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The Attention of Justice Loving People Towards Human Rights Violations In Kashmir

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Petition on behalf of the People of Jammu & Kashmir
Before
Member states of United Nations, International Organizations, Human Rights Defenders and Human Rights bodies and  Persons believing in Justice and Equality all over the globe.

We the People of Kashmir through this petition bring to your notice the grave situation of atrocities and abuse of Human Rights of the people of Jammu & Kashmir at the hands of Indian armed forces. The people of Kashmir for the past seven decades have been struggling for the exercise of their right to self-determination accrued to them under United Nations Charter and the resolutions passed by UN Security Council on Kashmir Dispute and they have given huge sacrifices in terms of life, property and what not for the achievement of this right.

However, to deny them their legitimate right, Kashmir is being ruled by the dint of military power by the Indian state apparatus, the aspirations of the people are being trampled under the jack-boots and their rights usurped by the state’s coercive machinery by using all possible means of suppression and coercion. Over the last seventy years more than one lakh kashmiris have been killed by the Indian forces, more than twenty thousand enforced disappearances have taken place ,hundreds of fake encounters in which civilians have been murdered are recorded. Rape as a war weapon has been used and the dignity of the women of an entire village of Kunanposhpora compromised upon by the armed forces. Search and cordon operations are the order of the day here. Damaging and destroying property of civilians a deliberate plan of revenge upon them. Thousands are languishing in the various jails and detentions centers across India ,many without trial for years together. Draconian laws like The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)that gives complete immunity to the forces from all accountability is in vogue for the last 27 years wrecking havoc upon the civilian population. Other acts like PSA ,Disturbed Areas Act,are all in  place to keep people subjugated.

It is a known fact  that the Government of India has waged a war against the un-armed civilian population of Jammu & Kashmir. Senior Ministers and Army Generals of India including the chief of Army staff have openly admitted that Kashmir is a “war zone” where they are fighting a “dirty war” (of course with the un-armed population of Kashmir!)   Astonishingly this comment of the Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin came while defending Army Major Gogoi who had tied a civilian Farooq Ahmad Dar in front of an Army vehicle as a human shield on April 09, 2017 in district Budgam during the so called by- electioneering to Indian Parliament and when the video about this incident got viral on the internet. The Army Chief while defending his Major termed this gross human rights violation as “innovative method”.

This statement was not only endorsed by the Ministers including the Defence Minister in the Government of India but the erring Major was also awarded by the Army. This incident clearly indicates the intentions and actions of the government of India towards an unarmed population of Kashmir for demanding their legitimate rights and pursuing a peaceful struggle for the achievement of their rights.

Besides use of brutal force on the protestors in the streets, incarceration of political leaders and activists, repeated house arrest of resistance leadership, destruction of property, repeated imposition of curfew and severe restrictions imposed by the authorities on the movement of the people has become a routine in Kashmir now.

During the popular uprising of 2016, more than 150 Civilians were brutally killed , 16000 seriously injured many among them maimed for life. While most of the injuries took place in rural Kashmir, thousands injured were admitted in peripheral sub-district and district hospitals outside Srinagar

1178 injured had been hit by pellets in one or both eyes .More than 50 of them are blinded for life and around 230 face the prospect of partial or complete blindness for the rest of their lives. 7136 persons received extra-ocular pellet injuries (injuries in body parts other than eyes) during this uprising.

pellet victims were  as young as 4 years and as old as 68. Four-year-old Zuhra Majeed was hit by pellets in her legs and abdomen after her family was targeted by police outside their home on the outskirts of Srinagar‟s Qamarwari on July 10, 2016.

Around 18000 persons were arrested by police during the unrest and around 640 were booked under the infamous lawless law the draconian PSA (Public Safety Act), besides registering as many as 10,030 FIRs in different police stations of the Valley. During 2017, till this date – 55 Civilians have been killed and dozens injured by bullets and pellets on the streets of Kashmir.

Religious freedom and rights of the people have also  not been spared too by the ruling regime. Most central mosques including the Historic Jama-Masjid (Grand Mosque) of Srinagar are repeatedly locked on Fridays to prevent devotees from offering obligatoryfriday prayers there. Since the Dogra regime of  early last century Friday prayer were not allowed at Jamia-Masjid Srinagar on three out of the four Fridays of Holy month of recent Ramadan and the restriction on Friday prayers continues till date.

The Government of India is continuously refusing  to accept the ground reality in Kashmir and recognize the importance of a peaceful resolution to this decades old dispute, instead, it is using the methods of coercion, suppression and arm-twisting tactics to deny the people of Jammu & Kashmir their legitimate right of self-determination. It is using all unprincipled means to malign the just and legitimate movement of Kashmiris through a false and irresponsible discourse, the Government of India is trying to delegitimize the struggle of Kashmiris by equating it with terrorism. In the post 9/11 Islam-phobic environment there appears to them a possibility in it to serve their purpose because Kashmir happens to be a Muslim majority territory and the Government of India is using it as a pretext to demonize Kashmiris as terrorists and miscreants.

The Issue of Kashmir is primarily about the people of Kashmir and their right to self-determination. Our struggle is rooted in a quest for justice and dignity. We are victims of sustained aggression from a state which declares itself as democratic but which uses primarily un-democratic ways to extinguish our right to self-determination.

We, therefore, appeal all Member states of United Nations, other International Organizations, Human Rights Defenders and Human Rights bodies and the persons believing in Justice and Equality all over the globe to come forward at this crucial juncture of our history and act in a meaningful way in order to save the people of Jammu & Kashmir from the extreme atrocities and gross human rights violations committed on us by the Indian state apparatus. We also appeal them to play their role in ensuring a peaceful and just resolution of decades old Kashmir dispute. The non-resolution of the dispute has become the main reason of enormous suffering of the people of Kashmir and the flagrant violation of the basic human rights by the Government forces. This has also become the main impediment in realizing the full-potential of socio-economic progress of the entire South-Asian region. The non-resolution of this dispute has also raised tensions between Pakistan and India, and has now become a nuclear flash point after the nuclearization of South Asia.    

Syed Ali Geelani       Mirwaiz Umar Farooq       Mohammad Yasin Malik

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