Beverly Hill, President of the Organization for Human Rights and Women’s Rights in the United States, through a letter to former US presidential candidate and newly elected Congress representative, Allred Collin, drew her attention towards the widespread human rights violations in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Beverly Hill in an email to Allred Collin wrote, “I plead with you to do everything in your power to stop US gun manufacturer Sig Sauer from selling automatic weapons to India. The suffering and loss of innocent life will be terrible. We must not aid India in violating and bloodily suppressing Kashmiris. They have lost their autonomy, human rights, and livelihoods.”
“The Indian government plans to sign an approximately $100-million contract for 72,000 assault rifles with Sig Sauer, a New Hampshire-based firearms company.
This would be their second transaction; India and Sig Sauer signed an identical contract in early 2019, the first shipment of which was immediately sent to Indian units deployed in the occupation of Kashmir.”
“These American-made weapons would almost exclusively equip Kashmir-based units like the Rashtriya Rifles which have long, documented records of war crimes and human rights violations and enjoy legal impunity in Kashmir under legal provisions such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA),” the letter added.
“Sig Sauer is complicit in the Indian government’s ongoing militarization, repression, occupation, and settler-colonization of Kashmir,” she said. Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
India’s decision evoked strong reaction from Pakistan, which downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian envoy. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”. —KMS