UN officials seek probe into torture, custodial deaths of Muslims in occupied Kashmir

Published July 9, 2020
Four UN special rapporteurs have asked the Indian government to investigate the alleged torture and custodial killings of several Muslim men since January 2019. — AP/File
Four UN special rapporteurs have asked the Indian government to investigate the alleged torture and custodial killings of several Muslim men since January 2019. — AP/File

Four UN special rapporteurs have asked the Indian government to investigate the alleged torture and custodial killings of several Muslim men since January 2019.

A report was sent to the Indian government on May 4 over “the continued deterioration of human rights conditions” in occupied Kashmir, documenting several cases of “arbitrary detentions, violations to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and rights of persons belonging to minorities".

“We remain deeply concerned about the ongoing human rights violations,” said the report shared on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHCR) website this week.

They called on New Delhi “to conduct an impartial investigation into all the allegations of arbitrary killings, torture and ill-treatment and to prosecute suspected perpetrators.”

“We express grave concern at the alleged excessive use of force, torture and other forms of ill-treatment reportedly committed during the arrest and detention and death in custody of the […] persons,” the rapporteurs said.

Citing over a dozen cases of custodial torture, the report concluded: “They appear to be targeted based on their ethnicity and/or religious identities.”

It said that "arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment" led to the deaths of victims in "at least 4 cases".

Among these cases is the death of Rizwan Pandit, a 29-year-old teacher who died in police custody on March 19 last year.

The report, quoting Pandit’s preliminary autopsy report, said he died of bleeding caused by multiple injuries. “He allegedly had torture marks on his corpse but the autopsy report was never made public,” it said.

The UN officials said New Delhi did not reply to the report within the stipulated 60-day period that ended this month.

They also expressed regret that they had received “no response” to two earlier communications sent to the Indian government on August 16, 2019 and February 27, earlier this year.

The four UN special rapporteurs — on torture, extrajudicial killings, minority issues, and freedom of religion — had asked the Indian government to furnish further details about these alleged cases of torture and extrajudicial killings, as well as the fate of any subsequent investigations.

They also sought details of the steps taken to address the allegations and information about laws for safeguarding religious minorities.

Opinion

Press and power
25 Sep 2021

Press and power

None used the press so brazenly as the Modi government.
Once upon a Taliban
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Once upon a Taliban

Something, somewhere is terribly wrong with how this story is unfolding.
Foundation of healthcare
24 Sep 2021

Foundation of healthcare

Primary healthcare is as much for healthy individuals as it for those suffering from ill health.

Editorial

25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...
24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...