‘Law of Jungle’ in Kashmir
During the period of nature, law of jungle was order of the day, as the powerful could kill the weak mercilessly. In the modern era, India has been following the similar law of jungle in its refined form by employing barbaric tactics in the Indian held Kashmir in order to suppress the war of liberation which continues by the Kahsmiris who are demanding their genuine right of self-determination as recognised by the UN resolutions.
As regard Indian atrocities and extra-judicial killings, International Peoples’ Tribunal for Human Rights in Indian Administered Kashmir (IPTK) and Association of Parent of Disappeared Persons (APDP) released a report of 355 pages in December 2012 uncovering brutal and immoral acts of Indian Army, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) and elements of other Security and Police Forces—all violently striking against armless Kashmiris. The aim is to intimidate them and suppress their freedom movement. The report also uncovers truth behind Indian allegations that violence in the occupied Kashmir was caused by Pakistan. The report gives precise details of many established and proven cruelties which the largest democracy on earth did not bother to acknowledge or investigate.
It is notable that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of Baramulla, Bandipore and Handwara. Then researchers and other groups reported about thousands of mass graves without markers. In this context, in the last few years, rights groups discovered more than 3,000 unnamed graves in the various districts of Kashmir.
Particularly, APDP and IPTK which estimated around 10,000 people disappeared during the last two decades, claims, “many missing people may have ended up in these unmarked graves,” and “unnamed graveyards entomb bodies of those, murdered in fake encounters and arbitrary executions.”
Besides, on June 28, 2010, BBC reported, “three men went missing in Indian-administered Kashmir in April…but their bodies were discovered near the Line of Control…a senior officer of the Indian army had kidnapped them by offering them jobs as porters. The troops later informed the police that they had killed three militants. Kashmir’s law minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar says there have been several proven cases of fake encounters in the past 20 years.”
BBC explained, “There are hardliners in the Indian Army and intelligence agencies, who think that by raising the bogey of infiltration and gun battles near the border they can create terror among people and also put pressure on Pakistan.”
In this respect, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves. The report indicated 2,156 unidentified bodies which were found in mass graves in various regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have pointed out that unnamed graves include those innocent Kashmiris, killed by the Indian military and para-military troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.
In fact, since 1989 when movement of liberation in the Indian-controlled Kashmir accelerated, more than 100000 people have been killed by Indian forces and police. Indian security forces employed various forms of ethnic cleansing such as unlawful confinement, kidnapping, sieges, curfews, shelling of civilians, destruction of homes, mosques, rape, torture, beating etc. And these inhuman methods contunued till the death of innocent Kashmiris.
Notably, after visiting more than 50 villages, similarly Citizen’s Council of Justice (CCJ) published a report in Srinager Jammu and Kashmir in September, 2012 on human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir. On the basis of its survey, research and analysis, the CCJ report under the caption, “Atrocity and Suffering” revealed that a total of 502 people were either murdered or enforcedly disappeared, 2048 individuals were physically tortured, 6888 were subjected to forced labour and 40 people were killed in custody by Indian Security Forces. 234 Mosques and 700 civilian properties worth 103.8 crores were destroyed in the garb of anti-Mujahideen operations, while after being released from jails freedom fighters, faced different detention periods.
But it was a limited survey conducted in 50 districts, but All Parties Hurriyet Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir indicated that since 1989 to 15 October 2012, there have been deaths of 93,274 innocent Kashmiris, 6,969 custodial killings, 117,345 arrests and 105,861 destructions of houses. Indian brutal security forces have orphaned over 107, 351 children, widowed 22,728 women and gang raped 9,920 women in the Indian held Kashmir.
Especially, Human Rights Watch, in its various reports and Amnesty International 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. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers to shoot suspected persons.” Their reports have called for “the repeal of those laws which provide the armed forces with extraordinary powers to search, detain, and use lethal force. These laws also provide immunity for security forces—their prosecutions, even where the facts are well established, are rare.”
In another report about detentions under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, Amnesty International disclosed under the title, “PSA Still a Lawless Law” and despite pressure on Indian government the PSA has not been reviewed, amended. Therefore, new records are being made by Indian law-enforcing agencies and security forces in human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir.
On the other side, by showing a sense of great optimism for peace of the region, Pakistan agreed with Indian old demand to strengthen the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in order to resolve the outstanding issues, especially main dispute of Kashmir, while on the other, Indian forces have repeatedly violated the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire agreement, and killed some soldiers of Pak Army in the recent months. The purpose behind Indian double game is to give a blow even to the CBMs in order to avoid any settlement of Kashmir issue.
In fact, India is determined to keep its hold on Kashmir. It also wants to blackmail Pakistan by stopping the flow of rivers’ water towards Pakistan as major rivers of our country take origin from the occupied Kashmir. New Delhi is only fulfilling the formality through the new phase of talks as its rulers also want to show to the US-led western countries that they are willing to settle Kashmir dispute.
It is mentionable that inactive approach of the so-called US-led civilised international community to this issue has further encouraged New Delhi to continue its brutalities on the Kashmiri masses. Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds as they have decided that only bullet is the right way of dealing with them. And New Delhi has converted the occupied Kashmir into ‘army camp.’
However, despite following the ‘law of jungle’ of the period of nature through the employment of various patterns of military terrorism in the Indian held Kashmir, the war of liberation by the Kashmiri people will continue untill they get their legitimate right of self-determination. If New Delhi could not suppress the movement in the past, it could also not do so in present and future.
If US-led international community is silence over Indian atrocities in the controlled territories, Pakistani media must keep on pointing out barbaric acts of Indian security forces, being perpetrated on the innocent Kashmiris. Our media anchors and commentators must also encounter such fabricated stories by Indian propagandists who actually hide the real face of their military, para-military troops and police, engaged in raping of women, killing innocent people and looting their property, while giving a matching response to the blame game of Indian media regarding violation of LoC.
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