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Human Rights Crises in Kashmir: An overview

Since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, Kashmir has become a problem between these two nuclear countries. Kashmir since then has struggled for self-determination which was promised by the UN by suggesting to conduct a free and fair plebiscite for Kashmiris to decide their future but both these countries even through negotiations failed to conduct the same.

Since then, anger has taken over among Kashmiris over the repeated human rights violations in Kashmir by security forces. This paper in brief highlights the human rights crises in Kashmir engaged by the armed forces in Kashmir. It covers major instances of such crises from the year 1947 to 2020.

Human beings are born equal in dignity and rights. Human rights are moral claims which are inalienable and inherent in all individuals by virtue of their humanity alone irrespective of caste, color, creed, and birth of place, cultural difference, or any other consideration. These claims are articulated and formulated in what is today known as human rights. Human rights are sometimes referred to as fundamental rights, basic rights, or natural rights.

According to the United Nations, human rights as those rights which are inherent in our nature and without which we cannot live as human beings (human rights and laws). Human rights allow a human being to develop and make use of human qualities, intelligence, and talent to satisfy our basic needs.

The conflict in Kashmir, which has its origins in the state's disputed accession to India in 1947, erupted in December 1989 when Indian government troops launched a brutal crackdown on rising violence by armed militant groups in the predominantly Muslim Kashmir valley.

From the outset, that crackdown was marked by brutality against civilians, including the shooting of unarmed demonstrators, civilian massacres and summary executions of detainees. Since early 1990, the valley of Kashmir in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has been the site of a vicious conflict between Indian security forces and Muslim insurgents demanding independence or accession to Pakistan. In their efforts to crush the insurgency, Indian forces in Kashmir have engaged in massive human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, rape, torture, and deliberate assaults on health care workers.

Armed insurgent groups have murdered Hindu and Muslim civilians, summarily executed persons in their custody and have committed rape, assault, kidnapping, and indiscriminate attacks which have injured and killed civilians. In late 1992 and early 1993, human rights conditions further deteriorated as Indian troops embarked on a "catch and kill" campaign against suspected militants. Since then, summary executions of detainees by security forces have sharply increased.[1]

Indian forces continue to exert large-scale, documented, and unpunished human rights abuses in Kashmir. To date, 70,000[2] people have been killed, 8,000[3] have disappeared�meaning to this day, no one knows of their whereabouts. Countless women have been raped, including the gang rape of women in the villages of Kunan Poshpora by Indian forces in 1991.[4] A number of mass graves have been discovered. During the militancy, over half a million Indian armed forces, including soldiers and paramilitary became part of the permanent landscape of the region.

Today, the region is the most militarized place on earth. India�s armed forces operate in a state of impunity and are protected by laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Security Act, which allows the state to arrest anyone for long periods of time without any due process. Although the militancy was effectively quashed by the early 2000s, by 2008, it gave way to mass mobilizations and civil disobedience by a generation that has come to age under the gun. Since 2008, entire generations of Kashmiri youth have taken on the Indian state, both online, and on the streets.

Dubbed by analysts as the new intifada, Kashmiri youth protest the Indian oppression and the lack of political self-determination. Initially, the protests were peaceful, as large crowds gathered to protest fake encounters, land transfers, human rights violations, and cases of sexual violence, demanding an end to the occupation and the right to a plebiscite to determine Kashmir�s future.

As the protests grew in momentum, the Indian state responded brutally, firing live ammunition and pellet guns into crowds, arresting political leaders and youth activists, and oftentimes, declaring shoot-on-sight curfews in the region in order to prevent further protests from occurring. State repression and violence has increasingly gotten worse under the current Modi government.

Historical Background
Jammu and Kashmir, India's northernmost territory, is centered in the Himalayas and shares boundaries with Pakistan, Tibet, and China. The state is divided into three administrative regions: Jammu, which is located in the plains below the Pir Panjal range and has a population of 5.04 Lakh;[5] Ladakh, which borders Tibet and has a population of 2.74 Lakh;[6] and Kashmir, which is situated between the Pir Panjal and Panjri ranges and has a population of 1.25 crores.[7]

Jammu and Kashmir is the only Muslim majority state in India. The state, on the other hand, is largely divided along religious lines. In the Kashmir valley, 95% of the population is Muslim, the vast majority of who are Sunnis, while in Ladakh, and 50% of the population is Buddhist and 46% Muslim. Jammu is religiously diverse, with Hindus accounting for 66% of the population and Muslims accounting for the majority of the remaining.[8]

The division of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, which resulted in the creation of the independent states of India and Pakistan, is at the root of the conflict in Kashmir. Hundreds of nominally autonomous "princely states" were incorporated into the two new nations as a result of the division. However, Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, refused to accede to either government, ostensibly in the hope that the state would be allowed to remain independent.

Invasion by Pakistani tribesmen in August and September 1947, along with an uprising among Kashmiri Muslims in the state's western regions, prompted the maharaja to take the assistance of Indian Prime Minister Nehru, who agreed to send troops only if Kashmir formally assented to India. On 27 October 1947, the Maharaja agreed to the accession of Kashmir to India provided that it was allowed to keep its own Constitution.[9]

Indian troops managed to stop Pakistani forces and driving them back to the state's western third, which was then annexed by Pakistan as "Azad" (free) Kashmir. An armed conflict involving Indian and Pakistani forces, which India brought to the attention of the United Nations Security Council on 1 January 1948. Two weeks later, Pakistan raised its concerns on the same issue. On 20 January 1948, the Security Council, by means of Resolution 39, established the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to scrutinize the allegations made by the Governments of India and Pakistan and to facilitate in mediating the dispute.[10]

On 21 April 1948, Security Council Resolution 47 extended the mandate of the Commission and authorized it to facilitate a free and impartial plebiscite to decide whether the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to accede to India and Pakistan.[11] Despite the fact that Kashmir was briefly independent between August and October 1947, the resolution did not give the citizens of Kashmir the option of declaring independence.

Resolution 47 proposed that the Pakistani government ensure the removal of tribal fighters and Pakistani fighters from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the prevention of any intrusions or assistance to those fighting. The plebiscite was supposed to take place after various steps outlined in Resolution 47 were put in place.[12] In July 1949 there had been a truce and a Security Council-mandated military observers to oversee it. The UNCIP ended in 1951 and the UN Military Observer Group (UNMOGIP) was formed in India and Pakistan.

The Security Council Resolution 91 continued the work of military observers.[13] The ceasefire line divided the former princely state, with Pakistan governing the Muslim-majority western and northern areas of Jammu and Kashmir, known as Azad (free) Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (previously called the Northern Areas), and India governing the Kashmir Valley with its mostly Muslim population, as well as the Hindu-majority region of Jammu in the south.[14]

The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is comprised of these three regions. China now has jurisdiction over a portion of the former princely state's territory.[15] Despite the fact that the "India-Pakistan Issue" remained on the Security Council's agenda until1957, resulting in multiple resolutions, the plebiscite was never held because the necessary conditions of withdrawal of forces were not met.

In 1957, protection Council resolution 122 stated the convening of a constituent meeting, as endorsed with the aid of the overall counsel of the All Jammu and Kashmir national conference, any motion that the meeting might also have taken or may try and take to decide the future form and association of the complete kingdom or any part thereof, or movement by means of the events worried in assist of such an action via the assembly, could now not constitute a disposition of the kingdom in accordance with the standards[16] installed by using preceding resolutions of the Security Council and UNCIP.[17]

Following a second war between India and Pakistan in 1965, minor changes to the ceasefire line in Kashmir were made. Following any other conflict in December 1971, it was gradually turned into a management line focused solely on the December 1971 truce lines, via to the 1972 Simla agreement signed by the Indian and Pakistani governments. The Simla agreement calls for "the creation of a long-term order of peace in the subcontinent, such that both foreign locations would commit their properties and resources to the urgent venture of advancing the welfare of their peoples" and "resolved to address their disputes by non-violent means, such as direct dialogue or another non-violent route mutually decided upon."[18]

The authorities of India have due to the fact claimed that the Simla settlement made all preceding safety Council resolutions redundant, whilst the authorities of Pakistan have persevered to name for the implementation of these resolutions.[19] The Secretary-General of the United Nations has stated that UNMOGIP can only be terminated by a decision of the Security Council; since no such decision has been made, UNMOGIP has continued to operate.[20]

Phase I- 1950-1992
Political dissatisfaction with the central government's attempts to dominate politics in the state surged in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1964 the first militant group, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was formed to fight for independence. Independence activists and activists for plebiscites have been repeatedly imprisoned.

The Simla Accord was signed on July 2, 1972, by India and Pakistan, in which both countries agreed to respect the cease-fire line and to resolve their differences over Kashmir "peacefully" through negotiation and meetings to negotiate "a final settlement." Since then, the Simla Accord has acted as the basis for all bilateral talks on Kashmir.[21] In 1986, then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah signed a new agreement, which was generally seen as a betrayal of Kashmiri interests in the province. Farooq Abdullah's National Conference faction was quickly tarnished by allegations of systemic misconduct.

The Muslim United Front (MUF), a new opposition party with support from pro-independence leftists, Islamic fundamentalists, and many dissatisfied Kashmiri youth, was founded and ran in the state assembly elections in March 1987. In the aftermath of the poll, widespread fraud in the vote count and mass arrests of MUF candidates triggered widespread public disillusionment with state politics, driving many to back new insurgent groups.[22]

In July 1988 after the formal declaration of "armed struggle," by JKLF chief Amanullah Khan following bombing in various locations in Srinagar, the predominantly indigenous self-determination movement, launched by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was characterized by a rebellion in the Kashmir valley. During that summer, after the violently rude elections of 1987, wide-ranging demonstrations for self-determination and agitation against the Indian rule took place and the 1989 parliamentary polls were widely boycotted.

Following the polls, JKLF and other insurgent groups became bolder, detonating explosives at government offices, buses, and the homes of current and former state government leaders, and imposing a state-wide boycott of the November 1989 national parliamentary elections, many of whom publicly acknowledged that they obtained weapons and training in Pakistan. A month later, JKLF militants kidnapped Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's daughter, but rescued her after the government caved in to calls for the release of five arrested militants.

This, along with a surge in widespread protests against the state and federal governments, prompted New Delhi to begin a major counter-insurgency campaign against the militants. Governor's rule under Jagmohan was proclaimed on January 19, 1990, after the state government resigned in protest, who initiated a �tough� no-tolerance policy including continuous and complete civil curfews against the mass protests for self-determination, and marches against the escalating army atrocities. In 1990, Kashmir was put under continuous curfew for 175 days from January to May, in response to the killing of 60 mourners in the funeral of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq.[23]

In the following years, several such curfews were enforced over long periods. Fear of reprisals of the Indian armed forces that raided houses or searched homes in the course of repressions led to documents or the literature relating to self-determination being burned up in the village. Security forces opened fire on thousands of peaceful protesters, killing hundreds, and insurgents escalated their attacks on security forces in the weeks that followed. Kashmir's civil war began in earnest as riots, threats, and revenge rose in strength over the next few months.

Originally, regular military soldiers from the frontier were called in to aid civilian bodies 'restore law and order'. The military forces with the central armed police forces that had been additionally deployed, launched a brutal campaign of lawless violence, terrorist violence, including indiscriminate attacks and open firing onto civilian crowds resulting in several mass murders, including the Gaw Kadal massacre (2 January 1990; 50 killed), Handwara massacre (January 2, 1990; 50 killed), Zakoora and Tengpora massacre (March 1, 1990; 33 killed).[24] In the early 1990s, many incidents were reported as informative, supporting government policies, and opposing the goals of some militant groups, resulting from targeted killings of Hindu and Muslim civilians. This led to Hindus and some Muslim professionals migrating massively.[25]

Human rights groups said that while in 1990 an estimated 300 active army fighters were being countered by 36,000 military forces, including regular military personnel and police, by 1991, the figure had risen to 200,000, while militant groups were proliferating rapidly as well, and militant numbers estimated to have increased by thousands.[26] Based on the insurgency in Kashmir valley, a new specialized counter - insurgency group, called the Rashtriya Rifles, had been formed by May 1990, using soldiers drawn from existing army regiments.[27]

On July 5, 1990 India introduced the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special power act (AFSPA)[28] to control the armed organization's which arose from objections against Indian control over Kashmir during the 1980's.[29] The act gave the army sweeping powers of arrest of civilians, and even to use lethal force on �unlawful assemblies� on law and order grounds. Ultimately a vast variety of Indian security forces were stationed in Kashmir, alleging serious violations of human rights.

Civil society and the media also quote the number of between 500,000 and 700,000 troops[30] making Kashmir one of the world's largest militarized regions. Human rights abuses are claimed to include torture, death in detention, rape, forced disappearances and executions. The AFSPA allows the army to carry out arrests, searches, seizures, and destructions of weapons and ammunition in civilian areas in the assistance of civilian authorities in order to maintain law and order.

Following the promulgation of AFSPA the Cordon and Search Operation, also known as a "crackdown," began in July 1990, and as well as indiscriminate arson attacks, allegedly to destroy secret weapons, became a near-daily occurrence.[31] By1990, the Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) had become a commonly feared and routine occurrence, with a wide variety of crimes, including mass sexual abuse and torture, unlawful arrests leading to subsequent disappearances, and custodial and extrajudicial killings.

As counter-insurgency forces sought to establish territorial supremacy over the countryside, their campaign shifted to more frequent and brutal crackdowns on civilian support bases and indiscriminate reprisals, especially in downtown Srinagar and villages in northern Kashmir that served as �infiltration' routes for Pakistan-trained militants.

A human rights fact-finding team from India, headed by the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), the Lok Shahi Hakk Sanghatana (LHS), and the Organisation for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR), observed in 1991that:
The majority of those tortured and killed in detention are young men captured by the army or paramilitary forces during "crackdown" operations in villages or other places aimed at locating suspected militants.[32] By the mid-1990s, the neighborhood crackdown had been established as a feared but all-too-common occurrence, with a wide range of crimes, including widespread sexual abuse and torture (for example, the Kunan Poshpora mass rapes and torture, 1991 and Operation Wular, 1993), as well as unlawful arrests leading to subsequent disappearances or custodial and extrajudicial killings.[33]

Between July and December 1990, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association reported 70 separate instances of crackdowns, and 79 between January and June 1991, several of which lasted several days. The majority of the people who are tortured and killed in detention are young men picked up by the army or paramilitary forces during "crackdown" operations in villages or other areas to locate alleged militants, according to the 1991 fact-finding delegation.

The families of those arrested are often kept in the dark about why they are being held or where they are being detained. These victims suffered a variety of horrific injuries, including rectal muscle tears, perforated abdomens, diaphragm and intestines, and permanent limb mutilation.[34]

The repressive Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA), enacted in 1987 to deal with the unrest in Punjab, was used in Kashmir to arrest and detain thousands of people on so-called "open FIRs" for months or even years without charge, even without informing their families. In fact, the army or paramilitary authorities such as the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force were in charge of all operational activities, including detentions and interrogations in the field, despite the fact that the military was meant to operate as an "aid" to civilian authorities under the law. In Kashmir, TADA has been widely used against people accused of having links to militant groups. The act (as amended in 1987) provisions for up to a year of administrative detention without charge or trial. It effectively criminalizes freedom of expression.

Anyone who "knowingly encourages the commission of any destructive activity or any act preparatory to a disruptive activity shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not less than three years but not less than life, and shall also be liable to fine," according to the TADA.[35] A disruptive activity includes "any action taken, whether by act or by speech or through any other media or in any other manner whatsoever:
  1. which questions, disrupts or is intended to disrupt, whether directly or indirectly, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India; or
  2. which is intended to bring about or supports any claim, whether directly or indirectly, for the cession of any part of India or the secession of any part of India from the Union."[36]

The provisions of TADA also substantially increase the risk of torture.[37] Despite the fact that TADA was repealed in 1995, security forces in Kashmir continue to prosecute detainees under it, alleging that the crime was committed before TADA was revoked.[38]

Enforced disappearances were described by Amnesty International in 1993 as one of the most persistent types of human rights abuses. Other systematic human rights abuses since 1990 included "hundreds of extrajudicial killings, often in the form of staged "encounters," regular and brutal torture, including rape, and the incarceration of several thousands of political prisoners detained for months or years without being brought to trial while being denied the basic legal safeguards provided in international human rights standards," according to the report.[39]

It indicated that since 1990, thousands of people have been imprisoned without trial in the state under the Public Safety Act (PSA)[40] and the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA), and that "many have died in captivity after torture, and the number of extrajudicial killings in Jammu and Kashmir has reached unprecedented levels; they are currently by far the highest in any Indian state." Hundreds of people are said to have died in custody in Jammu and Kashmir in recent years, and their bodies were often dumped in the open, with noticeable injuries.[41]

Phase II- 1992- 2008
In 1990, rising anxiety among Pakistan and India following the escalation of the warfare in Kashmir raised fears of any other battle between the two countries. By the mid of 1992, diplomatic talks on settling the Kashmir crisis had come to a halt. Five former opposition figures were freed from jail in March 1992, largely as part of a government initiative to ready the state for elections. Since then, government officials have indicated that they are prepared to cooperate with insurgent groups "within the context of the Indian constitution."

Taking advantage of the crisis, Pakistani leaders have turned to international forums to demand a plebiscite along the lines of the 1948 resolution, with the possibility of secession excluded from the plebiscite's criteria. Militant leaders in Pakistan and India both continued to oppose restrictions imposed by both countries. Independent observers and the international press claimed that the most prominent insurgent groups in Kashmir's valley continued to endorse independence.[42]

In August 1992, �Operation Tiger� was launched, it became the primary in a chain of systemic counterinsurgency operations code-named �Shiva�, �Eagle�, and �Cobra�, and many others. Those had been locally called the seize and kill coverage.[43] The government of India conducted a vicious new offensive in Kashmir marked by surprise attacks and search operations aimed at capturing and killing insurgent leaders.

During this time, the number of persons executed in a summary fashion rose. A bomb explosion in early October 1992 nearly destroyed the central transmission station for telecommunications between Kashmir and the rest of India. The perpetrators of the sabotage, who essentially cut off phone connectivity to the Kashmir valley, were unknown.

On January 6, 1993, Indian paramilitary forces rampaged through a neighborhood in the city of Sopore, killing at least 43 civilians in the conflict's single largest civilian massacre. The attack was allegedly in revenge for a militant attack that killed two soldiers. Security services "run amok,"[44] according to a local police official on the scene, preventing police and fire fighters from intervening. According to army officials, those who died were killed in "crossfire." The BSF commandant and several other officers were suspended by the central government, and an investigation was launched. The findings of the investigation were not available at the time this article went to print.[45]

The early 1990s saw a deterioration of trust between military and civilian authorities, with the torture and murder of a police constable in 1993 sparking a police revolt. To resolve the lack of police cooperation, the Special Task Force (STF, later renamed �Special Operations Group') was formed in 1994 as a specialized �elite' and �frontline' counter-insurgency wing of the police. It was staffed primarily by ethnic minorities and Jammu-based troops, adopting a classic colonial counter-insurgency strategy of exploiting social fault lines to "divide and rule."

Personnel from the STF were subject to specific financial rewards for insurgent "kills" providing an economic prosperity for the "catch and kill" policy of extrajudicial executions and "false encounters" within the local police and military. The STF camp became associated with police brutality and the use of third-degree torture techniques, as well as contributing to a destructive communalization of the conflict. Personnel from the STF were subject to specific financial rewards for insurgent "kills," providing an economic prosperity for the "catch and kill" policy of extrajudicial executions and "false encounters" within the local police and military.

The STF camp became associated with police brutality and the use of third-degree torture techniques, as well as contributing to a destructive communalization of the conflict. As international outrage over Indian atrocities in Kashmir increased, human rights organizations noticed the rise of a new trend: state-backed "pro-government militants" or "irregular militia," also known as naabid or Ikhwan, which consisted of paramilitary groups that began clandestinely acting as counter-insurgents on behalf of the Indian army.[46]

Several mysterious paramilitary outfits emerged, taking advantage of the multiplicity of armed groups and rivalries between indigenous and Pakistan-based factions, and receiving daily payments and funding from the Indian state. They operated with absolute impunity, openly engaging in criminal acts and terrorizing neighborhoods. They were sometimes assigned to specific Special Operations Group (SOG) camps or army divisions and reported to them. Human Rights Watch observed in 1996, While promising to convince the international community that they have taken measures to curtail human rights violations in Kashmir, Indian forces have effectively subcontracted some of their violent practices to organizations with no official accountability,

Extrajudicial murders, kidnappings, and attacks carried out by these groups against alleged militants are pointed to as "intergroup rivalries."[47] These radical counter-insurgents worked with impunity under the strong command of the armed forces, blatantly assisting them on searches, interrogations, and crackdowns, as well as carrying out politically awkward clandestine abductions and killings on their behalf, like the kidnapping of human rights lawyer Jaleel Andrabi while he and his wife were travelling in a vehicle. Andrabi's body, with a bullet wound on his head, was later fished out of the river Jhelum.[48]

They carried out official counter-insurgency activities such as intelligence collection and interrogations while also posing as a terrorizing group, carrying out abduction, ransom, land grabs, lumber theft, sexual harassment, and human trafficking operations.[49] SOGs have been a communally based militia backed and armed by the Indian Army but operated independently of its chain of command, Human Rights Watch wrote in a 1999 article. During cordon and rescue operations in villages and suburbs, members of the SOGs have assisted army troops. They have committed grave human rights violations, such as extrajudicial killings and assaults.[50]

In the mid-1990s, the relentlessly brutal Ikhwan-led counter-insurgency movement reached a pinnacle with the declaration of parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir in May 1996. A study by an Indian fact-finding delegation on the 1996 elections noted that in the nine months after their last visit, state-sponsored counter-militancy had risen to the point that "it is crucial to the fears of the Kashmiris. The Indian state announced at the end of 1995 claimed that it had achieved the establishment of "peaceful conditions" in the area and "broken the will of terrorists" based on the dwindling number of official militancy-related casualties.

These statements, however, ignored the fact that civilian deaths continued to hover about ten a day, as well as the increasing number of kills by 'unknown gunmen,' which were commonly attributed to the Ikhwan by locals.[51] The parliamentary elections were generally interpreted as demonstrating a return to "normalcy" in Kashmir, as well as Kashmiris' willingness to engage in Indian political processes and fully recognize India's disputed accession. As a consequence, the electoral process was viewed as a counter-insurgency operation. Several well-known counterinsurgents ran for office as independents, publicly bearing arms and campaigning with complete state and military assistance.

While the overall number of militancy-related killings declined after the creation of the National Conference civilian government in the immediate aftermath of the elections, killings by "unknown gunmen" increased, causing an environment of distrust and terror.[52] The 1995 kidnapping and murder (including a decapitation) of a group of foreign visitors by the Al-Faran militant group, which was originally attributed to the militant group but later discovered to be carried out by pro-government insurgents exemplifies how the dirty war and covert action techniques have become the cornerstone of counter-insurgency operations by this time.[53]

The disarming of the various clandestine counter-insurgency organizations known collectively as the Ikhwan was one of the main political fronts on which the National Conference campaigned. Farooq Abdullah declared in his first press conference after the election that these counter-insurgents, who had formerly served under separate command systems such as the army, BSF, and CRPF would be united and placed under a single unified command.

The issue of disbanding and disarming the Ikhwan was not brought up.[54] Despite the so-called 'normalization,' custodial torture and other human rights crimes tended to follow familiar trends when only the perpetrators' official designations had changed, not their names, intentions, or practices. Crimes against civilians were explicitly promoted and honored, as has been the official counter-insurgency strategy, by making offenders permanent employees of the state apparatus, and therefore immune from punishment for actions perpetrated in the course of their duties. In the first six months of the National Conference civilian administration, the Institute of Kashmir Studies estimated 130 custodial killings.

Armed forces sexual harassment occurred unabated, with a 1997 survey documenting as many as ten different incidents of serious sexual attacks between April 1996 and May 1997, including cases involving minors, gang rapes, and assaults on several members of a single household. A single visit by the fact-finding team to a medical institution in Srinagar in May 1997 yielded four different cases of extreme torture, including the well-known cases of Rhabdomylosis (a kidney disease caused by severe muscle damage that causes the contents of muscle cells to be released directly into the bloodstream) as a result of pressure-related torture procedures.[55]

Despite the state repression, which included mass killings (for example, in Magam in 2001, where seven people were killed) and extrajudicial killings, the latter part of the era saw a steady return to normalcy in the Kashmir valley, including curfew relaxation, a decrease in the number of crackdowns, and the resumption of normal activities in the evening hours. In comparison to the mid-1990s, there was a continued fall in insurgent numbers and the number of armed engagements with insurgents in the early 2000s to mid-2000s, and the counter-insurgency was declared a major victory by the military. However, the war, far from being over, had taken on a more violent and invisible face.

The alleged false flag attack in which 36 civilians from the minority Sikh community were killed by uniformed men who eyewitnesses identified as belonging to the Indian army in Chhitisinghpora, a remote village was immediately followed by an orchestrated encounter at Pathribal of five local men alleging that they were the perpetrators of the Chhitisinghpora massacre, and then open fire.[56]

Despite widespread voter participation in the 2002 State Assembly elections, large-scale complaints of repression were registered from various parts of Kashmir, especially the remote areas. Threats and alerts issued by the Indian armed forces over the loudspeakers of local mosques, compelling people to vote, were among the means of intimidation used, according to a 2002 election observation study by JKCCS. They warned that if the indelible ink marks (evidence of voting) was not detected on the finger, significant consequences would follow.

Army and SOG were seen herding, often pulling, and people from their homes to polling booths while wielding lathis in many locations. A crackdown was announced in a village in Bijbehara, Anantnag, and residents were ordered to vote by the Rashtriya Rifles. Property destruction was common: in Srinagar's Zaindaar Mohalla, SOG raided a dozen houses, destroying valuables, and beat people up for boycotting the elections.[57]

The Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) was elected on a platform that vowed to disband the famously violent and abusive Special Operations Group (SOG), demilitarize and remove bunkers, and beautify urban areas, dubbed the "Healing Touch" policy. Despite a decrease in the number of violent militants and the widely publicized pledge of demilitarization and troop reductions, the number of armed forces mobilized did not decrease, despite the beautification of some bunkers and restrictions on army deployment in Srinagar's central city areas.

The SOG was not disarmed or disbanded; however, it was integrated into the daily Jammu and Kashmir Police, and several former Ikhwan continued to serve as SPOs in the police force. As a result, the entire Police Force got involved in counter-insurgency operations: in Kashmir, it was widely said that the entire police department had become SOG.

Phase III- 2008-2020
The government's assertion of a "return to normalcy" was broken in 2008, when Kashmiris took to the streets in large numbers to protest a plan to purchase and use forest land for the purpose of constructing a township for Hindu pilgrims on the heavily militarized Amarnath pilgrimage. Protests in the valley was met with large-scale Hindu nationalist mobilizations in the Jammu district, as well as blockading and brutal attacks on the valley's only road connection to mainland India, the national highway.[58]

In Kashmir, unarmed protesters were fired upon in several different incidents, resulting in the deaths of over 50 people and the escalation of demonstrations and funeral processions into fierce stone-throwing protests against armed forces troops, barricades, and infrastructure, mostly by teenage male youths. At this time, the teenage �stone pelter' emerged as a criminalized group, subjected to a cycle of unlawful and unrecorded arrests based on speculation and profiling, extended detentions, inhumane treatment, release, and re-arrest at the first instance of political unrest. Cycles of civilian killings, strikes and street protests erupted throughout the valley, as well as in the Chenab and Pir Panjal regions, in the summer of 2009, in response to the rape and murder of Asiya and Neelofer Jan of Shopian by armed forces personnel,[59] and again in 2010, initially in response to a staged encounter killing of three civilians in Macchil, Kupwara,[60] and in 2013, in response to the hanging of Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail, New Delhi.[61]

Armed forces troops routinely used live ammunition and pellet shotguns to disrupt demonstrations and funeral processions, resulting in devastating permanent casualties, including mass blindness, subsequent shootings, funeral gatherings and protests.

The "crowd-control" initiatives were followed by the harassment of organizers, civic leaders, journalists, and street protestors ("stone pelters") under the Public Safety Act of 1978, and the use of an "open FIRs" scheme to keep them in regular preventive detentions. As a result of their participation in street demonstrations, indiscriminate abuse, arbitrary detentions and torture of children and teenagers increased.

Images and videos of Indian forces committing human rights violations went viral on social media, despite the healing touch policy efforts to make them invisible. To fight this re-visualization of torture and other human rights abuses, social media became a hotbed of surveillance, harassment, and targeting, with numerous people being detained for �interrogations' based on their social media content and public posts.

Following the assassination of militant leader Burhan Wani in July 2016, the era has been characterized by unparalleled periods of such aggression. Extrajudicial killings, injuries, arbitrary detentions, torture, sexual harassment, disappearances, arson and destruction of civilian buildings, restrictions on congregational and religious practises, media gags, and bans on communication and internet services, among other things, have all occurred in Kashmir in the last two years. More than 100 protesters were killed in the five-month-long street protests following Wani�s killing, triggering a new wave of popular anger against the Indian rule.

People's human rights and civil liberties were curtailed as a result of curfews, strikes, and continued violence and re-militarization. Cell phones, laptop computers, and other mobile gadgets, in addition to social media messages, also were routinely inspected during sporadic stop and frisk searches. Anyone found with content that is perceived to be pro-self-determination or pro-militancy, even seemingly harmless material like Pakistani music or pictures of Pakistani cricketers, faced violence, assaults, confiscation of their computers, detention, and possible torture.

In the first ten months of 2017, 42 militant attacks were reported in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, killing 184 civilians, including 44 security forces. As security forces tried to suppress violent demonstrations, many protesters were killed or wounded.[62]

In May, the army awarded a commendation to an officer who allegedly used a bystander as a "human shield" to rescue security forces and election workers in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district from a mob.[63]

The Armed Forces Tribunal overturned the life sentences of five army officers convicted in 2014 for the 2010 extrajudicial killing of three villagers in the Machil sector in Jammu and Kashmir in a setback for accountability for security force violations.[64]

Indian armed forces conducted Operation All Out in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017, an offensive mission to root out insurgents in the area. When this operation was ongoing, Jammu and Kashmir faced its most violent year in a decade. On December 30, 2018, Yashwant Sinha, India's former finance minister and a BJP leader who is a regular visitor to Kashmir said that India has been quelling insurgency in Kashmir by using force.

He argues that the new Indian government assumes that the best way to fix issues is to use coercion, not compromise, equality, or Insaniyat (humanity), but merely to use brutal force to destroy as many civilians as possible.[65] Every year, human lives are lost in Jammu and Kashmir's long-running war, which has no end in sight. According to the APDP and JKCCS, a total of 4042 people were killed in Jammu and Kashmir between 2008 and 2018. There were 1067 people, 1898 militants, and 1077 veterans of the armed forces.

In Indian-administered Kashmir, the year 2018 was the deadliest in the last decade, with at least 586 people killed in various incidents of violence, the highest number in the last decade. 160 men, 267 militants, and 159 officers of the Indian armed forces and Jammu and Kashmir police are among the 586 people killed in Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir. The 267 militants killed in clashes with security forces and police is the highest number in the last decade. In reality, militant killings have increased dramatically since 2016, with 145, 216, and 267 militants killed in Indian-controlled Kashmir in 2016, 2017, and 2018.[66] APDP and JKCCS reported 108 instances of internet blockade in Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir in 2018.

As the horrific rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from Kathua in January 2018 shows, sexual assault as a "weapon of war" appears to be widespread in Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir. Other charges of rape against CRPF personnel in Poonch were made in 2018, and Indian army personnel were detained by police for allegedly abducting a teenager in Poonch.[67]

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a 49-page report detailing human rights violations in Indian and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. The research reports on human rights violations in India since July 2016, when violent demonstrations broke out in response to the government's killing of a militant leader. The report was immediately rejected by the government, which described it as "fallacious, tendentious, and inspired."[68]

According to the OHCHR survey, Indian security forces used disproportionate force in response to the frequently violent protests that started in 2016, killing at least 145 people and injuring hundreds more, according to civil society organizations. In the same time span, militant groups killed up to 20 civilians, according to the study.[69] Unidentified gunmen assassinated prominent journalist Shujaat Bukhari, editor of the Rising Kashmir, outside the newspaper's office in Srinagar, just hours after the report was released.[70] The UN stated, among other abuses, that pellet-firing shotguns were used against violent protesters, resulting in deaths and serious injuries.

Between July 2016 and August 2017, 17 people were killed by pellet injuries, according to official government estimates. The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir told the state legislature in January 2018 that pellet guns had wounded 6,221 civilians. The study shared concerns about human rights abuses going unpunished and a lack of access to justice. The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act (AFSPA) have created mechanisms that hinder the usual course of law, inhibit transparency, and jeopardize the right to redress for victims of human rights violations,[71]

On February 14, 2019, over 40 Indian troops were killed in a terror attack on a security forces convoy in Pulwama district. Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based militant group, took responsibility for the attack. It triggered a military standoff between India and Pakistan, with at least four civilians killed in shelling along the contested territory de facto international boundary. Kashmiri students and businessmen in other parts of India were assaulted or beaten up in the aftermath of the attack, and some were forcefully evicted from rental accommodation and dorms.[72]

In July, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued an update on its 2018 Kashmir report, expressing grave concern regarding violations by state security forces and militant groups in both Indian and Pakistani areas of Kashmir, and stating that neither government had taken any meaningful measures to resolve the issues posed in the previous report. In India, the study decried a lack of justice for past atrocities, such as militant group killings and attacks against Hindu Kashmiris, leading to forced displacement; militant group abuses with Pakistani support; and security forces violations, such as enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate use of force leading to injuries from shotgun pellets, and alleged sexual violence.[73]

On August 5, 2019, the government of India revoked the special autonomous status of the state. Former chief ministers, party officials, opposition activists, attorneys, and journalists were among those arrested without notice, and the internet and phones were shut down.

Movement was heavily limited, and public meetings were banned. While the government argued that these measures were appropriate to deter deaths during violent demonstrations, there were also credible and severe reports of security forces beatings and torture. In September, a 15-year-old boy in Chandgam village, Pulwama, committed suicide hours after an alleged army beating.

The army refuted the argument. Although some sanctions have since been lifted, hundreds of people remain imprisoned, and cell phone and internet access are still limited. Many parents are also fearful of their children's safety to send them to school or college.[74] The communication and internet blockade that started on August 5 has been India's longest to date, and it resulted in a series of significant abuses of the right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. From January 1 to August 4, 2019, the Indian government had shut down the internet in Jammu and Kashmir 54 times. Both landline and cell phone lines were also disconnected, in addition to the internet being closed.[75]

Hundreds of people remained in custody by November, despite the lifting of certain limits, and mobile phone and internet access were also limited. Independent trips to Kashmir were barred by the government for opposition leaders, foreign ambassadors, and international journalists. On 15 January 2020: Internet was restored in hospitals, government offices and schools, but access to social networks and personal home broadband connections remains banned.

On 18 January 2020: Low-speed internet services (2G) were restored in 10 districts of Jammu & Kashmir and in two districts (Kupwara and Bandipora) of North Kashmir, with access to only 301 government-approved websites.

By the end of 2020, Hundreds of people in Jammu and Kashmir still remained imprisoned without charge under the draconian Public Safety Act, which provides for imprisonment without trial for up to two years. In June, the government announced a new media policy in J&K that gives officials the authority to determine what constitutes "false news," "plagiarism," and "unethical or anti-national practices," as well as to punish media organizations, writers, and editors.

The legislation includes ambiguous and overbroad clauses that may be abused, restricting and penalizing constitutionally protected expression excessively. Critics, whistleblowers, and human rights campaigners were also targeted by the government.[76]
Since August 2019, restrictions on access to communications networks, as well as other restrictions, have affected livelihoods, especially in the tourism-dependent Kashmir Valley. Since August 2019, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries estimates that the lockdown to deter demonstrations has cost the economy over US$2.4 billion, for which no compensation has been given. Since the government introduced new restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 in March 2020, losses have nearly doubled.

Access to the internet became vital for information, networking, schooling, and business during the pandemic. Despite the Supreme Court's declaration in January that internet access was a fundamental right, authorities only allowed slow-speed 2G mobile internet networks, prompting doctors to complain that the lack of internet was affecting the Covid-19 response.[77]

[1] Human Rights Watch (1999). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Oct. 2020].
[2] International forum for justice, Human Rights JK (IFJHRJK) Report.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Kashmir mass rape survivors fight for justice. (2017). BBC News. [online] 6 Oct. Available at: [Accessed 16 Apr. 2021].
[5] (n.d.). Jammu District Population Census 2011-2021, Jammu and Kashmir literacy sex ratio and density. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Apr. 2021].
[6] (n.d.). Leh Ladakh Municipal Committee City Population Census 2011-2021 | Jammu and Kashmir. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Apr. 2021].
[7] (2011). Jammu and Kashmir Population Sex Ratio in Jammu and Kashmir Literacy rate data 2011-2020. [online] Available at:

[8] BBC News, India/Pakistan government census, (retrieved November, 2020).
[9] Instrument of Accession, clause 7.
[10] UN Security Council, Security Council resolution 39 (1948) [The India-Pakistan Question], 20 January 1948, S/RES/39 (1948), available at: [accessed 01 Feb. 2021]
[11] UN Security Council, Security Council resolution 47 (1948) [The India-Pakistan Question], 21 April 1948, S/RES/47 (1948), available at: [accessed 01 Feb. 2021]
[12] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2020). Refworld | Security Council resolution 47 (1948) [The India-Pakistan Question]. [online] Refworld. Available at: [Accessed 1 Feb. 2021]. Paragraph 1(b) and 14.
[13] UN Security Council, Security Council resolution 91 (1951) [The India-Pakistan Question], 30 March 1951, S/RES/91 (1951), available at: [accessed 03 Feb. 2021]
[14] J&k Govt Census (2013). DIGEST OF STATISTICS 2013-14. [online] Available at: [Accessed 03 Feb. 2021].
[15] In 1962, India and China went to war over unresolved colonial-era border disputes, with China gaining control of the still uninhabited Aksai Chin region in the East. In 1963, Pakistan gave China the Shaksgam or Trans-Karakoram tract in Gilgit-Baltistan as part of a wider boundary arrangement. After the Kashmir conflict between Pakistan and India is settled, the resolution provides a clause for renegotiation in the event of a transition of sovereign authority.
[16] UN Security Council, Security Council resolution 122 (1957) [The India-Pakistan Question], 24 January 1957, S/RES/122 (1957), available at: [accessed 03 Feb. 2021]
[17] UN Security Council, Security Council resolution 47 (1948) [The India-Pakistan Question], 21 April 1948, S/RES/47 (1948), available at: [accessed 03 Feb. 2021]
[18] (2013). Simla Agreement. [online] Available at: [Accessed 08 Feb. 2021].
[19] (2013). QUESTION NO.3203 KASHMIR ISSUE. [online] Available at: [Accessed 08 Feb. 2021].
[20] United Nations (2017). Mandate. [online] UNMOGIP. Available at: [Accessed 09 Feb. 2021].
[21] Human Rights Watch (1999). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 09 Feb. 2021].
[22] Human Rights Watch (1999). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 09 Feb. 2021].
[23] Bukhari, S. (2016). Why The 51-Day Curfew Will Change Nothing In Kashmir. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2021].
[24] Human Rights Watch (1999). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2021].
[25] Ibid
[26] Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), Lok Shahi Hakk Sanghatana (LHS) and Organisation for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR) (1991). Undeclared War on Kashmir. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2021].
[27] People�s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Citizens for Democracy (C.F.D), Radical Humanist Association and Manav Ekta Abhiyan (1990). Report on Kashmir situation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2020].
[28] MHA (1990). THE ARMED FORCES (JAMMU AND KASHMIR) SPECIAL POWERS ACT, 1990. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Feb. 2021].
[29] Former armed group leader Muhammad Yasin Malik narrates the emergence of Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Front on 13 August 1996 and their decision to take up arms against Indian control of Kashmir.
Muhammad Yasin Malik (2017). Amanullah Khan: the legend I knew. [online] Greater Kashmir. Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2021].
[30]Ashraf, A. (2016). Do you need 700,000 soldiers to fight 150 militants?: Kashmiri rights activist Khurram Parvez. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2021].
[31] Amnesty International (1995). Torture and deaths in custody in Jammu and Kashmir. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2021].
[32] Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), Lok Shahi Hakk Sanghatana (LHS) and Organisation for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR) (1991). Undeclared War on Kashmir. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2021]. Pg no. 14-16
[33]Ibid, Pg no.14.
[34] Ibid, Pg no. 14-16
[35] Human Rights Watch (1991). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Mar. 2021].
[36] S. K. Ghosh (n.d.). Terrorism, World under Siege. 8/81 Punjabi bagh, New Delhi: Ashish Publishing House, p.522. Section 4. Punishment for disruptive activities.
[37] Under ordinary law a detainee may be held in police custody after remand by the court for a maximum of fifteen days before being transferred to judicial custody. (Remand may be renewed.) However, under Section 20 of the TADA, a detainee may be held in police custody for up to sixty days. The extended period of police remand substantially increases the risk of torture. In addition, under the TADA a detainee need not be produced before a judicial magistrate, as is the case under ordinary law, but instead may be produced before an "executive magistrate"- that is, an official of the police or administrative services who is not answerable to the High Court. TADA reverses the presumption of innocence, placing the burden on the accused to prove he is not guilty, and it effectively amends India's Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Evidence Act to allow the introduction into evidence of extrajudicial confessions made to a police officer "not lower in rank than a superintendent of police," thus substantially increasing the risk of torture.
[38] Police elsewhere in India have also continued to use TADA retroactively. Human Rights Watch (1999). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Mar. 2021].
[39] Amnesty International (1993). An Unnatural Fate: Disappearances and Impunity in the Indian States of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. [online] . Available at: [Accessed 4 Mar. 2021]. Page 5.
[40] Under the PSA, a detainee may be held in administrative detention for a maximum of two years without a court order. At the detainee's request, an advisory board consisting of three judges may be assembled to review the detainee's case. The detainee may make this request only once.
[41] Amnesty International (1993). An Unnatural Fate: Disappearances and Impunity in the Indian States of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. [online] . Available at: [Accessed 4 Mar. 2021].
[42] Human Rights Watch (1999). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Background (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Mar. 2021].
[43] Ibid
[44] Reuters (1993). India Says Troops Went Amok in Kashmir (Published 1993). The New York Times. [online] 8 Jan. Available at: [Accessed 17 Mar. 2021].
[45] Human Rights Watch (1999). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Mar. 2021].
[46] Ibid
[47] Human Rights Watch (1996). INDIA�S SECRET ARMY IN KASHMIR New Patterns of Abuse Emerge in the Conflict. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].Page 1.
[48] Pankaj Khandelwal (2012). The Forgotten Case Of The Victim Jaleel Andrabi And The Accused Avatar Singh | Youth Ki Awaaz. [online] Youth Ki Awaaz. Available at: [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].
[49] Andra pradesh civil liberties committee( APCLC) (1996). Voting at the Point of a Gun: Counter Insurgency and the Farce of Elections in Kashmir. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].
[50] Human Rights Watch (1999). Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report, July 1999). [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].
[51] Andra pradesh civil liberties committee( APCLC) (1996). Voting at the Point of a Gun: Counter Insurgency and the Farce of Elections in Kashmir. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].
[52] Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties committee (APCLC), Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) and People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) (1997). Civil War and Uncivil Government: Human Rights Violations in Kashmir under the National Conference Government. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].
[53] Levy, A. and Scott-Clark, C. (2012). The Meadow : Kashmir 1995- : where the terror began. London: Harperpress.
[54] Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties committee (APCLC), Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) and People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) (1997). Civil War and Uncivil Government: Human Rights Violations in Kashmir under the National Conference Government. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Mar. 2021].
[55] Ibid. Page 28-31
[56] Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties committee (APCLC), Human Rights Forum (HRF) and Etc (2002). Grim Realities: of life, Death and Survival in Jammu and Kashmir. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2021].
[57] JKCCS: Election observation Report of 2002.
[58] Bhan, M. and Zia, A. (2018). Resisting Occupation in Kashmir: the Ethnography of Political Violence. Resisting Occupation in Kashmir: the Ethnography of Political Violence. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2021].
[59] Polgreen, L. (2009). 2 Killings Stoke Kashmiri Rage at Indian Force. The New York Times. [online] 15 Aug. Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2021].
[60] Bukhari, P. (2010). Kashmir 2010: the Year of Killing Youth. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2021].
[61] Afzal Guru: Kashmir Anger over Hanging. (2013). BBC News. [online] 11 Feb. Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2021].

[62] Human Rights Watch (2018). World Report 2018: Rights Trends in India. [online] Human Rights Watch. Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2021].
[63] Ibid.
[64] Ibid.
[65] Indepth, K. (2018). Kill as many people as you can. Use of force to quell rebellion in Kashmir is the state policy of India. Former BJP minister Yashwant Sinha. [online] Kashmir Indepth. Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2021].

[66] JKCCS (2018). 2018 deadliest year of the decade - APDP and JKCCS Annual Human Rights Review. [online] Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[67] Ibid
[68] Human Rights Watch (2018a). India: Act on UN Rights Report on Kashmir. [online] Human Rights Watch. Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[69] OHCHR (2018). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in. [online] . Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[70] Human Rights Watch (2018a). India: Act on UN Rights Report on Kashmir. [online] Human Rights Watch. Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[71] OHCHR (2018). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in. [online] . Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[72] Sifton, J. (2019). Jammu and Kashmir in Context. [online] Human Rights Watch. Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[73] OHCHR (2019). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Update of the Situation of Human Rights in Indian-Administered Kashmir and Pakistan. [Online] . Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[74] Sifton, J. (2019). Jammu and Kashmir in Context. [online] Human Rights Watch. Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[75] Dhillon, A. (2020). India Supreme Court orders review of Kashmir internet shutdown. [Online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[76] Human Rights Watch (2020). World Report 2021: Rights Trends in India. [online] Human Rights Watch. Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2021].
[77] Ibid

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