India’s Human Rights Violations in Kashmir
Gross human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir have become a permanent feature of the Indian security forces.
Since 1947, in order to maintain its illegal control, India has continued its repressive regime in the Occupied Kashmir through various machinations.
In this regard, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.
According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, since 1989, there have been deaths of 1,00000 innocent Kashmiris, 7,023 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests, 1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed, 1,07,466 children orphaned and 10,086 women gang-raped/molested. Indian brutal securities forces have continue these atrocities.
In fact, Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.
Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces.”
In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir. The report points out, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has in turn facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred one 100,000 people. More than 8,000 disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”
In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.
It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of mass graves without markers. In this respect, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves.
And foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.
Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. New Delhi reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien rule.
But, New Delhi is still showing its intransigence in order to resolve Kashmir dispute with Pakistan by neglecting the fact that Kashmir remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the neighbouring countries.
In this context, Egbert Jahn in his book, “Kashmir: Flashpoint for a Nuclear War or Even a Third World War?” has pointed out, “The Kashmir conflict is embedded in the wider conflict over the incomplete creation of nations and states on the Indian subcontinent, which during the east-west conflict even threatened at times to escalate into a nuclear world war between Pakistan and the USA on the one side and India and the USSR on the other. Until now, there have been three wars between India and Pakistan over the Jammu and Kashmir: in 1947–49, 1965 and 1999… finally, the Indo-Chinese border war of 1962…after these wars…and could unexpectedly again lead to a regional and under certain circumstances…even a major nuclear war or a Third World War.”
Meanwhile, like the previous year, Pakistan’s recent serious and sincere effort at the annual session of the United Nations—the recent speech of Pakistan’s prime minister and his meeting with the American president, highlighting the Kashmir dispute and demanding its solution has infused a new spirit among the Kashmiri people.
Kashmir dispute cannot be seen in isolation it is part of New Delhi’s other developments against Pakistan and the Muslims. In this respect, as part of anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan approach, leader of the BJP and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is giving impetus to Hindu chauvinism which has resulted into a number of assaults on the Muslims and Pakistanis inside India. Under his rule, Indian security forces have also accelerated unprovoked firing at the Line of Control in Kashmir including Working Boundary.
Besides, in connivance with New Delhi, Bangladesh government and Awami League have launched a massive media campaign in order to spread venom against Pakistan and its armed forces and against all those Bangladeshi nationals who were loyal to the state during 1971 crisis.
In this regard, while addressing a ceremony during his Bangladesh tour, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi openly stated on June 7, 2015 that Indian forces helped Mukti Bahini (Militants) to turn East Pakistan into Bangladesh. He elaborated that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had played an active role in separating Bangladesh from Pakistan, and he had also come to Delhi in 1971 to participate in the Satyagraha Movement, launched by Jana Sangh as a volunteer to garner support for the Mukti Bahini members.
It is noteworthy that since Prime Minister of Bangladesh and leader of the ruling party, Awami League, Sheikh Hasina Wajid came into power, India has been employing various tactics to entrap Bangladesh by exploiting her pro-Indian tilt to fulfill its strategic interests. In this context, Prime Minister Hasina Wajid has continuously been pursuing Indian directions by conducting anti-Pakistan campaign. Therefore, after passing of 42 years to the events of 1971, which resulted into the separation of East Pakistan, Abdul Qadir, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) was hanged because of his loyalty to Pakistan.
However, Bangladesh’s ruling party, under Sheikh Hasina Wajid maintains an anti-Pakistan posture with sinister designs of expressing animosity, antagonism and unrestrained emotional flare-up. The aim is to exploit feelings of masses by keeping the “hate Pakistan” agenda alive. This enables Awami League and Hasina Wajid to remain significant in Bangladesh’s power politics despite their failure to deliver good governance to the People. It also helps them to appease their mentors in India. Using abusive language against Pakistan and its armed forces makes Hasina Wajid relevant in Indian politics, while she herself prefers those entities which derive sadistic pleasure by depicting Pakistan in bad light.
By neglecting Islamabad’s positive approach, Bangladesh government has continued its anti-Pakistan approach to please India. It could be judged from the statement of Prime Minister Hasina Wajid who has vocally said, “Bangladesh has no room for the people loving Pakistan.”
Nevertheless Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been following pro-Indian policies. In this respect, on the secret insistence of India, unlike the past years, a ceremony was held in Dhaka on March 24, 2013, with full pump and show to honour ‘Foreign Friends of Bangladesh Award,’ in relation to the separation of East Pakistan. For this aim, several foreign friends who included various institutions and media anchors from various countries, particularly India were invited. The main purpose behind was to distort the image of Pakistan and its armed forces regarding alleged atrocities, committed against the Bengalis. Notably, in December, 2012, Prime Minister Hasina had refused to attend D-8 conference in Islamabad unless Pakistan tendered apology for the alleged genocide of Bengalis.
While, a famous Bengali journalist Sarmila Bose authored a book, “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War” after thorough investigation. Her book was published in 2011. While countering exaggerations of the Indian and Bengali Journalists, Bose argues that the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 was not three million, but around 50,000, while Bengalis were equally involved in the bloodshed of Punjabis, Biharis, Pashtoons and Balochis.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was already in connivance with India for separation of East Pakistan. Therefore, when East Pakistan was occupied by Indian Army in 1971, he stated with pleasure that his 24 years old dream of an independent Bangladesh had been fulfilled. While commenting upon 1971 tragedy, Indra Gandhi clearly divulged Indian hegemonic designs by saying “Today we have sunken Two Nation Theory in bay of Bengal.”
Majib had earlier developed his contacts with Indian rulers and training camps of Mukti Bahini, established by Indian army and RAW which also funded Mujibur Rehman’s general elections in 1970.
Undoubtedly, various anti-Pakistan developments such as Modi’s open confession regarding Indian support to militants of Mukti Bahini, his arrival in Dhaka to receive award of Atal Bihari Vajpai, presentation of ‘Surrender Ceremony’ photograph by Bangladeshi leader to Modi, ruthless death sentences to Jamat-e-Islami Pro-Pakistan leaders under highly doubtful and objectionable trials etc. show that Indo-Bangladesh media nexus backed by RAW has become more active for last 4/5 years to create mistrust among people of Bangladesh against Pakistan.
Moreover, Indian cross-border terrorism in Pakistan, her support to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which is responsible for terror-acts in Pakistan—also involved in the massacre of innocent children at Army Public School, Peshawar might be noted as instance of anti-Pakistan
Nonetheless, it is due to lack of action on the part the US-led big powers that India’s human rights violations continue unabated in the Occupied Kashmir.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations