Between July 9 and 31, the Indian occupation troops shot and killed 74 Kashmiris, most of them young men but also some children. In a new tactic, the use of pellet guns has resulted in hundreds of youth being blinded when hit by rubber-coated steel pellets. Had a Muslim government been guilty of such crimes, there would be universal condemnation. In the case of India, there is deathly silence. Why?
Friday August 05, 2016, 23:49 DST
Since July 8 when Burhan Wani, a young Kashmiri freedom fighter, was lured into a trap and murdered in cold blood by the Indian occupation army, Kashmir has been in a state of insurrection. At Wani's funeral, more than 200,000 poured into the streets despite an official curfew. Compare this to the less 3,000 people that attended Mufti Muhammad Sayeed's funeral. Sayeed, the father of current chief minister, Mehbooba Sayeed, had served as chief minister.
Today (August 5) was the 28th day of curfew in Kashmir. As a consequence, people have suffered terrible deprivation but they have not given up their struggle against the brutal Indian occupiers. In the three weeks since Wani's murder, another 74 Kashmiris, most of them stone-throwing youth have been murdered, according to statistics compiled by the Kashmir Media Service (KMS), one of the best news sources about events in Kashmir.
Some other pertinent statistics as per KMS figures (August 01, 2016) are as follows:
People Tortured/Critically Injured (Including serious eye injuries): 228
Civilians Arrested: 346
Women raped by Indian troops: 90
The rape of Kashmiri women is another despicable feature of the Indian occupiers' tactics. Rape is used as an instrument of war. Since 1989, when the first uprising in recent years took place, more than 10,000 Kashmiri women have been raped, some of them gang-raped by the unruly Hindu soldiers.
In 2015, there were more than 3,500 registered cases of rape against the Indian occupation forces. The actual number is far higher but many girls and women do not report such cases to the police because of the shame it brings to the family. Further, as evidence from last year shows, only in one such case was the perpetrator punished. Under such circumstances, the people see lodging a report as useless.
Why India is able to get away with such crimes is a moment of reflection for Muslims. Often, Muslims complain that the Western world including leaders and their media ignore the suffering of Muslims. This is true. But what have Muslims themselves done? Some ask, what can we do?
Here is something everyone can do. We need to build a case against India in preparation to bring its rulers before the International Criminal Court (ICC). As a first step, if everyone who reads this sends the following message to the High Commissioner of UN Human Rights Council, it would be a good start. If the UN Human Rights Council were to receive tens of thousands of messages, this would have to be included in its annual report to the General Assembly. Based on this, a case can be lodged against the Indian rulers for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.
We attach a sample message below that should be sent to the following email address: CP@ohchr.org
We urge everyone to do it today, not wait till tomorrow. This message can be shared on your mailing list to mobilize a worldwide campaign. Here is the sample message.
The High Commissioner
UN Human Rights Council
I write to seek the UN Human Rights Council’s intervention in the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by the Indian Occupation forces against the people of Kashmir. In the three week period between July 9 to 31, at least 74 people have been shot and killed and hundreds of others including children have been injured. Most have suffered grievous physical injury to their eyes by Indian forces’ use of pellet guns. Scores of people have been blinded permanently.
India is an occupying power according to Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations as well as Article 2 of the Four Geneva Conventions (1949). Further, both the UN Charter as well as the law, jus ad bellum, confirm India as a occupying power.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir remains disputed territory based on several Security Council resolutions dating back to 1948 and 1949. Its status must be decided through a UN-supervised referendum free from coercion or intimidation.
Despite its duty as an occupying power to protect the people of Kashmir, Indian occupation troops have been involved in horrendous crimes against the Kashmiri people and subjected them to collective punishment.
Please advise what steps the UN Human Rights Council has taken to protect the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people to life, liberty and freedom? We urge the Council to undertake a fact-finding mission to Kashmir to ascertain the plight of the people.
Thank you for your attention to this most serious matter.
(Please put your name and email address here).