Pro-Indian Kashmir politician tortured in custody, UN experts say Human Rights News:

Srinagar, Indian-ruled Kashmir UN experts have called on the Indian government to respond to allegations of human rights abuses in the disputed region of Indian-ruled Kashmir.

In a letter sent to the Indian government in late March and published on Monday, five UN experts sought New Delhi’s response to the three main allegations. The “forced disappearance” of Nasir Ahmad Vani from the southern Shopyan district of Kashmir, the “arbitrary arrest” of Irfan Ahmad Dari «the” arbitrary arrest “of pro-Indian leader Wahid-ur-Rehman Para in Pulwama, north of Kashmir.

In November last year, a letter said Parad, who had been arrested by the Indian National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on “terrorism charges”, had allegedly been subjected to “ill-treatment” and “abusive interrogations” lasting 10 to 12 hours a day.

“He was kept in a dark underground cell at a temperature below zero. He was deprived of sleep, kicked, slapped, beaten with sticks, stripped naked and hung upside down,” the letter reads.

“Dance was examined three times by a state doctor և և three times by a psychiatrist. “He asked for medicine for insomnia and anxiety,” it added.

Indian police detain protester during Friday prayers in Srinagar [File: Danish Ismail/Reuters]

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, which control part of it but claim full territory in the Himalayas. The two nuclear-armed countries have fought two of their three wars over the region.

In the early 1990s, an armed uprising broke out on the Indian side against the Indian government, a conflict that killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians. The insurgents are demanding either an independent state or a merger with neighboring Pakistan.

There is also a small group of pro-Indian political parties in the region running in national and regional elections.

A letter from UN experts says one of the pro-Indian political parties, a young leader of the Democratic People’s Party (PDP), Para, was arrested in July last year after a virtual meeting with UN Security Council members in which he condemned “human rights violations”. In Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The UN experts said in a letter that during a meeting with members of the UN Security Council, Pari “warned of India’s actions in India, Kashmir, its treatment of Muslim minorities, and recent border tensions with China.”

“After this involvement, they received dance threats from NIA officials, stating that he was causing problems by being involved in such events. “They gave him an ultimatum that if he did not stop speaking out against the government, action would be taken against him,” the letter reads.

The dancer was arrested days after he submitted his local nomination documents from his hometown of Pulvama. While he was being held hostage in the “terrorism” case, he was arrested again in another case by counter-revolutionary forces in the region.

“Para brought an example”

PD leader Mehbooba Mufti, who is also the region’s last elected prime minister, told Al Azira Azira that Parana believed in “democracy and peace”.

“It is very unfortunate that a person who believes in democracy, who carried a torch to bring electricity to the youth, was behaved like this. “When we say in Kashmir that we want to involve young people in the mainstream, Vahid (Para) set many examples by example,” he said.

Indian police fired a machine gun at protesters during Friday prayers in Srinagar on March 5, 2021. [File: Danish Ismail/Reuters]

“What impression does it leave?” “If this can happen to a person who was part of the mainstream who defended democracy and peaceful means, what will happen to others, what will be their future?”

One of the dance family members, who did not want to be named, told Al Jazeera that he was being punished for “communicating with people in Kashmir”.

“He is innocent, he is weak in prison. When BJP leaders came to Kashmir, they wanted him to reconcile with people, especially young people. “He did it, it suddenly became his crime,” said the relative.

During a visit to the Muslim-majority region in 2018, then-Interior Minister Rajnat Singh praised Para for hosting an “event full of young people.”

“He even made stone pellets and tried to bring them to the main stream. This time he was praised for doing it. We do not know how long he can be held, but he still trusts the judiciary to come out, “a relative of Para told Al Jazeera.

Irfan Dar և Nasir Van

Another case raised by UN experts is 23-year-old shopkeeper Irfan Ahmad Dar from Sopore district in northern Kashmir, who was arrested on September 15 by officers who arrived at his shop in civilian clothes.

“Dar was taken to the Sopore police station without permission,” the letter reads.

The next morning, according to the letter, Dari’s family was told he was dead.

“The police claimed that Dar was killed while trying to escape from their custody. However, during the last rituals performed on his body, it was found that the bones of his face were broken, his front teeth were broken, and there were bruises on the head with blunt force injuries. “Before the funeral, his family was allowed to see his body,” the experts wrote.

They added that “in response to the protests against the murder, the district authorities have ordered an investigation. During the investigation, two police officers were suspended from their duties for “negligence” in allowing him to escape, but “no one was held responsible for his murder.”

UN experts have sought a response from the Indian government to the case of 19-year-old Nasir Ahmad Vani, a 19-year-old man from the village of Dumpora in the southern Shopia district, following a “forced disappearance” after a raid by security forces.

“On November 29, 2019, the 44 Rashtriya Rifles (44 RR) team broke into his home, where he lives with his family, allegedly claiming that his phone had been used by the militants,” the letter said, adding that they “searched “Every corner’s vandalized the property.”

“During the search of the house, the army personnel kept two children next to them, using them as a human shield. They beat both of them. Army personnel gathered all the women in one room, asked for their names, took their photos, and asked them all to hand over their cell phones. “They were threatened that if they did not comply, they would be exposed,” the letter reads.

Then it was said that “five soldiers entered Van’s room and closed the door from inside.”

“For more than half an hour, the family members, in the locked room, listened to his cries while he was being beaten. “Then the soldiers took him out with them.”

“Regularity of serious violations”

UN experts wrote that on November 30, 2019, the family contacted the police, who directed them to an army camp, from where they were thrown.

“Late that evening, officers from the same army visited Van’s house. “The army major told his family that there was no need to return to the police or start a trial, as they had released Vani,” the letter reads.

But Van did not come home. “The next evening, December 1, the major returned to Vani’s house with some staff. “He gathered all the family members in one room, aimed the gun at the family member’s neck, threatened that no one else would investigate, and would not take legal action,” the letter reads.

The letter states that the police reported the missing person on December 2, 2019, at an earlier request from the family.

“However, the fate and whereabouts of Van are not yet known,” it said.

“Although we do not want to anticipate the accuracy of these allegations, we express our serious concern that if they are confirmed, they will result in arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances.”

UN experts say the allegations are “parts of what appears to be a continuing pattern of serious human rights abuses by the police, the army, the security services and the judiciary in the Kashmir region.”

They said the allegations came as part of what they saw as a “pattern of serious human rights abuses” that “we think requires the utmost attention from the authorities” and that “they can publicly express their concerns in the near future”.

«[We] “They believe that the general public should be aware of the consequences of these allegations, which are related to the exercise and use of their human rights,” they said.

In July 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a 43-page report proposing that a commission of inquiry be set up to conduct a “comprehensive, independent, international investigation” into human rights abuses in Kashmir.

The Commission of Inquiry is one of the highest-level UN investigations, focusing mainly on potential global crises. The Indian government has often denied allegations of human rights abuses in the region as “false”.

South Asia Human Rights Observer Director Minakshi Gangulin told Al Jazeera that UN experts had raised some “extremely serious concerns” which he said had also been raised by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“It is possible that Vahid Paran was arrested as an avenger for testifying at the UN Security Council. It is particularly worrying that he is violating India’s international obligations,” he said.

“The Indian authorities must order an independent investigation into these allegations and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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