Indian Home Minister and Army Chief indicted as war criminals by UK law firm

By: News Desk
Published: 12:12 AM, 21 Jan, 2022
Indian Home Minister and Army Chief indicted as war criminals by UK law firm
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People of IIOJK have been subjected to the worst kind of atrocities at the hands of Indian forces, the Modi/ BJP/ RSS government has unleashed a reign of terror and brazen killings in line with their neo-Nazi fascist ideology. Kashmiris are victims of the latest holocaust at the hands of Hitler (reincarnated as Modi).

Report of Indian Brutalities in IIOJK by Kashmir Media Service

Indian troops killed 210 Kashmiris in IIOJKJ, 65 Kashmiris were killed by Indian troops in fake encounters while in custody, December 2021 alone, Indian troops killed 31 innocent civilians in IIOJK.

The report highlighted that 487 people were injured as a result of the "use of brute force on protesters" in the valley, while 2,716 people, including rights activist Khurram Parvez, had been arrested in raids and crackdowns by Indian troops and police last year.

Majority of those arrested were booked under black laws, namely Public Safety Act (PSA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Indian forces had destroyed 67 residential houses and structures in IIOJK during year 2021.

Indian authorities did not allow Friday prayers for 45 weeks at the historical Jamia Masjid in Srinagar besides disallowing other religious activities like Muharram processions and Eid Miladun Nabi gatherings in 2021.

The report mentions resistance leaders detained in Delhi's Tihar jail in "fake cases”, adding that over 4,000 more people were booked under PSA and UAPA and jailed in different prisons in occupied Kashmir and elsewhere in India.

According to the report, since the Indian government stripped Kashmir of the special autonomy it had for seven decades by repealing Article 370 of the constitution in 2019, Indian troops, paramilitary and police personnel had martyred 515 Kashmiris till date.

It said 95,948 Kashmiris had been shot dead by Indian forces during the last 33 years in IIOJK.

Anatomy

Stoke White a London-based law firm filed an application with British police on 18 Jan 2022 seeking the arrest of Indian Defence Minister, Army Chief and a few other senior Indian government officials over their alleged roles in war crimes in IIOJK.

As per the Law firm it submitted extensive evidence to the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit documenting how Indian forces under command Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane and Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah were responsible for the torture, kidnapping and killing of activists, journalists and civilians in IIOJK.

The law firm's report was based on over 2,000 testimonies taken between 2020 and 2021. The application also accused eight unnamed senior Indian military officials of direct involvement in war crimes and torture in IIOJK.

The application stated, “There is strong reason to believe that Indian authorities are conducting war crimes and other violence against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir”.

The request to London police was made under the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” which gives countries authority to prosecute individuals accused of crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world.

It is for the first time that legal action has been taken abroad against Indian authorities over alleged war crimes in IIOJK.

The director of international law at Stoke White Mr Hakan Camuz, said he hoped the report would convince British police to open an investigation and ultimately arrest the officials when they set foot in the U.K. Some of the nominated Indian officials have financial assets and other links to Britain.

Mr Hakan Camuz said, “We are asking the U.K. government to do their duty and investigate and arrest them for what they did based on the evidence we supplied to them. We want them to be held accountable”.

The police application was made on behalf of the family of Zia Mustafa, a resident of AJ&K who was the victim of an extrajudicial killing by Indian authorities in 2021, and on behalf of human rights campaigner Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, who was brutally tortured before his recent arrest.

Kashmiris and international rights groups have long accused Indian troops of carrying out systematic abuse and arrests of those who oppose rule from New Delhi.

Arguments

In 2018, the U.N. human rights chief called for an independent international investigation into reports of rights violations in Kashmir, alleging “chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces.”

The law firm's investigation suggested that the abuse has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. Its report also included details about the arrest of Khurram Parvez, the most prominent rights activist in IIOJK, by India’s counterterrorism authorities in 2021.

Arrest of Human Rights Defender/ Activist Khurram Parvez in IIOJK

Khurram Parvez is a well acclaimed Human rights defender working in the world's most militarized region - IIOJK.  Parvez is the programme coordinator for a widely respected rights group in the disputed territory, the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), he is also the chairman of Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD).

India’s anti-terrorism investigation agency on 22nd Nov 21 arrested Khurram Parvez in a case of ‘terror funding ‘from the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) during a raid at his home and office. NIA also confiscated Parvez’s mobile phone, laptop and some books, along with his wife’s cell phone.

One of the most prominent rights defenders from Kashmir, Khurram has extensively worked on documenting the abuses committed by Indian security forces as coordinator of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a rights group based in Srinagar.

World Organisation Against Torture (#OMCT) a Global network of over 200 #NGOs fighting for #HumanRights and against #torture and Mary Lawlor UN Special Rapporteur HRDs strongly condemned the illegal arrest of HRs activist, fearing torture and illegal conviction under draconian terrorism act (UAPA).

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), is a Geneva based non-profit which works with groups across the world to fight for human rights stated, “it was deeply concerned” by Khurram’s arrest, “We are deeply concerned about the high risk of torture while in custody. We call for his immediate release”.

Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, tweeted “I’m hearing disturbing reports that Khurram Parvez was arrested today in Kashmir & is at risk of being charged by authorities in #India with terrorism-related crimes. He’s not a terrorist, he’s a Human Rights Defender”.

David Kaye, a former UN Special Rapporteur, said Khurram’s arrest under terrorism charges was “yet another extraordinary abuse in Kashmir.”

Khurram Parvez has always raised his voice against Indian strangulation of people of IIOJK, ‘The Indian Government is Depriving the Kashmiris of Peaceful Means of Protest’.

It was evident that Khurram Parvez has been arrested because of his efforts to highlight violations of human rights in IIOJK by Indian occupational forces.

Brutal and Fake encounter by Indian Forces in Hyderpuar (Srinagar)

 

Indian police on 15 Nov 2021 during a search operation used innocent civilians as “Human Shields” killing four innocent people including a dentist (Mudasir Gul, 40) and established businessman (Altaf Ahmad Bhat, 48).

The brutality of the incident was noticed by international HRW and media, the incident was marked as an act of war crime committed by Indian occupational forces using innocent civilians as Human Shields.

Response

Thousands of Kashmiris have been protesting against illegal Indian occupation in IIOJK almost on daily basis. Kashmiri freedom fighters have for decades fought Indian soldiers currently numbering around 1 million deployed in IIOJK.

The people of IIOJK have been demanding independence for the region or its merger with Pakistan. Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been brutally killed by Indian occupational forces to suppress the rightful demands of people of IIOJK for implementation of UNSC resolution.

India under the current fascist regime has been exposed for its worst HRs violations, silencing the voices of dissent at domestic and international level. India now feeling the heat is resorting to neo-Nazi tactics enforced disappearance and targeted killings.

India is relying increasingly on its army and illegal laws to suppress the voice of people of IIOJK. Human Rights Watch has also reiterated its serious concern over Indian illegal actions in IIOJK.

According to HRW, The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act gives security forces wide powers to arrest, kill and destroy property in counter insurgency operations, which lead to grave violations of HRs.

The international community and experts are of the opinion that the biggest contributing factor which drove Kashmiri youth to the edge is an endless military intervention in their personal lives which grew manifold in the last two years.

There is a growing realization that the militant attacks on Hindus and other minorities in IIOJK work in favour of the Indian state as it is then able to tighten control over the region and project itself as a saviour of minorities.

The Indian government has detained almost all the leading politicians of political groups who have called for restoration of the region's statehood, even those who have towed India’s line.

The human rights violations by Indian forces are becoming more brazen. They do not only enjoy legal impunity but moral as well as political impunity, which is more dangerous.

It is a sad fact that the international HRs organisations and leadership have turned a complete blind eye towards Indian atrocities in mainland and IIOJK. It is high time that international stakeholders must take stock of the situation to avoid any future holocaust.

The initiative taken be UK Law firm can be termed as moment of reckoning by the international community to stand with innocent Kashmiris suffering Indian brutalities for last seven decades.

Human rights lawyers have increasingly used the universal jurisdiction principle to seek justice for people who were unable to file criminal complaints in their home countries or with the International Criminal Court, located in The Hague.

A German court has recently (10 Jan 2022) convicted a former Syrian secret police officer of crimes against humanity for overseeing the abuse of thousands of detainees at a jail near Damascus a decade ago.

It is important to note that the nature of war crimes committed by the Syrian secret police officer bear stark resemblance with the war crimes committed by Indian occupational forces.

Mr Hakan Camuz said he hoped the request to British police seeking the arrest of Indian officials will be followed by other legal actions focusing on Kashmir. “We are sure this is not going to be the last one, there will probably be many more applications”.

Categories : South Asia