I do not think ordinary Indians support the brutality of army occupation in Kashmir. Despite what the Indian state says, and despite what the Indian army and CRPF are doing, I honestly do not believe that any ordinary Indian supports the torture of young men, the blinding of people attending a funeral, the rape of women, the killings and maiming and abuse and humiliation that are now a routinized fact of daily life in the Kashmir valley. To believe that ordinary Indians enjoy watching this spectacle of violence, that ordinary Indians take pleasure in the torture of children, would be to think India is now a country comprised of sadistic psychopaths. I honestly do not think ordinary Indians are psychopaths. I do think, however, that ordinary Indians, and I count myself amongst them, have somehow managed, till now, to keep some distance between what is happening in Kashmir and the idea of India as a whole. After all, India is a large and complex country, a huge and diverse society. Everything that happens in Kashmir, the brutality of the army and the security forces, cannot signify the whole truth of India we tell ourselves. It seems somehow unfair to us ordinary Indians that what happens in Kashmir reflects on us all.
Guest post by JUSTIN PODUR: I spent a week in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, at the end of April 2013, talking to people among whom there was a wide range of opinion. While almost everyone supports freedom, some are resigned to India never letting Kashmir go, others believe that the struggle will go on and take different forms, some are just trying to survive. It seemed to me, at the end of a calm week during tourist season, that India is bringing about all of the things that it fears: Pakistani influence, violence, radicalisation of youth, political Islam, and hatred of India. Continue reading Eleven things India must do in Kashmir: Justin Podur→
This is a press release from the Parveena Ahangar-led ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS on 11 April 2013:
The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) strongly refutes the recent claim of the police that Showkat Ahmad Paul, of Lawaypora, is part of a fidayeen squad of a militant group planning to carry out a strike in the civil lines area of Srinagar City. APDP states that the claim floated through a section of the media quoting police sources is utterly baseless and false. After having abducted and disappeared Showkat Ahmed Paul in 2003, this is a fabricated attempt by the security forces and state intelligence agencies to obfuscate and deny responsibility in the case of his disappearance. The family who are being harassed by the security agencies fear for the safety of their son who is in their illegal and unlawful custody since 2003. They fear that after branding him as a Fidayeen the security agencies now intend to murder Showkat, by staging an encounter or using some other extra judicial method. Continue reading Showkat Ahmad Paul is no terrorist: APDP→
List of signatories at the end; statement put out on 25 February
Following a preliminary reading of the Draft Jammu and Kashmir Police Bill, 2013, made public on 15 February 2013, the undersigned condemn the attempt of the Government to formally put in place powers and structures that the Jammu and Kashmir Police have for long enjoyed and employed to carry out systematic human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. Further, specific sections of the Draft Bill that are seriously objectionable are listed. As an immediate step, the Government must extend the time allotted for feedback from people. Continue reading Kashmir: Civil society objections to proposed Police Bill→
People who mourn under siege are not supposed to write. We cry and beat our chests. Kashmiris have long faced such predicaments, always forced to find alternatives for everything. Anything that is normal and fair is denied to them! Like a fair trial, for instance. I am not sure if everybody knows Mohd. Afzal Guru’s story. I am not sure if I can be fair to him, but whatever I could gather from legal documents, commentaries and articles, is summarised here. Continue reading When the Indian nation’s ‘conscience’ was satisfied: Gazala Peer→
The evening prior to Afzal Guru’s hanging, Kashmir was being prepared for a siege. The state had already started working towards barricading the entire population of Kashmir and enforcing curfew. A backlash in Kashmir was already anticipated, not only because Afzal was a Kashmiri but also because in Kashmir he is perceived to being an innocent man, used as a pawn by New Delhi in the larger political theatre of mainland India.
This brief has been put out by theJAMMU AND KASHMIR COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY
The year 2012 has just passed, and yet again like previous years, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has disgracefully claimed the year to be peaceful. This hyped peace is void of justice & peace and is packed with violence & injustice. In the year 2012 the people of Jammu and Kashmir in routine have witnessed unabated violence, human rights abuses, denial of civil and political rights, absence of mechanisms of justice, heightened militarization and surveillance. The figures of violent incidents suggest that 2012 as usual has been the year of loss, victimization, lies, mourning and pain for the people. Continue reading A review of human rights in Jammu & Kashmir in 2012: JKCCS→
Given below is a report put out this morning by the Srinagar-based INTERNATIONAL PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE IN INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR [IPTK] and ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS [APDP].
On 24 October 2012, the news of the death of former Deputy Inspector General [DIG] Allah Baksh broke out. Politicians, government officials, business groups, and certain elite sections of the Kashmir valley shamelessly competed with each other in offering condolences.
It is a shocking phenomenon which JKCCS condemns as Allah Baksh was notoriously known for his involvement in the 21 January 1990 Gaw Kadal massacre when he was the Deputy Superintendent of Police [DSP]. The Gaw Kadal massacre was one of the first massacres in the post-1990 armed conflict in which reportedly more than 50 civilians were killed. For this massacre an FIR was registered against the dead and surviving civilians [3/1990 Police Station Kralkhud] but no one was held accountable for the massacre itself.
This press release was put ou on 28 September 2011 by theASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISPLACED PERSONS, The Bund, Amira Kadal, Srinagar – 190001
In Pakistan the judiciary is attempting to provide justice to the family members of those who have been subjected to enforced disappearance. In 2008, the Chief Justice of Pakistan entered into confrontation with the then President of Pakistan for taking a pro-active stance against disappearances. That confrontation ultimately emboldened the judicial system in Pakistan to be more pro-active on human rights issues. This judicial intervention on enforced disappearances has created an atmosphere in Pakistan which has pushed Pakistani government to invite United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID). The UNWGEID recently concluded its first 10 day visit to Pakistan and have begun their investigations on enforced disappearances. Continue reading Allow UNWGEID to probe disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir: APDP→
This press release was put out by theJAMMU KASHMIR COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY on 13 September
On 12 September 2012, a little less than five months after the son of one of the victims of the infamous Bhaderwah triple murder case filed a complaint before the State Human Rights Commission [SHRC]. The SHRC dismissed the case implicating Kuldeep Khoda, ex-Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir [retired from service on 31 May 2012]. No notice was given to the complainant or his advocate to appear for the hearing. On 13 August 2012, the advocate for the complainant had sought an opportunity to advance further arguments on 22 August 2012. While this request was granted, no hearing was held on 22 August 2012. Instead of providing notice for the subsequent hearing on 12 September 2012, the SHRC chose to dismiss the case. Continue reading Will there be justice in the Bhaderwah triple murder case?→
This press statement was issued yesterday, 30 August 2012, by theASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS, the Bund Amira Kadal, Srinagar – 190001, Jammu and Kashmir
Today on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) organized a seminar on the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and Institutional Violence and Denial of Justice by India. Various members of the Civil Society addressed the importance of the ratification of the international Convention against Disappearances.
This press statement comes from the JAMMU AND KASHMIR COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY
Srinagar, 15 August 2012: It is despicable that the police officers responsible for serious human rights violations are receiving awards despite the crimes they have perpetrated. Today’s awards to some of the Jammu and Kashmir Police officers are an act of celebrating tyranny and victimization.
This press release comes fromAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
1 May 2012
Special powers that allow India’s armed forces suspected of involvement in extra-judicial killings to sidestep the civilian courts have been reinforced in a disappointing court ruling over the notorious killings of five Kashmiri civilians 12 years ago.
India’s Supreme Court has contradicted a reported statement by its Justices in February 2012 that army personnel suspected of murder should be placed in front of a civil judge.
Given below is the text of a petition submitted to the Jammu & Kashmir State Human Rights Commission by theINTERNATIONAL PEOPLE’S TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE IN INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR (IPTK) together with theASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS. A Division Bench of the SHRC will hear the case on 17 April
Mr. Tariq Ahmad Banday,
Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission,
Date: 6 April 2012
Dear Mr. Banday,
The International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir [IPTK] (a brief on the Tribunal’s premise and objectives may be found here) and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons [APDP], present before you the following submission:
In July 1995, during a trekking expedition, six persons were reportedly kidnapped by a group that referred to itself as “Al-Faran” [a front of the Harkat-ul-Ansar]. The six persons kidnapped were: John Childs [Simsbury, Connecticut, USA], Dirk Hasert [Bad Langensalza, Germany], Don Hutchings [Spokane, Washington State, USA], Keith Mangan [Teesside, Middlesbrough, England], Hans Christian Ostrø [Oslo, Norway], and Paul Wells [Blackburn, Lancashire, England]. Continue reading Who killed four foreign tourists in Kashmir in 1995?→
Waqar Ahmad Moharkan was born in Indian-held Kashmir in 1990. Currently, he is a final year student of Bachelor’s in Commerce at Srinagar’s Islamia College of Science and Commerce. Waqar was arrested on 4 October, 2011, during a raid on his house in Lal Bazaar on charges of participating in protests in the Downtown area of Srinagar. Waqar was arrested by police personnel from MR Gunj station. The court allowed his bail application on 23 October, 2011. Instead of being released, he was rebooked by same police station and shifted to Central Jail under judicial remand on 15 December, 2011 and suddenly slapped with the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). Continue reading Free Waqar Ahmad→
This release comes from the ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS, the Bund, Amira Kadal, Srinagar – 190001, Jammu and Kashmir
Press Statement, 25th January 2012: On 17th October 2011, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) submitted an application for information under Right to Information Act 2009 to the office of the Public Information Officer of State Department of Home. The application was regarding unmarked graves and mass graves in all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir. The State Home Department vide its letter no: Home/RTI/2011/1659 dated: 24th October 2011, transferred the application to the office of Director General of Police, Jammu & Kashmir. Later Director General of Police, Mr. Kuldeep Khoda sent communiqué vide no. legal/RTI/III/98/2011-5590-91 dated 10th December 2011 to the SSP CID Headquarters, asking him to furnish a detailed report on this issue.
Today, on 25th January 2012, we have received a response from the SSP CID Headquarters vide letter no: CID/GB/RTI/2011/8756-58, in which the CID Department has informed us that the information regarding the unmarked graves and mass graves in all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be shared as the disclosure of the information, according to Jammu and Kashmir Police would be “prejudicial to the maintenance of public peace and tranquility, as the anti-national elements may use the same for incitement of commission of offence in the state”. The SSP CID Headquarters further states, “In the present security scenario it is quite imminent that consequences of such a situation would be highly prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the state”. Continue reading In the name of sovereignty: APDP→
This release comes fromALL INDIA CHRISTIAN COUNCILcomes to us via John Dayal
All India Christian Council concern at Srinagar Sharia court statement against Christian pastors
New Delhi, 13 January 2012
The All India Christian Council is deeply disturbed at the Srinagar based Sharia Court issuing a statement against Christian pastors Jim Borst and C M Khanna Srinagar, Jan 11: Supreme Court of Islamic Sharia Wednesday indicted Christian Pastor C M Khanna and Dutch national, Jim Borst for their involvement in luring people to convert their religion. The Sharia court has threatened it will issue a sentence shortly. Such statements can encourage extremist elements to indulge in violence, the Council fears. Continue reading On the Srinagar Sharia court’s statement against Christian pastors: AICC→
This release comes from theJAMMU AND KASHMIR COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY, the Bund, Amira Kadal, Srinagar 190001, (www.jkccs.net)
Year 2011 has just passed, and many have declared this year, a peaceful year in Jammu and Kashmir. Of course assertions of peace by various quarters are relative. Enforced silence cannot be construed as peace. Despite the hype of peace, people of Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed unabated violence, human rights abuses, denial of civil and political rights, absence of mechanisms of justice, heightened militarization and surveillance. The figures of violent incidents suggest that 2011 as usual has been the year of loss, victimization, mourning and pain for the people. Continue reading Human Rights Review – Jammu and Kashmir in 2011: JKCCS→
This release comes from the ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS OF DISAPPEARED PERSONS, the Bund Amira Kadal, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
28 December 2011: Callousness of the government continues vis-à-vis victims of human rights abuses and in particular against the family members of those who have disappeared in the last two decades in Jammu and Kashmir. The relatives of more than 8000 persons continue to wait for the government to probe all the cases of disappearances, deliver justice to the families of the disappeared and punish the perpetrators. Continue reading J&K government has buried the SHRC report on unmarked graves in Kashmir: APDP→