Torture in Kashmir: Human Rights Groups Seek UN Probe in Hundreds of Cases

In the first report on torture, a Kashmir based human rights group has found that 70% of torture victims are civilians and 11% die during or after the torture.

Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) released the first comprehensive report on torture in Jammu and Kashmir titled Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir. Using 432 case studies, the report charts out trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, sites, contexts and impacts of torture in Jammu and Kashmir, the report contains cases of torture from 1990.

According to JKCCS, the report points out that a predominant majority of the torture victims are civilians: 301 out of 432, which include women, students and juveniles, political activists, human rights activists, and journalists.

The forms of torture that have been documented in this report include stripping the detainees naked (190 out of 432 cases studied for this report), beating with sticks, iron rods or leather belts (326 cases), roller treatment (169 cases), water-boarding (24 cases), dunking detainees’ head in water (101 cases), electrocution including in genitals (231 cases), hanging from the ceiling, mostly upside down (121 cases), burning of the body with hot objects (35 cases), solitary confinement (11 cases), sleep deprivation (21 cases), sexual torture (238 cases) including rape and sodomy, among others.

In this video, we have interviewed many victims of torture, who narrate their ordeals. The use of torture and intimidation has been the most under-reported human rights violations. According to media reports, the Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir state, Dilbagh Singh has rejected the torture claims.

“There are no such cases, if there have been any allegations, there are magisterial inquiries and other investigations. If they have any such case, they must tell us and we would respond to them”.

In June 2018 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights came up with the first report on human rights abuses, asking authorities to allow international investigation and redressal of abuses. However, the Govt of India has been dismissing all the concerns raised in the report calling it “unjustified and malicious.”

The report by APDP and JKCCS has recommended for an international investigation on torture in Kashmir, led by UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, besides urging India to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture and end the phenomenon of torture.

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