Torture and deaths in Custody

Victims in custody are, in effect, treated as bodies of flesh and bones. The punishment starts at the time of arrest; abusive language is used and rifle-butts are struck on their legs. In the interrogation centres they are tortured by some methods only unique to the Indian army. They detainees are crushed under road-rollers, they are made to drink their own urine, they are hung up-side-down until they get gangrene in the feet and go blind. Live flames and electric shock are applied to the detainees' bodies. Some detainees are cut with a knife, one slash at a time, until they faint. The bodies which are returned to the relatives, have born the tell tale scars of torture. The last count of deaths in custody was 887. The number of bodies recovered from river Jhelum is 287 whereas figure for those injured or disabled for life stands at 23,558. Case histories will exemplify the modus operandi of the Indian forces:

Munshi Ghulam Nabi was a civil servant in the Irrigation department. Following the usual cordon and search operation in his village Redwani Kulgam Kashmir by JAK Riffles, Munshi was picked up on 9th July 1994 for no other reason than tending a beard. Relatives pleaded for his return, but the army said that he would be released after questioning. Ten long months passed; there was no word on Munshi. On 22nd May 1995, a heavy rainfall caused a breach in the banks of the canal at Babapora. the water washed away the earth covering the body, identified as that of Munshi. An eye-witness on the scene said that the body had marks of gruesome torture. The site was near the army camp. Nothing has ever come of any protest lodged by the relatives. Munshi is one more innocent victim of genocide perpetrated in the state.

Around midnight of 4th May 1995, the whole of Zanirag Khrew village was woken up by gun shots. Ghulam Nabi Lone, 24 years old and worker of the Khrew cement factory, was arrested by the army Co. No. 312 stationed at Khrew. The army officers were angry after an encounter with some 'militants'. They got Lone, took him to the nearby fields, beat him up and killed him on the spot, for no reason other than to act as a deterrent for the 'militants'.>

Torture and its aftermath

Thousands of tortured victims wander around with scars and deformities.

Bashir Ahmed Mir, 19 years old from Laduo, Pulwama, had his operation on 11th April 1995; his both feet were amputated. "I was kept standing on snow for six hours with my bare feet buried in. Returning to the interrogation centre they beat me up with bamboo sticks. After two days, some white fluid started oozing out from my toes and they turned black. I was in acute pain", narrated Bashir to Dr Zubair at the Bone & Joint hospital, Srinagar. The frost-bite was allowed to fester for two months in detention. He has his operation one day after his release. Bashir, like many thousands of young people crippled, cannot support his elderly parents, having lost both his feet.

Tihar Jail

The jail in Dehli is the most notorious prison in India and houses 40 Kashmiri men. On India's republic day, the inmates of the prison are paraded in front of the Indian flag and made to sing the Indian national anthem.

One prisoner, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, refused to sing. He was severely beaten until he lost his consciousness. He was admitted to hospital and barely survived.

Prisoners from Kashmir have been spread all over India as far away from their relatives as possible. Allahbad prison has 24 Kashmiri prisoners. The 22 Kashmiris in Jodhpur jail were blind-folded when a delegation of lawyers visited them.

The prisons in the J&K state are full.

There is a case for a demand to treat prisoners from Kashmir as POWs, because Kashmir is not in a civil war. Being a disputed territory, prisoners taken from within Kashmir are not citizens of India.

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