Why is India torturing Kashmir

Human rights groups: Indian troops systematically torture in Kashmir

Tens of thousands of people in Indian-controlled Kashmir are said to have been tortured over the past three decades, according to a report by the Jammu-Kashmir Civil Society Coalition (JKCCS) and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). At least 40 people were killed. Representatives of the Indian government did not want to comment on the report, but wanted to evaluate it first.

Civil War and International Conflict

The report is published on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the rebel uprising against the Indian administration in Kashmir and was also shared by the JKCCS on Twitter.

The conflict in the Muslim-majority region has killed around 70,000 people since 1989. The Himalayan region has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both countries claim the entire region for themselves and have already twice waged war against each other for this reason.

Most brutal methods

While previous scandals surrounding US prisons in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, Iraq, have attracted international attention, the torture in Jammu and Kashmir remains hidden despite tens of thousands of civilians exposed to it, a statement by the two groups said. The 560-page report lists water boarding, beatings with iron bars and leather belts, sleep deprivation, and electric shocks to the genitals as torture methods. This would have made the regular army, paramilitaries and police submissive to civilians and insurgent fighters. Again and again there were deaths. Most recently, the 29-year-old headmaster Rizwan Pandith was tortured to death by a special police unit in March.

 

UN commitment required

After ten years of research for the report, the human rights groups have now called for an international investigation into the incidents under the direction of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. They also urged the Indian government to ratify the UN Convention against Torture. So far, the government has not signed the convention and denies UN investigators access to Kashmir. As early as 2018, the UN published a report accusing Indian troops of torture. But the government did not recognize the report, calling it "biased and misleading".

pb / stu (ap, afp)