UN urged to set up body to probe rights abuses

Srinagar, May 20 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons while releasing a comprehensive report on human rights violations by India have urged the United Nations to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate the brutal torture inflicted by Indian forces in the territory.

The report released by the JKCCS and APDP in Srinagar, today, also called upon India to ratify the UN Convention against torture and also allow global right groups’ unhindered access to Kashmir. The 560-page report focuses on the torture perpetrated in Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian forces since 1990.

The report points out that torture is used as a matter of policy by the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir in a systematic and institutional manner and tens of thousands of civilians have been subjected to torture. The report cited the recent case of the custodial killing of a 29-year-old school principal, Rizwan Pandit and said that no case was registered against police officials responsible for his custodial killing. The forms of torture that have been documented in the report include stripping the detainees naked, beating with sticks, iron rods or leather belts, roller treatment, water-boarding, dunking detainees head in water, electrocution, hanging from the ceiling mostly upside down, burning of the body with hot objects, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation and sexual torture.

Meanwhile, three special rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council in a letter to the Indian government have demanded details on steps taken to punish or provide justice to victims and their next of kin in 76 cases of torture and arbitrary killing in Indian occupied Kashmir since 1990. The letter is written by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Dainius Puras and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Nils Melzer.

The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar, today, paid tributes to Mirwaiz Molvi Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone on their martyrdom anniversaries. He said that both the leaders played a glaring role for the ongoing movement for right to self-determination.

Complete shutdown and a march towards the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Eidgah in Srinagar will be conducted, tomorrow, to mark the martyrdom anniversaries of prominent liberation leaders, Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will lead the march.

Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Farooq was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his residence in Srinagar on 21st of May 1990. 70 mourners were killed in Hawal area of the city when Indian troops opened fire on the funeral procession of the martyr. On the same day, in 2002, Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone was killed by unknown assailants when he was returning from Eidgah after addressing a public gathering.

A protest demonstration organized by Pellet Victims Welfare Trust was held at press club in Srinagar, today, demanding ban on the use of pellet guns in Kashmir.


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