Bi-Annual Human Rights Review IOJK Jan – June 2022

191 killings, 120 Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs), 116 residential houses bombed, 72 military operations, 122 freedom fighters killed, 45 Indian Occupying Forces personnel killed in retaliation, and 24 civilians killed in various incidents of violence. The intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders, journalists, and civil society continue at the hands of the Indian administration.

The bi-annual human rights review report has been prepared by Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFK) on the situation of human rights in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) and covers the period from January to June 2022.

In last three years 1237 civilian properties were damaged by the Indian armed force while conduct a military operation against freedoms fighter holding a short gun or Pistol. In 2022 so far, 116 houses were damaged during the military operations. The ongoing war of liberation in IOJK is witnessing a plethora of changes in terms of the ‘level of intensity’

From January to June 2022, IOF launched 120 Cordon and search operations (CASOs) and Cordon and Destroy Operations (CADOs), consequential in 72 military operations in which 122 freedom fighters died retaliating Indian occupying forces’ attacks. 45 Indian occupational forces were also killed during these military operations. The CASOs and CADOs also left 116 residential houses vandalized and destroyed at the hands of Indian occupying forces.

The densely militarized zone witnessed additional deployment of 15,000 Armed forces personnel in the Kashmir Valley in wake of the target killings by indigenous armed outfit ‘The Resistance front (TRF)’.

The Indian government continues to abuse Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) 2019, Public Safety Act (PSA) 1978-draconian anti-terrorism legislations, Academic experts, lawyers, journalists, teachers, and activists of all ages step into their shoes every day preparing to face the UAPA when they give voice to oppressed peoples.

According to the Minister of Home Affairs, 750 Kashmiris were arrested under UAPA in IOJK in 3 years till 2020. The Minister of State MHA Nitayanand Rai while sharing the information to Lok Sabah (Lower house of Indian Parliament) said 46 persons were arrested in 2020 while 177 and 247 were held in 2018 and 2019 respectively. But the official State Police data reveals contrary figures of arrested individuals since August 05. According to official police data reviewed 2300 Kashmiris were booked under UAPA Since August 05, 2019.

Kashmiri rights activist Khurram Parvez, chairman of the Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCSS), a prominent rights group in IOJK, has been incarcerated since November 2021, under farcical charges of “criminal conspiracy and waging war against the government”.

The new trend of counter insurgency methods inflicting physical and mental harm to Kashmiris is increasing. Few days before Indian occupying authorities attached five residential houses in Srinagar capital city of IOJK under UAPA act. The J&K Police in their press release cited that house owners wilfully harbor freedom fighters. One of the house owner said their properties were attached without serving any prior notice or giving them the opportunity to respond to the allegation of harboring any freedom fighter. Similarly Indian occupying authorities have dismiss/ suspend the Government employees, professors and other professional from the employment for alleged links with war of Liberation movement.

 In majority of cases where employments were terminated pertained to family involvement in the freedom struggle rather than direct participation of those terminated. Since August 5, 2019, at least 33 employees have been terminated from their jobs by the Indian administration in IOJK.

Indian administration and police have initiated a crackdown against the Journalist Community in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In 2022, the police launched a fresh pressure campaign on journalists, subjecting them to police searches, threats, and likely arrests and detention. Foreign media have already been barred from access to IOJK, leaving local journalists as the primary source of information in a region with communication outages and curfews. Since 2019, the Indian government has been accused of restricting critical journalism in Kashmir, with over 35 journalists imprisoned or questioned by authorities.

In the continuum of illegal steps taken by India’s Occupying regime in Indian-Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IOJK), the government which is being led by BJP leader Narendra Modi since 2014 has executed fresh delimitation of constituencies. The Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission headed by former Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai of the Supreme Court of India, formed in 2021 for the fresh delimitation of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as per the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019 issued its final order on May 5, earmarking 43 seats to the Hindu-majority Jammu region and 47 to Muslim-majority Kashmir – making up a total of 90 seats for the Union territory’s assembly, up by 7 seats from the current strength of 83.

The arbitrary internet shutdowns and restrictions are clearly a form of systemic discrimination and a violation of the rights of Kashmiris. India Occupied Jammu & Kashmir accounts for two-thirds (403) of the total 655 internet shutdowns that India has seen since 2012. IOJK saw 94 instances of internet outages from January 1, to June 30, this year.

The Kashmiri prisoners which include pro-freedom leaders, human rights activists, and civil society members continue to suffer in jails across Jammu & Kashmir, and mainland India, their only crime being proponents of the right of self-determination.

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