ISLAMABAD    -   India has come under severe criticism at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva where reputed international rights groups during a day-long debate took a dig at the BJP government for human rights (HR) violations in the occupied Kashmir.

The representatives urged the Council to ask the Indian government to hold accountable members of its security forces involved in heinous crimes such as torture, arbitrary detentions, killings, and forced disappearances.

According to a press statement received here, while taking part in a debate held under agenda item 3, the representatives of International Muslim Women Union (IMWU), World Muslim Congress (WMC), Community Human Rights and Advocacy Center (CHR&AC) and Amnesty International voiced their serious concerns over the dire political and human rights situation in the disputed territory.

Speaking on the occasion, CHR&AC representative Eemaan Gilani, while referring to the genesis of Kashmir dispute, said, “Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory. UN has passed a number of resolutions calling for a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the UN to allow the people of Kashmir to determine their political future in an atmosphere free from coercion.”

These resolutions, she said, were endorsed by the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian representative in the UN Security Council. “Despite the fact India has always been reluctant to implement these resolutions,” she regretted. Notwithstanding the international commitments, she said, Indian had forcibly occupied the territory and deployed over 900,000 military and paramilitary troops there, which had made it the most militarized zone in the world.

Urging the world body to take notice of the situation in the held territory, she said, “It is high time that pressure be built on the Government of India to stop human rights violations in Kashmir and abide by the international laws.” 

Terming denying Kashmiris the right to self-determination, the IMWU representative Ms Warda Najum said, “Kashmiris are subjected to the worst kind of violence and subjugation for demanding this right”. 

Asking the world audience to hear the cries of suffering humanity in Kashmir she said, “In the middle of media blackout and clampdown on civil society and human rights defenders, I can hear the mournful wails of millions of Kashmiris under Indian occupation.”

“If India thinks it can save itself from criticism over its devilish acts in held Kashmir, it is mistaken,” she said, adding that the Indian occupied territory is a place where people are denied justice; where occupation is enforced and dejection prevails, where people are made to feel robbed, degraded and humiliated.”

Referring to the situation in the Indian held Kashmir, the WMC representative Raja Saeeduz Zaman said, “What defines today’s Kashmir is extra-judicial killings, fake-encounters, enforced disappearances, detention of Kashmiri youth and torture.”

They said harassment of the civilians, killing and blinding people by pellet guns had become a routine in Kashmir.

Speaking on the occasion, the Amnesty international representative, while expressing his grave concern over the rising tide of fascism, intolerance and racism in India said, “We are alarmed at the deteriorating situation in India where draconian laws are being used to detain and arrest the human rights defenders and peaceful protesters.”

Regarding the arrests and torture on peaceful protesters by the Indian police, he said, “People, who were protesting against the Citizenship Act, were subjected to excessive force.” 

This reality, he said, could no longer be ignored. He said, “We urge the council to hold India accountable for human rights obligations and commitments.”