India using excessive force to respond to protests by Kashmiris: HRW

November 20, 2019

Indian government’s abusive tactics and violations of basic human rights have increased support and recruits for militant groups in occupied Kashmir.

This was stated by US-based human rights watchdog in its written statement to the US Congress.

Human Rights Watch pointed out that India has used excessive force to respond to protests by Kashmiris.

HRW’s Asia Advocacy Director John Sifton says Indian forces have often used excessive force to respond to protests, including using pellet-firing shotguns as a crowd-control weapon, which have caused several protester deaths and many serious injuries.

He said US officials should insist that political leaders and others arbitrarily detained are released, that restrictions on communications are lifted, and that independent observers, including diplomats, foreign journalists, and rights activists, are able to travel freely in Kashmir.

In occupied Kashmir, people in the Kashmir Valley continue to observe civil disobedience to protest Indian occupation and its August 5 illegal and unilateral decisions.

According to Kashmir Media Service, as part of this movement, business activities continue to remain suspended across the Valley except for a brief period in the morning and evening. Valley’s schools, colleges and offices also wear a deserted look.

While public transport remains by and large off the roads in the Valley, partial movement of some passenger vehicles is seen on few routes of Srinagar city.

On the other hand, uneasy calm and uncertainty continue to prevail in the Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh regions as India-imposed unprecedented military lockdown and communications clampdown entered 107th running day, today. Restrictions under Section 144 are enforced amid heightened military presence.

Internet across all platforms as well as text messaging and prepaid mobile services remain snapped. However, calls on postpaid cellular networks and landline phones have been partially restored.

Meanwhile, Indian forces arrested four youth during a cordon and search operation in Arihal area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Activists from the National Panthers Party and the Congress students’ wing held separate protests in Jammu yesterday demanding immediate restoration of the mobile internet services that remained suspended across the Jammu region since August 5.

Four Indian soldiers and two civilian porters were killed when an avalanche hit them during a routine patrol at Siachen Glacier in Ladakh region.


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