Archive for the ‘Public Security Act’ Category

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Taking note of the report filed by the SP State Human Rights Commission regarding the ill-treatment given to the Kashmiri political prisoners in Baramulla Jail, Chairman SHRC Justice Bilal Ahmed Nazki has directed Deputy Commissioner Baramulla and Chief Medical Officer Baramulla to ensure that a doctor should visit the jail at least once a week.

A KL file ImageHe said that arrangements should be made for visit of a lady Doctor at least twice a week as there are number of women prisoners also.

Pertinently, SHRC had taken a suo moto cognizance of a case titled ‘High Court Bar Association Decries Use of Force on Baramulla Jail Inmates.’

This case was listed on Friday before the SHRC Chairman Bilal Ahmed Nazki.

After going through the report filed by the SP SHRC, Justice Bilal Ahmed Nazki said that it appears from the report that proper medical care is not available in the Jail.

“As an interim measure, DC and CMO Baramulla are directed to ensure the visit of male and lady doctors in the Jail. The directions should be complied forthwith by Wednesday (Nov 16) and the response shall be filed by SP District Jail Baramulla within four weeks.”

HCBA while expressing serious concern over the plight of detainees in Baramulla jail had said that Jail authorities have been crossing all limits of atrocities and the atrocious behaviour of Jail authorities have turned the life of prisoners hell in the Jail. (CNS)

A security man with apellet gun.– File PHOTO

A security man with apellet gun.– File PHOTO

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) told the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday that it used 1.3 million pellets in 32 days in Kashmir to control street protests.

In response to a public interest litigation seeking a ban on pellet guns that has left more than 400 injured in their eyes, the CRPF in its affidavit admitted that “it was difficult to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) given the nature of the protests.”

It said 3,000 pellet cartridges, or around 1.3 million pellets, were fired from the pump action guns.

While informing the High Court that “pellet guns were introduced in 2010 as an accepted weapon of riot control,” it said: “In case this (pellet shotgun) is withdrawn, the CRPF would have no recourse in extreme situations but to open fire with rifles, which may cause more fatalities.”

The CRPF said it has used 14 types of “less lethal and non-lethal” munitions to control crowds, including oleoresin grenades, pepper balls, stun grenades and electric shells.

According to the CRPF Inspector General, 8,650 tear-smoke shells were used from July 8 to August 11. ”Around 2,671 plastic pellets have been used too,” he said.

The CRPF, while admitting that the weapon should be aimed below the waist, argued that “the situation prevailing on the streets during the ongoing law and order incident is dynamic and mobile.”

The use of pellet guns has come under sharp focus both from political class as well as human rights bodies.

In another development, the body of a youth, Shabir Ahmad Mir, who was killed in firing by security forces, was exhumed on Thursday morning on the directions of the Supreme Court.

The police claim Mir died when security forces fire from non-lethal weapons. However, the family alleged that Deputy Superintendent of Police Yasir Qadri shot dead their son in the house “in cold blood.”

The body was exhumed under the supervision of the District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, Rashid Ali. The family members of Mir were also present.

The body was later shifted to Government Medical College, where scan and X-ray was conducted.

Last week, the SC ordered the exhumation to “ascertain cause of death”.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/13-million-pellets-used-in-32-days-crpf-tells-hc/article9005202.ece

Thursday, August 11,2016
SRINAGAR: Kashmir remains under curfew and restrictions on 34th day on Thursday with fresh reports of protests received from across the valley.
Officials said curfew and restrictions will continue in ten districts of the valley which have been on the boil following the killing of Burhan Wani last month.
Although vehicular traffic has started appearing on the roads in almost all parts of the valley, except south Kashmir districts, there is palpable fear in the air due to the heightened presence of police and paramilitary forces. The strategic national highway has also been handed over to the Army.
“Tomorrow (Friday) is going to be a crucial day due to which restrictions will be continued in parts of Srinagar, Pulwama, Baramulla, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag districts,” a senior police official told The Citizen.
Clashes broke out in summer capital Srinagar where government forces lobbed teargas shells at a rally marching towards Mazar-e-Shouhada to pay homage to slain Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz who was shot dead in 2008 during a march to Muzaffarabad.
According to reports, dozens of civilian protesters and Hurriyat activists led by Hurriyat leader Masroor Abbas Ansari took out a march from Khanqah-e-Sokhta in downtown and headed towards the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Eidgah. Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwai Umar Farooq was also detained when he tried to march to the area.
Forces intercepted them on Nallahmar road and stopped them from marching ahead, sparking clashes which were going on at the time of filing of this report. “We were peacefully marching to the Martyrs’ Graveyard when forces fired teargas shells. Some of the demonstrators suffered injuries,” said a witness.
All roads leading to Mazar-e-Shouhada were sealed by the authorities to prevent the march called by the separatists to pay tribute to Aziz who was shot dead during a march in 2008 uprising called by Kashmir fruit growers to Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Separatists had urged people to march to Mazar-e-Shouhada after Zuhr prayers to pay homage to Aziz and others who died in 2008 and 2010 agitations.
Reports of protests were received from other parts of the alley as well including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Budgam with educational institutions, shops, public transport and other businesses suspended since the ciil uprising broke out on July 9.
The Hurriyat trio, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, remain under preventive detention or in custody while the mobile internet services have also been curtailed to prevent “law and order problems.
(Cover photo by Saqib Majeed)http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/3/8436/34-Days-Later-Protests-Continue-In-Kashmir

Basit’s father has not visited him in police station fearing he may also be arrested
* Youth were caught while indulging in stone pelting: Police

8-yr boy among over 80 arrested in Pulwama

Ishfaq Naseem/ Umar Mukhtar

Prichoo (Pulwama), Aug 7: An 8-year old boy is among over 80 boys arrested by police in Pulwama
triggering widespread protests here while forces have allegedly swooped on localities damaging properties and thrashing people.
After the unrest in the Valley following killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, police have launched a crackdown on youth across the Valley especially in South Kashmir.
Police have so far arrested over 80 youth including an 8-year-old boy Basit Manzoor.
Terrified father of Basit couldn’t muster the courage for last two-days to visit the Pulwama police station to meet his son fearing his arrest.
It was Basit’s mother who went to the police station and remains inconsolable after seeing her son being “tortured’’ and ruthlessly beaten up.
SSP, Pulwama, Rayees Ahmad Bhat, said they have arrested boys as they were indulging in stone pelting.
“We have arrested over 80-youth for their involvement in stone pelting,” he said and admitted that some minor boys were also arrested.
Bhat said the parents of the arrested youth can take a legal recourse to ensure release of their wards.
“The parents can move the court. However, we can’t release them as they have been caught while resorting to stone pelting,” he said.
The detention of Basit has triggered an outrage in Prichoo village, which is only few minutes’ drive from the Pulwama town and has remained in the grip of unrest ever since the death of Burhan in an encounter with forces in Kokernag on July 8.
Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Basit’s father, told Rising Kashmir that his son was not part of any protest.
“He had been returning home after offering Friday prayers when the police men detained him and thrashed him with the gun butts and batons. We have been told that he won’t be released till August 15,” he said.
Basit is a 5th class student of Muslim Medium Education Trust (MMET) school Pulwama and, according to locals, he was not part of any protests.
Manzoor, who runs a grocery shop at Prichoo, said he was not at home when Basit was arrested. “I have not visited my son as I fear I may be arrested by the cops at the police station”.
“Police have told my wife that he won’t be released upto August 15. We have been told that if any worker of a mainstream party interferes and recommends his release then only police will act. But I do not know any of these political workers so I fear that my son will continue to face detention,” he said.
He said his son Basit was beaten mercilessly by the cops and is now not able to stand up.
“Basit has been tortured. He was picked up when no stone pelting was taking place in the area. We have also heard that many other youth have also been arrested from other places,” said Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Basit’s brother.
The detention of minor has triggered protests in the area and people alleged that after the protests, force personnel swooped on the village and damaged both private and public property.
“Police and CRPF men come every night and barge into the houses. They have vandalized both the public and private property. They even abuse and harass women folk,” said a local resident.
Another local resident, Aaqib Ahmad, said marble sheets worth lakhs of rupees have been damaged by the police and CRPF men in the village. “What has been left is only the broken pieces of marble. The security personnel come every night and damage the property. They even damaged the electricity transformer”.
With shops remaining shut, broken pieces of bricks lay scattered on the roads here making the pedestrian and vehicular movement difficult.
In the Pulwama chowk, police and CRPF men man the deserted roads.
The locals said scores of youth have been arrested by the police.
The day begins with the sermons being played out from the mosques asking people to rise up against the “oppression’’.http://www.risingkashmir.com/news/8-yr-boy-among-over-80-arrested-in-pulwama

Why Kashmiris Are Seething

  • The greater autonomy and special status promised through Article 370 and the 1952 Delhi Agreement to J&K is yet to be implemented in a meaningful manner by successive Indian governments
  • Rigging of state elections, dismissal of elected governments, their replacement by ‘puppet’ regimes and imposition of President’s rule, often for prolonged periods, has contributed to a sense of alienation
  • The rise of militancy since 1989 with Pakistan’s active backing, despite the periodical ebb and flow, has justified stationing of thousands of Indian armed personnel and putting Kashmir under virtual “occupation”
  • While this has helped in dealing with infiltration of Pakistan-backed militants, it has been the main contributing factor in alienating the bulk of the Kashmiris and hampering normal life in the state
  • Backchannel engagement with Pakistan that began in 2004 onwards to resolve the Kashmir dispute and bring down tension ended in subsequent years with military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s ouster from power
  • Though separatist Kashmiri leaders in the Hurriyat Conference have been engaged intermittently by Delhi, the lack of any meaningful package on autonomy has eroded their credibility. Ditto with most elected leaders in the state.
  • The high-handedness of the authorities in dealing with the ‘stone-pelters’ of 2010 has led many of them to be drawn into the ranks of the militants where many are now keen to take over Kashmir’s azadi movement from discredited leaders
  • Mehbooba Mufti’s decision to join the BJP coalition to form the government has been resented by her supporters as much of the current agitation in the Kashmir Valley now stems from her electoral base.

The expected healing touch has eluded Kashmir too long
Youth at Burhan’s funeral procession
PHOTOGRAPH BY AP

So why are the youth of Jammu and Kashmir chanting, ‘Hum kya chaahte? Azadi!’ Kashmiri youth are well-informed, including through social media, of their constitutional rights and privileges as well as the government’s social delivery systems. They are aware that in a democratic society like India, people do not have to constantly live in fear of draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFS­PA) and Public Safety Act (PSA), which give unlimited powers to security forces and have led to umpteen cases of rights violations in the Valley.

The promises to Kashmiris have been belied. Leaders said people’s aspirations would be fulfilled within the framework of “insaniyat and Kashmiriyat”; that the state would be given the desired political autonomy, for which “the sky is the limit”; and that, vis-a-vis Pakistan, int­erna­tional borders will be made irr­elevant. Lack of satisfactory progress on this has caused a new ali­enation. Through the 2008-10 protests to now, it has spurred support for militancy on a scale and int­en­sity last seen in the ’90s.

Maybe a window was opened with the present BJP-PDP alliance—though it was a post-election tie-up, it had the capacity to blend the  arc of local aspirations with the promise of development and good governance. On his three visits to the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to address the problems caused by the recent floods and the prolonged militancy. They expected the Centre would apply the healing touch. The outcomes are however disappointing.

In the last decade, a number of task forces have been constituted to recommend confidence-building mea­sures. New Delhi-appointed interlocutors submitted a report titled ‘A New Compact with the People of J&K’ in 2011. The Centre launched at least three program­mes: i) Special scholarship scheme for post-secondary education ii) Udaan for on-the-job training and placement iii) Himayat, for promoting self-employment.

Unfortunately, the Centre and the state governments have not implemented the recommendations in letter and spirit, which is why the youth vent their anger in whatever forms that are available to them. The youth are frustrated due to the lack of empowerment and opp­ortunity. Sabka saath, sabka vikas is a distant idea.

Kashmiris would have liked their governments to provide economic and social security by neutralising internal or external disturbances. Since Indepen­de­nce, they have suffered due to wars and militancy in the region. The state’s territory has been used as a battlefield by two nuclear countries. Such objectives should not be pursued at human cost—that too to people who live in allegiance to the Indian state.

Modi has righty said that all political differences can be resolved through an active engagement of the stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue. Both India and Pakistan should therefore resolve to adhere to the principle of maintaining and promoting the process of uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue between the two countries. If it does not happen, as the experience of last two years shows, the Indian state would be responsible for the breach of trust posed in it by the Kashmiri when he chose India to live with rather than Pakistan.

The crisis must be seen as opportunity. India and Pakistan must cooperate with each other in dismantling terror training camps as well as to ensure their fin­ancers are brought to book. The realisation of the Kashmiri’s political rights and economic entitlements largely depe­nds on the extent to which bilateral relations improve. In the process, all the stakeholders must be engaged to ensure effective democratic governance. The magnitude of financial support provided by the Centre to the resource-deficient state of J&K must also be substantially increased. India’s success on these accounts is dire­ctly linked to peace and tranquility in Kashmir.http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/empower-enable/297543#.V4omqbVgG2Q.gmail

To:

  1. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  2. Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
  3. Juan Ernesto Mendez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  4. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
  5. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

 

From:

 

Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society [JKCCS]

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir

July 16, 2016

Re.: URGENT ACTION / APPEAL regarding deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in Jammu and Kashmir

 

Excellency’s,

  1. With grave concern and urgency we write to you today to bring to your immediate attention the ongoing State violence and repression against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir including repeated attacks on medical services, particularly hospital ambulances, carrying the dead and critically injured civilians. Jammu and Kashmir once again faces a humanitarian crisis that requires urgent international attention and intervention.
  2. With the presence of an estimated 7, 00,000 armed forces, Jammu and Kashmir is today the most militarized zone in the world and its civilians have faced widespread and systematic attacks at the hands of Indian State forces over the last 26 years. Thus far, the region has seen the commission of human rights violations, including war crimes that have resulted in70,000+ killings, 8000+ enforced disappearances and innumerous cases of torture and sexual violence. The armed forces, through special legislation but more importantly due to direct political support of the Indian state, enjoy total impunity and to date not a single armed forces personnel has been prosecuted for criminal actions in civilian courts of law. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have consistently demanded the end of Indian military occupation, recognition of their fundamental human right to self-determination and the institution of an international, independent justice mechanism to investigate and prosecute the Indian State and its forces for international crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in Jammu and Kashmir. It is in this context of historical injustice, targeted state violence and despair that the present violence in Jammu and Kashmir must be seen and its urgency understood. 
  3. Following the killing of Burhan Muzaffar Wani, Commander, Hizbul Mujahideen [armed rebel group operating in Jammu and Kashmir] by Indian armed forces on 8 July 2016 in South Kashmir, civilians of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the Kashmir valley, have been subject to a brutal crackdown by State forces who have attacked those mourning the killing of Burhan Wani and thus far 42 civilians have been killed and more than 1500 injured. In the present state of crisis an accurate number of the dead and injured is difficult to ascertain and everyday more civilians enter hospitals dead, maimed and beaten. A majority of the Kashmir valley is under unlawful curfew with physical and electronic [including mobile and internet connectivity] freedoms curtailed, and in the districts of South Kashmir completely shut down. Numerous persons, including minors, have been subject to arbitrary detention. Since Friday, 15 July, Srinagar, the capital city has been caged with mobile networks shut down. Today, 16 July, the leading newspaper office of the Kashmir valley was raided and papers seized. Jammu and Kashmir is under siege.
  4. As repeatedly seen over the last 26 years in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian State has effectively curtailed all expressions of dissent. Every attempt is made to isolate the people and ensure that the nature and extent of war crimes and unlawful violence is not brought to the attention of the international community, particularly the United Nations and its various human rights bodies. Human rights defenders have been denied free movement and access in order to ensure immunity for state forces as they operate with absolute impunity. Due to the prevailing state restrictions on communications and mobility, the following accounts of state atrocities are based on credible information received from local volunteers, health professionals, hospital visits and news agencies rather than comprehensive independent field based fact finding.
  5. From 8 July 2016 to date, Government of India through predominantly Indian para-military and Jammu and Kashmir police personnel, has disallowed all demonstrations, public gatherings including funeral prayers, protests and other public and private expressions of dissent, through the use of brutal and lethal force. In addition to 42 civilians killed, innumerable cases of grievous injuries, from bullets, brutal beatings and other lethal use of forces, have been reported. Further, more than hundred civilians [men, women and children] have been subject to horrific eye injuries, caused by the use of “pellet guns” by the State forces. Pellet guns, contrary to government claims, are fundamentally lethal weapons with limited ability for discrimination and distinction of targets and proportionality in relation to force used. More importantly, pellet guns have been used by forces with a clear intent to punish and maim civilians. Two civilians are reported to have died of pellet gun injuries. Over a 100 eye-surgeries due to pellet gun injuries have been reported thus far. In a majority of these cases it is reported that the civilians will suffer permanent loss of sight in at least one eye.
  6. The situation in Kashmir is of utmost urgency as it is clear that state violence is specifically targeted at children and youth. Shahid Gulzar, a 13 year old boy from Shopian, is the youngest civilian killed thus far, and Zohra Majeed Gilkar, a 4 year old girl from Srinagar is the youngest victim of pellet gun injuries as she receives treatment at a Srinagar hospital for pellet injuries in her abdomen, chest, both legs and forehead.
  7. A disturbing feature of the state violence has been the attack by state forces, particularly the para-military Central Reserve Police Force, on medical services, including hospital ambulances. Attacks by state forces have been reported at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, Srinagar [the largest hospital in the Kashmir valley, which has seen the largest intake of victims], Anantnag District Hospital [the primary hospital in South Kashmir], Sub-District Hospital, Bijbehara, and Primary Health Centre Lalpora. These attacks have included tear gas shelling inside the hospital building and state forces arresting injured persons receiving urgent medical treatment. Further, it has been widely reported that State forces have attacked ambulances [an estimated 90 thus far] carrying injured civilians to hospitals. Medicins Sans Frontier, based on Srinagar, has in an official press release noted reported attacks on medical services but declined to comment further as they have been unable to independently verify these reports. These attacks, seen during past uprisings by civilians in 2008, 2009 and 2010, on medical services are a means of “collective punishment” for the civilians of Jammu and Kashmir and are directly responsible for the morbidity of injured civilians who are not provided immediate treatment.
  8. The violence of the Indian State forces, including through the use of pellet guns and attacks on medical services, is a clear violation of Indian and international law. State forces are acting against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir as a means to collectively punish the civilian population for their continued demand for the right of self-determination. Consequently, in the context of a military occupation, the Indian State is in violation of individual sections of the Geneva Conventions, 1949, and Additional Protocols, 1977.Its actions fundamentally violate the international humanitarian law rules on distinction between civilian and non-civilian targets, prohibition on indiscriminate attacks and the rule on proportionality of use of force. In their use of force against civilians, state forces are in violation of other international guidelines such as Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, 1990, and Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, 1979.The wounded and sick, and medical units, establishments and their personnel, are expressly protected by international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions, 1949, and Additional Protocols, 1977. It has been expressly stated that they are to respected, protected and must not be objects of attack.
  9. We appeal for your urgent intervention by demanding from Government of India the following immediate measures in Jammu and Kashmir:

i. Prohibit and ban the use of pellet guns with immediate effect,

ii. Prohibit and temporarily ban the use of live ammunition and any other lethal weapons against civilian demonstrators,

iii. Prohibit any and all attacks on medical services including by prohibiting any state forces personnel from entering any hospital premise in Jammu and Kashmir,

iv. Immediately lift the unlawful curfew and ban on peaceful public demonstrations including the holding of funerals or public tributes organized,

v. Immediately lift the unlawful mobile phone services and internet ban,

vi. Ensure freedom of press and prohibit any interference with the work of news agencies,

vii. Allow immediate and unhindered access to Jammu and Kashmir to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and special procedures of the Human Rights Council,

viii. Allow immediate and unhindered access for fact finding to international organizations, particularly those already stationed and/or operating in Jammu and Kashmir such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Medicins Sans Frontiers and Amnesty International,

ix. Immediately register criminal cases for every instance of violence by state forces, including on medical services, and make public such registration of cases, and carry out investigations,

x. Immediately, in the form of reparations, make payment where sought to victims of violence.

 

Sincerely,

Khurram Parvez,

Programme Coordinator, JKCCS,

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir


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