Justice that continues to be denied!

Justice is the cornerstone of lasting peace in society and the backbone of freedom. One of the fundamental responsibilities of the United Nations as the lead organization is to support and assist countries in addressing the violation of human rights and ensuring justice for victims. . The people of Kashmir carry the violation of human rights into the hands of Indian security forces who occupy the region, depriving Kashmiris of their basic right to freedom. Indian forces have continuously used brutal force against unarmed civilians, through extrajudicial executions in fake “meetings” and “lock and search” operations, torture in custody and imposition of punishments collective.

Despite the blatant violation of human rights, India is the biggest violator of human rights. From Kashmir to mainland India, minority rights have been violated under the patronage of the Indian state. On June 11, 1991, occupied Indian forces opened fire indiscriminately and killed 32 innocent Kashmiris, including women and children, the incident is one of the bloodiest massacres in the occupied territory. The year 2022 is the 31st year since the Chotta Bazaar massacre in Srinagar and the families of the victims are waiting for justice to be served.

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Better understand the subject

On August 5, 2018, Indian authorities revoked the state’s constitutional status, but Human Rights Watch says a year later, the Muslim majority in Jammu and Kashmir is still subject to arbitrary and severe restrictions. Government restrictions on free speech, open information, healthcare and education have become even more draconian after the Covid-19 outbreak. To prevent “violent protests” in reaction to last year’s vote on constitutional autonomy, the government would limit travel for two days from August 3, 2020.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir were severely restricted in their freedom of movement after the Indian government removed the constitutional autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two federally ruled territories. The Indian government has also put thousands of people in prison in the event of unrest. Some restrictions have been eased over time by the government, but hundreds of individuals remain imprisoned without being sentenced, critics face jail time and internet access remains restricted.

Indian paramilitary troops of the CRPF, under the false pretense of a clash with unknown assailants in Srinagar, went mad and opened indiscriminate fire with their automatic weapons in the densely populated downtown Chotta Bazaar. Indiscriminate firing by forces personnel claimed the lives of 32 innocent civilians. Around 22 people were also seriously injured in the incident. The bullets hit traders, passers-by, a 75-year-old woman and a ten-year-old child.

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The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also recommended in its 2018 and 2019 reports the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate gross and systematic human rights violations in the IIOJK. However, Indian forces continued to use force to suppress the people of Kashmir. However, these atrocities cannot break the will of the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the inalienable right to self-determination, as enshrined in the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

What is the way forward?

India does not respect international law and international standards and becomes a threat to regional peace. According to the UN resolution, Kashmir is a declared disputed territory which is occupied by India by force against the will of the people. Moreover, India’s unilateral action to alter Kashmir’s self-governing status has further threatened regional peace and stability. To maintain hegemony in the region, India violated the human rights of minorities and became an apartheid state where human rights and equality became a distant idea.

Western powers, who often claim to be champions of human rights, have not held India accountable for its poor human rights record because of their vested interests. International organizations have a moral obligation to play their part in granting Kashmiris their right to self-determination. Today marks the 31st year and the families of the victims of the Chota Bazar massacre of June 11, 1991 are waiting for justice to be served.

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Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has repeatedly expressed concern over human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir. To protect human rights, Human Rights Watch urged Indian officials to immediately release political prisoners, protect the right to freedom of expression by dropping charges against journalists and activists, give everyone full access to the Internet and to hold those responsible accountable for rights violations. Regarding discrimination against Kashmiri Muslims, “the Indian government continues to mistreat them,” Ganguly remarked. People whose civil liberties have been violated by the government should be compensated, according to the author.

The author holds an M.Phil from National Defense University and is a freelance writer and can be contacted at [email protected] The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

Elna M. Lemons