KIIR calls for inquiry into civilian killings in IIOJK by international probe agency:

Kashmir issue be seen in context of genocide, settler colonialism: Russell Tribunal judges
Kashmir issue be seen in context of genocide, settler colonialism: Russell Tribunal judges

MIRPUR (AJK), Nov 21 (APP): Veteran Kashmiri rights activist and Chairman Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) Altaf Hussain Wani has urged the relevant UN body to help stop wanton killings and extra-judicial executions of innocent civilians at the hands of Indian Occupation forces in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

In a letter addressed to Mr. Morris Tidball-Binz, the UN special Rapporteur on summary and Extra Executions, the KIIR chief while referring to recent fake-encounter in Srinagar said that the ruthless killing of three civilians was yet another sickening chronicle of extra-judicial killings that has unleashed havoc all across the Kashmir valley.

It may be recalled here that the civilians identified as Muhammad Altaf Bhat aged 43, Dr. Mudassir Gul, 40 and Amir Ahmed Magray 22, were mercilessly killed in a fake encounter by the Indian Rashtriya Rifles’ (RR) personnel in Hyderpora area of the capital city Srinagar after using them as human shields on 15th November 2021.

“The ignominious practice of using innocent civilians as human shields, getting them killed in fake encounters and then conveniently labelling them as “terrorists” is an age-old practice the Indian forces have been using as a tactic to suppress the indigenous population”, the letter said adding that it was quite unfortunate that miseries were being inflicted upon the people of Kashmir in myriad ways.

Terming Kashmir’s incumbent Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha’s magisterial inquiry order as a mere eye-wash to evade widespread public anger, he said, “The fact remains that 150+ magisterial inquiries into the disputed killings, in which Indian military and para-military forces were found directly involved, have been dumped in Kashmir since 1990. No army officer, even a soldier of lowest rank has been held accountable for the crimes they committed against Kashmiris”. The magisterial inquiries, he said, had so far proved nothing but a futile exercise intended to hush up the matter.

Highlighting the simmering situation in the region, he said that the fast-deteriorating situation demands an independent and transparent inquiry under the auspices of a credible international probe agency so that perpetrators involved in such heinous crimes could be brought to justice.

Stressing the need for an independent investigation, he said that such dastardly incidents of violence would continue to recur and bruise hearts of minds of Kashmiris unless the Indian state is held accountable for the crimes its forces have been committing in Kashmir.

While seeking Tidball-Binz’s urgent attention towards the cold-blooded murder of the Kashmiri youth, the KIIR chief urged him to influence upon the government of India to stop the shameful practice of using civilians as human shields, ensure an independent inquiry into the incident to bring perpetrators to justice, ensure that the human rights of the Kashmiri people are respected and protected in all circumstances and end culture of impunity and let justice prevail in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, in a separate letter to Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Wani highlighted the plight of a hapless Kashmiri student Mr. Asif Shabir Naik who was arrested on whimsical grounds by the Indian authorities at Srinagar airport on 24 October 2021 and sent to jail.

Terming Naik’s arrest as a deliberate attempt to ruin his future, he said, “Denying Kashmiri students their fundamental right to seek education constitutes a severe violation of international law”.

“Right to Education is duly recognized in International Law and thereby India is obligated to grant the same right to Kashmiri children that has been recognized across a plethora of international treaties and conventions”, he added.

“The present Indian government, which considers every Kashmiri student seeking education abroad especially in Pakistan as a threat to its sovereignty, is in a state of denial to grant Kashmiri children this fundamental right”, the letter further said adding that Indian government was violating the Kashmiri student’s right to free education that happens to be a fundamental right of every child.

At home, he said, the school and college going Kashmiri children suffer due to crackdowns, curfews and internet restrictions while on the other hurdles were being created for those who manage to seek admissions in foreign countries.