A prominent rights group in Indian-controlled Kashmir is advocating for the United Nations to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate what it calls the endemic use of torture by government forces who have faced a decades-long anti-India uprising in the disputed region.
The Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society on Monday released a detailed report saying India is using torture as a "matter of policy" and "instrument of control" in Kashmir, where rebels have fought Indian rule since 1989.
"Torture is the most under-reported human rights violation perpetrated by the state," the report noted. "Due to legal, political and moral impunity extended to the armed forces, not a single prosecution has taken place in any case of human rights violations" in the region, the report said.
Indian authorities said they would study the report before commenting on it. In the past, officials have acknowledged torture exists in Kashmir but have denied that Indian forces strategically use sexual and other abuses to control the population.
The 560-page report, researched for a decade, recommends an investigation be led by the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It also urges India to ratify the U.N. Convention against torture and also allow global rights groups "unhindered access" to Kashmir.
Last year, the U.N. in its first report on Kashmir called for an independent international investigation into reports of rights violations like rape, torture and extrajudicial killings in the region. The report, which JKCCS helped with field research, particularly criticized Indian troops for firing shotgun pellets against protesters, blinding and maiming hundreds of people, including children.
India rejected the U.N. report as "fallacious."
Source: Fox News
BDST: 1801 HRS, MAY 20, 2019