The London-based world human rights watchdog, Amnesty International has expressed serious concern over the impunity enjoyed by the Indian troops for human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir.
The Amnesty International in its annual report for 2017-18 posted on its website said that in April 2017, eight people were killed by the Indian forces, some of them by the use of excessive force, following protests during a by-election for an Indian Parliamentary seat. One voter, Farooq Ahmad Dar, the report said, was beaten by the army personnel, strapped to the front of an army jeep and driven around for over five hours, seemingly as a warning to protesters. It said that in May, the officer responsible received an army commendation for this work. The report maintained that in June, a military court set up under the paramilitary Border Security Force acquitted two soldiers of killing 16-year-old Zahid Farooq Sheikh in 2010. In July, it stated, an appellate military court suspended the life sentences of five army personnel convicted by a court-martial of the extrajudicial executions of three men in Machil in 2010. The report said that the Indian forces’ personnel continued to use inherently inaccurate pellet-firing shotguns during protests, blinding and injuring several people. It further said that the authorities frequently shut down internet services, citing public order concerns. The report also mentioned the arrest of Kashmiri photojournalist, Kamran Yousuf, and a French film-maker conducting research for a documentary on the Kashmir conflict in the occupied territory. And in occupied Kashmir, the Joint Resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik in a statement in Srinagar demanded of the UN to investigate Kunanposhpora mass rape and other such incidents through its War Crimes Tribunal to punish the involved Indian troops. Other Hurriyat leaders and organizations in their statements said that the Kunanposhpora episode was a glaring example of Indian state terrorism and fascism in occupied Kashmir. Indian troops had gang-raped around a hundred women on the night of 23rd February in 1991 during a siege and search operation in Kunanposhpora area of Kupwara district.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq addressing a gathering at Jama Masjid in Srinagar termed the Kunanposhpora mass rape as the most reprehensible crime against humanity. Hurriyat leader, Imtiaz Ahmed Reshi addressing a gathering at Palpora in Srinagar said that shielding of the culprits involved in the Kunanposhpora and Kathua rape and murder cases was a slap to democracy.
Meanwhile, Islamic Political Party and Ummat-e-Islami staged demonstrations in Srinagar and Islamabad town, today, against the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. The members of civil society also held a sit-in protest at Pratap Park in Srinagar and demanded stern action against the culprits involved in the incident.
Hurriyat leader, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, addressing a gathering in Sagam Bidar area of Islamabad district said that unprecedented sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiris for securing their right to self-determination would not go waste.—KMS