Kashmiri Rights Group Condemns India Crackdown

Srinagar, MINA – Kashmiri human rights group, Association of Parents of Missing Persons (APDP) condemned the crackdown by the Indian government which has continued to escalate since 2019 until now.

Parveena Ahanger (62 years), Founder of APDP at her office in Srinagar, Kashmir said this on the commemoration of International Human Rights Day on Friday. Al Jazeera reported.

Her group displayed photos and names of their missing relatives, who numbered in the hundreds of victims of enforced disappearances in Indian-administered Kashmir.

“As the world celebrates Human Rights Day, their families silently mourn their relatives,” Ahanger said.

Last month, prominent rights activist Khurram Parvez was arrested under the strict terror law, the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA) for being accused of “criminal conspiracy and waging war against the government”. He has been transferred to a prison in the capital New Delhi.

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Parvez, 44, is a program coordinator at the Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a leading group that has documented and campaigned against human rights abuses by Indian troops in Indian-administered Kashmir over the past 20 years.

The JKCCS has published extensive reports on torture, killing of civilians, rape and illegal detention, and details the impunity afforded by the armed forces in disputed areas.

In 2008, the agency disclosed a shocking report about the existence of more than 2,000 unmarked graves in the northern part of Indian-administered Kashmir.

This is Parvez’s second arrest in five years. He was arrested in 2016 under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA), a law under which a person can be held for a year or more without trial. He was released after 76 days of detention.

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India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval last month described civil society groups in India as the “new frontier of war” and said they could be “manipulated to the detriment of the interests of a nation”.

It is a stance that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also shares as his government pursues rights defenders not only in disputed territories but across India.

For decades, human rights groups in Indian-administered Kashmir, including APDP and JKCCS, have worked to uphold and champion human rights in the disputed region, exposing the human toll from decades of conflict and protesting and holding governments accountable. .

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But after India’s only Muslim-majority region was stripped of its limited autonomy two years ago, the far-right government in New Delhi launched a crackdown on them.

The families of the disappeared according to human rights groups number more than 8,000 people.

Ahanger founded APDP two years after her son was picked up by Indian security forces from their home in the main city of Srinagar in 1992. To this day his son has never returned home.

“We will publish calendars with pictures of missing people to keep their stories alive but we were too scared to do it,” Ahanger said. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)