‘India using torture as a tool to suppress Kashmiris’ struggle’

India is using physical, mental and psychological torture at a large scale as a tool to prolong its illegal hold on Jammu and Kashmir and to suppress the Kashmiris’ ongoing just struggle for securing freedom from its subjugation.

A report released by the Research Section of Kashmir Media Service on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, today, revealed that Indian troops during their unabated acts of state terrorism martyred 95,613 Kashmiris including 7,141 in custody and fake encounters during the last 31 years.

The report said 95,680 Kashmiris including men, women and children have been injured due to the firing of bullets, pellets, teargas shells and systematic use of torture by Indian troops and police personnel on the people in occupied Kashmir since 2000 till date. It said hundreds of persons including 19-month-old Hiba Jan, 8-year-old Shahid Fayaz, 9-year-old Owais Ahmed, Asif Ahmed Sheikh (10), Aaqib Zahoor (16), Ulfat Hameed (17), Bilal Ahmed Butt (17), Insha Mushtaq (18), Tariq Ahmed Gojri (19) and Faizan Ashraf Tantray (19) have lost their eyesight in one or both eyes due to pellet injuries.

The report said Indian Army has established scores of torture centres in occupied Kashmir where innocent Kashmiris are subjected to various kinds of brutal methods to extract information and confessional statements from them. “Cargo, Harinivas and Papa-II are the most notorious interrogation centres where thousands of Kashmiris lost their lives due to severe torture during interrogation. Even Kashmiri youth, Muhammad Afzal, Guru was hanged to death on the basis of a confessional statement which was extracted on the basis of torture during custody,” it added.

The report said, this year so far, Azhar Ahmed (16), Muhammad Yousuf (62), Javaid Ahmed (31), Riyaz Ahmed (27), Sameer Ahmed (24), Gowhar Ahmed (22), Abdul Rashid (36), Fayaz Ahmed Ganai, Shahid Fayaz (9), Imtiyaz Ahmed Kumar, Sabzar Ahmed Thoker, Ishfaq Ahmed Malik, Mukhtar Ahmed, Shabbir Ahmed Mir, Umar Kabir Mir, Dr Muzaffar Ahmed, Muhammad Maqbool Najar, Taseena Fayaz (19), Nusrat Jabeen, Haleema Begum, Fatima Begum and Muhammad Rafi Ahangar (22) are only a few examples of brutal Indian torture, harassment, abuse and disgrace by the Indian army and police personnel in the territory.

The report said that the Indian troops and police personnel had arrested 160,516 Kashmiris including women and destroyed and damaged 110,330 houses, shops and other structures during crackdowns and military operations since 1989. “These arrested people were physically and mentally tortured by the Indian army, paramilitary and police personnel in different interrogation centers, police stations and jails. The use of torture by the troops has been widespread and indiscriminate in occupied Kashmir,” it said.

The report maintained that India has usurped all basic rights of the Kashmiri people and arrests, killings, detentions, torture and rape of women have become a norm in the occupied territory.

The report said that thousands of Hurriyat leaders, activists, politicians, journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders including APHC Chairman Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Aasiya Andrabi, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Mian Abdul Qayoom, Dr Abdul Hameed Fayyaz, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo and Asif Sultan continued to remain under house arrest or in different jails of occupied Kashmir and India for the past several months for their just stance on the Kashmir dispute. “Civil society members are booked under draconian laws such as Public Safety Act. Journalists are also harassed and tortured by Indian forces,” it added.

The report pointed out that the life of the people of occupied Kashmir has become a living hell since August 05, last year, when Narendra Modi-led fascist government repealed the special status of the territory and placed it under military siege. “Occupied Kashmir has been turned into world’s largest prison by India. World is fed up of lockdown of few weeks, Kashmiris are living under this situation for over 300 days,” it said.

The report said, India is carrying out the massacre of Kashmiri youth for the past over seven decades and the killing spree witnessed a massive surge during the last over 10 months. Kashmiri youth are picked up from their homes, killed in fake encounters and buried at unknown locations, it said.

The report said that India should allow unconditional access to international human rights organizations to occupied Kashmir to assess the prevailing human rights situation in the territory. New Delhi should also ratify the UN Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, it said.

The report maintained that despite facing India’s worst kind of torture and nefarious tactics, Kashmiris are determined to take their freedom struggle to its logical conclusion. It said that the world community particularly the UN must take cognizance of New Delhi’s brutal actions in occupied Kashmir and come forward in a big way to save the Kashmiris from the Indian atrocities.

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