International intervention imperative to stop bloodshed of Kashmiris: Wani

It is time India should be held accountable to international law

Geneva, Sep, 20: Seeking world community's urgent attention towards simmering situation in the UN recognized disputedterritory of Jammu and Kashmir veteran Kashmiri rights activist Altaf Hussain Wani has said that given the worsening Human Rights situation in troubled region international intervention was inevitable.

Speaking on behalf of the International Islamic Federation of Student Organization (IIFS0) Wani during a debate held under Agenda item 4 of 33rd session of the UNHCR here on Monday said that nearly 90 Kashmiris have lost their lives and about 13,000 civilians have been injured, many with eye injuries caused by pellet guns have lost their vision. "Participants in funerals are killed, blinded, tortured, and maimed. Medical help is denied to them and they are besieged from all sides", he maintained.

Terming Kashmir as a fortified prison he said that India had turned it into a military garrison where one Indian soldier terrorizes every 11 Kashmiri civilians. He pointed out that mentally-challenged people are being traumatized by Indian army under the cynically-named Operation Calm Down.

Referring to recent incidents of state terrorism he said, "On the evening of Sept.17, 2016, the Indian army attacked a mentally-challenged Kashmiri man with pellet guns resulting in brain injuries and damage to both eyes".

He said that another youth Riyaz Ahmed Shah, 23, was riding his bike home when Indian troops stopped him at a checkpoint and pumped dozens of pellet gun bullets into his stomach from close range, damaging his vital organs.

Wani stated that four-year-old Zuhra Majeed was hit by pellet gun bullets in her legs and abdomen after her family was attacked by Indian police outside their home on July 10, 2016 whereas fourteen-year-old Insha Malik was blinded by pellets fired by Indian army on July 12, 2016 when she was inside her house doing schoolwork.

He said that India was slapping sedition charges on any and every Kashmiri who peacefully tries to talk sense to the Indian Government. India he said did not even spare Amnesty International. "A sedition case is registered against Amnesty and Indian religious extremists have threatened Amnesty staff with dire consequences", he added.

Wani told the world delegates that noted rights defender Khurram Parvez was stopped at New Delhi Airport last week and denied travel to Geneva to attend the UNHRC session of Human Rights Council. Citing New York Times editorial (Kashmir Crisis, July 22), he said, ‘there is a culture of brutal disdain among the Indian troops stationed in Indian-Administered Kashmir for the local population because Kashmir is subject to India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which grants the military wide powers to arrest, shoot to kill, occupy or destroy property".

He said that it was time India should be held accountable to international law and its army officers involved in war crimes inKashmir.

Posted on Sep 21, 16 | 7:55 am