State HR Commission orders India to probe 2,080 secret mass graves in Kashmir!

This was shocked when this author found the documents relating to Indian crimes in Kashmir of which a brief sketch is given in this article below because he had been under the illusion that forces of democratic India, claiming to be a victim of terror, are humane and not so cruel as Israeli or American or NATO. Now the world knows that the Indian occupation forces go on brutal rampage in Kashmir, killing and mutilating Kashmir Muslims as a revenge for demanding sovereignty for their beloved nation-Kashmir.

Indian forces have been using the same cruel methods as Israeli and American with Kashmiri Muslims and very tactfully call them the terrorists. When he read a paragraph of the real story about how cruelly Indian military cut a leg of Kashmiri Muslims, took the flesh fired and gave to the same Kashmiri to eat. The description of Indian criminal act cannot move any Indian ruler- Congress or BJP or their allies- all joint thieves cum criminals.

Paradise Kashmir – now a military terror hell

Once known as paradise on earth to which many foreign dignitaries and even prophets came to visit and stay, is now a pathetically looking Indian military cantonment and one of the largest occupation contingents controlling and terrorizing people of the former princely state with Muslim majority population.

For 27 years this region illegally contested by India and Pakistan has endured a regime of torture and oppression, disappeared civilians and secret graveyards. Mass graves have been found in North Kashmir containing 2,900 unmarked bodies. Kashmiris are now on streets demanding sovereignty.

Rebellion against India’s misrule over Kashmir is neither new nor surprising – and the brutality of the state’s response is equally familiar. In the 1990s, India came down hard on a widespread uprising in the Kashmir valley – killing, torturing, disappearing, and imprisoning thousands. Some estimates put the number of people killed since 1989 alone at 90,000. More Kashmiris have been slaughtered before that. Some 8,000 Kashmiris have been disappeared, and 6,000 are believed to have been buried in mass graves.

Human rights reports have identified thousands of cases of torture, including shocking techniques such as “simulated drowning, striping flesh with razor blades and piping petrol into anuses”. According to a 2012 report in the Guardian, government documents revealed that one group of security agents had “lopped off the limbs of suspects and fed prisoners with their own flesh”.

Years later, very little has changed in the Indian state’s response to the demand for self-determination from the people of Kashmir. In a matter of four to five weeks this summer, Indian troops, with a clear mandate to be unsparing, wounded over 10,000 people. One of the youngest – five-year old Zohra – was admitted to a hospital in Srinagar with lacerations to her abdomen and legs. Fourteen-year-old Insha was in the family kitchen when a swarm of pellets pierced her face. She has lost vision in both eyes. In southern Kashmir, four girls, aged between 13 and 18, were shot in their faces last week. The prognosis for the youngest of these, 13-year-old Ifra Jan, “is not good”, a doctor said. It is doubtful that these little girls posed a threat to the military force – estimated at 700,000 soldiers and police – stationed in Kashmir. All of this was incomprehensible, even to longtime observers of violence in Kashmir. One of the largest military forces on the planet could not be waging a war against seeing.

Blinding of Kashmiri children- Indian military democracy

Save Kashmiri Children from pellets

Like Israel, India also targets the children for their blood and eyes. India wants to make Kashmiri Muslims blind. In four months, 17,000 adults and children have been injured, nearly five thousand have been arrested, and an entire population spent the summer under the longest curfew in the history of curfews in Kashmir.

The latest flare-up in the long-running war of attrition between the two countries comes on the heels of a bloody summer of protest and repression in Kashmir that has now been erased from memory by the banging of war drums in Delhi and Islamabad. Since July, when the killing of a young militant leader sparked a furious civilian uprising across the Kashmir valley, the Indian state has responded with singular ruthlessness, killing more than 90 people. Most shocking of all has been the breaking up of demonstrations with “non-lethal” pellet ammunition, which has blinded hundreds of Kashmiri civilians.

As none of the powerful men who run Kashmir from Delhi expressed qualms about the blinding of Kashmiri children, it became clear that in its hubris the Indian state had decided that snatching vision from a few hundred young people was a fair price to pay for keeping Kashmir in check. Perhaps itself blinded by a strain of arrogance peculiar to occupying powers, it continued to pummel a subject population into submission.

While the attention of the world has been fixed on every dramatic twist in the US presidential election, the renewal of armed conflict between India and Pakistan has barely touched the headlines. The two nuclear states have, between them, killed two dozen civilians and injured scores of others in exchanges of artillery fire across the disputed border – known as the “line of control” – that divides Kashmir into parts controlled by India and Pakistan.

On 18 September, a small group of jihadi fighters staged a commando raid on an Indian army camp near the northern Kashmir town of Uri, killing 19 Indian soldiers – the deadliest attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir in two decades. Indian politicians quickly blamed Pakistan, which the country’s home minister described as a “terrorist state”, while Pakistani leaders made the implausible claim that India had staged the attack itself to distract from the protests in Kashmir.

Congress or BJP Indian policy for Kashmiris is terrorization. Indian PM Narendra Modi, who came into office promising to take a harder line with Pakistan, announced that “those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished”. At the end of September, India retaliated with what it called a “surgical strike” against alleged militant camps in Pakistan-controlled territory, which Pakistan denied the attack ever took place – claiming that there had been nothing more than the usual exchange of fire across the border. Meanwhile, an ugly war of words continued to escalate in TV news studios in New Delhi, some of which were refurbished as pop-up war rooms.

Since then, the relationship between the two countries, which is at the best of times characterized by varying degrees of hate, has soured to the point where both are now suddenly finding spies in each others’ diplomatic missions.

Indeed, the Indian state, aided by a near-militaristic TV news media, has used the Uri attack and its aftermath to cover up a surge of killings, maimings and blindings in one of the longest-running conflicts in the world. This is the story of the bloody summer that Kashmiris have endured – and of why they will not forget it.

Burhan Wani- Hero of Kashmir

Burhan Wanifuneral of Burhan Wani

On 8 July, a militant rebel leader, Burhan Wani, was shot dead by Indian armed forces and police in a remote Kashmir village. The killing sparked a series of spontaneous demonstrations and protests, which, in a matter of days, turned into a reinvigorated popular revolt against India’s dominion over this disputed state.

India is responsible for Wani’s path to militancy that began in another one of Kashmir’s bloody summers – back in 2010, when Indian security forces killed 120 protesters. Over the next few years, he became Kashmir’s most famous militant commander, and acquired something of a cult following among young Kashmiris, who saw him as a symbol of resistance against Indian occupation. Wani was a new breed of militant: unlike the first generation of Kashmir separatist fighters in the early 1990s, he did not cross over into Pakistan; he didn’t use a nom de guerre, and he amassed a huge following on social media, where he issued brazen challenges to the Indian state. It was therefore no surprise that thousands attended Wani’s funeral in his hometown of Tral – or that those who could not get there organised their own funeral services across the Kashmir valley.

Indian crime against humanity

As Kashmiris took to the streets, police and paramilitaries were deployed in large numbers across the region. Indian forces responded with lethal effect, firing bullets, CS gas, and metal pellets into the crowds. In less than four days, nearly 50 people were killed and thousands injured. More people took to the streets to protest against these killings, and the Indian forces and Kashmiri police killed and injured more of them. A cycle of protests connected to the funerals of those protesters were, in turn, fired upon, resulting in yet more killings and blindings. By the end of July, India was faced with a full-scale popular revolt in Kashmir.

India thus has lost almost Kashmir. Almost – because until Indian recognizes the loss of Kashmir, this would suffice. India knows Kashmir doesn’t belong Indians and therefore murdering Kashmiris Muslims in their own nation Kashmir is serious crime against humanity.

Indian state terrorists in action

India’s occupation forces have already murdered over 1000, 000 Kashmiris but since there is no open criticism of international community that sells terror goods to India, the military continues its terror spree unabated.

India kills Muslims in Kashmir as freely as wild beast do in thick jungles but international community, heavily financed by Indian capitalists and the regime buying their terror goods; do not question the state crimes in Kashmir. .

As the uprising continued, the armed forces, by their own admission, fired nearly 4,000 cartridges at stone-throwing demonstrators, crowds protesting against police brutality, and even onlookers. This means that they sent, by one recent estimate, 1.3m metal balls hurtling towards public gatherings predominantly made up of young unarmed people.

Thus Indian occupational forces keep targeting Muslims in Kashmir by using the Hindus as informers. The most recent figures put the number of dead at 94, including a young Kashmiri academic who was battered to death by Indian soldiers, and an 11-year-old boy, whose body, riddled with hundreds of pellets, was found on the outskirts of Srinagar, the joint capital of Kashmir, in mid-September. Shockingly, more than 500 people, most of them young, were shot in the face with the pump-action “pellet guns” that the Indian forces routinely use to suppress protests. These weapons discharge hundreds of small metal pellets, or birdshot, capable of piercing the eye.

Children as young as four and five now have multiple pellets in their retinas, blinding them partially, or fully, for life. At the start of September, doctors at Kashmir’s main hospital reported that on average, one person had their eyes ruptured by pellets every other hour since 9 July. “It means 12 eye surgeries per day,” one doctor told a local newspaper. “It is shocking.” At the end of August, according to data obtained by one of India’s national newspapers, nearly 6,000 civilians had been injured, and at least 972 of them had suffered injuries to their eyes.

According to official records at SMHS, the main hospital in Srinagar, 570 people sought treatment after their eyeballs were ruptured by metal pellets. Ophthalmologists at the hospital performed more surgeries in three days – from 10 to 12 July – than they had in the past three years. Many of the wounded were protesters, but not all. Not one of them deserved to be robbed of their sight.

International People’s Tribunal

State terrorism won’t go unpunished.

International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice, a human rights group, on Wednesday demanded an independent probe into the unmarked mass graves in Kashmir and immediate halt to committing such crimes.

The probe was demanded at a news conference in Srinagar called to release the report which claimed that 2,700 ‘unknown, unmarked, and mass graves,’ containing at least 2,900 bodies, in 55 villages in three districts — Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara — of North Kashmir have been probed. It claimed 87.9 percent of the cadavers in the graves were unnamed.

The group sought intervention of National Human Rights Commission as well as State Human Rights Commission and maintained that the copies of the report have been sent to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as well and will be sent to functionaries in the government of India. “Government should not ignore the report and look into this on priority,” said Angana Chatterji, Convenor of IPTK. Dr. Chatterji, who is also professor of cultural and social anthropology at California Centre for Integral Studies, said “Of the 2700 graves, 2,373 (87.9 percent) were unnamed. 154 graves contained two bodies each and 23 contained more than two cadavers. Within these 23 graves, the number of bodies ranged from 3 to 17.” She said that a mass grave may be identified as containing more than one, and usually unidentified, human cadaver. The group has given 32 recommendations for the government and International organisations to ponder over.

Scholars refer to mass graves as resulting from Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, or Genocide. “If the intent of a mass grave is to execute death with impunity, with intent to kill more than one, and to forge an unremitting representation of death, then, to that extent, the graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara are part of a collective burial by India’s military and paramilitary, creating a landscape of ‘mass burial.’

Dr. Chatterji said post-death, the bodies of the victims were routinely handled by military and paramilitary personnel, including the local police. She said that the bodies were then brought to “secret graveyards” primarily by personnel of the State Police. “The graves were constructed by local gravediggers and caretakers, buried individually when possible, and specifically, not en mass, in keeping with Islamic religious sensibilities,” she added. She said armed forces and the State Police routinely claim the dead buried in unknown and unmarked graves to be “foreign militants.” The report, she said, also examines 50 alleged “encounter” killings by Indian security forces in numerous districts in Kashmir. “Of these persons, 39 were of Muslim descent; 4 were of Hindu descent; 7 were not determined. Of these cases, 49 were labeled militants/foreign insurgents by forces and one body was drowned,’ she added.

The IPTK convener said that they have been able to study only partial areas within 3 out of the 10 districts in Kashmir, and our findings and very preliminary evidence point to the severity of existing conditions. “If independent investigations were to be undertaken in all 10 districts, it is reasonable to assume that over 8,000 enforced disappearances since 1989 would correlate with the number of bodies in unknown, unmarked, and mass graves,” said Dr. Chatterji, flanked by other members of the group.

The group alleged that the international community and institutions have not examined the supposition of crimes against humanity in the State. “We note that the United Nations and its member states have remained ineffective in containing and halting the adverse consequences of the Indian state’s militarization in Kashmir,” she added, clarifying that the group wants world to know what was happening in Kashmir.

The group asked that evidence from ‘unknown, unmarked, and mass graves’ be used to seek justice, through the sentencing of criminals and other judicial and social processes. “As well, the existence of these graves, and how they came to be, may be understood as indicative of the effects and issue of militarization, and the issues pertaining to militarization itself must be addressed seriously and expeditiously,” she added.

The independent group alleged that the violence and militarization in Kashmir, between 1989-2009, have resulted in over 70,000 deaths, including through extrajudicial or “fake encounter” executions, custodial brutality, and other means. “In the enduring conflict, 6, 67,000 military and paramilitary personnel continue to act with impunity to regulate movement, law, and order across Kashmir,” she added.

The UN special rapporteur on torture has been refused entry to Kashmir since 1993. Domestic legislation to outlaw torture has stalled. India follows Zionist laws.

The state-run human rights commission has asked the Indian government in Kashmir to investigate at least 2,080 unmarked mass graves discovered in border areas of the restive region.

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), a human rights group in Kashmir, told the commission there were 3,844 unmarked graves – 2,717 in Poonch and 1,127 in Rajouri, twin districts in the region that lie along Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

In response, the commission acknowledged the presence of 2,080 unmarked graves and asked the government for a comprehensive investigation to be completed in six months, including DNA tests of the bodies to compare it with family members of the disappeared.

In 2011, the commission directed the government to investigate the mass graves. At the time, a special team from the commission said 2,730 unidentified bodies were buried in 38 sites across northern Kashmir. “The commission has no hesitation to issue the same directions, which were already issued in the case,” the recent order said.

Cash-for-killing

Kashmir had been in turmoil since Partition in 1947 and on a virtual war footing for the past two decades, with some estimates placing the dead at 70,000. Strung with razor wire and anti-missile netting, the state had been transformed into one of the most militarized places on earth, with one Indian paramilitary or soldier stationed for every 17 residents.

As India was enjoying upper hand in containing Kashmiri efforts for sovereignty, the Pakistani intelligence services and military trained and funded a legion of irregulars, who infiltrated over the mountains to kick-start a full-blown insurgency in 1989, keeping the Indian-ruled portion of the Muslim-majority state permanently alight. Even after successfully fighting three wars, killing thousands, India has not been able make Kashmiris purely Indians. Kashmir had become one of the most beautiful but highly dangerous frontlines in the world.

Along the Line of Control (LoC), a high-altitude ceasefire line that had split Kashmir in 1972, India had created a fearsome barrier, made lethal with the help of Israeli technology, a partially electrified series of fences connected to motion detectors, surrounded by a heavily mined no-man’s land.

On 28 May, 2010, three bodies were exhumed from unmarked graves close to the camp, some of those already mapped by Imroz, and in which the government said were foreign fighters. Their families identified Shahzad, Riyaz and Mohammad by their clothes.

The Nadihal cash-for-killing story and news of a legion of unidentified dead lying in unmarked graves, sent hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on to the streets in the summer of 2010. Sensing the building anger, the army and central government in New Delhi promised an inquiry, offering, without irony, talks to anyone in Kashmir “who renounced violence”. However, when no answers came, Kashmir went into convulsions, as crowds of youths armed with stones ambushed soldiers, police and paramilitaries who returned fire with live rounds.

Demonstrators targeted

India stage managed all crimes and escaped punishments. Nobody was bothered about Kashmiri Muslims as India blasted the fake news that Kashmiri terrorists are disturbing peace in Kashmir. India also woos big powers to support its colonialist instincts as being a part of their imperialism.

More than 100 demonstrators had been killed, many of them children. International news channels briefly took an interest, asking if Kashmir was experiencing its own Arab Spring. But the cameras left quickly, as a vicious crackdown began clearing the streets: the government’s own statistics showing that more than 5,300 Kashmiri youths, many of them children, were arrested.

In one cluster of 50 villages, more than 2,000 extreme cases of torture were documented, any of which would kick-start an SHRC inquiry, and all of which left victims maimed and psychologically scarred. Methods included branding, electric shocks, simulated drowning, striping flesh with razor blades and piping petrol into anuses.

Oh, India the so-called terror victim! The Guardian traced one of the Kashmiri victims, a shepherd Qalandar Khatana, 45. Hobbling on crutches, bandages covering his ankles, both feet having been sawn off, he recalled: “I was held down, a BSF trooper produced a knife and then I passed out as the blood gushed from me.” His file says a government investigator confirmed the story and produced eyewitnesses. Another villager, Nasir Sheikh, a carpenter, who lost both legs below the knee and one hand, added: “The smell was of death – urine, shit, sweat. You knew you were about to be slowly murdered. It was like being thrown down a well where no one can hear you scream.”

Thousands disappeared

APDP maintains 8,000 people have disappeared in the decades-old conflict, and accuses government forces of staging gun battles to cover up killings. The association welcomed the commission’s latest demand to investigate mass graves in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state.

It is an acknowledgement from the institution that is run by the government. It provides further legal remedies for the family members of missing,” reports Al Jazeera. “We have been demanding that there be an independent commission to do a credible probe on the mass graves.” Parvez said the probe might give an “answer” to families of disappeared who do not know whether their relatives are dead or alive. “We have done a study of 53 cases for a report where the bodies were exhumed from unknown graves. It was found that 49 bodies in the graves were of civilians and one was a local militant, three bodies were unknown. These people were dubbed as foreign militants by the government,” Parvez said.

Since 2011, instead of complying with directions from the human rights commission, the Indian as well as JK governments continue to avoid such an investigation on the pretext it would lead to a “law and order problem” in Kashmir, APDP said in a statement.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution in July 2008 and called on India’s government ensure independent and impartial investigations into all mass graves, APDP said.

The JK state government has said most of the missing were likely Kashmiri youths who crossed into Pakistan for weapons training. Those comments have been dismissed by family members of the disappeared.

Emotional closure

Tahira Begum, 39, from Baramulla whose husband disappeared in 2002, said if the government investigates the graves it would provide “emotional closure” to family members. “We want to know whether our family members are buried in these graves. At least, we will get an address to mourn,” she told Al Jazeera.

Tahira said she had to leave her three sons in an orphanage after her husband disappeared. “My kids would run from school and ask me where their father is. For years, I told them he has gone for work outside. But as time passed, I couldn’t lie to them anymore.” Her husband disappeared after leaving home for work and never returned. “I went everywhere to look for him but failed. I just want an answer – what happened to him,” she said.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for the Indian-administered portion to become independent or merge with Pakistan.

International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice, a human rights group, on Wednesday demanded an independent probe into the unmarked mass graves in Kashmir and immediate halt to committing such crimes.

The probe was demanded at a news conference in Srinagar called to release the report which claimed that 2,700 ‘unknown, unmarked, and mass graves,’ containing at least 2,900 bodies, in 55 villages in three districts — Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara — of North Kashmir have been probed. It claimed 87.9 percent of the cadavers in the graves were unnamed.

The group sought intervention of National Human Rights Commission as well as State Human Rights Commission and maintained that the copies of the report have been sent to then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as well and will be sent to functionaries in the government of India. “Government should not ignore the report and look into this on priority,” said Angana Chatterji, Convenor of IPTK. Dr. Chatterji, who is also professor of cultural and social anthropology at California Centre for Integral Studies, said “Of the 2700 graves, 2,373 (87.9 percent) were unnamed. 154 graves contained two bodies each and 23 contained more than two cadavers. Within these 23 graves, the number of bodies ranged from 3 to 17,”

She said that a mass grave may be identified as containing more than one, and usually unidentified, human cadaver. The group has given 32 recommendations for the government and International organisations to ponder over.

Scholars, she said, refer to mass graves as resulting from Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes, or Genocide. “If the intent of a mass grave is to execute death with impunity, with intent to kill more than one, and to forge an unremitting representation of death, then, to that extent, the graves in Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara are part of a collective burial by India’s military and paramilitary, creating a landscape of ‘mass burial.’

Dr. Chatterji said post-death, the bodies of the victims were routinely handled by military and paramilitary personnel, including the local police. She said that the bodies were then brought to “secret graveyards” primarily by personnel of the State Police.“The graves were constructed by local gravediggers and caretakers, buried individually when possible, and specifically, not en mass, in keeping with Islamic religious sensibilities,” she added.

She said armed forces and the State Police routinely claim the dead buried in unknown and unmarked graves to be “foreign militants.” The report, she said, also examines 50 alleged “encounter” killings by Indian security forces in numerous districts in Kashmir.“Of these persons, 39 were of Muslim descent; 4 were of Hindu descent; 7 were not determined. Of these cases, 49 were labeled militants/foreign insurgents by forces and one body was drowned,’ she added.

The IPTK convener said that they have been able to study only partial areas within 3 out of the 10 districts in Kashmir, and our findings and very preliminary evidence point to the severity of existing conditions. “If independent investigations were to be undertaken in all 10 districts, it is reasonable to assume that over 8,000 enforced disappearances since 1989 would correlate with the number of bodies in unknown, unmarked, and mass graves,” said Dr. Chatterji, flanked by other members of the group.

The group alleged that the international community and institutions have not examined the supposition of crimes against humanity in the State. “We note that the United Nations and its member states have remained ineffective in containing and halting the adverse consequences of the Indian state’s militarization in Kashmir,” she added, clarifying that the group wants world to know what was happening in Kashmir.

The group asked that evidence from ‘unknown, unmarked, and mass graves’ be used to seek justice, through the sentencing of criminals and other judicial and social processes. “As well, the existence of these graves, and how they came to be, may be understood as indicative of the effects and issue of militarization, and the issues pertaining to militarization itself must be addressed seriously and expeditiously,” she added.

The independent group alleged that the violence and militarization in Kashmir, between 1989-2009, have resulted in over 70,000 deaths, including through extrajudicial or “fake encounter” executions, custodial brutality, and other means. “In the enduring conflict, 6, 67,000 military and paramilitary personnel continue to act with impunity to regulate movement, law, and order across Kashmir,” she added.

In 2011 Indian authorities have confirmed the existence of mass graves in Indian-controlled Kashmir, containing bodies of more than 2,000 people apparently killed in a long-running separatist conflict.

India’s Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission released a report Sunday saying a three-year investigation has uncovered 2,156 unidentified bodies in 38 sites in the region.

Indian authorities conducted the inquiry in response to allegations that Indian security forces have committed rights abuses in fighting a more than two-decade-long Muslim separatist insurgency.

Indian massacres in Kashmir

Rights groups accuse Indian security personnel of killing Kashmiri civilians in staged gun battles and passing them off as militants when handing the bodies to residents for burial. The Indian government commission did not confirm that allegation. It called for DNA profiling to identify the bodies discovered in the mass graves.

Rights activists say at least 8,000 people have gone missing in Indian Kashmir since the separatists began fighting in 1989 for independence from Hindu-majority India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan. Rebel attacks and Indian government crackdowns have killed at least 50,000 people.

Rights activists say at least 8,000 people have gone missing in Indian Kashmir since the separatists began fighting in 1989 for independence from Hindu-majority India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan. Rebel attacks and Indian government crackdowns have killed at least 50,000 people.

Indian state massacres in Kashmir are listed as follows: Gawakadal massacre: On 21 January 1990, 51 civilians were killed by CRPF troopers; Handwara massacre: On January 25, 1990’ Zakoora and Tengpora massacre: Indian forces killed 33 protesters and injured 47 on 1 March 1990 ; Hawal massacre: At the funeral of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq on May 21, 1990; Sopore massacre: On 6 January 1993 ; Bijbehara massacre: On 22 October 1993 ; Kupwara massacre: On 27 January 1994 and more till today.

Many countries have banned police from using ammunition meant for hunting animals. The multidirectional spray of pellets was designed to catch prey in flight. But India and Israel indiscriminately use them. In Israel, security forces often deploy lethal and “non-lethal” ammunition against Palestinian protesters, and crowd-control weapons have blinded at least five young Palestinians in the last two years. In 2011, months after the uprising in Tahrir Square that toppled an Egyptian dictator, a young police lieutenant, Mohamed el-Shenawy, became infamous for firing pellets into the eyes of protesters against Egypt’s military government. His exemplary skill at blinding civilians earned him the nickname the “Eye Sniper”. He was punished for his crimes.

Will India prosecute its own eye snipers? Or outlaw the use of these weapons? Military, media, ministers and police, and their demagogues and cheerleaders, have continued to advocate the use of both pellets and bullets against protesting crowds in Kashmir: unruly beasts in uniforms must be reined in at any cost.

India’s response to the uprising included the grotesque policy of “catch and kill”, under which combatants and non-combatants alike were dispatched in summary executions or tortured to death. Buoyed by a belligerent nationalist at the helm in Delhi, the security forces on the ground perhaps feel emboldened to unleash a more widespread cruelty. The New York Times documented a few of the stories of those who had been blinded by pellets. It remains a grim testament to the darkness in Kashmir. At the time, hardly any Indian civil society group or human rights organisation thought fit to speak up about such a wicked crime. The wanton demonization of the Kashmiri Muslim, a project that some media organisations in India take particular pleasure in, was perhaps fully realized even then.

Historically, such an inhuman response to an uprising – to mass dissent – has been the province of empires and tyrants. A modern democratic nation rarely unleashes such violence, except upon victims whom it does not regard as its own people. It is quite clear that for India and its rulers, Kashmiris have been subjects and not citizens for as long as Kashmiris have refused Indian rule. You do not shower projectiles that target eyes and viscera on a people you consider your own. In snatching away the vision of Kashmiri children, the Indian state has decisively announced that it has only one message: you must be servile and submissive, and if you refuse, we will unleash our fury.

Observation

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both. There is another part of Kashmir with China. Not only Jammu Kashmir has been invaded and divided among the two plus one nations, even the Kashmiris are being murdered alive.

In the slaughterhouse of the Kashmir valley, even the grievously injured – with pellet-scarred eyes or broken limbs – have remained defiant. Over two-and-a-half decades of rebellion in Kashmir have hardened the indifference of India’s political and intellectual classes to the human cost of the country’s repressive tactics in the valley. The hostility now appears to be total, unbridgeable, and for those on the receiving end, unbearable.

The puppet government in Kashmir – a collection of local elites comprising career politicians, technocrats, and chancers loyal to bosses in New Delhi – considers pellet guns a “necessary evil”, might make us feel grateful. At least they acknowledge the “evil” part – perhaps to address their own guilty consciences.

The local government had deployed a fleet of brand new ambulances to securely ferry visiting VIPs from New Delhi, Israel and elsewhere to picnic spots in the valley. This was while protesters were being killed, maimed and blinded – and while the ambulances carrying them to hospitals were coming under fire from security forces.

India uses Zionist pellets. It turns out that there exist different kinds of pellets, and in 2016, some Indian forces are using the jagged variety – which inflict greater damage to flesh and eyes alike, and which doctors say is far more difficult to remove.

Kashmiris have become accustomed to the violence inflicted on them when pellets were first sprayed at protesters in the heated summer of 2010, and most people processed this as nothing more than a new misfortune; just another element of the war in Kashmir. If one were to draw a diagram of the assaults inflicted on Kashmiri bodies over the decades, hardly a single part would remain unmarked: in the 1990s, when the violence was at its worst, the eyes were spared; now they seem to have become a favourite target.

In the country’s present hypernationalist mood, every kind of other is a suspicious figure, a ready-made scapegoat for any failure that befalls the politicians determined to make India great again: the secessionist Kashmiri.

The paramilitaries and the police have been deliberately firing into faces of Kashmir youth and children. Some suffer limited loss of vision, some will lose one eye, some both, and some will be impaired for life, but the pitiless assault on protesting adolescents forces us to ask one question: is the Indian state happy to blind a generation?

It is inconceivable that policy mandarins in Delhi or their advisers in Kashmir could be unaware of the destructive power of “non-lethal weapons”. Earlier this year, the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations and Physicians for Human Rights published a report titled “Lethal in Disguise” at close range. Medics and parents were desperate to save vision in at least one eye for those who had been shot, attempting to extract the jagged and irregular pellets. Indian core media speak calmly of the need for “harsh love” toward civilian protesters to rationalize the state’s ruthless response.

With a hubris derived from its might and military dominion over Kashmir, the state convinces itself that it has the power to inflict blindness. In no time, then, it blinds itself too – to the character of democracy that is its central founding principle. The harsh repression of Kashmiri protests, the Nobel prize-winning Indian economist Amartya Sen declared in July, is “the biggest blot on India’s democracy”.

There has been some dissent in India. Journalists, activists, even some politicians, have written elegiac columns and essays on the savage response to the rebellion in Kashmir. They have implored their government to cease the brutality, to be kind, and to talk to Kashmiris. But it appears that the Indian government, clouded by a newfound chauvinism and a hunger for votes, is in no mood to listen to the nation’s voices of sanity.

It appears that the Indian government, clouded by a newfound chauvinism and a hunger for votes, is in no mood to listen to the nation’s voices of sanity. In August, only a few days after Indian forces in Srinagar murdered a 21-year-old cash-machine watchman by firing 300 pellets into his body from close range, the Indian prime minister used a speech on Kashmir to taunt Pakistan over its own atrocities against separatists in the province of Balochistan, where the Pakistani army has inflicted forced disappearances and summary executions on the Baloch people.

Indians need to interrogate the circumstances that have led to the deliberate blinding of hundreds of young people at the hands of armed forces in Kashmir, before this too is forgotten.

A new generation of freedom-seekers grows up into blinded, maimed, adulthood, and they will carry our guilt-ridden consciences for the world.

How sad that India has become a criminal state at par with Zionist Israel! How is it all right for a constitutionally democratic and secular, modern nation to blind scores of civilians in a region it controls?

India officially is not an authoritarian state, not a crackpot dictatorship, not a rogue nation or terrocracy or warlord outside of legal and ethical commitments to international statutes, but a known outside as a democratic country, a member of the comity of nations. How are India’s leaders, thinkers and its thundering televised custodians of public and private morality, all untroubled by the sight of a child whose heart has been penetrated by metal pellets?

This is the kind of cruelty we expect from Assad’s Syria, not the world’s largest democracy.

Over 1000,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown. India maintains a huge chunk of indefinite thousands of soldiers in the territory.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep among Kashmir’s mostly Muslim population and most support rebels against Indian rule despite a decades-long military crackdown to fight the armed rebellion.

As usual, in order to not accept the reality of popular non-violent uprising, India has accused Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, allegations that Pakistan denies. Now is clear that Pakistan has no role in the unrest and now even if Pakistan ask them to stop agitations they are not going stop it unless India agrees to free Jammu Kashmir from its constitution.

That is their own struggle which is supported by many countries including Pakistan. Rebel groups have largely been suppressed by Indian security forces in recent years, and public opposition to Indian rule is now principally expressed through street protests.

Yes, Indian options are strictly limited and whether it wants to be genuine secular democracy and not a criminal state like Israel, the Modi regime must decide, quickly.

India and Pakistan have better things to do than fighting over an illegal entity called Jammu Kashmir.

At long last, the Human Rights Commission has gathered courage to order India for a probe into one of the world’s strangest crimes – secret graveyards of Kashmir.

Hopefully, the probe would bring out the truth about secret graveyards and Indian agenda for Kashmir. Human rights abuses in Jammu Kashmir

About the author

Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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