Skip to main content

Refusal to allow UN team in Kashmir, release human rights defender part of larger design to crush dissent: PUCL

Khurram Parvez
By Our Representative
India's premier human rights organization, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has asked the Government of India to allow the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) to visit Jammu & Kashmir immediately, taking strong objection to blocking attempts by the top UN body to “intervene and inquire” into allegations of human rights abuses by Indian security forces in Kashmir.
In a statement, PUCL's national president Prof Prabhakar Sinha and general secretary Dr V Suresh have simultaneously sought the release of Khurram Parvez, a human rights defender who is a member of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a network organisation of civil liberties groups, traders, families of disappeared persons, and students.
Parvez was arrested under the preventive detention law, the Public Safety Act, Refusing to allow him to fly out of the country to represent before the UNHRC on September 14, Pervez was detained a day later in Srinagar by the police, on the allegation that he incited a mob to throw stones at the Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar. Ever since, he has been isolated from his family and legal counsel.
“It is important to note that the Public Safety Act is a colonial law under which Bhagat Singh and others were detained during the freedom struggle”, the PUCL states, adding, “While being shunted from one detention centre to another, Parvez has been repeatedly denied access to essential medical facilities”, notes PUCL.
Refusal to allow the UNHRC team, says PUCL, has led to “a medico-legal crisis, where Kashmiris suffering from pellet-gun injuries do not have access to critical health services and equipment for their treatment, because of the de facto blockade set up by the Indian state in Kashmir.”
India disallowed the request by the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, for conducting an enquiry by independent observers in Kashmir, stating that it is an internal matter. The Government of India took this stance despite the fact that, according to PUCL, “India is a signatory to various UN conventions on human rights.”
“Despite being a signatory to 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, there have been no measures taken by the Indian state to facilitate the work of human rights defenders, or to prevent their harassment, and the Indian State has in fact been complicit in the targeting of human rights defenders”, adds PUCL.
Insists PUCL, “We note with serious concern that India’s policy in Kashmir has been marked by a culture of impunity, preventing scrutiny by national judicial mechanisms as well as independent international bodies into the actions of various security agencies of the state and central governments.”
Calling it “part of a larger design by the Indian state to crush dissent, stifle democratic debate, and silence demands for accountability, thereby suppressing Kashmiri voices articulating their political aspirations and their experiences of human rights violations”, PUCL says, all this has followed alongside “ongoing attack on civilians by Indian security forces in Kashmir.”
Recalling the killings of more than 80 young people, causing injuries to nearly 9000 people and the loss of vision of more than 500 people, PUCL says, the current situation has “caused a deep humanitarian crisis of the Kashmiri people.”

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Kashmirisation of India? Ayodhya communal harmony meet: Activists stopped, detained

Counterview Desk
In a joint statement, three civil rights organizations, Rihai Manch, National Alliance of People's Movements and Lok Rajniti Manch, and Socialist Party (India), have taken strong exception to the Uttar Pradesh government taking "preventive" steps against those seeking to hold a meeting on communal harmony at Ayodhya.