Kashmir’s tryst with human rights violations

Views from Srinagar

Mohammed Sharjeel

SINCE 1947, Kashmir has witnessed the brutal violation of human rights. Right from the day of conditional accession with India the people are living continuously in the state of fear and oppression. Not a single day passes when human rights are not trampled.
Human right abuse is a normal in Kashmir. From the reigns of Jawaharlal Nehru to Modi, from Sheikh Abdullah to Muftis, the human rights abuse is their shared legacy. The governments both at the centre and state level have covered up innumerable cases of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances. The truth is that Indian government along with its associates in Kashmir has allowed the systemic violence to get institutionalized in Kashmir.
On the day of accession, India closed the door of democracy at the entrance of the state. For the last 70 years the Indian government has done everything it can to be undemocratic in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. From toppling of democratically elected governments undemocratically, installing the unelected as the head of the state, and rigging of elections to eroding the constitutionally provided special status of the state by enacting the central laws through political subversion and unconstitutional methods.
The central government has subverted, suppressed, misrepresented, diverted and discredited its own values of democracy in the state. The government has used a lot of coercive tactics to subdue the democracy.
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA) remains one of the main black laws that provide impunity to the armed forces. Section 7 of the Armed Forces Special Act (AFSPA), 1990 provides that the members of the security forces are protected from prosecution for alleged human rights violations.
This law mandates prior executive permission from the central government for the prosecution of members of the security forces involved in human rights violation. This law provides a complete impunity to the armed forces from prosecution.
The Jammu and Kashmir government is bypassing the judiciary to keep the youth holed up in prisons by getting the orders issued by the Deputy Commissioners under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).
Under the act the Deputy Commissioner grants the permission to detain a person for a period of even two years. The detention is carried out deliberately under PSA to make it sure that the detainee doesn’t get bail. Once PSA is invoked the right of liberty gets curtailed.
During the current unrest “unwarranted use” of draconian Public Safety Act by government is a major challenge Kashmiris particularly teenagers are facing day in and day out.
In the last three months state government has booked hundreds under the Public Safety Act.
Enforced Disappearance is a terrible and inhuman crime against humanity which started in Kashmir in 1989. Since then scores of persons have disappeared in Kashmir. There is no information from the authorities about the missing persons which multiplies the dimensions of pain, suffering and agony.
Around 8,000 to 10,000 cases of enforced disappearances have been reported in Kashmir since 1989. No government either at centre or state pays any attention to the miseries of the families which have been suffering from the endless pain of losing their loved ones to nobody.
The rigged State election of 1987 resulted in something which was beyond imagination. The rigging of the elections paved the way for the bloodshed which is continuing unabated for decades now.
Thousands of innocent people have died and continue to die at the hands of known and unknown armed personals. Since the 1989 insurgency there are estimates that at least 90,000 are dead and 8,000 to 10,000 missing. The scenes of mayhem, mourning and wailing continue with nobody giving any attention. The unabated killing of civilians is a human tragedy of enormous magnitude.
During the current uprising hundreds of people have been treated for serious eye injuries caused by the indiscriminate firing of pellets. Pellet guns have been widely used to quell protests that erupted after killing Commander Burhan Wani.
The use of pellets and snatching eyesight of civilians is inhumane and unacceptable. Nowhere in India the pellets are used against the protesting civilians but the only exception is Kashmir.
Karl Kiebknecht says, “Like a cyclones, imperialism spins across the globe, militarism crushes people, and sucks their blood like a vampire.” sharbenzz@gmail.com

—Curtesy: RK

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