UN takes note of 2010 Kashmir killings | Seeks report from GoI

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By: Umer Maqbool
Srinagar: United Nations had asked Government of India to reply over the killings of civilians by government forces during 2010 uprising in Kashmir Valley, reveals a report presented by the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
The report by Special Rapporteur Christ of Heyns which was tabled at the 17th Session of the UNHRC discloses that a letter was dispatched to India’s representative at the UN on October 22, 2010 to seek report over the allegations of the killings of civilians by the “military and police forces” in Kashmir from June 11 to August 7 last year.
About 116 civilians, mainly children and youth, were killed by police and paramilitary CRPF while dispersing pro-freedom protests in Kashmir valley in the summer of 2010.
The UN also asked for providing details about the disciplinary action initiated against the perpetrators of the killings, information about the encounters and allegations regarding targeting of journalists and human rights defenders.
“Please provide the details and where available the results, of the investigations, and judicial or other inquiries carried out in relation to the above incidents (including those listed in the attached Annex). Please explain the steps taken to ensure that these investigations comply with the Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. Please provide the details of any disciplinary measures imposed on, and criminal prosecutions against persons found to be responsible, as perpetrators or as responsible commanders for the alleged killings listed in the attached Annex,” the letter asked.
The annexure of the letter carries the details of killings from Tufail Matoo to Aisha Shiekh.
Citing Machil fake encounter, it mentions that encounter killings are also allegedly used by security forces to create an in impression of a national threat and extension of cross-border terrorism.
The communiqué further mentions that State authorities have reportedly been targeting journalists and human rights defenders as a means of preventing them from discharging their functions.
“There have also been widespread protests against “militarized governance” in Jammu and Kashmir. The military and police forces are said to be targeting unarmed and peaceful protesters and often have used live ammunition on protestors. Civilians have reportedly reacted to this through stone pelting, damaging State property and arson. In several instances this has resulted in injury to some members of the security forces,” it adds.
Besides it also calls for an independent investigation in suspected cases of extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions.
“We urge your Excellency’s Government – in line with principle 9 of the Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions – to conduct a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation of all suspected cases of extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions, including cases where complaints by relatives or other reliable reports suggest unnatural death in the above circumstances,” it further states.
“We recognize that your Excellency’s Government had to take measures to restore public order. However, the adoption of any such measures have to strictly comply with the international human rights obligations which your Excellency’s Government has undertaken, which require that force be used by law enforcement officials only when strictly necessary, and that force must be in proportion to the legitimate objective to be achieved.”
The Government of India’s reply states that the letter has been forwarded to authorities in India for their due consideration.
“You are, no doubt aware of the complexity of the situation that has a strong dimension of cross border terrorism and extremism, aimed at challenging the very idea of a secular, liberal and democratic India,” the Indian response said.

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