Human Rights Abuses

Human rights abuses in J&K range from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and suppression of freedom of speech

Human Rights Violations
in Indian Occupied Kashmir

The international community’s endeavors to help resolve the Kashmir issue began only weeks after the dispute erupted in 1947. All have recognized that India, after increasing international pressure, plainly consented to the U.N mandated plebiscite, leaving the people of the state to decide their future political destiny. The United Nations passed a multitude of resolutions pressing upon Indian authority to desist from its adamant stance in order to have the conflict resolved. All have recognized that the continuing refusal of the Indian government to countenance a resolution to the Kashmir issue led to the outbreak of an insurrection against Indian rule in the Kashmir at the end of 1989. It is by the coercive and suppressive policies of India that Jammu and Kashmir and the life of its people have been reduced to that of two legged helpless creatures put under the ferocious clutches of barbaric army rule.

India has ratified Geneva Convention and has even enacted Geneva conventions Act 1960, but in practice, India has decided to overlook common Article 3 in its special enactments, applicability and Supreme Court rulings. Moreover, it is normally and more extensively argued that no point has the situation in India met the thresh hold required for the application of common Article 3. Thus India has not accepted the application of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions to the situations prevailing in the country. The reports on hundreds of mass graves in Kashmir, torture, hostage taking and rape have all been prominent abuses in the Kashmir conflict by Indian Occupying forces. 

Rape as weapon of war:

Hundreds of women have been raped with impunity and most of them go unreported given the social stigma and fear of retribution by the State; The GOI has been quick to deny and cover-up most of those cases which do get reported; The reported gang-rape of nine women at Shopian October 1992 by an army unit was dismissed off-handedly after investigation by army and police, the very units charged with the crime, despite solid medical evidence to the contrary; no independent investigation by an impartial agency was carried out. The reported mass rape of over 20 women at Konan Poshpura in February 1991 was also handled in a similar evasive manner; the complaint was not investigated in a timely manner by an impartial agency and the medical evidence was dismissed without good cause; one of the victims who was nine months pregnant during the incident delivered a baby with a fractured left arm; Governor Girish Saxena who denied the incident admitted to mass rapes in the past by the Indian forces however. Rapes continue to be reported, an example from this year being the April 17 gang-rape of a 17-year old girl in Pahalgam. In the 2013 report on her mission to India, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, said, “[W]omen living in militarized regions, such as Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states, live in a constant state of siege and surveillance, whether in their homes or in public. Information received through both written and oral testimonies highlighted the use of mass rape, allegedly by members of the State security forces, as well as acts of enforced disappearance, killings and acts of torture and ill-treatment, which were used to intimidate and to counteract political opposition and insurgency.” The Special Rapporteur added that she was “not informed of any measures to ensure accountability and redress for victims”.In February 2018, the Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora Survivors filed a petition before the State Human Rights Commission, urging the investigation into all cases of alleged sexual assault by security forces and non-State actors as well as reparations for survivors. The group provided the Commission with documentation in 143 cases of alleged sexual violence committed between 1989 and 2017.

Enforced Disappearance

In August 2000, Amnesty International reported that the fates of up to 1,000 persons reported missing in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990 remain unexplained by authorities. Few of the hundreds of habeas corpus petitions filed by families of the “disappeared” before the judiciary in Jammu and Kashmir have been brought to a resolution. The Kashmir Monitor has also documented around 300 cases of disappearance during 1989- 9530 . India signed the Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance on 6 February 2007 but has yet to ratify it. While the Government of India has reiterated to the Human Rights Council several times that it is committed to ratifying the Convention, the National Human Rights Commission of India observed in 2012 that there was no evidence to show that the government was seriously planning to do so. The Commission added, “Enforced disappearance was not codified as a criminal offence in domestic law, nor were extant provisions of law used to deter the practice.” The Government of India has stated it is cooperating with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, but it has never allowed a visit by this mechanism despite having issued a standing invitation to all thematic special procedures in 2011. In 2014, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women expressed deep concern about the reported high level of violence, including enforced disappearance, against women in conflict-affected regions, including Kashmir. On 24 October 2017, State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) directed the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to complete investigations into 2,080 unmarked graves in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu division within 6 months. It is believed that these graves come from earlier waves of security operations in Kashmir. SHRC Chairperson Justice (R) Bilal Nazki said that as the state government had previously admitted the existence of mass graves in these districts, the Commission was reiterating its call for the authorities to complete their investigations. In 2011, the SHRC had conducted its own investigation into mass graves in northern Kashmir and identified 574 bodies out of 2,156 bodies.


WikiLeaks confirmed  that torture is rampant in the state of J&K and is commonly used against civilians. The various forms of torture enumerated in the WikiLeaks include use of rollers, electric shocks, sexual abuse, beating, suspension from ceiling, crushing of muscles and other forms of physical assault. The embassy cables leaked are based on information’s gathered by the International Committee of Red Cross through interviews of 1296 detainees. Of these 65% (852) reported ill treatment, 52.54% (681) complained about being subjected to torture. 38.42 %( 498) were given electric shocks, 29.38% (381) had being suspended from ceiling, 23.3% (302) subjected to sexual assault and 22.68% (294) had suffered from crushing of muscles during torture. All the cases interviewed were from jails. Detention centers other than jails did not remain open to the delegations of Red Cross. It is an acknowledged fact that most of the torture occurs in detention centers other than jails. Thus the existence of torture in all its forms and manifestations pursued in Kashmir is not wholly covered by the leaks. There are hundreds of other methods and forms of torture which have been and are consistently used in the state of J&K. There is a high incidence of rhabdomyolysis (a disease caused by torture) in Jammu and Kashmir. Occurrence of the disease in Kashmir even surpasses the numbers that were infested by it during the Second World War.

Helped provide accessnto clean water

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