Srinagar, Oct 02: Chairman International Forum for Justice and Human Rights (J&K) Muhammad Ahsan Untoo has sought the attention of visiting United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres towards the use of pellet guns and alleged army accesses witnessed in Kashmir since 2014 and while calling upon him for immediate intervention to end ongoing human rights violations, he has conveyed it to UN chief that the people of Kashmir see a ray of hope in him.
Following is the text of the letter mailed by Ahsan Untoo, Chairman International Forum for Justice and Human Rights (J&K) addressed by him to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the eve of his visit to India on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth day.
The Secretary General of United Nations
Mr. Antonio Guterres
New York, NY 10017
For almost three decades now, Jammu and Kashmir state has experienced an ugly cycle of repression followed by an explosion of violence in the form of unprecedented human rights violations.
The Indian government —with the help of its armed forces have been pushing the Kashmiri people to the wall by denying them their rights and attempting to crush their desire for self-determination. Unabated human rights in every nook and corner have been the benchmark of Indian occupation in Kashmir where people see your highness and the United Nations as the only ray of hope.
Mr Secretary General Since the outbreak of armed rebellion against the Delhi’s rule in Kashmir, hundreds and thousands of Indian forces camping in Kashmir, have been unleashing worst form of terror by committing grave massacres where in Kashmiri people have been killed in cold blood, women gang raped and properties worth billions torched and turned into ashes.
Mr Secretary General, the grim scenario has been repeating itself since the late 1980s, though the roots of Kashmiri disaffection go back to the ‘unfinished business’ of Partition. Yet again, occupied Kashmir is simmering with discontent and ultimate hatred against New Delhi for muzzling the genuine dissent in Kashmir through its iron fist policy and military might.
Mr Secretary General, I being a small rights activist working under the forum of International Forum for Justice and Human Rights (IFJHR) , Jammu and Kashmir, have the documentary evidence of the grave rights violations committed by the Indian army, police, paramilitary troops and other Indian security agencies working in Kashmir overtly and covertly.
In the past 12 years of my work on collecting evidences and other proofs that clarifies the involvement of Indian forces in human rights violations in Kashmir. Almost in every incident of rape, murder, torture and vandalism by Indian forces, I have a documentary evidence to prove my claim.
There are hundreds of cases pending in Jammu and Kashmir High Court against the Indian forces where in security agencies have been bringing Indian Supreme Court directions to stay the proceedings on the pretext of having “Indian army’s own courts to decide the fate of allegations against its troops.” Besides, there is an act called Armed Forces Special Powers Act which gives impunity to Indian forces operating in Kashmir to kill any suspect at their will and wish without being accountable to any law. Machil fake encounter, Kunan-poshpora rape and murder, Sopore massacre, Gaw Kadal massacre, Advocate Jaleel Andrabi’s murder, innocent killings in Diver Lolab, Kupwara are a few to name a few infamous rights abuses cases that left every common Kashmiri citizen shaken. This is just the tip of ice-berg.
Unfortunately, New Delhi seems to have learnt no lessons over the decades and is intent on using the same blunt methods to quell Kashmiri dissent. These tactics are not working as the region’s people continue to fight for their rights.
Things have only worsened since 2014. In Kashmir, people are living under the suffocating footprint of the Indian military. While India claims to respect democratic norms, it has used thoroughly undemocratic methods to crush Kashmiri resistance; these include the barbaric use of pellet guns on civilians, including children, as well as the much-publicised incident last year when Indian troops tied a man to a jeep as a human shield. I take your visit to India as an opportunity to bring to your notice the present situation in Kashmir, which obviously is very grim and you are considered as the only hope for the oppressed people of Kashmir.