The Crimes of the Indian occupation forces, numbering more than half a million, against the people of Kashmir have now reached genocidal proportions, presenting the worst example of state-sponsored terrorism. Because, the people of Jammu and Kashmir were pledged by no less an authority than the UN Security Council to exercise their right to decide their future under conditions free from coercion and intimidation.
However, the peaceful movement of the Kashmiri people for the realisation of this right and the respect for their fundamental human rights has been crushed with brute force.
The effect is not only physical but also psychological as a report published in 2012 by Dena Lawrence, an Australian art psychotherapist, showed that “There is a reflection of anger, rage and depression in Kashmiri art,” Black was the predominant colour in almost all the paintings, the colour of depression and despondency.
Methods of torturing the Captured Kashmiri People include severe beatings, electric shock, suspension by the feet or hands, stretching the legs apart, burning with heated objects and sexual molestation. One common form of torture involves crushing the leg muscles with a heavy wooden roller. This practice results in the release of toxins from the damaged muscles that may cause acute renal (kidney) failure. This report documents a number of such cases which required dialysis. Since 1990, doctors in Kashmir have documented 37 cases of torture-related acute renal failure; in three cases the victims died.
On 23 February 1991, a particularly serious incident occurred in the mountain village of Kunan Poshpura. More than 800 soldiers of the 4th Rajput Regiment surrounded the village. They rounded up the men outside and then broke into houses in search of arms. Many women were attacked. The delegation was told that somewhere between 23 and 60 women were raped in the course of that night.
The most horrific sexual attacks occur when a family member is believed to belong to an armed militant group. There are also cases of rape and/or sexual humiliations of various kinds which take place during the interrogation of suspected militants. Such acts may be committed against a family member forced to attend the interrogation in order that a maximum of information may be extracted.
It should be noted that young, unmarried women are sometimes taken away for days to the soldiers’ camps. This practice is mentioned in the testimony of four women from different areas. Some of these young women, having become pregnant, have committed suicide, preferring to die rather than to dishonour their families.
The Indian Government has proclaimed that its policy regarding Jammu and Kashmir is one of openness and transparency. However, it has consistently refused to cooperate meaningfully with United Nations mechanisms for human rights protection. United Nations experts on torture and extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution have not been invited to visit India as they requested and international human rights monitoring bodies such as Amnesty International continue to be denied access to the state since 1978.
The Kashmiris’ demand is very simple. They want to be free of military occupation and to decide their future by a democratic vote, impartially supervised. A mechanism for the exercise of this right has already been defined by the United Nations Security Council, which was not only supported by Canada but co-sponsored, too. This mechanism needs to be activated and implemented.