IOK bar resents Sharma’s appointment as HRC member » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, June 14 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) has described the appointment of Chandra Mohan Sharma, who has fought two elections including 2015 Rajya Sabha Election on BJP ticket, as a non-judicial member of the Human Rights Commission, as also an affront to the J&K Protection of Human Rights Act, 1997, and a gross abuse of democratic norms and values.

The HCBA in a statement issued in Srinagar maintained that in terms of Section 3 of J&K Protection of Human Rights Act, 1997, the Commission shall consist of a chairperson, who has been a judge of the High Court and one member, who is or has been a District Judge, besides three members to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience, in matters relating to human rights. However, Chandra Mohan Sharma, who is a BJP man can neither be taken to be a person, who has knowledge or practical expertise in matters relating to human rights nor he can be said to be a champion of human rights because he has no expertise in the field, the statement added.

The HCBA also refuted the claim of the police department that there was no Kashmiri political prisoners lodged in any jail of the territory or outside as of now and maintained that during 2016, 2017 and upto 4th June, 2018, the police had arrested thousands of Kashmiris in frivolous cases under the draconian law, Public Safety Act.

“The continued incarceration of Dr Qasim Fakhtoo, Muhammad Shafi Shariati, Ghulam Qadir Butt, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Merajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Ghulam Muhammad Butt, Zahoor Ahmed Watali, Shahid-ul-Islam, Muhammad Yousuf Mir, Muhammad Yousuf Falahi, Shakeel Ahmed Butt, Abdul Ghani Butt, Amir Hamza, Mir Hafeezullah, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Sarjan Barkati, Aasiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen and Fahmeeda Sofi is a proof positive of the fact that all these prisoners are languishing in jails for their belief that Kashmir is a dispute and should be settled in accordance with the wishes of the people,” the statement said.

“All these prisoners are therefore political prisoners and must be treated as such by all the concerned, including the members of the international community,” the statement added.

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