IPTK LODGES COMPLAINT WITH UN HR COMMISSION
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Aug 9: The International Peoples Tribunal on Kashmir (IPTK) had lodged a complaint with the Officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and submitted a dossier to Dr Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, demanding an investigation into the killings of civilians over past two months in the Valley.
The complaint documents a list of 51 civilians who were killed by paramilitary CRPF and police 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 complaint states.
“The 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,” it states.
It states that 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.
It further states that in certain instances civilians were 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, it states are 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.”
It maintains that 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.”
It states that along with civilians, Kashmiri journalists have been targeted by the troopers. It claimed that the arrests have been made on uncorroborated suspicion, as evidenced by the cases of Advocate Qayoom, Advocate Shaheen, and Muhamad Fazili. It alleged that the police have engaged in extortion and demanded bribes from those in custody and those seeking to free the imprisoned.
The IPTK states that 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 troopers 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.”
The IPTK as a body comprised of human rights defenders, states that it was committed to peaceable methods of conflict resolution.
“In order to ensure interim conditions that are facilitative of non-violent 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.”
The IPTK has further demanded 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. Besides it demanded the 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.
The letter has been jointly signed by Dr. Angana Chatterji, Convener IPTK androfessor, 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
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 10 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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