By News Desk
UNITED NATIONS, Geneva—Kashmir Delegation to the 31st session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is maintaining pressure on India for the gross rights violations by the Indian government and military. In a succession of speeches to the Council, senior APHC leaders Ishtiyaq Hameed, Altaf Hussain Wani, Shamim Shawl and rights activist Shagufta Ashraf called for urgent attention to a host of disturbing developments, including the murder of female Kashmiri college student Shaista Hameed, the harassment of Kashmiri college professors for their views.
Kashmiri representative Ishtiyaq Hameed noted that six rape cases have been reported in Kashmir where Indian occupation soldiers are suspects. He recalled that New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union President, Kanhaiya Kumar, has publicly accused India Army personnel of involvement in the rapes of women in occupied Kashmir.
Kashmir women representative Shamim Shawl urged the Council to take note of the book launched by five young Kashmiri women that documents one of the worst crimes against humanity committed by India’s occupation army in the Kashmir Valley—the mass rape of dozens of Kashmiri women in Kunanposhpora area of Kupwara in 1991. The book is titled ‘Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora?’, and it took years of meticulous investigative work before it was released this year.
Kashmir representative Altaf Wani drew the Council’s attention to another professor at the Jawahirlal Nehru University, Navidita Menon, who has voiced her support for end to Indian military occupation of Kashmir saying that India has illegally occupied the territory. “We all know that the world today believes that India is illegally occupying Kashmir,” Menon said.
Rights activist Shagufta Ashraf revealed that in Budhal area of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, a Kashmiri woman named Shamim Akhter, 35, and her four years old son Tawheed Ahmed were shot dead by a member of a Village Defense Committee VDC in December 2015.
Ashraf informed that Council of the thrashing of a mother and her seven daughters by Indian soldiers in what is known as the incident of Bandipora in Kashmir, which is an example of Indian brutality. In this incident, a mother of seven daughters and two others were ruthlessly beaten and injured by the infamous Special Operations Group on Nov. 16, 2015.The Indian soldiers and witnesses ruthlessly thrashed Sakeena, 38, Javaid Ahmed, 27, and Ghulam Hussain 45. Sakeena’s husband told human rights activists who documented the case that, “The [Indian] army first rounded us up and then asked us to reveal the whereabouts of some unknown people about which we did not know. Then they picked up four boys and took them to Chuntimuallah Camp and badly tortured them.” “Since they have not been able to find freedom fighters they have been torturing civilians. They are coercing our youth into confessing to have links with terrorists.”
India’s diplomats at the UN regularly face embarrassment due to the actions of India’s occupation army in Kashmir. An increasingly number of human rights defenders worldwide are documenting Indian violations in the disputed territory.
The eight-member Kashmir Delegation for UNHRC’s 31st session consists of Altaf Hussain Wani-Delegation leader and senior Kashmir freedom leader, senior APHC leader-Syed Faiz Naqshbandi and Ishtiyaq Hameed, senior Kashmir freedom leader Mir Tahir Masood, senior woman Kashmiri leader Mrs. Shamim Shawl, Ahmed Quraishi-Executive Director Youth Forum For Kashmir (YFK); an international Kashmir Lobbying Group, Prof. Shagufta Ashraf-human rights defender working with women & children and Zartasha Niazi-human rights defender.
Youth Forum For Kashmir (YFK) is Pakistan’s first pro-Kashmir, registered and nonpartisan International lobbying group led by young Kashmiris and Pakistanis working to ensure justice to Kashmiris living under Indian-military occupation.