Month: August 2018

Rights Activists Question Fate of Probe Ordered Into 10 Major Cases

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In occupied Kashmir, rights activists have deplored that nothing could be done in, at least, 10 major cases of rights violations in which army court of inquiry (CoI) were ordered in the past.

According to media sources, the rights activist while commenting on the call for disciplinary action against Major Leetul Gogoi by the army court of inquiry (CoI) their statements said, “There are cases in which forces had been indicted for kidnapping or killing but still pending because sanction for prosecution has not been granted.” “For example, in Gaw Kadal massacre of 20 January 1990, when 53 civilians were killed by Central Reserve Police Force personnel, a CoI was ordered but not a single person has been booked yet,” the statement said. “A CoI was also by Border Security Force in Sopore massacre that took place on 6 January 1993. The BSF soldiers had killed 67 civilians and burnt dozens of shops and other structures. So far, the fate of the inquiry is not known.” “On 25 January 1990, 25 civilians were killed and in October the same year 17 civilians were killed in Handwara by BSF soldiers. The fate of the inquiries into these massacres is not known.” “CoIs were ordered in a series of other massacres—Khanyar (8 March 1992), 22 civilians killed; Hawal (21 May 1990), toll 70; Bijbehara (22 October 1993), toll 52; Mashali Mohalla (8 August 1992) and Brakpora (25 March 2000), toll nine each.” Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Chairman of International Forum for Justice and Human Rights, in his statement said, “I have filed petitions in all these massacres and to my knowledge in every case the concerned forces’ agency had ordered CoI.  In many cases, forces personnel were identified who and indicted by the CoI but nobody knows whether any guilty soldier was punished,” he added.  Untoo has filed applications in these massacres in either the Kashmir High Court or the Human Rights Commission.  “In Hawal massacre the forces unit and the soldiers were identified during the course of investigation but there is no mention of punishment in the series of replies the Commission has got from the concerned security agency,” Untoo said. Noted lawyer Mir Shafaqat Hussain said in his three-decade long career he is yet to come across a case where forces personnel were punished.  “I remember cases where forces personnel were found involved in killing or kidnapping a person but in all such cases sanction for the prosecution is still awaited. The forces personnel always take shield under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA),” Hussain said. The reaction came a day after Indian army court of inquiry (CoI) asked for disciplinary action against Major Leetul Gogoi for hanging out with a woman in a Srinagar hotel.

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Doda Girl Abducted By Indian Army 18 Yrs Ago Not Recovered

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In occupied Kashmir, the daughter of Kashmiri, Ghulam Mohammad Butt, 89, Mumtaz Banoo, 16, abducted by the Indian army on June 3, 2000 has not been recovered.

According to media sources, Ghulam Mohammad Butt, a resident of Dhar Village in Kastigarh Tehsil of Doda district and his family in a media interview said on June 3, 2000, he, father of four boys and four girls, started his journey with his two sons Hanif and Bhaktawar on foot to a distant forest to graze their herd. Back home, Mumtaza Banoo, then 16, and Farida Banoo, 19 stayed with their mother, Zoona Begum to look after the house. “My two sons were studying in an Islamic seminary in Gujarat and other two daughters were married and living separately in distant villages,” he added. He said same day late in the afternoon, two SPOs along with army men from 10 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) during a routine passed by their house; the army men pumped bullets in their two dogs, killing them instantly. “Mumtaza and Farida were crying as to why they killed our dogs,” recalls Zoona. “When I asked them why they killed our dogs, the army personnel said that whenever they used to pass from the village, the dogs used to bark.” On June 4, 2000, suddenly, a huge bang on the door made Zoona restless. “We didn’t open the door and suddenly the troops barged from inside the window after breaking the iron grills and started dragging my daughter Mumtaz,” she recalls. Zoona still remembers, how her daughter was crying and sobbing, asking her tormentors to leave her. “But they disappeared with her in the dead of the night,” she says. A First Information Report (FIR) was registered with the District Headquarters, Doda. In the FIR two local SPOs who worked as informants were named.  Since then, the case registered at the police station never progressed. A year after Mumtaz’s disappearance, her elder sister, Farida then 19, who had seen her being taken away by the forces died due to cardiac arrest. “She couldn’t bear separation from her younger sister and died,” says Ghulam Mohammad amid tears. Ghulam Mohammad fears the worst, “I know that they have killed her the very same year and I don’t want their blood money,” he says after a deep pause. “What I still want is that if she is dead then they show me her grave, so that I can assure myself that I have her dead resting peacefully below the earth and if alive then bring back her to us,” he adds.

Bulldozing Mosque in Doda Denounced

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In occupied Kashmir, the civil society of Doda has strongly denounced the Indian police for bulldozing a mosque at Galadhar area of Kastigarh in Doda and described it as an attack on the religious matters of Muslims.

According to media sources, the members of civil society of Doda in a statement in Srinagar said that Muslims had constructed a mosque at Galadhar area of Kastigarh in Doda so that tourist Muslims could offer their prayers but the Indian police bulldozed it which was condemnable. They said that attacks on the religious places of Muslims would not be tolerated and every kind of sacrifice would be given for its protection.

Strike Cripples Normal Life in IOK APHC Office Cook among Dozens Arrested

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Complete shutdown is being observed in occupied Kashmir against the Indian attempts to tinker with the Article 35-A of the Indian constitution which bars outsiders from buying immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to media sources, normal life has been paralyzed in Kashmir Valley, Chenab Valley Doda, Bhaderwah, Banihal, Thathri, Gandoh, Kishtwar and Pir Panjal areas of Rajouri and Poonch districts.

All shops and other business establishments are closed in Srinagar and other areas while public transport is off the road. The authorities have also imposed restrictions on movement of people in areas falling under the jurisdiction of MaharajGunj, Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, SafaKadal, Maisuma and KralKhud police stations in Srinagar and other areas. The shutdown call was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership.   The Supreme Court of India is scheduled to hear a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35-A, tomorrow.  On the other hand, Indian police during house raids arrested over dozen youth including a cook Mohammad Amin of the APHC office from different area of south Kashmir. Meanwhile, Indian troops launched violent cordon and search operations in Kulgam, Islamabad, Shopian, Pulwama, Hajin and Kupwara areas. Indian troops arrested the father of top mujahid commander Riyaz Naikoo during a night raid in Awantipora area of Pulwama district. Protests were held in Tangdhar and Tral township of north and south Kashmir districts of Kupwara and Pulwama respectively to support Article 35-A which has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Scores of residents of Tral, including members of Sikh community, staged a protest in the main town against attempts to scrap Article 35-A. The troops barged into the Amshipora and Nazneenpora villages of Shopian district and set houses of two mujahideen ablaze, last night. The families of Shahjahan and Syed Naveed told media that the troops raided their houses, sprinkled some powder and set them ablaze.

Rich Tributes Paid To Altaf Dar, Umar Wani in IOK

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All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani and other Hurriyat leaders have paid rich tributes to Altaf Ahmad Dar and Umar Rashid Wani, who were martyred by the Indian troops in a cordon and search operation in Islamabad town.

According to media sources, Syed Ali Gilani in a telephonic address to mourners, Syed Ali Geelani paid glorious tributes to martyred youth Shaheed Umar Rashid Wani and reiterated his pledge to take the ongoing movement to its logical end.  He condemned the use of excessive force against the civil population leaving scores of men and women seriously wounded. He said, “The military action is a ploy to suppress the people with iron fists.” The Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai in a statement in Srinagar paid glowing tributes to the two youth and said that the sacrifices of Kashmiri youth would not be allowed to waste and would bring positive results.   The spokesman of Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat forum said Kashmiri youth are offering priceless sacrifices for the Kashmir cause and would continue their struggle till complete success. He also condemned vandalizing the property of mujahideen in various parts of south Kashmir, adding these acts are totally unjustified and reflect the frustration of the Indian forces.  Hurriyat leader and the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM), Zafar Akbar Butt in his statement said that the people of Kashmir would continue their peaceful struggle till its logical end.  The JKLF-R leaders, Abdul Majeed Tramboo and Advocate Ayoub Rathor and Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League in their statements, paying rich tributes to the martyred youth, reiterated the Kashmiris’ pledge to accomplish the liberation movement at all costs.

Situation in India More Serious Than Emergency: Roy Says State Has Itself Unleashed Assault on Minorities

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Following the arrests of civil rights activists and lawyers by Indian police in every nook and corner of India, famous writer and novelist Arundhati Roy has said that the situation in the country could become more serious than it was at the time of the Emergency in the mid-1970s.

According to media sources, Arundhati Roy in a media interview in Kolkata said, “The events that are unfolding are being fuelled by intent to do away with democracy and turn this country into a Hindu state.”

“It is an overt statement of intent, now. This, potentially, is more serious and more dangerous than the Emergency. This time, it is the state itself that is unleashing a law and order problem on minorities, on Dalits, Christians, Muslims and Leftists and anyone else who disagrees — through its proxies in the media, its murderous vigilantes and hate-speech vendors. Everyone who it is losing its mandate and is falling into panic.” “While killers are being garlanded and protected by people in high places, anybody who speaks up for justice or against Hindu majoritarianism is being made into a criminal. What is happening is absolutely perilous. In the run-up to elections, this is an attempted coup against the Indian Constitution and all the freedoms that we cherish,” she noted.  Voice of Victims in a statement also condemned the arrest of veteran human rights activist Gautam Navlakha. Abdul Qadeer Dar, Executive Director of Voice of Victims said that Gautam Navlakha was arrested on the false charge of having links with Maoists.

‘Arrest of Navlakha, Others Betrays Modi’s Fascist Policy’

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Hurriyat leaders have condemned the raid on the residence of famous Indian journalist and human rights activist, Gautam Navlakha, and his subsequent arrest terming it as manifestation of fascist policy of Narendra Modi-led Indian government.

According to media sources, Navalakha and Indian novelist Arundhati Roy have been highlighting the worst human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir, have been on the hit list of Hindu extremist groups. Besides, Navalakha, four other human rights activists including Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj and Arun Fereira were also picked up by the Maharashtra Police from different locations on Tuesday. Police had earlier also arrested Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Antachi Chalwal, Surendra Gadling and Mahesh Raut for having links Maoist groups.  The Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, while commenting on Navalakha’s arrest in a statement in Srinagar said, “The voices of those who speak about human rights issues in Kashmir, or who talk about excesses by the Indian forces or those who talk against Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) are being silenced.”  “There is no political approach which has been adopted by Modi and only the military approach has been adopted. The AFSPA, cordon and search operations (CASO) are also continuing. There were many positive statements given by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Kashmir which has not been reciprocated with a favourable reaction,” the Mirwaiz deplored. “People like Gautam Navlakha and Arundhati Roy were very active in Kashmir and they have been targeted,” he said and added that even Indian citizens who talked against their army or AFSPA were termed as “anti-national” by the Hindu extremist groups. “There is a need for Indian academics, intelligentsia and educated class to speak up—if not for Kashmir they need to speak about their own people.” Hurriyat leader Javaid Ahmad Mir, said, “Raids on human rights activist Navlakha betrayed use of excessive force. Both Arundhati and Navlakha have supported our cause. They also supported our hunger strikes in Delhi,” he added.  APHC leader Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar said, “In 2008, when Arundhati Roy came to Kashmir, she saw millions of people chanting slogans in favour of azadi (freedom) at the tourist reception centre ground in Srinagar. She had seen for herself that people are demanding freedom. A case registered against her and we have always welcomed the support of people like Arundhati for Kashmir’s cause.” He added that Navlakha “has always been raising his voice against human rights violations in Kashmir.”  Hurriyat leaders said that the arrest of Navlakha betrayed the fascist policy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has also adopted a stringent military approach in Kashmir.