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New Delhi, June 18: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will observe the 1975 Emergency Anniversary as a ‘Black Day’.

June 25 marks the day when Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had declared a state of emergency in the country.

Senior BJP leaders have often attacked the Congress over the move, branding it as undemocratic and intolerant.

Emergency was declared for a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the Constitution due of the prevailing “internal disturbance”, the Emergency was in effect from June 25, 1975, until its withdrawal on March 21, 1977.

The order vested upon the Prime Minister the authority to rule by decree, allowing elections to be suspended and civil liberties to be curbed.

The final decision to impose an emergency was proposed by Indira Gandhi, agreed upon by the president of India, and thereafter ratified by the cabinet and the parliament (from July to August 1975), based on the rationale that there were imminent internal and external threats to the Indian state.

The Emergency is considered to be one of the most controversial periods of independent India’s history.

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Jammu, Jun 18(KMW): A day after the Central government decided not to extend the Ramadan ceasefire in the Kashmir Valley, Indian Army chief, General Bipin Rawat on Monday visited Jammu and Kashmir to review the security situation, an official statement said.

Rawat, accompanied by the newly-appointed Northern Army chief, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, visited forward areas in the state and was briefed by Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh, GOC White Knight Corps, on the prevailing security situation, the statement said.

Later, Rawat visited the village of rifleman Aurangzeb, who was abducted and later killed by militants in Gusoo village of Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

“Speaking to the father of the braveheart, he assured all possible assistance to the family. He also assured the family, that the supreme sacrifice rendered by the brave son of India will not go in vain.” “The Army Chief, during his visit to forward areas, also interacted with the soldiers and complemented them for their professionalism, selfless commitment and loyalty…the Army Chief commended the synergy between all security agencies and civil administration in Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said.

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Srinagar, Jun 18(KMW): A youth was killed and another was injured when security forces opened fire to disperse demonstrators in south Kashmir district of Kulgam on Monday evening.

Official sources said that a group of youth pelted stones at a security force patrol party at Akhran Nowpora in Kulgam. “The security forces opened fire to disperse the demonstrators, resulting in injuries to two youth,” they said.

The injured were immediately taken to a hospital, where one of them, identified as Ajaz Ahmad Bhat, succumbed.

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Srinagar, Jun 18: The Karvan-e-Aman bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir(PaK) was cancelled on Monday in view of the Eid-ul-Fitr, official sources said.

The weekly bus will not operate today, sources told News agency this morning.

A message was received from PaK that bus cannot operate in view of the Eid celebrations, they said adding similarly all passengers, who were scheduled to travel in the bus from here to PaK were informed accordingly.

The passengers, including PaK residents, who had come here and celebrated Eid with their relatives, separated in 1947 due to partition will be accommodated in the next bus.

The cross-Line of Control (LoC), one of the major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) taken by India and Pakistan after partition, was introduced on April 7,2005. The service has helped thousands of families divided in 1947 to meet each other.

However, only state subjects from both sides of LoC are eligible to travel in the bus on travel permits instead of International passport provided their names are cleared by the intelligence agencies from both the countries.

Earlier, separated families from both sides were to travel through Wagah border on International passports.

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Srinagar, June 18: Two more militants were killed in an encounter in the woods in north Kashmir district of Bandipora, where security forces launched a search operation after a group of infiltrators sneaked into this side on June 9.

With this, four militants have been killed in the operation while a soldier was killed and two others injured so far.

Official sources said that search operation was resumed with the first light on Monday morning in forest area of Pannar in Bandipora.

“The operation was suspended on Sunday night due to darkness in the dense forest to avoid any casualty, they told news agency, adding that forces resumed the operation from different directions.

They said fresh contact was established with militants on Sunday morning. “In the exchange of fire, two militants were killed so for,” they said, adding the operation was going on when the reports last came in.

Two militants and a soldier were killed in an encounter on Thursday in Pannar in Bandipora.

However, defence ministry spokesman said details are being collected about the fresh encounter.

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Kabul, Jun 18 : At least 18 people were killed and another 49 injured on Sunday in a suicide attack in the heart of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, a security source said.

Confirming the attack, which took place on the last day of the ceasefire declared by the Taliban marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Nangarhar Provincial Governor’s spokesperson Attaullah Khogyani told Efe that it happened around 3 p.m.

While the source said the attack happened near the Governor’s Palace, or the Shahi Palace, where civil servants and Taliban insurgents were meeting to discuss the ceasefire, Khogyani said that the attack was an at area where there were only civilians.

Images captured by an Epa-Efe photojournalist at the scene showed security officials standing on a bloodied road outside the governor’s offices. Damaged cars were also visible.

Another suicide attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State terror organization, took place a day before at a place where Taliban militants and civilians had gathered to celebrate the ceasefire, around 15 km from Jalalabad.

That attack killed 25 people and wounded 54 others.

Last week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani declared a unilateral truce after 2,000 religious leaders said that the war in Afghanistan was “illegitimate” and then extended the measure on Saturday for a yet-to-be-determined period.

Two days after Ghani’s announcement, the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire, which was due to expire at midnight.

Nangarhar is the main bastion of the Islamic State terrorist group in Afghanistan.

The country is going through one of its bloodiest phases after the end of a NATO mission in 2015. The Alliance still maintains a presence to train Afghan forces there.

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Mir Imran

The 49 page United Nations report on the situation of human rights in both Indian-Administered-Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered-Kashmir by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released on 14thJune, 2018 is a great acknowledgement in the recent years. From July 2016, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has on numerous occasions requested the Governments of India and Pakistan that his Office be given unconditional access to Kashmir to assess the human rights situation. India rejected this request; while Pakistan offered access should the Office obtain access to Indian-Administered-Kashmir. The refusal to allow unhindered access to United Nations team into Indian-Administered-Kashmir gave rise to an idea of “Remote Monitoring”. The report was then compiled by doing “remote monitoring” on the situation of Human Rights in Kashmir. The report by the independent authority is an eye-opener for many.

The focus of the report is on the situation of human rights in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 to April 2018. During this period ‘OHCHR’ received reports of allegations of widespread and serious human rights violations by Indian security forces that led to numerous civilian casualties.

The India is in denial about the civilians it’s killing in Kashmir. Civilians have been killed on a horrific scale. The report sheds light on how Indian security forces are responding to demonstrations that started in July 2016. It says, “Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries. Civil society estimates are that 130 to 145 civilians were killed by security forces between mid-July 2016 and end of March 2018, and 16 to 20 civilians were killed by armed groups in the same period. One of most dangerous weapons used against protesters during the unrest in 2016 was the pellet-firing shotgun.”

The Government of India accuses armed groups of committing human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir and holds them responsible for causing “disturbances in Kashmir”. The report quotes the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, which represents the Pandit population, as stating that 650 Kashmiri Pandits have been killed by armed groups in Kashmir. A 2008 Jammu and Kashmir Police report stated that 209 Pandits had been killed since 1989 by armed groups.

The report also mentions the conflicting estimates by the state authorities on the number of people killed in the same period. In January 2017, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti told the state assembly that 78 people including 2 police officers were killed in the 2016 unrest. However, on 12 January 2018, the state government of Jammu and Kashmir informed the state assembly that 51 people had been killed during the unrest in the Kashmir region between 8 July 2016 and 27 February 2017. The state government also said that 9,042 people had been injured during protests in the same period including through injuries sustained from the use of bullets, metal pellets and chemical shells.

In Kashmir due to the continuing conflict majority of the injured people have sustained eye injuries and are likely to lose eye sight. According to the report the information received by the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) from 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley, 1,726 people were injured by metal pellets in 2016. In January 2018, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti stated before the state assembly that 6,221 people had been injured by pellet guns in Kashmir between 8 July 2016 and 27 February 2017; among the victims, 728 had eye injuries. The Chief Minister reported that 54 people suffered some form of visual impairment due to pellet injuries. Civil society organizations claim that the number of people partially or completely blinded due to pellet injuries is higher. The report further reveals that Indian security forces continue to use pellet shotguns in Kashmir. On 1 April 2018, around 40 people were reportedly injured, including 35 hit in the eyes, by pellet shotguns used against people protesting against the killing of civilians in Shopian and Anantnag districts.

The Indian security forces which have impunity under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA) are killing Kashmiries. Civilians have been killed by bullets, tear gas shells, mettle pellets fired by shotguns, inhaling chemical shell fumes and are also being tortured by various other methods. Thousands are being detained and put behind bars. Human rights groups (Amnesty International, HRW and ICJ, “Cease Wrongful Detentions in Jammu and Kashmir”) had warned Jammu and Kashmir authorities that minors were being arrested under PSA in 2016 and 2017. The Indian Forces now are literally at war against the unarmed people. Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Such black laws have created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.

The report has also reminded India that she is obliged to ensure that no person is “subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. It says that there have long been persistent claims of torture by security forces in Kashmir. The report details numerous examples of harsh torture. It further says, “Impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in Kashmir continues as there has been little movement towards credibly investigating complaints, including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region.”

In its report they have also mentioned the communications blackouts during the period and seriously expressed concern over imposing restrictions on several Kashmir based newspapers and seizing newspaper copies and detaining staff. Confidential information received by OHCHR on the violations of the right to education indicates an estimated 130 school days were lost in 2016 for approximately 1.4 million children. The report of the United Nations Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict for 2017 referred to at least 30 schools burned and partially destroyed by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016.There were no cases of attacks on schools reported in 2017.

I on behalf on my organization request and urge anyone with information on the killing, atrocities, sufferings, disappearances, sexual violence in conflict affected areas to come forward and update United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). United Nations Human Rights Council is hopefully going to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir. We have to campaign for an independent international investigation into all cases of human rights violations.

Under international law, States must investigate and prosecute gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law. People in Kashmir are made to suffer and hope ‘UNHRC’ will use its good office and influence to persuade all the parties of the conflict to solve Kashmir issue once for all. The welfare of the people of Jammu & Kashmir should be overriding interest and all the parties of the conflict should respect the views and opinions of the people.

The author is Human Rights Activist and a member of APHC–Human Rights Division from Srinagar and can be reached atmir.imran.in@gmail.com.

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Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai

The United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNHCHR) has issued its “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir.” The report contains graphic documentation of human rights violations being committed by the Indian military and paramilitary forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir. This is a significant step towards greater international recognition of the serious abuses committed against Kashmiris at the hands of Indian army. This report takes the veil of secrecy off of India’s crimes against humanity. Perhaps now the global community can share the outrage felt by the people of Kashmir.

The report cites specific incidents where the Indian Government violated the very principles of human decency and democratic freedom against the people of Kashmir. The reports states that, “In responding to demonstrations that started in July 2016, Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries. … One of the most dangerous weapons used against protesters during the unrest in 2016 was the pellet-firing shotgun.”

The report details many instances where the use of draconian laws have given sense of total impunity to the Indian army in Kashmir. It states “The government of India has passed legislation under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act of 1990 which gives extraordinary power to all ranks of the Indian military and paramilitary forces.” These laws, the report emphasizes, “ have created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.”

The report underscored that “Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.” And that “Impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in Kashmir continues as there has been little movement towards credibly investigating complaints including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region.”

Many international NGO’s have suggested that Kashmir was the largest army concentration anywhere in the world. The report noted that “Civil society and media often cite the figure of 500,000 to 700,000 troops which would make Kashmir one of the most militarized zones in the world.”

As we know that during the latest phase of uprising , virtually the whole population of Kashmir turned on the streets to demand the right of self-determination to be given to the people of the territory. The report underlines this fact by stating; “While Indian-Administered Kashmir has experienced waves of protests in the past—in the late 1980s to early 1990s, 2008 and 2010—this current round of protests appears to involve more people than the past, and the profile of protesters has also shifted to include more young, middle-class Kashmiris, including females who do not appear to have been participating in the past.”

It is a fact that bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have failed because they sought to by-pass the leadership of the people of Kashmir, which is the primary party to the dispute. This fact has been recognized in the report which clearly says, “There remains an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and to deliver justice for all people in Kashmir who have been suffering seven decades of conflict. Any resolution to the political situation in Kashmir should entail a commitment to ending the cycles of violence and accountability for past and current human rights violations and abuses committed by all parties and redress for victims. Such a resolution can only be brought about by meaningful dialogue that includes the people of Kashmir.”

The Indian human rights organizations and NGO’s including ‘The People’s Union of Civil Liberties’, and others sent out teams to Kashmir to study specific allegations of human rights abuses including torture and publish reports on their findings, which are often highly critical of government authorities. The United Nations report validates these finding by suggesting that [As a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits torture under any circumstances (Article 7), India is obliged to ensure that no person is “subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. There have long been persistent claims of torture by security forces in Kashmir.]

Here are few more examples of torture cited in the report about torture.

“On 18 August 2016, a 30-year-old college lecturer, Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, died after being severely beaten in the custody of the Indian Army.”

“Another case of torture involving the Indian Army is that of manual labourer Nasrullah Khan who was allegedly detained and tortured at the Indian Army’s 27 Rashtriya Rifles camp on 31 August 2017.”

Medical services and ambulances are clearly being targeted for no other reason than that they are carrying young men who show evidence of having already been in the line of fire somewhere and therefore again become victimized. There is clearly an intent to physically disable these young men and civilian population. The report warns that “Doctors in Srinagar accused the security forces of firing tear gas near hospitals and, in some cases, inside the hospital, which affected their ability to work and further affected the health of the patients.”

Meanwhile to get the attention of international community remains a challenge. The world powers have taken a hands-off stance in having asked India for permission to send in a team to investigate. On the other hand, India does not allow the Kashmiri human rights activist to visit the international forums to raise the subject of human rights. Here are few examples cited in the report.

“Human rights defenders who have tried to bring international attention to the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir have faced reprisals while access has been obstructed for some journalists.”

“… prominent human rights defender Khurram Parvez was arrested and detained under PSA on 15 September 2016, a day after being prevented from travelling to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.”

Human rights lawyer Kartik Murukutla, who works with Khurram Parvez at JKCCS, was detained at the New Delhi airport immigration desk on 24 September 2016 on his return from Geneva after attending the same Council session.”

“French journalist and documentary film-maker Paul Comiti was arrested on 9 December 2017 in Srinagar for allegedly violating Indian visa conditions.”

It is well documented that the bloody occupation has resulted in massive human rights violations, particularly targeting women and children. The sanctity of women has been violated, in a gruesome and unforgiving fashion. The UN report upholds that [In the 2013 report on her mission to India, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, said, “[W]omen living in militarized regions, such as Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states, live in a constant state of siege and surveillance, whether in their homes or in public. Information received through both written and oral testimonies highlighted the use of mass rape, allegedly by members of the State security forces, as well as acts of enforced disappearance, killings and acts of torture and ill-treatment, which were used to intimidate and to counteract political opposition and insurgency.”]

The United Nations report makes the following recommendation to the UN Human Rights Council to, “Consider the findings of this report, including the possible establishment of a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir.”

The report also makes 17 recommendations to the Government of India so as to bring these atrocities to an end, including:

— “Urgently repeal the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990.”

— “Establish independent, impartial and credible investigations to probe all civilian killings which have occurred since July 2016.”
— “In line with its standing invitation to the Special Procedures, accept the invitation requests of the almost 20 mandates that have made such requests; in particular, accept the request of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and facilitate its visit to India, including to Jammu and Kashmir.”
— “Fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law.”

It is our hope that the United Nations report will mobilize the policy makers of the members states of the UN Human Rights Council to do everything in their constitutional power to stop the killings in Kashmir. It is further our hope that the policy makers of these member countries will look to solving the root cause of the problem – the unfulfilled promise of self-determination as guaranteed by successive United Nations Security Council resolutions.

We believe that history is not predestined, and it is up to us to make peace its destiny in Kashmir through all of our energies, goodwill, wisdom, and compassion for the tragic afflictions of that once glorious land.

Dr. Fai is the Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum and can be reached at: 1-202-607-6435 or gnfai2003@yahoo.com

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New Delhi, June 17: The Centre on Sunday decided not to extend the suspension of anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir as announced in the beginning of Ramadan.

A Ministry of Home Affairs statement said that the operations against terrorists will resume.

“The government took the decision that security forces will not conduct offensive operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramadan,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

“This decision was taken in the interests of the peace loving people of Jammu and Kashmir, in order to provide them a conducive atmosphere to observe Ramadan.”

“The security forces are being directed to take all necessary actions as earlier to prevent terrorists from launching attacks and indulging in violence and killings,” the Home Minister said in another tweet, adding “the government will continue with its endeavour to create an environment free of terror and violence in Jammu and Kashmir”.

The ceasefire was announced on May 16.

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SRINAGAR, JUNE 16(KMW): Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, joined a large number of people to offer her Eid prayers at Ziyarat Hazrat Syed Sahib (R.A.), Sonwar, Srinagar.

The Chief Minister prayed for peace, prosperity and wellbeing of the people of the State on the occasion.

After offering her Nimaz, Mehbooba Mufti interacted with the people and extended Eid greetings to them.

Later people in large numbers visited the Chief Minister at her residence and offered their Eid greetings.

Thanking the visitors, the Chief Minister wished them well and hoped that this Eid brings along peace and prosperity to the State and its people.

Those who visited the Chief Minister included Ministers, legislators, public representatives, Government functionaries, prominent citizens, political workers and common people.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister visited Dara Shikoh Park at Bijbehara and offered Fateha to former Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

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