International Human Rights Day @ajmeralam2000

By Ajmer Alam Wani

“Kashmir witness to range of human rights violations for many decades”

SRINAGAR: For many decades now, Kashmir is witness to the entire range
of human rights violations. Here heinous crimes which include extra
judicial killings, torture, rape, enforced disappearances are
systematically perpetuated to terrorize and oppress the people. The
Armed Forces commit these atrocities with impunity, being provided
legal cover through draconian laws like, The Disturbed Area Act, The
Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act and many more
passed by the Indian government andtacitlyendorsed by its
collaborators in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature. This was expressed
by Parveena Ahnagar, Chairperson, Association of Parents of
Disappeared Persons (APDP) on the occasion of International Human
Rights Day.

The International Human Rights Day is being observed all over the
globe, to draw attention to the issue of Human rights. In Kashmir, we
observe it as a Black Day, here state power continues to trump human
rights, letting down thousands of victims battling gross violations
and brutality.

A press note further added, APDP is marking the day by observing a
sit-in protest at Pratap Park, Srinagar. Joined by activists,
volunteers, artists, poets, writers and other civil society memberswe
will collectively pledge to take forward this fight for justice,
accountability and dignity. After the sit in at the Pratab Park,
Srinagar, members of APDP will visit the shrine of Syed Sahib, Sonwar,
Srinagar, to offer special prayers for their loved ones who have been
subjected to enforced disappearance in Jammu & Kashmir.

For more than two decades now, APDP is tirelessly working towards
creating space for dialogue and consciousness in our society on human
rights issues, especially enforced disappearances and the struggle and
resilience of the victims and their families. From a small informal
gathering in the vicinity of a shrine, APDP has come a long way.
Drawing strength and inspiration from our rich cultural and social
resources we have nurtured this struggle. In our regular sit-in
protests in a park, women, men, youth and elderly from all walks of
life come together to bear witness to the violations of our rights by
the Indian State.

We share our biographies of violations, of custodial killings, of
torture of rape and of enforced disappearances and these individual
biographies give shape to a collective biography of struggle,
resilience and a resolve to continue our struggle. Through our grief
and endurance we have reclaimed the highly militarized and controlled
public space and given a new direction to the human rights movement in
Kashmir.

However, this long drawn out battle has been traumatic and
debilitating for the families of the victims of enforced
disappearances who are the members of APDP. It has depleted and
drained their economic, physical and emotional resources. At APDP we
have been conscious of the socio-economic realities of these families,
we realize and acknowledge that in our pursuit of justice and
accountability the plight of those involved in the struggle cannot be
ignored.

With encouragement and support from the people of Jammu and Kashmir
and the support we receive from the UNVFVT, APDP is able to provide
support, nurture hope and instill a spirit of perseverance in the
family members of the disappeared. It is this spirit of resilience and
resistance that has helped Kashmiris survive through this relentless
oppression. Amidst the trauma of our unending grief and struggle the
children of the disappeared have been striving to reclaim their lives.
Many of these children are studying and have passed their exams with
flying colors and are keen to pursue professional careers. It is a
proud moment for us. They are our hope and inspiration.

On the International Human Rights Day, the Association of Parents of
Disappeared Persons (APDP) remembers and pays homage to the victims
and families, who have borne the brunt of the large scale human rights
violations carried out by the Indian Forces in Kashmir. We specially
remember our sisters Aasiya and Neelofar, and the brave women of
Kunanposhpora. In the last two decades, many mothers and fathers have
passed away, their yearning to see their disappeared loved ones return
remains unfulfilled. We salute their resilience and pledge that we
will take this struggle to its logical conclusion.

On this day, we also express solidarity and pay tribute to the courage
and resistance of all those who have spent years struggling for
justice and accountability. APDP appeals to people from all walks of
life to be co-travelers in this journey that seeks to bring
perpetrators of such crimes against humanity to justice.

Once again on the International Human Rights Day, APDP reiterates that
India must comply with its obligations under international human
rights laws. The state should institute an independent commission of
inquiry into the complaints of human rights abuses including enforced
disappearances, extra judicial killings, torture, rapes and other
human rights violations by state actors and provide a supportive
environment to facilitate access to justice for human rights
defenders.The state must consider the recommendations of Universal
Periodic Review-2 (UPR2) and ratify the International Convention for
the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, beside
repealing Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

MEANWHILE:

AIP demands abolishing of capital punishment

In Jammu, BJP stages protest, accuses Govt of ignoring HRC directives

SRINAGAR: Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) today led a protest march from
TRC to Ganta Ghar Lal Chowk against human rights violations in Kashmir
and demanded abolishing of capital punishment in whole world. The
protest was attended by large number of people from all walks of life
hailing from different parts of Valley.

The protesters were raising slogans like ‘Bhool gaya hai Hindustan,
Kashmiris bhi hai Insaan’, Bhool gaya hai ab Omer, Pathribal aur
Markundal’, Bhool gayee hai Sonia, Kupwara aur Bichbehada, Bhool gaya
hai Manmohan Gawkadal aur Shopian and Sazai Mout Ko Khatam karo Khatam
Karo’ and were carrying black flags as a mark of protest against the
human rights violations.

The protest march started from TRC and ended at Lal Chowk. Speaking on
the occasion President Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) and MLA Langate Er
Rashid said that time has proved that hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru
or anybody else in the world has not been able to solve the problem
anywhere in the world but has rather added to the miseries of the
people. He said. “Narinder Modi’s statement, seeking abolishing of
Article 370 is a clear failure of Hurriyat as well as mainstream as
the remarks passed by Modi are a clear alarm for Kashmiris leaders
that Indians don’t care and have decided to take every Kashmiri far
grated, what so ever stature he may be claiming.

The leadership has failed to persuade or pressurize India for an
honorable settlement of Kashmir dispute. They must introspect them
selves rather than misleading Kashmiris in the name of various
slogans.” He further said that world community should take the note of
sufferings of Kashmiri people and must understand the ground reality
that dreaming peace without delivering justice is always a distinct
dream.

He said. “Had NC and PDP supported my resolution in state assembly
seeking clemency for Afzal Guru, India would have never dared to hang
him. By not supporting the resolution they gave New Delhi a clear
consent to hang Afzal Guru. Both these parties must shun crying
autonomy or self rule and should work together for peaceful resolution
of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of people of the
Kashmir.”

He further said that govt. has miserably failed to address the pain
and grief of the families of disappeared persons. The party workers
hoisted black flag at Ghanta Ghar Lal Chowk to register their protest
against human rights violations. The march was led by party leaders
including party general secretary Advocate Nazir Ahmad Malik, Aadil
Hussain, Advocate
Ab Rashid Dar, Zeeshan Pandith and Dr Bari Naik.

BJP stages protest, accuses Govt of ignoring HRC directives

JAMMU: State BJP Human Rights Cell organized protest dharna was
organized by Cell Convenor Dr. Tahir Chowdhary, against callous
attitude of the state coalition government which only give lip service
to the people rather than execute pro-people and human rights based
policies in the state on the eve of International Human Rights Day
which is being observed globally today. This protest dharna was
attended and participated by BJP State President & MLA Jugal Kishore
Sharma, Leader of Legislative Party Ashok Khajuria, State General
Secretary & former Mayor Kavinder Gupta and State Cells Incharge Sat
Sharma (C.A).

Jugal Kishore Sharma, while addressing the gathering over there
lambasted state government for totally ignoring the issues of refugees
who till now are not given their due rights while through
rehabilitation policy has distributes doles to communal elements and
ex-militants who crossed over the border to receive militancy related
training. The state government is more sympathetic to these terrorists
on human grounds but not following directives of Human Rights
Commission (HRC) with regard to PoJK, refugees from West Pakistan,
Chhamb, uprooted people due to 1965, 71 wars and Kashmiri pandits
living in refugees camps.

Ashok Khajuria, in his address burst out on NC leadership for not
taking Human Rights Commission very seriously which now lacks any
decisiveness to execute any action against violators of Human Rights
in the State. Khajuria also said that the validity of Human Rights
Commission lies in making it active and protect the Human Rights of
people rather than acting against such rights. Referring to the
SCs/STs/OBCs and role of Home Guards, VDCs in protecting the border
areas in militancy affected state, he said that these vulnerable
sections required to be viewed with Human angle and thereby their
rights are to be protected.

Sat Sharma (C.A) accused that the State Government functionaries never
took sympathetic view toward Chamail Singh, brutally butchered in
prison by Pakistan. This grave Human Rights violation by Pakistan was
taken very lightly by the state government who till now has not given
any compensation even on compassionate ground to the family of the
victim, while Rs. 3 lakhs efforts made alongwith MP & State Prabhari
Avinash Rai Khanna on behalf of J&K State BJP were given to the
victim’s family. Sharma pointed out that just adjacent to the venue of
dharna, “All Selected Candidates of Prison Department  sitting on
hunger strike” for the last 9 days was the live example of violation
of Human Rights directly and clearly violated by the government
itself.

Dr. Tahir Chowdhary pointed out that J&K is the only state in India
where maximum Human Rights Violations have taken place and this he
attributed to very weak State Human Rights Commission which has not
given any concrete results. He further said gave that Indian jawans
who protect the borders were mutilated and state government maintained
silence. Giving reference of Kishtwar riots, Chowdhary said that in
Kishtwar property worth cores was destroyed but the state government
took no cognizance and so no compassionate action has been taken even
after a committee of enquiry was instituted.

Bansi Lal Bharti, Yudhvir Sethi, Ashok Kumar Khajuria, Rajesh Gupta,
Vikram Randhawa, S. Paramjit Singh also spoke on the occasion and
prominent who attended dharna were Dr. Nirmal Kamal, Munish Sharma,
Pramodh Kapahi, Rashpal Verma, Rajiv Charak, Ravinder Raina, Priya
Sethi, S. Amreek Singh, Kushal Sharma, Anandi Gupta, Tanvir Queshi,
Ajit Goswami, Tarseem Choudhary, Balwan Singh, Ishant Gupta, Ayodhya
Gupta, Surinder Gupta, Bharat Bhushan, Ajay Vaid, Ravikiran Sharma,
Anuradha Charak, Anju Dogra, Sangeeta Gupta, Neeru Anand, Parveen
Arora, Rohit Bawa, Rinku Chouhan, Munish Raja, Ajay Chalotra,
Abhinandan Bhardwaj, Sharda, Sunita, Vidya and others.

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