Human rights abuses have been a part of a campaign by the Indian army against Muslim Kashmiris, particularly since 1990. Recently, seven Kashmiri students sustained injuries after a group of goons allegedly thrashed them in inebriated state outside Swami Devi Dayal College of Engineering and Technology Golpore Barwal in Chandigarh, forcing them to flee. The Kashmiri student said, “The reason for their aggression against us was Pathankot attack. They labeled us as Kashmiri terrorists and ordered us leave the city and college. They not only thrashed us but also abused us”. Earlier when a group of Kashmiri students were beaten for cheering for Pakistan cricket team in Swami Parmanand College, Mohali Punjab in 2014, they had registered an FIR but contrary they were charged for sedition. This harsh experience stopped them to approach police station.
When the dispute of Kashmir was first brought to the United Nations, the Security Council, with the firm backing of the United States, urged that the people of Kashmir will have right of self- determination to decide the future status of their homeland. At that time, the Soviet Union did not dissent from it. Afterward, because of the cold war, the Soviet Union blocked every resolution of the Council calling for implementation of the settlement plan.
Indian forces have been engaged in a sustained campaign of slaughter, rape, arson and destruction since many years. This state terrorism has resulted in more than 65,000 deaths. The intervention of the international community is needed to bring the genocide in Kashmir to a quick end. Initiation of a political dialogue between the Kashmiri leadership and the Governments of India and Pakistan will set the stage for a democratic and peaceful solution.
On the other hand, “Disappearances” and so-called “encounter deaths” are commonplace. There are thousands of unmarked mass graves in the state’s northern districts. And in detention centers, as the International Committee of the Red Cross told US officials in 2005 in a secret document, “electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation are used routinely to extract ‘confessions’ from detainees”. Horrific violence has been faced by the women, with rape used as a “weapon of war to punish, intimidate, coerce, humiliate and degrade”. A draconian law called “The Armed Forces Special Powers Act” (AFSPA), imposed in 1958 in Indian Held Kashmir, provides the army and paramilitaries with almost total impunity, enabling them to arrest people without a warrant and on mere suspicion of their planning a terrorist act and allowing the security forces to “fire upon or otherwise use force even to the causing of death”. Furthermore, Hundreds of civilian’s including women and children have been reported to be extrajudicial executed by Indian security forces and killings concealed as fake encounters. Despite government denial, Indian security officials have reportedly confessed to human right watch of widespread occurrence of fake encounters and its encouragement for awards and promotions.
Recently, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has said “Pakistan will continue to support right to self-determination of Kashmiri people”. At the same time Kashmiri people do not like to live with India. Since 1947 Indian Kashmir is waiting for its freedom according to the resolutions of the United Nations. Indian Army failed against the Kashmiri Mujahedeen and failed to stop them in their struggle for freedom. Additionally, The Indian government has refused to give travel documents and passports to the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders and Indian intellectuals, human rights activists and others to visit Pakistan to attend an international conference on Kashmir in Islamabad on January 20 to 21. The conference has been put off for an indefinite period, as it would be less meaningful without the participation of the APHC leadership. The conference was convened for the mutual consultation of the Kashmiri leadership from Indian held Kashmir.
One of the most underestimated and downplayed yet most blatant violations of human rights have been taking place in the IHK of Jammu & Kashmir, under the cover of Article 35A of the Indian Constitution. One may well ask, when will this nightmare end for the people of Kashmir? Will the repressive laws they face be revoked? Will they be allowed to live with full dignity, security and assured livelihood?