United Nation’s Special Rapporteurs had sent a letter to the Indian Government raising concerns over the ill-treatment of minorities in J&K on May 4. The letter has recently been made public. Since the abolition of article 370 in the state, this is the third time that UN special rapporteurs have communicated on the issue.
“We would like to bring to the attention of Your Excellency’s Government information we have received concerning the continued deterioration of human rights conditions in J&K following severe restrictions imposed after 5 August 2019, in particular citing arbitrary detentions, violations to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and rights of persons belonging to minorities,” the letter said.
They also emphasized on the lack of response from the Indian government to the previous communications. “concerns regarding the restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and of association imposed following the constitutional order in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been the subject of a previous communication dated 16 August 2019 (UA IND 16/2019). Furthermore, concern on the reported mass crackdown those expressing dissent against the same decision taken by your excellency’s government, was also the subject of communicating dated 27 February 2020 (UA IND 4/2020). We regret that no response has been received to either communication in particular the former. We remain deeply concerned about the ongoing human rights violations.”
The letter also had a list of Kashmiri Muslims who were reportedly summoned to report to various army camps where they were subjected to corporal punishment by security officials. Some of the names in the list included, Tawseef Ahmad (27), Rizwan Assad Pandit (29), Fazil Ahmad Malik(14), Arif Wani, Yawar Ahmad Bhat (15), Bashir Ahmad Dar (65), Irfan Ahmad Fafoo(20), Bashir Ahmad Fafoo(60), Umar Farooq Bhat (24), Suhail Ahmad Sofi (15), Adnan Shafi Bhat (12) and many more.
“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 above-mentioned persons. We are further concerned that these individuals reportedly belong to minorities residing in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and that they appear to be targeted based on their ethnicity and/or religious identities.” The letter further stated.
They have urged the government to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the allegations of arbitrary killings, torture and ill-treatment and to prosecute suspected perpetrators.