Speakers during a debate at the UN Human Rights Council has brought the attention of the world highest human rights body towards the simmering situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and rising trend of xenophobia, cast system, intolerance in India.
They said that the BJP government influenced by Hindu supremacist ideology was stoking communal discord besides using its repressive state apparatus to crush voices of dissent in occupied Kashmir.
Taking part in the debate held under the agenda item 3, the representative of World Muslim Congress, Raja Saeeduz Zaman, International Muslim Women Union (IMWU), Warda Najum, Anna Lorenda African Human Rights Activist and others called upon the international community particularly the HRC to hold Indian government accountable for the rights violations committed by Indian troops in Kashmir.
Speaking on the occasion, Raja Saeeduz Zaman said, “World Muslim Congress remains concerned about rising trend of xenophobia, cast system, intolerance in India, amended citizenship coupled with government push for a nationwide citizenship verification process through NPR and NRC”. The process he said ‘is feared to deprive millions of Muslims including those who have been living in Indian for ages of their fundamental rights”.
“Since 2014 when Modi came to power, many legislators of the BJP had made anti-Muslim remarks during their speeches in and outside the parliament, which have encouraged their supporters to launch attacks on minorities particularly the Muslims”, he said adding that these attacks were broadly condoned by the Indian state.
He said at least 52 people were killed in recent communal violence that shook several states of Indian in particular the capital city New Delhi. Kashmiri students, business men and traders were worst sufferers of violence he said adding that they were being subjected to religious profiling by authorities besides harassing and terrorizing them.
About the India’s perpetual denial to grant Kashmiris their right to self-determination he said, “World conference on human rights considers the denial of right as serious violation of the human rights and underlines the effective realization of the peoples’ right to self-determination. The Right to self- determination he said was recognized and guaranteed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir by no less an authority than the United nations. The UN Security Council he said has adopted number resolutions in this regard but Indian government has failed to honour these commitments.
Referring to Vienna declaration, Anna Lou Rend, the African rights activist, said that the covenant besides stressing on other fundamental rights gives equal importance to peoples’ right to self-determination. In Jammu and Kashmir she said, “The disproportionate use of force by the Indian forces and the impunity enjoyed by them under draconian laws like AFSAPA, PSA, the use of torture, lack of credible investigation, restriction of movement on independent journalists prevent the voices of Kashmiris reaching the international community”.
Terming these actions as a breach of international law, she said that the Council should ensure its commitment to Vienna declarations endorsing Kashmiri reports’ recommendation. “This will ultimately pave a way for the resolution of long-pending Kashmir dispute”, she concluded.
Taking part in the debate Warda Najum said, “World Conference on Human rights stressed that all persons who perpetrate or authorize communal act associated with ethnic cleansing are individually responsible or accountable for such human rights violations and that the international community should exert influence to hold them accountable for such violations”. She said that Kashmiris who have been struggling for the UN recognized right have been facing extermination at the hands of extremist right wing government of India and its forces on ground.
Citing the Washington based Genocide Watch report she said that the organization has noted that since August 05 when India annexed the dispute territory, Indian has stationed over 900,000 troops in Kashmir.
The organization she said had also detected that 10 early warnings of massacres in the IOK which comprises categorizing Muslims using documents such as ID cards to recognize them, leveling them as radicals. She said that Modi led BJP government was also instigating anti-Muslim hatred in Kashmir. She said that threat to Kashmiri Muslims have heightened during the Coronavirus pandemic in the IIOJK.—KMS