Srinagar: Human rights groups on Wednesday released a voluminous report on extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and torture committed by the “Indian state to enforce its occupation on Kashmir”. The report, “Structures of Violence: The Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir”, documents the extra-judicial killings of 1,080 people and enforced disappearances of 172 others, besides identifying 972 alleged perpetrators, including soldiers, paramilitary personnel and Jammu and Kashmir policemen. The report also estimates the presence of armed forces personnel to be between 6.5 to 7.5 lakh across Jammu and Kashmir.
The 804-page report was jointly prepared by The International Peoples Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian Administered Kashmir (IPTK) and The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons . The report identifies the “structures, forms and tactics of violence” of the Indian state in Jammu and Kashmir. “There are 333 detailed case studies in this report with 972 identified alleged perpetrators including 464 soldiers, 161 paramilitary personnel and 158 Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel and 189 government gunmen,” reads the statement issued by IPTK/APDP. Among the alleged perpetrators are an Indian army Major General, 7 Brigadiers, 31 Colonels, 4 Lieutenant Colonels, 115 Majors and 40 Captains.
The report also says that prosecutions through court-martials are “against the principle of natural justice and biased, the crimes-enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, sexual violence and torture- were widespread, systematic and systemic” in J&K.
The people who contributed to researching and writing the report (even as it was stressed that this was a collective effort of many individuals) include Gautam Navlakha, Parvez Imroz, Zahir-ud-din, Kartik Murukutla, Mahum Shabir, Khurram Parvez and Warisha Farasat.
Giving more details about the findings of the report, Kartik Murukutla said that “Indian forces have illegally occupied Pandit and Muslim properties, coordinated joint operations with renegade groups to target militant families and repeated victimisation of Kashmiris”. Speaking at the function, Khurram Parvez said that many renegades, during interviews with him, had told him that they were in direct contact with Indian ministers, particularly the home minister. “Liaqayat Ali Khan, an infamous Ikhwani from south Kashmir told me that in 1996, when entire Kashmir was on the boil, that the then-Indian home minister asked Khan to convince Farooq Abdullah to fight the elections. Such was the contact between Ikhwanis and the Indian state,” Khurram added.
This is the second report to be released by the IPTK/APDP in the last three years. In December, 2012, the rights groups released a 352-page report “Alleged Perpetrators:- Stories of impunity in Jammu and Kashmir” that examined 124 killings, 65 disappearances, 59 cases of torture and nine rapes allegedly committed by government forces from 1990 to 2011.
The 2012 report had identified 500 alleged perpetrators, including 245 army personnel, 123 paramilitary men, 111 personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir police, and 31 government backed militants/ Ikhwanis.
“This (new) report is not the end of our work but part of a continuous effort to document human rights violations in Kashmir.” Khurram added. At the event, Gautam Navlakha asked the UN Security Council to exercise its power to refer the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Gautam also asked the Indian state to look into its “heinous human rights violations” before it seeks a permanent seat in the Security Council. “As a conscious, patriotic Indian I ask the Indian state, before joining the permanent members in UN whose track record is also not good, to see what crimes it was involved in. I also ask the UN that it should work for the purpose it was formed for in 1945,” Navlakha added.
The report, said Khurram, while aiming at assigning responsibility for crimes against people was also meant to refute the Indian state’s claim that J&K is not the most militarised zone in the world.