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بدھ، 24 اگست، 2011

Unmarked mass graves in IHK

This ugly reality behind the façade of the so-called "greatest democracy" in the world, an expression mostly popularised by India's friends in the West, especially the US, endorses the soul-rendering pleas of the relatives of the thousands of persons, who either go missing for unknown resons or are simply picked up from their houses, to dampen the spirit of the freedom fighters, for their whereabouts. It also bears out the repeated accusation of Syed Ali Geelani, the intrepid and long-standing leader of the Kashmiri struggle for freedom from the Indian yoke, that a large number of Kashmiri youth are being brutailly killed or mysteriously disappear ever day.

Mohammad Jamil

The Jammu-Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (J&KSHRC) in a report said: “At 38 places visited in north Kashmir, there were 2,156 unidentified dead bodies buried in unmarked graves.” It is highly likely that the state’s commission has downplayed the number of dead and the mass graves, however the report revealed that there were 21 unmarked graves in Baramulla, three each in Bandipore and Handwara and 11 in Kupwara. The report said all these bodies with bullet injuries were handed over by the police to the local population for burial and were classified as unidentified militants. Reportedly, a few bodies were defaced, 20 were charred, five only had skulls remaining and there were at least 18 graves with more than one body each. The report, released on Saturday, comes after a three-year inquiry by an 11-member team led by Bashir Ahmad Yatoo, the senior superintendent of police of the investigative wing of the commission. However, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) estimated that around 10,000 people went missing during the last two decades, and reckoned many missing people may have ended up in these unmarked graves.On 11th May 2011, European Parliament passed a resolution linking Trade relationship with India and Kashmir. Para-33 of the resolution stated that human rights, democracy and security are essential elements of the relationship between EU and India. “Therefore we call on both the sides to ensure that dialogue on open issues is stepped up with particular reference to Kashmir,” the resolution added. But such resolutions are just any eye wash as they have not been able to stop genocide of the Kashmiris. The only way is that international community forces India to implement the United Nations Security Council resolutions giving the people of Kashmir the right to decide about their future. In 2008 also, EU Parliament had asked New Delhi to urgently ensure independent and impartial investigations into all suspected sites of mass graves in Kashmir and as an immediate first step to secure the grave sites in order to preserve the evidence. But such resolutions were of no avail, as most European countries wish to do business with India – being plus one-billion market. Anyhow, the list of India’s crime against humanity is long. In March 2006, the molestation of a 15-year girl by an Indian Major had triggered protest demonstrations at Tanghmarg in Baramulla district of North Kashmir. The CNS, a local news agency had reported that the troops of 52-Rashtriya Rifles in civvies led by a major barged into the house of Abdul Ghani son of Ghulam Rasool and molested his daughter Mehmooda Akhtar, which was one of the many cases in Indian Held Kashmir. In 2008, facts about killing of five innocent Kashmiris by Indian army in a fake encounter at Pathribal village in Occupied Kashmir in 2000 have come to light. The army had justified the killing in an encounter on the plea that five Kashmiris had killed 36 Sikhs at Chhatisinghpura on 20th March 2000. The government of India and its media had drummed up the propaganda that Pakistan was involved in the killings of the Sikhs.

The freedom fighters organization and Pakistan had denied the allegations, but because of the pressure from human rights organizations the case was handed over to India’s Central Bureau of Investigations in February 2003. Since 1989, the Indian army and other law enforcing agencies have martyred around 91000 Kashmiris when the latter took up arms to counter India’s state terrorism, but the Indian forces’ record of killing Kashmiris in fake encounters and molestation of girls and women is ignominious. In the past half a century, there have been negotiations between India and Pakistan but whenever the thorny issue of Kashmir came under discussion, India did find some excuse to derail the process. The stalled composite dialogue was perhaps the longest one but no serious thought had been given to resolve the core issue of Kashmir, and India as usual too the position that until terrorism ends, it would not agree to any solution. After hiatus of about three years, once again secretary and ministerial-level talks have been started, but there is no hope that India would shun its intransigence. In fact, India’s RAW and other agencies have the knack of creating a ‘scene’ and kill innocent Kashmiris in the fake encounters to prove their point that Pakistan has done nothing to stop cross-border terrorism. Kashmiris have faced the longest ordeal and suffered repression, death and destruction even during the undivided subcontinent. The British that claim to be civilized, upholders of democratic values and human rights had played a key role in the subjugation of Kashmiris. However, the plight of the people even in India’s own provinces is deplorable. Repressive laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act have provided Indian forces the powers to kill with impunity any person in Northeast India. Indian forces have shot down several innocent persons in fake encounters and custodial killings, and as such it is involved gross human rights violations in this region. Because of inept policies of Indian government law and order situation in all 13 Naxal affected states such as Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, western Orissa and Bihar is hopeless. Central Reserve Police Force also suffered heavy casualties of its men in Naxal attacks due to poor intelligence reports. International community has all along shown apathy towards atrocities of Indian forces on the people of Kashmir, its minorities and people of other regions in addition to Kashmir. Despite the fact that India faces insurgencies in Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, Bodoland, Manipur and Tripura where it is using heavy-handed methods and use of brutal force to quell the unrest, which fact has been censured by human rights organizations including Amnesty International. To force Pakistan to forget about Kashmir and to weaken it, India is involved in ongoing anti-state activities in Balochistan, because India is covertly opposed to mega projects including Gwadar. India has been working on developing the North-South Transportation Corridor, the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Iran highway, a strategic road project linking Tajikistan with Chabahar via Afghanistan to counter Pakistan’s strategic interests. These Indian projects are likely to suffer a setback as soon as Gwadar port is further developed and emerges as a key port in the area that marks the confluence of South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia.
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