SRINAGAR: Rights group Peoples Union for Democratic Rights has condemned the army chief Bipin Rawat’s statement in which he warned Kashmiris of “harsh actions” if they “create hurdles during (Army) operations”.
In a statement issued here, the group said the statement “announces a step up in repression, widens the crackdown beyond militants and as a result the blood count is bound to rise”.
“While there is nothing new in this, what it does is to announce a step up in military operations in the coming days, a sign that Government of India has no will to initiate a political process,” it said.
“The fact that people are defying even the Indian army to protest and come to the aid of militants at encounter sites is yet another reminder that the popular mood in Kashmir remains defiant and steadfast in face of an obdurate government of India which has no policy other than of military suppression. However, if 6 lakh soldiers from army to central and state paramilitary forces even after 1990 have failed to resolve the Kashmir dispute militarily, then the resilience of the popular mood and their demand for a political resolution cannot be wished away,” it added.
The group said a few hundred militants get multiplied manifold because of popular support which scares the government and to which they have no answer other than of suppression.
It said the people of Kashmir have been facing this “harsh action” in the form of “torture, murder, sexual violence, and enforced disappearances” since 1990s and justice still evades most of the “victims of armed forces violence”.