Our Community Correspondent Basharat Amin, recently spoke to Khurram Parvez, a prominent human rights activist from Kashmir about the overall situation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of article 370 of Indian constitution, which granted special status to the disputed territory.
Here are a few highlights from his interview.
The govt used its military might post august 5 2019 after the abrogation of Article 370, to enforce silence in J&K. They arrested hundreds of people, businessmen, lawyers, activist and politicians, internet and phone connections were banned. The number of encounters have increased, and people allege that disproportionate force is being used
Three young men were also recently killed in a fake encounter, which ofcourse appears was done for rewards by the forces
Govt has criminalised politics over the past years, people who voice something on social media are being summoned by the police
every opinion other than the opinion of the govt is being criminalised, that is not how the democracies work”
Highlights from the Annual review of human rights 2019, published by JKCCS.
At least 366 killings in different incidents of violence took place across J&K in 2019. The year witnessed extrajudicial executions of at least 80 civilians in J&K, besides killings of 159 militants and 129 armed forces.
Among 80 civilians killed in 2019, 12 are women. The year also saw targeted violence against non-local workers post the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, during which at least 14 non-local workers were killed by unidentified gunmen and several others were injured. Out of the 80 civilians killed, 19 were killed by armed forces, 17 were killed in cross LOC shelling between Indian and Pakistani armed forces.
A total of 87 encounters took place in Jammu and Kashmir leading to killings of 150 militants and 29 personnel from Indian armed forces and J&K Police.
The abrogation of the Article 370 has also lead to the winding up of various Commissions including the Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission (SIC) and the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and Consumer Commission. This again has led to the closure of the information and justice sought by people which in turn lead to the continual denial of justice to the people.
In 2019, five political activists, and one relative of an elected Sarpanch were killed in various incidents of targeted violence in J&K.
Highlights from 2020 Bi-Annual Report: January- June
In the first half of the year 2020, 229 killings took place. Government forces conducted 107 search operations (CASO’s). Internet was shutdown 55 times, while as 48 properties were destroyed.
Children and women continued to be victims of violence in J&K as 3 children and 2 women were killed in the first half of 2020.- From January 1 to June 30, at least 107 Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) and Cordon and Destroy Operations (CADO’s) were conducted in J&K which resulted in the killing of 143 militants. At least 57 encounters took place between Indian armed forces and the militants following CASOs in the first six months of 2020. During CASOs and encounters, vandalism and destruction of civilian properties was reported. The report further states that about 200 jail inmates contracted coronavirus.
when you deprive people of using internet you are also depriving people of income generation capacity
Demographic changes started in 1947, about 500,000 people were forced to migrate to Pakistan, the return of these people is an internationally recognised right, their properties are mostly now illegally occupied by people
People in Ladakh and Jammu are also equally opposing these demographic changes
Media has been under threat since 90’s, it was brazen then, now govt has tried to sophisticate its means of pressurising and controlling media and has again become brazen
The people who want to resist are subject to torture and even killings now
On 28 October and 29 October, the National Investigation Agency conducted searches at several locations in Jammu and Kashmir in connection with a case related to the funding of “secessionist and separatist activities.” Among those subjected to the raids was Khurram Parvez also. This interview was recorded before the NIA raid.