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In Shopian, Doctors and Paramedical staff held a protest against the alleged indiscriminate firing by the armed forces inside the premises of sub-district hospital, Shopian.

The doctors said that the armed forces fired several rounds at the casualty block and the blood bank inside the hospital following a heated argument with a doctor who asked them to let them do their duty of treating the people injured in Sunday’s clashes.

The doctors and paramedics presented a memorandum to the DC over the incident. Before meeting the DC, the doctors and the paramedical staff held a sit-in outside the hospital.

 

The doctors say that they conveyed to the DC that forces resorted to unprovoked firing inside the hospital premises.

Many people have been injured after thirteen militants were killed in separate gunfights at Dragad and Kachdor villages of Shopian on Sunday.

One militant Rouf Bashir Khanday was killed and his associate Imran Rashid was arrested during an overnight gunfight at Brunty Dialgam in Anantnag district.

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik on Sunday called for a Kashmir-wide shutdown. The shutdown call initially was for Sunday and Monday, but was later extended to Tuesday.

Four civilian youth were killed, while a dozen others were injured near the gunfight sites, and the clashes that followed.

 

(With inputs from CNS)

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An Indian paramilitary trooper stands guard in Srinagar on January 25 [Tauseef Mustafa/AFP]
An Indian paramilitary trooper stands guard in Srinagar on January 25 [Tauseef Mustafa/AFP]

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations have been marked by a security clampdown in Indian-administered Kashmir, as authorities suspended internet services and thousands of soldiers patrolled the streets.

The main celebratory event was held amid tight security at a sports stadium in the region’s main city, Srinagar, and was attended by politicians and top officers of the security apparatus.

Residents, however, boycotted the ceremony.

The day is meant to remember when the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950.

Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani said: “India has no right to celebrate Republic Day as it has occupied Jammu Kashmir with its military might.”

Geelani leads the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), an amalgam of separatist leaderships in Kashmir. Separatists fight for independence or merging the region with Pakistan.

APHC said the day should be observed as a “black day” and called for a boycott of all celebrations.

“India claims to be world’s largest democracy but virtually stands exposed in Jammu Kashmir as it is trampling all basic and fundamental rights of people since past seven decades,” an APHC statement said.

The Indian flag was hoisted during the ceremony in the divided territory.

Authorities blocked internet and phone networks until Friday afternoon, as they do for Indian Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations as well.

Barricades were set up on all major roads of the city, as police carried out stop and search operations.

“For Indians, it might be a big day, but for us, we dread it. We don’t feel any belonging to it. This day brings a lot of harassment for common people,” said 35-year-old Fayaz Ahmad, a Srinagar resident.

“Yesterday I had a medical emergency, and I had to go to a hospital at night, we were stopped and frisked at dozen places. It does not happen with Indians,” he told Al Jazeera.

The region saw fresh bouts of violence last week, with casualties on both sides.

On the Indian controlled side, 12 people, including six civilians, were killed, increasing the hostilities between the two nuclear neighbours.

The start of the year has seen an uptick in violence.

On Thursday, in the southern village of Shopian, three people, including two rebels and a 17-year-old boy, were killed in a gun battle. Two girls were also critically wounded.

‘Not a day passes without someone killed’

Separatist leaders have asked residents to protest against the recent civilian killings after Friday prayers.

“We were sold to India, and they celebrate their existence on the day. Ask common people about the sufferings under Indian rule; not a single day passes without somebody being killed. This day only reminds us of zulum (oppression),” 62-year-old Abdul Majeed told Al Jazeera.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep among Kashmir’s mostly Muslim population, and most support the rebels’ cause against Indian rule, despite a decades-long military crackdown to fight dissent.

Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for the Indian-administered portion to become independent or merge with Pakistan.

Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown. India maintains roughly 500,000 soldiers in the territory.

Plight of Kashmiri Prisoners

Posted: November 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

kashmiri-prioners

V.R. Krishna Iyer (J) has rightly observed : “In our world prisons are still laboratories of torture, warehouses in which human commodities are sadistically kept and where spectrums of inmates range from drift-wood juveniles to heroic dissenters.

It is established that conviction for a crime does not reduce the person into a non-person, so he is entitled to all the rights, which are generally available to the non-prisoner. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that he is not entitled for any absolute right, which is available to a non-prisoner citizen but subject to some legal restrictions. The Supreme Court of United States as well as the Indian Supreme Court has  held that prisoner is a human being, a natural person and also a legal person. Being a prisoner he does not cease to be a human being, natural person or legal person. Conviction for a crime does not reduce the person into a non person, The courts which send offenders into prison, have an onerous duty to ensure that during detention, detenues have freedom from torture.  William Black has said “Prisons are built with stones of Law”. So, when human rights are harassed behind the bars, constitutional justice comes forward to uphold the law.The life of an offender cannot be jeopardized by indulging in illegal physical torture by the jail authorities.

In  Sanjay Sun v Delhi Administration, AIR 1988 SC 414, The Supreme Court was not happy with the attitude of prison authority and suggested that the prison authorities should change their attitudes towards prisoners and protect their human rights for the sake of humanity.

The Article 5 of the UDHR, states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. There are words that crop up again. They mean severe beatings on the body and the soles of the feet with rubber hoses and truncheons, electronic shocks being run through the genitals and tongue, near-downing, hanging arms and legs, cigarette bums over the body, sleep deprivation or subjection to a high pitched noise and much more.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has observed that “right to life is one of the basic human rights. Even when lodged in jail, he continues to enjoy all his fundamental rights including the right to life guaranteed to him under the Constitution. On being convicted of crime and deprived of their liberty in accordance with the procedure established by law, prisoners shall retain the residue of the constitutional rights. This right continues to be available to prisoners and those rights cannot be defeated by pleading the old and archaic defence of immunity in respect of sovereign acts which have been rejected several times by the Supreme Court”. State is liable for the death of undertrial who continues to enjoy all fundamental rights including right to life.

Thousands of Kashmiri prisoners languish in jails across many parts of India. youth are taken away as prisoners and lodged in various prisons throughout India. Kashmiri political prisoners, most of them according to family members have been implicated in false cases are presently in the jails of Rajasthan, Varanasi, Bengaluru, Gujarat and other jails of India.

Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR) submitted a document to Secretary General UN on the plight of Kashmiri prisoners held in Tihar jail New Delhi as UN General Assembly Document titled A/HRC/36/NGO/52 at the 36th session of Human Rights Council,

The document submitted under agenda item 3 of the 36th session of the Council which started its session in Geneva, pointed out that there are 19 Kashmiris have been serving life imprisonment in Tihar jail, New Delhi.

Mohammad Hussain Fazili who was  released in February 2017,after spending 12 years in jail, reported that they are forced to urinate in each other’s mouth.

Fazili said to media that “We were forced to drink urine and eat human waste along with bread. Rats were put in their trousers. As if it was not enough, he said, pigs were let loose to lick their mouth and face. At the same time, cops used to push water and bread into our mouth. We thought since we were Kashmiris and Muslims, it was the only reason for facing such torture.

Recently, The Joint Resistance Leadership had approached the JKSHR commission with a petition maintaining that the rights of Kashmiri prisoners were being violated in jails. The petition filed before the commission on November 3, this year, had sought instructions to restore the dignity of Kashmiri political prisoners languishing in different prisons.

In New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, the Kashmiri inmates are being even deprived of basic rights to survive and no medical treatment is being provided to them, nor are they being allowed to meet their kith and kin, the petition said. It said that Kathua Jail in Jammu had become a torture centre where Kashmiri inmates are deprived of human contact for many months. This amounts to punishment beyond prison time and it is inhuman, it added

According to Media Reports, On the night of November 21, a team of Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) allegedly beat up at least 18 inmates of Tihar Jail’s High Risk wards ‘C’ and ‘F’. The inmates sustained severe injuries. Many of the injured prisoners were Kashmiris serving detention in Tihar Jail, among them Shahid Yousuf, son of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.

On 28th of Novemeber Advocate Syed Mujtaba , A Renowned Human Rights Defender on behalf of President lawyers club president Adv Babar Qadri , lodged the complaint in NHRC new delhi against the jail authorities of Tihar, the petitioners expressed serious concern about the miserable and inhuman treatmentmeted out to Kashmiri prisoners in tihar. In the petition , safety and security, proper health care was demanded to be ensured.

Therefore, the existing legal structure of the prisons administration has to be changed, Criminal law should be amended, a new Prisons Act should be enacted and all Jail Manuals need to be Reviewed and Revised. Most importantly Indian Judiciary must continue to play its constructive and active role in prison justice.

Author is A Human Rights defender from Kashmir and can be mailed at jaan.aalam@gmail.com

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/29/plight-of-kashmiri-prisoners/

 APDP maintains that 8,000 people have disappeared in the decades-old conflict [Shuuaib Masoodi/Al Jazeera]
APDP maintains that 8,000 people have disappeared in the decades-old conflict [Shuuaib Masoodi/Al Jazeera]

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – The state-run human rights commission has told the government in Kashmir to investigate at least 2,080 unmarked mass graves discovered in border areas of the restive region.

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), a human rights group in Kashmir, told the commission there were 3,844 unmarked graves – 2,717 in Poonch and 1,127 in Rajouri, twin districts in the region that lie along Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed territory between Indiaand Pakistan.

In response, the commission acknowledged the presence of 2,080 unmarked graves and asked the government for a comprehensive investigation to be completed in six months, including DNA tests of the bodies to compare it with family members of the disappeared.

In 2011, the commission directed the government to investigate the mass graves. At the time, a special team from the commission said 2,730 unidentified bodies were buried in 38 sites across northern Kashmir.

“The commission has no hesitation to issue the same directions, which were already issued in the case,” the recent order said.

Thousands disappeared

APDP maintains 8,000 people have disappeared in the decades-old conflict, and accuses government forces of staging gun battles to cover up killings.

The association welcomed the commission’s latest demand to investigate mass graves in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state.

“It is an acknowledgement from the institution that is run by the government. It provides further legal remedies for the family members of missing,” Khurram Parvez from APDP told Al Jazeera.

“We have been demanding that there be an independent commission to do a credible probe on the mass graves.”

Parvez said the probe might give an “answer” to families of disappeared who do not know whether their relatives are dead or alive.

“We have done a study of 53 cases for a report where the bodies were exhumed from unknown graves. It was found that 49 bodies in the graves were of civilians and one was a local militant, three bodies were unknown. These people were dubbed as foreign militants by the government,” Parvez said.

Since 2011, instead of complying with directions from the human rights commission, the government continues to avoid such an investigation on the pretext it would lead to a “law and order problem” in Kashmir, APDP said in a statement.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution in July 2008 and called on India’s government ensure independent and impartial investigations into all mass graves, APDP said.

Officials contacted by Al Jazeera declined to comment on Friday.

The state government has said most of the missing were likely Kashmiri youths who crossed into Pakistan for weapons training. Those comments have been dismissed by family members of the disappeared.

‘Emotional closure’

Tahira Begum, 39, from Baramulla whose husband disappeared in 2002, said if the government investigates the graves it would provide “emotional closure” to family members.

“We want to know whether our family members are buried in these graves. At least, we will get an address to mourn,” she told Al Jazeera.

Tahira said she had to leave her three sons in an orphanage after her husband disappeared.

“My kids would run from school and ask me where their father is. For years, I told them he has gone for work outside. But as time passed, I couldn’t lie to them any more.”

Her husband disappeared after leaving home for work and never returned. “I went everywhere to look for him but failed. I just want an answer – what happened to him,” she said.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for the Indian-administered portion to become independent or merge with Pakistan.

Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown. India maintains about 500,000 soldiers in the territory.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep among Kashmir’s mostly Muslim population and most support rebels against Indian rule despite a decades-long military crackdown to fight the armed rebellion.

India has accused Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, allegations that Pakistan denies.

Rebel groups have largely been suppressed by Indian security forces in recent years, and public opposition to Indian rule is now principally expressed through street protests.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/india-ordered-probe-3800-mass-graves-kashmir-l

NEWS

Srinagar: Independent MLA Engineer Rasheed while condemning the attack on Amarnath Pilgrims said that Kashmiris don’t need lesions on Kashmiriyat (Kashmiri ethos) from those who kill Muslims in the name of cow.

Rasheed, who heads the Awami Itihaad Party while addressing a function in Hadwara said, “Kashmiris don’t need lessons of non violence and Kashmiryat from those who have martyred one lakh Kashmiris during last 27 years.”

He added, “Believing in religious harmony is in our genes. Every Kashmiri condemns the brutal act and being themselves the victims of violence, they can feel the pain of the bereaved families far better than those calling Kashmiris radicals and Wahabis from their TV studios and cozy rooms.”

He stressed that people who are killing Muslims in the name of the cow, should not ask Kashmiris to condemn the attack.

“Those killing Muslims in the name of cows should not give sermons to Kashmiris and ask them to condemn the attack.  May one ask what Kashmiris can do as nothing is in their hands. From an ordinary police cop to Indian Prime Minister, nobody cares about them and hurts them on and off,” Rasheed said.

Rasheed also pointed out if lakhs of troopers have been deployed to protect Yatris, how did the attack take place.

“How can the Government run away from the responsibility of its failure to achieve the goal of protecting Yatris,” Rasheed asked.

The independent lawmaker said that there are dozens of examples when Kashmiris have helped Amarnath pilgrims and have great respect for the Yatra.

He however questioned that ‘fanatics’ need to answer why the Yatra was politicised by ‘forcing’ Yatris to hoist the tri-colour in Pahalgam.

“Why is Yatra also being politicized and who forced Yatries to hoist a tri-color at Pahalgam during their way to Yatra despite knowing that the atmosphere is charged and completely against in Indian state,” Rasheed accused.

http://freepresskashmir.com/2017/07/11/kashmiris-dont-need-lessons-on-kashmiriyat-from-people-who-kill-in-the-name-of-cow/

NEW DELHI: When there is a vacuum, even a tentative effort to fill it is welcome. At least in theory and in the abstract. But when it is applied to volatile Kashmir, where the students of schools are now leading the protests across the Valley, and local youth-turned-militants are openly appearing to give four gun salutes to slain colleagues the little is so insignificant that it can do more harm than good in immediate terms. As if it fails, as it will without sufficient nerve and strategy, it will close even the tiny option that is available at this present juncture.

2017 has changed the nature of protests in Kashmir with now the separatists barely being heard from, except for the odd statement. Till 2016, despite the deep provocation of pellet guns that killed and maimed young people all across, the Hurriyat leaders were still able to retain control over the protests with their strike calls, and protest calls being heeded. But they sensed they were losing control, and as some of them told this writer, “we have no choice but to follow the mass sentiment and keep calling for strikes, as if we don’t no one will listen to us, and you can imagine what will happen then.” The fear amongst the separatist leaders then, as it is indeed now, is that the rebellion will become armed, and that will lead Kashmir and of course India to a situation far worse than the dark days of the early 1990’s.

Three highly significant shifts have taken place in the last few weeks. And this is major by any standards applied to conflict zones.


One, these columns had earlier noted the increasing attendance of local masses in funerals of militants. Till even two years ago such funerals barely drew a crowd. Now in the past weeks, the shift has the masses from not just affected, but also the neighbouring areas, gathering for the funeral of any person killed by the forces in an encounter, or a clash in above the waist firing. But increasingly so the masses are also emerging from their homes to prevent the encounters from taking place, walking determinedly to the spot in a bid to rescue the militants—usually locals now—with the government forces finding it difficult to cope. This is happening repeatedly, even as the spate of ‘encounters’ increase along with the increasing ‘search operations’ launched by the Army.

Two, students have taken over the protests all across the state. Young school children, including girls in large numbers, have taken over literally, clashing with the armed police and the Army, throwing stones, being injured or killed, and yet continuing the fierce demonstrations. This was not so earlier with the stone pelters young adults, with only a few young teenagers visible in the protesting crowds. Now young school students are in the lead, or active participants in direct clashes with the armed government forces. The defiance and the absence of fear for their own lives is the part of the new, more lethal resistance that is building—or indeed has been built—in Kashmir in the absence of even a minimalist ‘reach out’ strategy by the ruling political powers.

Three, as the photographs attached to this article show, the young militants are appearing without masks as such funerals to give a ‘gun salute’ to their fallen comrades. Sources said that militants are now largely local, with the Kashmir protests acquiring a local resistance hue.

Retired Army generals with experience in Kashmir have been writing about the need for a dialogue. The apprehension in the forces is of the return to a situation where the political masters sit back, and actually preside over a direct confrontation between the people and the Army, a situation that most democracies would like to avoid. The Army in India has never been happy about such situations, and even during counter insurgency operations in Kashmir in the 1990s the push was always to get the political leadership to take over control of the areas cleared by the troops. A senior General, now retired and close to the current dispensation in Delhi, told this writer earlier of how necessary dialogue was, and how essential for the political governments to take ownership of the state “instead of leaving management to the Army.” He has not repeated these words in recent months. But others have, with some generals being attacked mercilessly by right wing trolls for even suggesting dialogue.

It is clear that the BJP government is clinging on the sledgehammer as the only approach in its strategic bag. The Opposition knows this, and is making some tentative moves to come together on the issue of Kashmir. The Congress that had completely dropped the idea of the talks—started initially by former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee with all sections of Kashmiris—has set up a panel to explore the resumption under Dr Manmohan Singh. Others are in talks with the Congress, including BJP leader Yashwant Sinha who has been insisting on talks as the only option. However, it remains to be seen where this effort goes, as many involved, are still hesitant and tentative about their own position on the border state.

If the Opposition steps in it will have to carry its intervention to its logical conclusion, as a start-finish operation will add to the alienation and the despondency in the Valley. It will make it apparent that even the Opposition parties have no strategy for talks, and are not prepared to think out of the box in dealing with the state that is now literally in the throes of what many young people there believe, a ‘do or die’ battle.

(Photographs AASIF SHAHI: 4 armed militants offer a gun salute to slain militant Fayaz Ahmed Ashwar alias Setha from Reshipora Qaimoh in Kulgam district of South Kashmir.)http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/4/10652/Kashmir-Fast-Turning-Into-a–Do-or-Die-Zone-3-New-Indicators

Kashmiri schoolgirls tend to a wounded girl after she was hit by a stone during a protest in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on 20 April 2017. (Photo: AP)

Image result for Why Some Schoolgirls in Kashmir Are Picking Stones Over Books

Stone-pelting in Kashmir has dominated headlines for a while now. But the third week of April saw the birth of a new face of rebellion, with young girls taking to the front-lines of the protest.

School-going girls picked up stones and stood their ground against gun-toting men in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk. Dressed in school uniforms, and standing tall with bags on their backs, they covered their faces and proclaimed loudly that they had had enough of being told how to lead their lives. The Quint reached out to schoolgirls who had taken to stone pelting on 24 April.

 

“We are not scared. If the boys can come out to protest, so can we,” said Rumaisa (name changed), a 17-year-old student at Kothi Bagh Girls Higher secondary school. The girls seem undeterred by death. “Bullets don’t scare us anymore.”

Twenty-four people, including 12 security personnel, were injured on 17 April as students clashed with police, as colleges opened in Kashmir after a five-day shutdown. Such was the intensity of the protests that security personnel had to resort to using teargas shells inside the campus to bring the situation under control.

Students were seen shouting pro-azaadi slogans as they charged at the security personnel and hurled stones at policemen, who had arrived on the spot armed with teargas shells and pellet guns.

The violent protests first erupted on 15 April, when security forces allegedly raided a college in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district and assaulted students. At least 54 people were injured in the violence. Two days later, another round of student protests left more than 100 students hurt.

“We are protesting against the manhandling and beating up of students by security forces. The government is now targeting the student community,” said a student at the Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Soura. “If they attack us, we’ll fight back.”

Last week, Iqra (17) sustained a serious head injury after a policeman allegedly hurled a stone at her. Iqra was one of the 100 students from Women’s College, Nawakadal, who participated in a peaceful protest against the police action that had left dozens of college students in south Kashmir’s Pulwama injured.

“Our education is suffering, but how does that matter? Young boys and girls are getting killed. We won’t stop,” another girl student said. “This is going to continue so that eventually we can live peacefully. We can’t go on with our lives when we know our brothers and sisters are being systematically targeted. We can’t forget that Insha lost her eyesight. We can’t forget those 100 young boys who were killed last year.” she added.

Valley Unrest Hurts Education

Education has taken a major hit since the return of tensions in the Kashmir Valley since the summer of 2016. Dozens of government run and private schools were targeted by unidentified arsonists reducing them to smouldering pillars and charcoal frames.

(Adnan Bhat is a Srinagar based journalist.)

 https://www.thequint.com/india/2017/04/28/kashmir-school-girls-join-azaadi-protest-stone-pelters-2