The world human rights watchdog Amnesty International has demanded that demolitions in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir must be immediately halted and those affected compensated.
Aakar Patel, chair of board for Amnesty International, India, in a statement, today, said, the ongoing demolitions appear to be an extension of the brutal human rights violations the region of Jammu and Kashmir, the Muslim majority region, has historically witnessed. These demolitions, he said, could amount to forced evictions which constitute a gross violation of human rights.
He said, under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which India is a state party, everyone has the right to adequate housing which includes a prohibition on forced evictions. No one should be made homeless or vulnerable to other human rights violations because of evictions, he said.
“The Indian authorities must immediately halt the demolition drive and ensure that safeguards against forced evictions as outlined in international human rights standards are put in place before any evictions are carried out. They must offer adequate compensation to all those affected without discrimination, ensure that victims of forced evictions have access to effective remedy, and those responsible are held to account,” Patel said.
Pertinently, the district municipal corporation and revenue authorities of IIOJK in collaboration with the police have demolished the homes and properties of residents in several districts of the territory including Srinagar, Badgam, Islamabad and Baramulla in the last few days.
Residents said that they did not receive any prior notices from the administration. Many of them also said that they had documents proving ownership of their properties, but the authorities did not give them an opportunity to present their claims before running bulldozers over their homes.—KMS