Kashmir rights group seeks UN probe into torture by India troops
(UPI) — A rights group said Monday it wants the United Nations to look into the ways India responds to uprisings in the occupied territory of Kashmir, saying government forces there routinely use torture to subdue dissent.
Kashmir rebels have been resisting Indian rule in the occupied valley since 1989. In a study Monday, the Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society said hundreds of civilians have been tortured in India-controlled Jammu and Kashmir since 1990. The methods include beatings with sticks, waterboarding and shocking genital areas with electricity, it said.
The 560-page report, researched for a decade, recommends an investigation be led by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It also urges India to ratify the U.N. Convention against torture and also allow global rights groups “unhindered access” to Kashmir.The Washington Post
The group said Monday’s is the first comprehensive report on torture in the disputed areas. While the study documents incidents since 1990, it says torture methods have actually been used throughout India’s government going back to the late 1940s and has become a “matter of policy.”
The group is calling for the United Nations to form a commission to investigate the claims.
“Due to legal, political and moral impunity extended to the armed forces, not a single prosecution has taken place in any case of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir,” the report said.
70 per cent of those subjected to torture were in fact civilians, and this number included political and human rights activists, as well as children.The Telegraph
“Despite global attention and condemnation of torture following exposés of indiscriminate torture practiced in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons, torture remains hidden in Jammu and Kashmir, where tens of thousands of civilians have been subjected to it.”
The report said 326 cases have been documented, including 121 in which subjects were hung upside down.
Parvez Imroz, president of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, told Al Jazeera human rights violations have gone unabated for “many decades.”
“This report is an effort to break the silence around this heinous crime,” Imroz said.
Dilbagh Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir state director general of police, questioned the report’s claims.
“There are no such cases, if there have been any allegations, there are magisterial inquiries and other investigations,” Singh said. “If they have any such case, they must tell us and we would respond to them.”