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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.