India Cuts Off Communication With UN Panel Over Inquiry On Killings & Torture Of Civilians In Kashmir
India has brushed aside report by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) alleging torture and killing of Kashmiri by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990. India says it will no longer entertain any communication with the HRC.
UNHRC report and India’s reply
On March 18 2019, three special rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) have written a letter to India asking for updates on justice provided on 76 cases of torture and arbitrary killing based on a June 2018 report. The UNHRC report has alleged that 42 out of 76 civilians have been killed by security forces. In 2018 alone, out of 13 cases listed by the UNHRC, 4 children were killed by security forces.
Permanent Mission of India to UN offices, in Geneva, in its reply to the UNHRC report on April 13 2019, said, “India rejects any reference whether implicit or explicit or any quote by any human rights mechanisms or bodies from the remote report published by the OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) on the situation of human rights in Kashmir in June 2018, India rejects the remote report and doubts on its credibility and objectivity.”
The letter by the UNHRC further mentions that in many cases it is not even clear whether FIRs have been filed with the local police or whether magisterial enquiries have been undertaken. The Supreme Court has ruled both – filing of FIR and initiating a magisterial enquiry – mandatory for deaths involving security forces.
The HRC report came at a time when two NGOs in the state – Today Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) – released its first comprehensive report on torture in Jammu and Kashmir on May 20. The report titled ‘Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir’ has documented 432 cases of alleged torture by the security forces in the Valley since 1990.
The report by ADDP and JKCCS points out that 301 out of 432 killed by military forces include women, students, juveniles, activists and journalists.
The report further segregating on the form of tortures meted out to detainees and prisoners, mentions that in 190 cases detainees were stripped naked; 231 cases of electrocution including on genitals; 238 cases of sexual torture; 121 cases of hanging from the ceiling, among others.