Two new and in-depth reports have raised concerns and alerts to widespread torture being employed by Indian forces in the disputed Jammu Kashmir region. The reports assert that torture in Kashmir is not only widespread, but it is a deliberate and strategic tool of Indian forces there.
Torture is used as a matter of policy by the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir in a systematic and institutional manner, as all the institutions of the State be it legislature, executive, judiciary and armed forces form a part.”Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control In Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir
- Learn more about the conflict in Kashmir through my Kashmir Conflict Backgrounder and Brief History of the Origins of the Kashmir Conflict
Reports of Torture in Kashmir
The first report was issued in June of 2018 by the United Nations but came to prominence this week after India asserted the report was “fallacious.” The June 2018 report released by the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights cited 76 cases of civilian torture, 13 in 2018 alone.
In March the Geneva-based Human Rights Council wrote a letter to the Indian government requesting their response to the UN report. The Indian government’s response argued the report was biased and the facts dubious. The Indian response went on to suggest that the head of the UN Human Rights Commission, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, a Jordanian diplomat and great-grandson of the Sharif of Mecca had “individual prejudices” and India would speak no further to the allegations in the report.
On Monday a second, more extensive and damning, report detailing torture and human rights abuses by Indian forces in Jammu Kashmir was released by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons and the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society.
Significant pieces of this 560-page report detailing torture in Kashmir included the following:
- Prisoners in Jammu Kashmir describe being raped, sodomized, waterboarded and electrocuted by the Indian authorities.
- Tens of thousands of Kashmiri citizens have been tortured over the last three decades.
- Seventy percent of those tortured by Indian authorities were civilians.
- Forty of the 432 case studies included in the report, died of the wounds inflicted under torture.
- Victims included political and human rights activists as well as children.
- Survivors frequently do not report their experiences as they consider themselves lucky to have survived and also fear reprisals.
The Indian government has not yet responded to the concerns raised in this report. The ongoing humanitarian concerns in the Jammu Kashmir remain a focus of humanitarian groups around the world and a frequent hotspot for tensions between Indian and Pakistan.