Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, also known as one of the most beautiful valleys in the world, has long been suffering from grave human rights violation at the hands of Indian forces while reporting of the cases of violation remains not only weak but response of the international community has been very sluggish, said Seoul based English newspaper The Korea Times.
An article by one Rukhsana Shama published in one of the South Korea’s oldest English newspapers while drawing a comparison between Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Azad Kashmir says that Azad Kashmir has largely been peaceful from within, while Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir not only has an overwhelmingly large presence of Indian troops but has also been experiencing brutal use of force by over 700,000 Indian troops averaging one soldier for every 14 Kashmiris.
“In August 2019, in a sudden move, India substantially increased its troops in the area and forcibly evacuated tourists and visitors from the valley. The situation escalated soon after when the whole valley was cut off from all kinds of communication with the outside world. Hundreds of activists and political leaders, including two former chief ministers, were put under house arrest and Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was revoked,” the newspaper added.
The Korea Times pointed out that the move was being termed as a step to change the demographic status of the Kashmir valley that remained Muslim majority until now.
“The U.N. has also denounced the change in the Indian constitution and expressed fear of worsening the already poor human rights conditions in …Kashmir,” it further said.
“Women and children in [Indian illegally occupied] Jammu and Kashmir suffer the most from these atrocities. Indian security forces have been using rape, molestation, shooting with rubber bullets, abduction of children and youth as well as torture to not only instill fear but to strengthen its coercive control,” the newspaper pointed out.
It cited a study done by Medicins Frontiers in 2005 and said that “Kashmiri women suffer the highest levels of sexual violence in the world. Women in Kashmir have suffered from this violence, perpetually, since 1989, when the armed struggle against India started in Kashmir.”
“At the 52nd U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Professor William Baker gave testimony that rape in Kashmir was not merely a case of isolated incidents involving undisciplined soldiers, rather the security forces were actively deploying rape on the Kashmiri populace as a method of humiliation and inducing fear.”
“The Indian Security forces have been enjoying impunity despite committing horrendous crimes in Jammu and Kashmir under the Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990. According to the U.N.’s report on Kashmir released on July 8, 2019, “No security forces personnel accused of torture or other forms of degrading and inhuman treatment have been prosecuted in a civilian court since these allegations started emerging in the early 1990s,” the newspaper deplored.
While mentioning brutalities against children, the paper says, “The violence against children does not have gender boundaries, out of the above stated figures 23 percent of child deaths have been girls. Sexual violence against young girls and youth has been rampant as well.”
“Just like the horrendous crimes committed against the women of South Korea as comfort women, the women in Kashmir are suffering at the hands of the Indian security forces,” the newspaper added.