Srinagar, Jun 14: Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) welcome today’s important report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva.
This is the first report by the United Nations exclusively on Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir.
After continually being denied access since 2016, the OHCHR has based this report (49 pages in total) on its remote monitoring of the situation on ground, with closer attention to the period of July 2016 to April 2018.
This report affirms that J&K requires special attention and is a signal to governments that the United Nations is closely monitoring the everyday violence and the role of the parties to the dispute. It is also an affirmation of the documentation work done for decades. Following the early UN Security Council resolutions, this report has deep symbolic value following years of silence by the United Nations.
Yet, this report remains connected to the historicity of the J&K conflict, and past UN Security Council resolutions, as it urges the governments to “respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law” and favours dispute resolution through “meaningful dialogue that includes the people of Kashmir”.
The report ends with a series of recommendations, the most crucial of which is a call for an independent, international enquiry in the form of a “Commission of Inquiry” to be constituted by the UN Human Rights Council (inter-governmental body established by the United Nations to monitor human rights).
Commissions of Inquiry prove to be an effective tool for the United Nations and have been formed in the past to investigate allegations of violations of international human rights, international humanitarian law or international criminal law and make recommendations for corrective action based on their factual and legal findings (past examples include Palestine, Lebanon, East Timor and Syria).
In the absence of any fair and proper investigations in J&K to date, UN Human Rights Council constituted Commission of Inquiry would be an important intervention.
The report addresses key human rights issues, with a major focus on the role of Government of India in IaK. The report highlights the “widespread and serious human rights violations” committed primarily by Government of India and the state of virtually absolute impunity where, through examples, the role of the Supreme Court of India is questioned for not intervening in J&K related human rights cases. Violations range from crimes of extra-judicial executions and excessive force (including by use of pellet shotguns), enforced disappearances, sexual violence, torture, arbitrary detention (including through the use of the Public Safety Act, 1978) and other violations of basic human rights. The report notes the existence of unmarked and mass graves and recommends impartial and credible investigations, including though assistance of the international community. Military courts are unequivocally rejected as effective substitutes for civilian courts of justice in the case of crimes against civilians.
The call for a Commission of Inquiry – an international independent inquiry – is in keeping with past demands by JKCCS and APDP, in light of the unwillingness of Government of India to allow for functioning of any processes of justice and fair and proper investigations. In addition, past offers of international assistance (European Parliament in 2008 for the investigation of unmarked and mass graves) have been rejected. It is imperative that a Commission of Inquiry be instituted to: a) record the violence, b) document the role of State institutions, including the judiciary, in systemic denial of justice, and, c) ascertain State and individual responsibility as per international human rights, international criminal, and international humanitarian law.
JKCCS and APDP emphasize that this report must serve as a beginning of continued and sustained OHCHR attention on J&K. As an immediate measure:
OHCHR, on its own initiative, and endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, continue to monitor the situation in J&K and seek unconditional access for on the ground investigations. Crucially, all parties of the dispute must continue to be held to international human rights, international criminal and humanitarian law standards.
UN Human Rights Council consider the instant OHCHR report (in the present regular session beginning on 18 June or in a special session) recognize the urgency of the situation, and immediately constitute a group of reputed experts in the form of a Commission of Inquiry and both Governments of India and Pakistan must grant them unconditional access. This will serve as a vital first step to deter the ongoing violence, secure the evidence of crimes, and result in a more permanent mechanism at the UN Human Rights Council in the form of an international expert as a Special Procedure to monitor the human rights situation in J&K.
Other UN bodies, including the Security Council, with greater powers, must also give renewed attention to the situation in J&K.
NC takes out march to protest custodial killing of teacher
Srinagar, Mar 21: National Conference (NC) on Thursday marched from its Nawa-e-Subah headquarters here to protest against ‘custodial killing’ of a youth, stating that the death of a private school teachers is unacceptable.
The protesters led by NC’s provincial president, Nasir Aslam Wani carried out a rally today towards Tourist Reception Center (TRC) while chanting slogans in favour of their demands
Wani said the death of youth in custody is condemnable and to carry out a protest today was aimed to convey a message that such killings are unacceptable to the people of Kashmir.
“Though such killings have taken place in the past but now, the era has changed and it is unacceptable to people of Kashmir as we have moved far much ahead from the previous scenario,” he said.
He said that matter must be probed and those involved in the act be dealt with strictly.
Wani said the policies are being adopted here through which the situation is being deteriorated and will have serious consequences in the future.
He said arresting and killing people in custody won’t be tolerated by the people of Kashmir.
Earlier, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah had also demanded a time-bound investigation into the custodial death of a school teacher in Jammu and Kashmir and exemplary punishment to those responsible for the death.
“I had hoped custodial deaths were a thing of our dark past. This is an unacceptable development & must be investigated in a transparent, time bound manner. Exemplary punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man,” Abdullah had tweeted.
Rizwan Pandit, 28, died in police custody here during the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, an official had said.
Pandit, who was a teacher at a private school and a resident of Awantipora in Pulwama district, was picked up by the security agencies three days ago, the officer as per reports had said.
Custodial killing of teacher: Kashmir Inc hold joint protest at Jamia Masjid
Srinagar, Mar 21: Various trade bodies on Thursday stage a protest against what they termed as killing of a civilian Rizwan Pandith of Awantipora on Tuesday in police custody.
Carrying placards and raising slogans, the traders held a joint protest at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, demanding the killing spree in the Valley be stopped.
“Killing of innocent civilian who was a private school principal is a deep-rooted conspiracy and a planned genocide of people of Kashmir,” the traders said.
Terming the incident as highly unfortunate, Sajad Gul, spokesman of the trade bodies said, “We urge the Indian civil society and international bodies such as Amnesty International to come forward and play its role. If this attitude of the Central government continues there will be serious consequences.”
“How can they kill any innocent without any justification? Civilians continue to get killed and get maimed at the will of trigger happy forces as it is the worst form of human rights abuses and violations in Kashmir,” Gul said.
He said because of the unbridled powers given to the forces and the lack of accountability, every day innocent civilians are brutally killed, which is condemnable in all forms.
Pertinently, JRL had appealed all segments of society including traders, lawyers, bar association, civil society and others to protest against the ‘custodial killing and assaults on Kashmiris’.
Those participated in the protest include KEA, KTMF, KCCI, KTMF(R), FCIK, Beopar Mandal S R Gunj and other trader bodies.
For hiring photographers, JKSSB wants Science not Mass Comm graduates
Srinagar, Mar 21: Much to the surprise of many aspirants, Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) has entertained Science graduates over Mass Communication degree holders for the post of junior photographer.
The JKSSB on February 01, 2019 advertised number of posts including the post of junior photographer for home department.
But to the surprise of mass communication candidates, the JKSSB has only asked, those candidates to apply who possess bachelor’s degree in science and diploma in photography from a recognized institute.
“There are number of mass communication candidates who have been struggling to get the job. It is quite unfortunate that JKSSB has not considered us for the post, “said a mass communication candidate, Mudasir Ahmad.
Another candidate, Irshad Ahmad said that authorities at JKSSB should bring necessary changes in the eligibility criteria.
Irshad said it is not fair to deprive them from applying for the post.“I fail to understand, why we have not been considered for the job. The post requires technical qualification, B.Sc is an academic qualification, it has nothing to do with Photography. A mass communication guy has vast know how of the things, “he said.
When contacted, Public Relations Office (PRO), JKSSB, Ashwani Hansa said that the post has advertised in accordance with the indent received from the home department.
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