Over 270 deaths reported in Kashmir in first 6 months
ICJ joins other NGOs urging UNHRC to take note of killings and disappearance in Kashmir
SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir
At least 271 people have been killed in violent incidents in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir in the first six months this year, a Kashmir-based human rights group claimed in its lates report.
In its latest report, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), said the number of causalities suffered by Indian armed forces, was considerably high during the period with 108 deaths. While 120 militants were killed, the period also saw deaths of 43 civilians. l
“Among 43 civilian deaths, 14 were killed by Indian armed forces and police, 12 were killed by unidentified gunmen, eight civilians died in cross-border firing between India and Pakistani troops at the Line of Control,” a statement issued by the CCS said. Nine among them were minors.
The report also stated that the frequency of Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) by Indian forces has increased significantly, following a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in February 2019 that killed 44 Indian paramilitary personnel.
“In the first six months of 2019, at least 177 CASOs were conducted by Indian armed forces. The four south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian witnessed the majority of the CASO’s. The 177 CASOs have resulted in the killing of at least 118 militants, four civilians and destruction of at least 20 civilian properties,” the report said.
Meanwhile, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on Wednesday, joined other NGOs to draw attention of the UN Human Rights Council, to the alleged extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kashmir.
"In Indian Administered Kashmir, government forces have been responsible for serious violations, including unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and rape and other sexual violence. These grave violations by security forces in Kashmir are met with chronic impunity, as alleged perpetrators are rarely properly prosecuted for human rights violations, leading to near-total immunity for the crimes committed. Non-state armed groups have also been responsible for serious abuses, including attacks against journalists,” ICJ said in a statement.
Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.