Pakistan strongly condemns extra-judicial killings of three Kashmiris by Indian army
Pakistan Tuesday strongly condemned the extra-judicial killings of three Kashmiri labourers from Rajouri by the Indian occupation forces in a fake encounter in Shopian region of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Over 200 innocent Kashmiris have been martyred by the Indian occupation forces since the beginning of this year in fake encounters and so-called ‘cordon-and-search’ operations.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office in a statement said these condemnable crimes against Kashmiri youth by the Indian occupation forces are being perpetrated with complete impunity, under the cover of draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Public Safety Act (PSA) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
“The killings of innocent Kashmiris and destruction of their properties is a part of the “Hindutva” agenda of the RSS-BJP combine which is attempting to target defenceless Kashmiris with mindless violence and perpetuating collective punishment to break their will. India’s efforts to subjugate the Kashmiri people through killings, torture, forced disappearances, incarcerations and brutalization have failed in the past and will not succeed in the future. Nor will India succeed in bringing illegal and forcible demographic changes in IIOJK in violation of international law and conventions.”
“The international community must take immediate cognizance of the state terrorism and grave human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian occupation forces. India must be made to comply with its international legal obligations and respect fundamental rights of Kashmiri people including their right to life.”
It added that Pakistan will continue to call for holding India accountable for its crimes against the Kashmiri people and extend its full support in the just struggle for the Kashmiris’ inalienable right to self-determination.
The Indian army said on Monday it is investigating the deaths of three accused militants in a military operation, after a family said they were migrant workers who had gone missing.
The army originally said the three dead from the July 18 operation were "Pakistani terrorists". However a Kashmir family said they had identified the three from photos posted on social media.
Naseeb Khatana said his three cousins -– Abrar Khatana, 18, Imtiyaz Ahmed, 21 and Abrar Ahmad, 25 -– left their home in the southern district of Rajouri on July 16 to look for work in the Kashmir valley, but the family lost contact with them a day later.
The Indian army said on July 18 that soldiers killed three suspected “Pakistani terrorists” during a counterinsurgency operation in the south Kashmir village of Amshipora. The bodies, it said, had been buried in a remote border area.
"Today we identified their bodies from photographs that appeared in social media," Naseeb Khatana told AFP from his home. "We want justice and their bodies returned to us," Khatana said. The family also demanded DNA testing of the dead.
Army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in a brief statement that "the army is investigating the matter."
"The three terrorists killed during the encounter have not been identified and were buried based on established protocols," the statement added.
Following the killings in July, Brigadier Ajay Kotach said the military operation was launched after receiving information about the presence of rebels. "We were also getting inputs of presence of certain identified Pakistani terrorists in that area," Kotach told a press conference.
Police, who would normally have a presence at such operations, said they did not take part in this one and had launched their own inquiry, a senior police official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The incident has generated social media outrage and local pro-India groups, the Communist Party of India and the Jammu Kashmir Apni Party, demanded an independent probe into the deaths. The incident raised memories of past incidents in the restive territory where a three-decade-old separatist uprising has left tens of thousands of dead, mainly civilians.
In 2010, three army officers were found guilty of killing three labourers who had been branded as Pakistani infiltrators. The killings sparked months of protests that left more than 100 civilians dead. In 2000, the army claimed to have killed five "terrorists" responsible for the massacre of 35 Sikhs. An investigation found the five were locals killed by soldiers in a staged gun battle.