Conclusions

On the basis of the findings of this Council and taking a view of the other publication from International Human Rights groups, it can be concluded that India is in breach of Universal Declaration of Human Rights General Assembly Resolution 217 A (111) December 1948. Article 5 of the resolution states clearly that 'no one shall be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment'. There is evidence for overt violation of article 9 and 14 of the International Covenant in civil and political rights.

There are sufficient grounds to indict certain officers who perpetrated the crimes in tribunals set up for war crimes. There is also evidence to lodge a case against the Indian administration in Kashmir before the Human Rights Commission in Europe and United Nations.

The punishments served by the Indian government on the few men of their armed forces are not sufficient and serve as an eye-wash for the consumption of the international community. The only purpose these admonishing sentences serve is a confession of the state of mayhem people of Kashmir have been subjected to day after day for the last five years and a reminder to the world community that 'violation of Human Rights in Kashmir remain unchanged and unabated'.

Actions recommended

(1) The armed forces must be kept away from public meetings and places of worship.

(2) The armed forces must withdraw from the streets of Jammu & Kashmir and from the private properties occupied by them.

(3) Make the political parties of Kashmir credible and show respect for their views.

(4) Withdraw the third force of counter insurgents from the public ranks. They spread misinformation and cause more violence.

(5) It is a phenomenon commonly perceived in many political circles that 'stifle people with repressive measures create more militants'. The practice of chasing 'militants' into the depths of community causes unnecessary hardship to innocent civilians. The result may be that more innocent people convert to 'militancy'.

(6) Political process should be started with common people and popular leaders and not by propping up the 'dead horses' of Kashmir politics. That action brings more resentment and hostility. National Conference and Congress parties in Kashmir are parties of a clan of few people. They have not spoken against the human rights violations; therefore they will not be accepted as representative of the people of Kashmir. The mere indication of support by the Indian administration for this sect of people is a provocation and may cause more frustration and violence.

(7) Indian politicians of the upper cadre must establish a direct rapport with the public in Kashmir. That will preclude further damage to human lives. Mr Rajesh Pilot, the Indian Minister for Kashmir Affairs, spoke to people in open meetings. He did not come to any harm and it will be an advantage to have more dialogue at all levels than guns fire and tanks.

(8) It must be a priority for the Indian politician to safeguard India's economy and political environment. The billions of rupees spent every day to build a workshop of human rights violations in Kashmir must be diverted to the betterment of the people of India, who desperately need it. Indian prosperity must be seen working for the common person in India and not in perpetual underpinning of a machinery to demolish human beings and their habitat.

(9) Excessive force used to put down the revolution in Kashmir is counter-productive. The outcome of pervading with more forces into the midst of people is that more of them are exposed and more resentment occur resulting in more encounters. Human rights violations follow and that in turn incites more violence.

(10) Peace must be given a chance. Everyone must work towards that objective; leaders in Kashmir and the Indian administration. The 'Mexican stand-off' is not a way forward. The ice has to be broken. It must become apparent to politicians in India that enough blood has been shed.

(11) 'Confidence building measures must start operating now. Victims of torture, bereaved families, stranded households, orphaned children, raped women, crippled elderly and psychologically disturbed victims must all be brought to light and recognised, and adequately compensated, given medical attention, given their homes back and their livelihood and sustenance. One great compensation they will need is the vital assurance that the atrocities will not occur again.

(12) India must restore a semblance of normality in Kashmir. The local police must have authority, the judiciary must function independent of threats and pressures. All members of the legal profession must receive the respect they deserve.

(13) All prisoners must be given the benefit of a fair trial, and a right to defend themselves. They must be all able to engage the services of a solicitor or a council of their choice.

(14) All prisoners must receive the status of political prisoners and prisoners of war.

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This site is maintained for KCHR by Gharib Hanif (hanif@gharib.demon.co.uk) using HTML Author. Last modified on 09/04/96.