Skip to main content

Lift restrictions, end repression in Kasumir: Top US committee, rights body

By Our Representative
Pressure from the United States to lift restrictions in Kashmir has shown an upward trend, with the US House Foreign Relations Committee censuring the Narendra Modi government ahead of slated hearing on Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) in Washington DC on October 22, and a top US-based human rights organization seeking end to "repressive" measures.
The US House Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement, said, “India’s communication blackout in Kashmir is having a devastating impact on the lives and welfare of everyday Kashmiris. It’s time for India to lift these restrictions and afford Kashmiris the same rights and privileges as any other Indian citizen.”
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a communique from Washington, even as condemning revocation of "constitutional autonomy" to J&K and splitting the state into two centrally administered territories, said, abusive restrictions, including a lockdown on internet and mobile phone services, continue to remain intact.
HRW's Meenakshi Ganguly said, "Numerous foreign leaders have expressed concern over the government’s continued detention of Kashmiri leaders and anyone deemed likely to protest, alleged use of torture, restrictions on movement enforced by a massive military presence, and problems in accessing public services, including emergency medical care."
Asserting that "Indian activists filed a complaint with the Supreme Court to ensure protection of children after the media reported that many had been detained, beaten, or denied safe access to schools", Ganguly said, even police has provided "a list of 144 children, one as young as 9, who had been taken into custody", though police claims, most have been released after warnings against participating in violent protests.
"Indian authorities have relied on pro-government media and social media supporters to defend the crackdown and denounce rights activists. Any criticism of the government can draw swift rebuke, including sedition allegations, which can stifle peaceful dissent. The government also often equates support for Kashmiri rights with support for Pakistan, with whom India disputes ownership over the former kingdom", Ganguly said.
Asking the Government of India to ensure that rights are protected after lifting some restrictions in J&K, Ganguly said, "But fear of arbitrary arrests and shootings by security forces has left the Kashmir valley full of shuttered shops and empty classrooms."
Noting that the authorities have "blocked visits by diplomats, international journalists, Indian activists, and opposition politicians" from visiting Kashmir, HRW demanded end to repressive actions and hold to account security force personnel responsible for abuses. "Months of a broad-based clampdown on civil liberties can’t be justified by vague claims of maintaining order", it added.

Comments

TRENDING

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

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.

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.