UN probe sought into brutal torture by Indian forces in IOK
SRINAGAR (KMS) – In Occupied Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) have urged the United Nations to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate and probe the brutal torture being inflicted by Indian forces in the territory.
The JKCCS and APDP, in their detailed report, focused on Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir since 1990, and provided a contextual understanding of various phases of torture being perpetrated in Jammu and Kashmir since 1947.
Using 432 case studies, the report charts out trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, sites, contexts and impacts of torture in Jammu and Kashmir and how India is using torture as a matter of policy and instrument of control in Kashmir.
“Torture is the most under-reported human rights violation perpetrated by the state,” the report noted. “Due to legal, political and moral impunity extended to the armed forces, not a single prosecution has taken place in any case of human rights violations in the region,” the report said.
The 560-page report, researched for a decade, recommends an investigation be led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It also urges India to ratify the UN Convention against torture and also allow global right groups unhindered access to Occupied Kashmir.
The new report includes case studies involving torture and maps trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, locations and other details. The cases include 412 persons, among others, and 27 were minors when they were tortured.
Juan E Mendz, former UN special rapporteur on torture, said the report would help draw attention to the need to express concern about India’s human rights record.
“For the worldwide struggle against torture, this report will constitute a landmark,” Mendz, who teaches human rights law at American University in Washington, wrote in the prologue of the report. “I am convinced that a report, when it is as rigorous, evidence-based and persuasive as this one is, constitutes a building block towards public awareness of the tragedy of torture.”
The report highlighted the past brutality by some of the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops stationed in the region and said the widespread of powers granted to them, which has led to culture of impunity and rights abuses. They were first to publicize thousands of unmarked graves in remote parts of Kashmir and demand that they be investigated to determine who the dead were and how they were killed.
The report said the institutions of the state like legislature, executive, judiciary and armed forces use torture in a systematic and institutional manner.
According to the report, the methods of torture after the eruption of armed resistance include stripping the detainees naked, rolling a heavy log on the legs, water-boarding, electrocution including of genitals, burning of the body with hot objects, sleep deprivation, and sexual torture, including rape and sodomy.
“Despite global attention and condemnation of torture following exposés of indiscriminate torture practiced in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons, torture remains hidden in Jammu and Kashmir, where tens of thousands of civilians have been subjected to it,” the report said.