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A Family Cries for Justice as India’s Kashmir Situation Deteriorates

A Muslim procession in Kashmir is interrupted by government forces. (Photo: YouTube, AFP)
A Muslim procession in Kashmir is interrupted by government forces. (Photo: YouTube, AFP)

“The government is a liar. He was not hit by a stone but they killed him.”

“Shortly after a recent parliamentary vote in India to remove the special autonomy status of Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report detailing the worsening of humans rights within the areas, including local leaders being placed under arrest, severing phone communications and disconnecting the internet,” Citizen Truth reported in late August.

With the situation in Kashmir continuing to draw international attention and scrutiny for known strongman Indian Prime Minister Indian Narendra Modi, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight that doesn’t leave Modi with more human rights violation accusations.

A Family Cries for Justice, Evidence on Their Side

“The father of a teenager killed in Kashmir has demanded justice for his son, after witnesses said he was fired at with pellets and teargas in an unprovoked attack by Indian security forces,” The Guardian reported Sunday. “Asrar Ahmad Khan, described as a shy and studious teenager, died last week 11 days before his 18th birthday. He had spent almost a month in hospital, where he was being treated for injuries sustained during the incident on 6 August.”

Indian officials claim Asrar’s death was caused due to a thrown stone hitting him in the head. Other protestors in the area deny that there was any stone-throwing in the area. “The government is a liar. He was not hit by a stone but they killed him,” Asrar’s father, Firdaus Ahmad Kha, told The Guardian.

“They fired a tear gas canister that hit Asrar’s head,” the grieving father said to TRT World on Wednesday. “There was no protest. In fact, there never is a protest in our locality,” said Adil Ahmad, Asrar’s cousin who was with him prior to the incident.

Adil also told TRT World reporters that Asrar was hit by a storm of shotgun pellets fired by Indian forces, which added to his injuries. After Asrar’s death on September 3rd, TRT World was able to obtain his birth certificate, which listed the official cause of death as “pellet injury with shell blast injury,” refuting the official talking point from Modi’s administration.

“Asrar’s x-rays show dozens of pellets embedded in his skull and a picture of the teenager taken soon after receiving his wound show his face pockmarked with fresh pellet-sized scars,” TRT World continued in their report after reviewing x-rays provided to them by the Khan family.

Human Rights Violations Orchestrated by India

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released the “Update of the Situation of Human Rights in Indian-Administered Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir from May 2018 to April 2019” on July 8th, which included sections touching on the targeting of Muslims by the anti-Muslim Hindu Nationalist, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).

On social media, individuals, journalists and even some political leaders were inciting hatred and violence against Kashmiri Muslims, people critical of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Kashmir policies or those seeking accountability for human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir. In one instance, the Central Government-appointed Governor of Tripura state made a social media statement suggesting Indians consider a “boycott of all things Kashmiri.” No action has been taken against him or any others who incited hatred and violence against Kashmiris.

The report included a damning conclusion to the actions happening within Indian-Administered Kashmir and implored that the international community ensures India obliges international human rights laws in the disputed region.

“This report highlights serious human rights violations and patterns of impunity in Indian-Administered Kashmir and significant human rights concerns witnessed in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir. As stated in OHCHR’s June 2018 report, there remains an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and to deliver justice for all people in Kashmir.”

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Walter Yeates

Walter Yeates is a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter who embedded at Standing Rock with military Veterans and First People in December 2016. He covers a range of topics at Citizen Truth and is open for tips and suggestions. Twitter: www.twitter.com/GentlemansHall or www.twitter.com/SmoothJourno Muckrack: https://muckrack.com/walteryeates

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