The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on Tuesday expressed “extreme concern” over human rights abuses in India-occupied Kashmir and asked the Indian authorities to “fully restore” human rights in the occupied territory.
UNHCHR Spokesperson Rupert Colville in a statement said that the international human rights body is “extremely concerned that the population of India-occupied Kashmir continues to be deprived of a wide range of human rights and we urge the Indian authorities to unlock the situation and fully restore the rights that are currently being denied”.
“On August 5, the government of India revoked constitutional provisions granting partial autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and announced the creation of two separate federally-administered Union Territories, which will come into effect this Thursday (October 31),” the statement said, adding that at the same time, very restrictive measures were imposed. “Although some of these measures have been relaxed, their impact on human rights continues to be widely felt,” the spokesperson said.
The UNHCHR said that the undeclared curfew imposed by the authorities in the region was lifted from much of Jammu and Ladakh region within a few days, but is reportedly still in place in large parts of the Kashmir Valley, preventing the free movement of people, as well as hampering their ability to exercise their right to peaceful assembly, and restricting their rights to health, education and freedom of religion and belief.
“There have been several allegations of excessive use of force including the use of pellet-firing shotguns, tear gas and rubber bullets by security forces during sporadic protests, with unconfirmed reports of at least six civilian killings and scores of serious injuries in separate incidents since August 5,” it added.