A Citizens fact-finding report on the continuing violence in the Kashmir has concluded that “the BJP government at the Centre and the PDP-BJP government in J&K are engaged in actions that amount to a complete violation of universally accepted human and democratic rights and of the very Indian constitution they claim to want to impose in the Kashmir valley”.
The executive summary of the report titled ‘Why are people protesting in Kashmir?’ released to the media in Delhi today has held government actions amount to:
- Violation of the right to life,
- Criminal intimidation,
- Violation of the principles of natural justice,
- Handing out collective punishment,
- Violation of every law and the international covenant that is aimed at protecting women from sexual and other forms of violence,
- Actions against emergency relief workers and health professionals in violation of international covenants and India’s own commitment to UN treaties,
- Violation of the right to freedom of religion,
- Violation of the right to freedom of speech and internationally accepted norms of freedom of the press.
While deploring such gross violations of rights and liberties of citizens, the report adds, “We are also distressed by the fact that senior members of the BJP government have made, and continue to make, inflammatory and provocative statements against the peoples of Kashmir. Regrettably, the parliamentary Opposition has lacked the political courage and will to call upon the accountability of government actions.”
“We also conclude that the actions of the BJP government at the Centre and the PDP-BJP government in J&K are acts of vengeance at forcing the people of Kashmir into subjugation by using every possible force available to the government for breaking the peoples’ resolve for a democratic settlement to achieve their aspirations.”
“As representatives of diverse peoples’ movements, trade unions and other organizations in India, and as Indian citizens, we can say without hesitation that the actions of the Indian state in Kashmir amount to profound violation of democratic and human rights”.
The fact-finding citizens group has called upon the Indian government to undertake immediate remedial measures including the following remedial:
- Recognise the Kashmir dispute and accept that its resolution can only come through a political solution, not through military intervention and a suppression of all human and democratic rights;
- Withdraw the army and other paramilitary forces including the Central Reserve Police, Border Security Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police from civilian areas of Jammu and Kashmir;
- Repeal the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990;
- Release all political prisoners and, in particular, all prisoners arrested under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978;
- Grant access to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for a UN fact-finding mission in Jammu and Kashmir;
- Establish a judicial tribunal under the supervision of the Supreme Court to examine all cases of extra-judicial killings, including that of Burhan Wani;
- Enter into an open and transparent dialogue, without preconditions, with all sections of Kashmiri peoples and their representatives in order to bring about a resolution of the Kashmir dispute that recognizes the aspirations of people to determine their own destiny through demonstrably democratic means.
The signatories to the report include, Amirtharaj Stephen (Photographer), Anuradha Bhasin (Pakistan India Forum for Peace and Democracy), Bilal Khan (Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan), Devisingh Tomar (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Gautam Mody (New Trade Union Initiative), Id Khajuria (Pakistan India Forum for Peace and Democracy), Jatin Desai (Pakistan India Forum for Peace and Democracy), Kavita Krishnan (All India Progressive Womens Association), Lakshmi Premkumar (Researcher), Madhuresh Kumar (National Alliance of Peoples Movements), Medha Patkar (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Mujahid Nafees (National Forum on Right to Education).
Read the full report.
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