A London-based law firm has filed an application with the British police seeking the arrest of India’s army chief and home minister over their roles in war crimes in disputed Jammu and Kashmir.
The law firm Stoke White has said that it submitted extensive evidence to the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit documenting how Indian troops headed by General Manoj Mukund Naravane and Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah were responsible for the torture, kidnapping and killing of activists, journalists and civilians.
The law firm’s report was based on over 2,000 testimonies taken between 2020 and 2021. It also accused eight unnamed senior Indian military officials of direct involvement in war crimes and torture in Kashmir. “There is strong reason to believe that Indian authorities are conducting war crimes and other violence against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir,” the report stated.
The request to London police was made under the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” which gives countries the authority to prosecute individuals accused of crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world.
The international law firm in London said it believes its application is the first time that legal action has been taken abroad against Indian authorities over war crimes in Kashmir.
Hakan Camuz, director of international law at Stoke White, said he hoped the report would convince the British police to open an investigation and ultimately arrest the officials when they set foot in the UK.
Some of the Indian officials have financial assets and other links to Britain.
“We are asking the UK government to do their duty and investigate and arrest them for what they did based on the evidence we supplied to them. We want them to be held accountable,” Camuz said.