Skip to main content

J&K NGOs: Of 271 killed in Jan-Jun 2019, 43 civilians, 120 militants, 108 armymen

Counterview Desk
A report, released just a month before the Government of India’s (GoI’s) unprecedented clampdown on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), revoking the state’s special status, suggests that in the first half of this year things were surely slipping out of Central hand, despite Government of India efforts to suppress in every possible way any form of dissent or protest.
Already a state governed directly from Delhi after the President’s rule was imposed on June 20, 2018, the report, a six monthly brief on the human rights situation in J&K – January to June 2019 – by the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), says that during that period 271 killings took place in in “various incidents of violence”, of which only 43 civilians.
As for the rest, it said, 120 were militants and 108 Indian armed forces personnel.

Excerpts:

The first half of 2019 in J&K* witnessed continued and increased violence and heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following a militant attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in February 2019, which led to the killing of 48 Indian soldiers.
Following the militant attack on the CRPF convoy, Kashmiris living in various cities and towns of India became targets of hate crimes, forcing thousands of Kashmiri students to flee their colleges and universities in an atmosphere of fear and trepidation.
In April and May 2019, elections to the Indian Parliament were held in J&K prior to which 100 additional companies were deployed in Kashmir, effectively making J&K the only place in the world where increased military presence ensures the conduct of elections – which are largely boycotted by the civilian population.
The polling days witnessed complete shutdowns, violence and also killings. Ahead of the elections, mass arrests of political and religious leaders and banning of religious and political organizations was carried out in J&K. While Parliamentary elections were held under heavy military presence in J&K, the elections to the State Assembly Elections have been deferred.
Interestingly, Election of Commission of India’s decision to not announce Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir was based on India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) assessment of not possessing ‘inadequate security personal’ for conducting elections.
Among the 43 civilians killed in the first half of 2019, 14 were killed by Indian armed forces and police, 12 were killed by unidentified gunmen, 8 civilians died after falling victim of cross LOC shelling in the border areas of J&K, 5 civilians were killed by suspected militants, 3 died due to explosion while the agency responsible for the killing of 2 civilians remains unknown – as both police and militants blamed each other for these two killings.
Among the 43 civilians killed, 9 were minors.
Among the 108 Indian armed forces and Jammu Kashmir police personnel killed in J&K, the highest (80) forces personnel were killed in counter-insurgency related incidents, including in a suicide militant attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14, 2019, which resulted in the killing of at least 48 CRPF personnel, while 8 Indian armed personnel were killed at the volatile Line of Control (LOC). \
Fifteen armed forces committed suicide, three CRPF troopers were killed in a fratricidal incident by a CRPF trooper in Udhampur district of Jammu and two Special Police Officers (SPO) of Jammu Kashmir Police were killed by suspected militants.

Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs)

The frequency of CASOs exponentially increased following the militant attack on a CRPF convoy in February 2019. In the first six months of 2019, at least 177 CASOs were conducted in J&K by Indian armed forces. The four south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian witnessed the majority of the CASOs. The 177 CASOs have resulted in the killing of at least 118 militants, four civilians and destruction of at least 20 civilian properties.
The use of administrative detention under the provisions of repressive Public Safety Act (PSA) continued unabated in the first half of 2019. The detention of civilians, political activists, Hurriyat and religious leaders under PSA witnessed an uptick in the first half of 2019. 
In addition to many Hurriyat and pro-Independence activists being detained and put under house arrest throughout these six months, mass arrests of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) activists took place after the two organizations were banned by the Government of India. 
Nearly 150 people, mainly from the Jamaat-eIslami Jammu and Kashmir, including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, were detained during the intervening night of February 22 and 23. Between January and June, at least 25 people were booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA), including but not limited to many of the prominent activists of JeI, as well as JKLF chief Yasin Malik.

‘Arbitrary’ detentions

Apart from the administrative detention carried out under Public Safety Act, the practice of illegal and arbitrary detention was also reported throughout the first half of 2019. Many youth were arrested in night raids, predominantly, in South Kashmir.
Following the Pulwama attack on February 14, in which 48 CRPF personnel died, as many as 35 persons, including two minors, were detained by government forces during raids in Tral, Awantipora, Pampore and Khrew. Three minors were also arrested. Notably, the 14-year-old son of a widow Mahmooda, whose house was razed to the ground in the Aripal encounter in Tral on 5 January, was detained by the police.
Another juvenile arrest was reported on January 10 in Awantipora where the police detained a minor who was taken to Kathua for questioning in connection with a militancy-related case. Media also reported that the person who was arrested and accused of lobbing a grenade at the Jammu bus stand on 7 March is a 15-year-old.
In the three month period of April to June 2019, as many as 90 youth were arrested in night raids throughout the Kashmir valley, a majority of them from South Kashmir. In the three days from 30 April 30 to May 2 only, as many as 84 youth were detained across Pulwama and Shopian districts.

Use of force against civilians

The use of pellet shotguns, first introduced in 2010, continued throughout the first six months of 2019. The excessive use of force by the Indian forces, especially the firing of pellets resulted in at least 3 deaths from the months of January to June. On April 11, a teenage boy, Owais Mir was killed by pellets after Indian forces fired pellets at protestors in Mandigam village of Langate where polling for the parliamentary elections had just ended.
On May 15 late evening, Arshad Ahmad Dar of Chenbal who was critically injured by pellets during clashes that had erupted in Pattan after the rape of the 3-year-old Bandipora girl succumbed to his injuries. Another youth, Mehraan Banday died of the pellet injuries to his head which he had suffered last year.
Grievous eye injuries due to pellets were also reported throughout the span of 6 months. On May 20, media reported that doctors were removing one eye of 14-year-old Asif Ahmad Parray which had suffered severe pellet damage. Asif had been hit by a full cartridge of pellets from a point-blank range when he was on his way home.
Notably, on May 30, a nonlocal labourer Sohanjeet who hails from Ariyia in Bihar, was hit by pellets in both eyes. In addition to these cases, local media sources reported at least 95 cases of people being hit by pellets, many of them in their eyes.

Attacks on Kashmiris living in India

Following the militant attack on CRFP convoy in Pulwama district of Kashmir on 14 February 2019 – in which at least 48 CRPF men were killed – thousands of Kashmiris living in Indian cities, came under attack of Hindu right-wing mobs and angry Indians.
In the first half of 2019, at least 43 incidents of attacks on Kashmiris across India were reported throughout India, with 42 of them alone in the first quarter of 2019. On 26 June, media reported that a resident of Kulgam district in south Kashmir was arrested by the Assam police for allegedly posting an “obscene comment” on social networking website Facebook against the widow of a CRPF man killed in a Maoist attack in Jharkhand on June 13.
The reported incidents of violence against Kashmiris in the first quarter of 2019 (42) are significantly higher than the combined incidents of attacks against Kashmiris in India last year in 2018 (22). As an immediate consequence of the militant attack on CRPF, violence escalated in Jammu city on February 15 after Hindu right-wing mobs attacked Muslim majority areas and Kashmiri Muslims, torched vehicles bearing Kashmir registered number plates, attacked homes of Kashmiris with stones and demanded them to leave Jammu city.
The government enforced a curfew in Jammu city for six days, yet violent right-wing mobs held protests and processions against the CRPF attack and their ire was directed towards Kashmiri Muslims living in Jammu.
There were attacks on Kashmiris living in Indian cities. Kashmiri students came under attack and many were beaten, threatened and demanded to leave colleges and universities. Some Kashmiri students were also booked for sedition for allegedly posting on social media. The incidents of these hate crimes against Kashmiris have only risen – with even the Governor of Meghalaya (a state in North Eastern India) calling for a social boycott of Kashmiris and Kashmiri products.
There was also news of Kashmiri students suspended from colleges. While calling for revenge against the militant attack on CRPF, a JNU professor called for “public execution of 40 Kashmiris for 40 soldiers.” The rising attacks against Kashmiris left thousands of Kashmiris living in India and cities like Jammu and Dehradun feeling unsafe and fearing for their lives.
Owing to such threats to life, scores of Kashmiri students returned to their homes, which gravely affected their studies and careers. The attacks on and persecution of Kashmiris living outside in Indian cities is not uncommon. Kashmiri people are looked at with suspicion and the idea of nationalism is projected by attacking Kashmiris.
---
*The report uses the term "Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir (IAJK)". Click HERE for the full report

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.