Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

The following is a press release from the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (website – http://www.jkccs.net/ and http://www.kashmirprocess.org/).

Ashiq Bukhari revelations must lead to criminal accountability

Press release, 11 March 2015

Today, it was reported, that ex-SSP Ashiq Bukhari had made unequivocal and strong allegations against ex-Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah. First, that on hearing of the 2010 arrest of Muslim League leader Masarat Alam, Omar Abdullah asked on phone why he had been arrested and not bumped off. Second, that in addition to the official Rs. 10 lacs given to Ashiq Bukhari, an additional Rs. 15 lacs were given by Omar Abdullah “from his own pocket” Third, that Omar Abdullah had paid him Rs. 1.5 crore four times by cheque for outstanding work.

These allegations confirm the truth that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have known: extra-judicial executions, torture, disappearances and other crimes have been routinely used by the Indian State to control the population of Jammu and Kashmir. Fake encounters, as proposed by Omar Abdullah in the case of Masarat Alam, has been a regular tool of the State. Further, money – in the form of cash rewards for these crimes – has fuelled and sustained the work of various armed forces personnel, including police, in carrying out the necessary crimes. These allegations merely substantiate the pre-existing evidence on the numerous fake encounters and other crimes committed in Jammu and Kashmir, and re-iterate the urgent need for impartial and fair investigations to uncover the truth of past violations, including past attacks on political leaders such as Sheikh Aziz (2008), Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Peoples League.

The reported statement of Omar Abdullah is also reminiscent of an earlier reported statement of 13 January 2001, of the then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah who was reported to have stated that: “My orders to the police are wherever you find a militant, dispatch him as I do not want to fill jails”. This mirrors the later Indian Army Doctrine for Sub-Conventional Operations released on 31 December 2006 which speaks of “neutralizing all hostile elements in the conflict zone that oppose or retard the peace initiatives and secondly, at transforming the will and attitudes of the people”. Ashiq Bukhari himself has numerous allegations of human rights violations against him, in addition to responsibility, directly and/or under the principle of command responsibility, for the killing of 18 persons in Srinagar, upon him taking control of Srinagar as SSP in June 2010.

The present reported allegations must lead to formal proceedings i.e. criminal investigations. The cynical use of the media by criminal insiders to score personal political points is not a substitute for formal criminal proceedings. Further, while Ashiq Bukhari reveals part of the criminal enterprise, as did former Army Chief (retired), General V.K. Singh earlier regarding army funding in Jammu and Kashmir and the role of then SSP Anantnag, Farooq Khan, in the Pathribal fake encounter, numerous others remain silent and continue to enjoy the comforts of the State.  Formally, all parties ensure impunity for crime, the continuation of corruption that supports State violence, and the formal denial of all information to the public, as RTI information sought on cash awards has been consistently denied.

Today’s revelations must lead to a public accountability of all cash rewards given to armed forces, including police, who as Indian State mercenaries have committed crimes in Jammu and Kashmir. The corruption that fuels crimes must be investigated, along with the crimes themselves.

As an immediate step, ex-SSP Ashiq Bukhari must stand by his statements and we will file a case against then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Khurram Parvez, JKCCS

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The following is a press release from the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (website – http://www.jkccs.net/ and http://www.kashmirprocess.org/).

Press Release
23 February 2015
Today, the second commemoration of Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day and the 24th anniversary of Kunan Poshpora, was also the NINTH hearing in a petition filed in October 2013 by the Kunan Poshpora rape and torture survivors before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Srinagar. The petition, being heard by a double bench as a PIL, seeks court-monitored investigations in a case where virtually no investigations have been carried out, and compensation.
Prior to the hearing, the Indian army filed separate petitions before other judges of the High Court and, by suppressing the fact that the case was already before a double bench of the High Court, got an ex-parte, interim stay on the investigations and the State Human Rights Commission decision of 2011. Counsel for the survivors raised this issue before the double bench, and while the counsel for Union of India was accused of using “tactics” instead of doing justice and was told that there was a “court above us all”, no immediate relief was provided to the survivors who will now have to approach the Chief Justice and seek that all these petitions be clubbed and heard together. Separately, the Counsel for Government of Jammu and Kashmir was asked to file the compliance report on the issue of compensation which was earlier directed by the court in numerous orders in 2014.
While effectively the case has not resulted in any justice for the survivors, the campaign has exposed the State, and all its institutions. Further, struggle as resistance has been re-affirmed and the campaign has ensured that the crimes of the Indian State are remembered. In this context, the decision of Pakistan administered Kashmir to also commemorate 23 February as Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day is a welcome one.
– Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
– Kunan Poshpora Village Committee
– Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora

The following is a press release from the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (website – http://www.jkccs.net/ and http://www.kashmirprocess.org/).

State of Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir

25th anniversary of Gaw Kadal massacre and 25 years of widespread violence and impunity

Press Release
21st January 2015

The 25th anniversary of the Gaw Kadal massacre of around 50 civilians by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police is also the anniversary of the renewed beginning of the mass uprising of the Kashmiri right to self-determination movement. The journey of these 25 years of resistance also witnessed widespread and systematic use of violence by India. The Gaw Kadal anniversary therefore serves as an important moment to account for State violence and impunity.

Besides Gaw Kadal massacre, people of Jammu and Kashmir have borne the brunt of massacres like Handwara, Kupwara, Alamgiri Bazar, Zakura, Khanyar, Sopore, Bijbehara, Wandhama, Chittisingpora, Nadimarg, Kulhand and many more. In addition, mass crimes, such as Kunan Poshpora where civilians faced rape and torture, have also taken place in Jammu and Kashmir. Despite the scale of violence, there have been no judicial proceedings against any of the perpetrators. Investigations have rarely been carried out, and there have been no prosecutions against the armed forces. Despite approaching the courts, cases such as Sopore and Kunan Poshpora have not been fairly and properly investigated to date.

Almost all the communities of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered in one way or the other. List of the sufferings and the tribulations witnessed by the people of Jammu and Kashmir are long, painful and still unabated.

In last 25 years:

• More than 70,000 people have been killed, (majority of whom are of Muslim descent)
• More than 8,000 people have been subjected to enforced disappearances,
• More than 7,000 unidentified persons have been buried in unmarked graves and mass graves
• More than 7,000 cases of sexualized and gendered violence took place
• More than 8,000 people have been killed in custody or fake encounters
• More than 200,000 people have been tortured
• More than 1500 persons belonging to various religious minority groups were killed, out of whom 209 were Kashmiri Pandits
• Thousands of residential houses were razed to ground in the military actions belonging to all the communities
• Hundreds of religious places were desecrated and ruined in the military actions
• Thousands of people have been maimed in the military actions

Despite all this information in the public domain, Indian authorities and media have seldom discussed these tragedies, except for the killings of 209 Kashmiri Pandits. These 209 killings are a sad reality of Jammu and Kashmir conflict as much as the other killings and human rights abuses. In last 25 years perpetrators of most of these violent incidents have not been prosecuted. As a large majority of these crimes have been perpetrated by the State forces therefore there is reluctance in prosecuting the accused, but irrespective of the background of the perpetrators or the victims, the need of the hour is that all crimes should be investigated without any further delay. The processes of justice should be allowed to function as it is the only mechanism for protecting human rights and creating deterrence for the repetition of these crimes. These processes of justice can become the real confidence building measures and thus create an enabling and conducive atmosphere for resolution and peace-building.

Whether the Gaw Kadal massacre, or the Chittisingpora massacre, or the Pathribal fake encounter killings, or Kunan Poshpora mass rapes and torture, or murder and rape of Sarla Bhat, or murder and rape of Aasiya and Neelofar, or the killings of youths in 2008 and 2010 uprisings, or the Wandhama massacre – Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed selective concern and selective condemnation.

All the crimes perpetrated in Jammu and Kashmir and the subsequent cover ups and denial of justice are the making of the Indian government, therefore only an impartial, independent and a credible probe by international stakeholders will help in establishing the culpability.

Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society