance with unremitting curfews. In certain instances
civilians engaged in acts of violence, including arson. There have
been no reports of deaths of military, paramilitary, and police
personnel resulting from violent acts by civilians.

Each instance of civilian violence documented was provoked by the
first and unmitigated use of force on civilians and/or persistent
extrajudicial killings on the part of Indian forces. The cases
recorded by IPTK are often interconnected — individuals protesting
the actions of Indian forces, caught in the midst of the unrest, or
mourning the death of a civilian killed, without provocation, by
Indian forces, were fired upon, leading to other killings by Indian
forces, more civilian protests, greater use of force by the police and
paramilitary, use of torture in certain instances by Indian forces,
more killings by Indian forces, larger, even violent, civilian
protests, and further state repression. They tell a story of the web
of continued violence in which civil society in Kashmir is confined.

In the deaths documented by IPTK, family and community members were
largely unable to lodge First Information Reports (FIRs) due to unrest
in their locality, or their requests to record FIRs were denied by the
police. In most instances where FIRs have been lodged, the police have
recorded them without consulting relevant stakeholders. At times,
personnel from police stations whose officers were perpetrators of the
crime, or personnel from neighbouring police stations, recorded the
FIRs. Indian forces have threatened eyewitnesses. Civil society
activists and media persons were denied access to localities in which
the killing(s) took place.

Massive numbers of civilians have been injured in Summer 2010 by the
Indian military, paramilitary, and police in Kashmir. Recent acts of
stone pelting, and incidents in which civilians damaged state property
and engaged in arson, have also caused injury to paramilitary and
police personnel. Accurate, independently derived figures are not
available. We note that stone pelting, and selective incidents of
arson and violence are not causal to the violence that is prevalent in
Kashmir today.

Along with civilians, Kashmiri journalists have been targeted by
Indian forces. Arrests have been made on uncorroborated suspicion, as
evidenced by the cases of Advocate Qayoom, Advocate Shaheen, and
Muhamad Fazili. Police have engaged in extortion and demanded bribes
from those in custody and those seeking to free the imprisoned.

Between January 1 and August 8, 2010, reportedly 84 civilians have
been killed (66 were killed by Indian forces, including military,
paramilitary, and police), 120 persons identified as militants have
been killed, and 66 Indian forces personnel have been killed (34 were
killed by militants, 16 committed suicide, 2 died in fratricidal
killings, 8 died in grenade/mine explosions, and 6 were killed by
unidentified gunmen). Fake encounter killings are utilized to enhance
the supposition of cross-border terrorism. Cross-Line of Control
infiltrations and insurgency into Kashmir are real and significant
issues, even as the Indian state exaggerates these realities to
escalate militarization.

During the humanitarian crisis that has subsumed the Kashmir Valley in
Summer 2010, civil disobedience paralleled that of 1989 as well as
2008. State institutions, certain human rights organizations, and
dominant media have asserted that civil society protests are being
orchestrated by political interest groups in and outside Kashmir, with
the objective of endorsing violence. Such contention refuses to
recognize the inequitable historical-political power relations at play
between the states of India and Pakistan and the Kashmiri peoples, and
distorts the conditions that have provoked civilian youth to throw
stones and selectively use arson and attack this summer.

Minimum Agenda for Conflict Resolution
The conditions for nonviolent civilian dissent are being eroded by the
Indian state. The approach of the Indian state has been, and continues
to be, neo-imperial and aggressively militaristic. The Government of
India assumes that the people of Kashmir should respond with
nonviolence to the violent methods of the state. More troops were
recently moved into Kashmir, even as there were reported shortages of
blood, groceries, and cash.

The recent protests in Kashmir evidence dissent to the present events
and the confinement of civil society by Indian military and
paramilitary forces since 1989, and the suppression of local demands
for the right to self-determination since 1946. The Indian state has
reiterated to the people of Kashmir that violence cannot lead to a
resolution. The Government of India must recognize that its own
violence is the primary deterrent to peace and justice in Kashmir.

As a body comprised of human rights defenders, IPTK is committed to
peaceable methods of conflict resolution. In order to ensure interim
conditions that are facilitative of nonviolent conflict resolution,
and enable ethical civil society participation, we urge that the
Government of India, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, and the
military, paramilitary, and police be held accountable to a minimum
agenda in Indian-administered Kashmir inclusive of the following:

1.      Immediate halt to, and moratorium on, extrajudicial killings, and
the use of torture, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, and gendered
violence by the Indian military, paramilitary, and police.
2.      Agreement to non-interference in the exercise of civil liberties of
Kashmiris, including the right to civil disobedience, and freedom of
speech, movement, and travel.
3.      Proactive demilitarization and the immediate revocation of
authoritarian laws.
4.      Release of political prisoners.
5.      Detention and torture centres, including in army camps, be
identified, made public, and dismantled.
6.      Instatement of a Truth and Justice Commission for political and
psychosocial reparation, permitting spaces for acknowledging the
culture of grief and the staggering corporeal and spiritual fatalities
of the past two decades, to imagine and energize local and civil
society initiatives in order to heal, and imagine a different future.
7.      Support of cultural, economic, and peace initiatives by
disenfranchised groups, including half-widows, families of the
disappeared, minority communities, and former militants.
8.      International and transparent investigations into torture,
disappearances, gendered violence, unlawful deaths, and unknown and
mass graves constitutive of crimes against humanity committed by the
Indian military, paramilitary, and police.
9.      Open and transparent dialogue toward conflict resolution between
Kashmir, India, and Pakistan, inclusive of Kashmiri civil society and
leadership as primary stakeholders.

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