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Chief Minister Jammu and Kashmir – #FreeHandwaraGirl #Vaw

handwara #FreeHandwaraGirl

Since 12th April, a minor girl has been in illegal police custody because she was molested and the local people protested against this. 

The child was forced to give a false testimony exonerating her molesters, the testimony was circulated over YouTube, revealing her identity to the entire world. 

Her mother was not allowed to speak to the Press about the issue. She continues to be in illegal detention, without any support to rights groups or child support organisation. 

Since 12 April, the 16 year old Handwara girl has been effectively in continuous illegal police custody.Her access to her family and legal team has not only been prevented but also controlled by the state authorities. 

The continued detention of the minor girl and her family members violates their civil liberty and basic rights too. The continued police detention also means a threat to her physical and psychological well being.

At present the minor girl and her family members are in police detention at an undisclosed location.


Since last 3 days, JKCCS has been approaching the Inspector General (IG) of JK Police, Javed Geelani for a meeting in connection with the illegal detention of the minor girl and her family. Yesterday evening the Handwara minor girl spoke to JKCCS team on phone. She and her family informed that against their will the police has shifted them to a stranger’s house 15 kms from Handwara town. After detailed discussion JKCCS proposed her to call the IGP Kashmir and Chairperson of the State Commission for Women, Nayeema Mehjoor directly to inform them about her ordeal in the illegal police detention, her demand for free movement and an immediate access to her lawyers.
The minor girl called the IG several times but only once he picked up the phone. After she identified herself, the IG cancelled the call. JKCCS team called DIG Ghulam Hassan Bhat and requested him to inform the IG that the minor girl wants to talk to him urgently. We were assured that the IG will speak to the girl.
Immediately after that the police personnel went inside the house where the girl is detained and threatened her to not call the IG Kashmir, Javed Geelani.
The minor girl was able to speak to Nayeema Mehjoor and gave her detailed statement and requested her to facilitate her conversation with IGP Javed Geelani. Ms. Mehjoor promised to help.
The minor girl and her family wanted to communicate to the highest police officials that the police should stop her illegal detention and allow her to meet her lawyers so that she can herself alongwith her family proactively contribute in the legal struggle.

We the undersigned demand the immediate release of the 16 year old Handwara Girl and her family members from illegal police custody  and their unhindered access to legal help  and due process of justice .



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Press Release – Crime Never Dies – Indian Army Legal Challenge Dismissed #Vaw

Sessions Court dismisses Indian army revision petition in Kunan Poshpora mass rape and torture case, 23/24 February 1991

Press release
9 August 2014

23 years after the Kunan Poshpora mass rape and torture on 23/24 February 1991, the first legal challenge by the Indian army has been dismissed. On 8 August 2014, Sessions Court, Kupwara dismissed the revision petition of the Indian army that sought an end to further investigations ordered in the case on 18 June 2013 by Sub-judge, Judicial Magistrate, Kupwara. This was the first legal challenge by the Indian army since the crimes were committed in 1991. Rather than legally face the allegations, the army has consistently sought to intimidate and slander the survivors, and through various persons and institutions obfuscate the truth.

The Sessions Court, while dismissing the Indian army petition as having no merit, held that “crime never dies” and that a delay in investigations does not debar the investigating agency from unraveling the truth. The Court held that the army petition had been filed only on the basis of assumptions and apprehensions and that prospective accused had no right to be heard and should only cooperate with investigations. The Court censured the Jammu and Kashmir Police for their “non-seriousness” and their “casual and irresponsible manner” apparent from their years of delay in investigating the case and filing a final report before a court. But, the Court held as “significant” that the police had sought to close the case as “untraced” thereby confirming that a crime had taken place and that it was only a question of identifying the perpetrators.

The survivors continue their struggle before the High Court where the petition seeks court-monitored investigations by a Special Investigation Team, compensation and has also arrayed as parties B.G. Verghese and Wajahat Habibullah, who through their respective reports for the Press Council of India and as Divisional Commissioner assisted the army in the cover up.

– Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society

– Kunan Poshpora Village Committee

– Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora

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Power project inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi illegal, says Kashmir minister

Jul 05, 2014 at 09:20am IST

Srinagar: A minister in Jammu and Kashmir’s Omar Abdullah government said the hydropower project inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state’s Baramulla district on Friday was illegal.

Talking to IANS, Health and Medical Education Minister Taj Mohiuddin said: “The hydropower project inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no licence to operate and is, therefore, illegal.”

The sitting Congress legislator from the Uri constituency where the hydropower project is situated, Mohiuddin said he is sure that Modi did not know that the project he was going to inaugurate did not have a licence to operate.

Power project inaugurated by PM illegal, says Kashmir minister

Mohiuddin said he was not present at the inaugural function and had he been there, he would have informed the prime minister.

“Had he known that, he would not have inaugurated the project. In fact, no prime minister would ever do that,” he said.

He said when he was the minister for public health engineering and irrigation before his portfolio was changed to health and medical education, he had written to the prime minister’s office that the NHPC had not completed the formalities for issuance of an operating licence to them and the then prime minister Manmohan Singh should not accept the NHPC request to inaugurate the project.

Asked by IANS whether he was sure that the NPHC had not completed the formalities and obtained an operating licence from the state government after his portfolio was changed, he said: “I am sure the NHPC has not obtained the licence because the same would have to be cleared by the state cabinet and I would have known it as a member of the council of ministers.”

Mohiuddin said he was not present at the inaugural function and had he been there, he would have informed the prime minister.

“The NHPC did not want me to be there. I received an invitation to the function late yesterday (Thursday) night and since I had other engagements, I could not go to attend the function,” he asserted.

Under the state’s water resources act, it is mandatory for all hydro power projects to obtain a licence from the state government.


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B J P Delusion- Article 370 of Constitution of India cannot be abrogated


28 May 2014 at 12:36



President of B.J.P. Rajnath hascalled for a debate on why Article 370 of the Constitution should not beabrogated. One wishes he had sought this enlightenment before including theprovocative item of abrogation of Article 370 in B.J.P. Election Manifesto.


Apart from legal angle, Togadia’shate Speech against Muslims and politically dishonest attempt by B.J.P. andR.S.S. leaders to paper it over, would by itself alone be a justificationenough for retention of Article 370 in Muslim Majority State of J & K.


On August 15th 1947, whenIndia became independent, J&K was not a part of its territory. It was onlyby the Instrument of Accession, dated 27.10.47, signed by the Maharaja ofJ&K that the state acceded to the Dominion of India.  By  clause 3  the  Maharaja accepted that the matters specified inthe

schedule are the matters with respectto which the dominion legislature may make laws for the State of J & K. Theinstrument further provided that the terms of instrument shall not be varied byamendment of the Act. or of the Indian Independence Act, unless such amendmentis accepted by the Maharaja. The instrument also clearly laid down that nothingin the instrument shall be deemed to commit the State in any way to theacceptance of any future Constitution of India.


This Instrument accepted only alimited number of matters, Defence, External Affairs, Communications, as thosewith respect to which the Indian legislature could make laws for J&K. Thisspecial relationship of J&K found its reflection in Article 370 of theIndian Constitution which laid down that notwithstanding anything in theConstitution, the powers of the parliament to make laws for the State shall belimited to those matters in the Union List and the concurrent list, which, inconsultation with the Government of the state, are declared by the president tocorrespond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession, and suchother matters in the said lists with the concurrence of the State, thepresident may by order specify.



Thus by virtue of Article 370parliament can legislate for J&K on matters other than those mentioned inthe instrumentbut only after obtaining the concurrence of the State ofJ&K. (emphasis supplied) Thus J&K has a special status, unlike theother States in India where Parliament can legislate on its own on subjectsmentioned in the Union and concurrent lists.


It is no doubt true that Article370(3) provides that the President may by notification declare that thisarticle shall cease to be operative, but the proviso clearly lays down alimitation that the recommendation of Constituent Assembly of the State shallbe necessary before the President issues such a notification. It is notdisputed that the Constituent Assembly of J&K has never given any suchrecommendation. In that view, Article 370 cannot be withdrawn by Parliamentpurporting to exercise the power of amendment given by Article 368. That thepower to amend the Constitution is not totally unfettered admits of no disputesvide the famous case of Keshvanand Bharthi, (1973) where Supreme Court held thata “Constitution like ours contains certain features which are so essential thatthey cannot be changed or destroyed”.

There is also nothing very special inlaying this limitation in Article 370. Even Article 368 limits the Parliamentto make any amendment of the Constitution which would result in a change in anyof the lists in the Seventh Schedule, such amendment shall also require to beratified by the legislatures of  nor  less than half of  the States.


Under our Constitution Governors areonly formal heads of state and have no powers at all in the administration ofthe state which is vested in the Cabinet. But yet by Constitutional AmendmentAct 1956, Article 371 provides for special responsibility of the Governor forestablishment of a separate development for Saurashtra  and kutch (in Gujarat) and Vidharba inMaharashtra for equitable allocation of funds for development of the area. Noobjection by BJP has been raised which curtails the power of Gujarat ChiefMinister Modi while there is not such limitation on the Chief Ministers inother States.


Article 371G introduced byConstitution (55th Amendment Act 1986) provides that no Act ofparliament in respect of ownership and transfer of land shall apply to theState of Mizoram unless the legislative Assembly of State  of  Mizoram by  a  resolutionso decides. This provision is identical to

Article 370 of the constitutionregarding J & K. B.J.P. was a party to above amendment. Why does BJP applydouble Standard in the case of Muslim majority State of J & K.


Even in U.S.A. such is the width ofState autonomy that an Advocate getting his law degree from WashingtonUniversity can not as a matter of right practice in State of New York. No onehas suggested that this is endangering the unity of U.S.A.


Recently in the Election fever evenCongress seems to have been entrapped when it also gave an Election promise toseparate Ladakh from the territory of J&K and even give it a separateLegislative Assembly. This is the most provocative suggestion, which can onlyinflame the sentiments of people of J&K against India, apart from the factthat it is not legally possible because J&K legislature will never give itsconsent, as provided by Article 370.


It needs to be appreciated thatretention of Article 370 is a matter of self respect and honour and assertionof its distinct identity for people of J&K. Can not BJP, even when most ofParties in J&K are desirous of finding a lasting solution, be statesmenenough to give up its opposition to Article 370-– which no Kashmiri can possiblyagree to abrogate because it is a matter of preserving his special identity.


Faced with this reality, anypolitician must realize that all talk of abrogation of Article 370 is moonshineand a non-issue. It is also a very sensitive matter touching the credibility ofour secular professions and the justifiable fears of the minorities. With allthis, when it is also patent that abrogation of Article 370 is not legally andconstitutionally competent, is there any moral, political or logicaljustification to keep up this empty noise? I submit there is none.

Rajindar Sachar


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The latest victim of Kashmir’s ‘non-lethal’ weaponry

Sifting facts from fiction:

12 MAY 2014 – 11:58AM GMT
Although banned by western countries, paramilitary forces and police still continue to use pellet grenades in Kashmir.Although banned by western countries, paramilitary forces and police still continue to use pellet grenades in Kashmir.

I always cherish surprise visits to home. No matter which corner of the world you put up in, home is always missed and perpetually longed for. But when home is in a place in Kashmir where violence is a routine affair, like buying morning bread, anxiety becomes a furtive companion which stays with me for a long time even after I am gone.

I lived the formative years of my life in Old Town of Baramulla, known among government forces and some journalists as the ‘Red Zone’ of Kashmir. The sentiment of freedom from Indian rule remains high here. On May 7 when Lok Sabha elections were conducted in the town, anti-election and pro-freedom protests erupted in many localities, forcing the authorities to shift the polling centers to ‘safer places’, a euphemism invented to describe places in Kashmir which live at the mercy of forces.

I arrived in the town on May 10. Once a bustling trade center, Baramulla now looks like a dark shadow of its vibrant past. A paramilitary trooper is keeping vigil on a bridge, one of the five that connect Old Town with the recently built swanky bungalows and shopping malls on the opposite banks of Jehlum that bisects the town just before wriggling its way into Pakistan.

On the day of my arrival, a civil curfew was being observed in the town after Kashmir police had conducted raids on previous night and arrested dozens of youths from Old Town who were reportedly involved in stone pelting. Many families had alleged that police ransacked their property and robbed gold jewelry and cash from their homes, an allegation denied by police, forcing the Baramulla Traders Association to call for a three-day shutdown against the ‘police excesses’.

I told the mustached trooper near the bridge to remove the concertina wire so that I could go home. He asked me to produce my identity card. “You have to wait,” he said politely, observing my black waistcoat and Woodland shoes, “Let more people gather sir. We allow people in groups.”

The town looked like a military garrison. Hundreds of troops in riot gear with automatic weapons were deployed on all the five bridges to prevent protesters in Old Town from crossing over into new town. No matter how small or big, the clampdown by forces brings back memories of death and destruction, of crackdowns and funerals, of pallbearers who abandon corpses in the middle of road, of those countless cold nights spent in fear.

As the groups of people swelled near the two mouths of the bridge, the trooper signaled us it was time to cross over. We walked in fear. A women, part of our group, had her Burqa stuck in the concertina wire but she managed to set it free on her own. When everyone had crossed over, the bridge was sealed again.

I was finally home. I felt relieved but I was not happy. I had to meet a ‘12-year-old boy’ whose photograph I has seen on Facebook. The picture, purportedly taken by his friend on the day of Lok Sabha elections in Baramulla, showed the bruised back of the boy with numerous pellet injuries. The picture had gone viral on social networking sites and many people had questioned its authenticity.

My task was clearly set out. I had to locate him. It didn’t turn out to be a task as I had anticipated. When I showed his picture on my mobile phone to a cheerful boy playing cricket on the roadside, he nonchalantly replied: “Oh, this is Shoiab. He was injured by a pellet bomb few days back.” He gave me the address of Shoiab – Syed Karim Sahib Mohalla, a congested locality of crumbling and irregularly build houses in Old Town.

On the day of Lok Sabha elections in the town, six friends including Shoaib, all in their teens, were playing carom inside one of the narrow lanes of Syed Kareem Mohalla, a soon-to-be dismantled locality under a plan for decongestion of Old Town. The boys were focused on the game until a bang in the neighborhood broke their concentration, which was followed by loud cheering.

A teargas shell had been hurled towards a group of youths shouting pro-freedom and anti-election slogans near the Cement Bridge over Jehlum river in the town, five hundred meters away from the place where the boys were playing carom. Stones were flying over the bridge, shooting down on the forces who used transparent shields to protect themselves. Enthusiastic children, without realizing the danger, wanted to be as close to the scene of clashes as they could. They saw dozens of youth pelting stones at the forces. As the crowd of curious onlookers swelled, the clashes intensified. Police and paramilitary forces responded by firing aerial gunshots and pellet grenades at the protesters and also at the crowd of onlookers, according to eyewitnesses.

When a pellet grenade is fired, like a conventional grenade, it sends out hundreds of tiny metallic balls into the air. Although banned by western countries, paramilitary forces and police still continue to use pellet grenades in Kashmir. The lethality of this weapon has led to severe criticism of its use by human rights groups but it hasn’t stopped the government in Kashmir from using them as a tool of crowd control.

In recent times, the pellet grenades have earned India more enemies in Kashmir than any other weapon. It has blinded people. There are young boys with disfigured faces, without eyes, boys whose bodies carry the scars of these vicious metallic balls. In Kashmir, those protesting on the streets have many reasons for pelting stones. Stone throwing is a political statement. But here in Old Town of Baramulla, stone is a weapon for children, not just to express their resentment but also to stare fearlessly in the face of a State whose coercive tactics have failed to obtain their submission.

When the six friends left their game of carom on May 7 to watch the clashes, they sat on a large empty kerosene tank. Within minutes, teargas and pellet grenades were fired towards them. Shoiab, 14, tried to run but a grenade exploded behind him, shooting hundreds of pellets towards him. The pellets bored through a white Tee he was wearing and pierced his back.

“I thought I was hit by bullets. It felt like someone had poured petrol and set fire from my shoulders to thighs but I kept running to a safer place,” he told me.

The boys accompanying Shoaib took him to a makeshift dispensary in Old Town where he was given a soft drink to ease his pain. Once hit, most of the victims are afraid of visiting doctors for treatment, fearing that they will be arrested by cops who are tipped about their presence in hospitals by sleuths in plainclothes.

But the news had reached his home and his mother entered the dispensary, giving him a tight slap. She hugged him then and, after nearly 117 pellets were removed from his back, took him home.

The smell of freshly cemented walls hung in the air as I arrived outside the two storied concrete home owned by Shoiab’s father. Within minutes, the entire family came out to meet me. Shoiab’s father cursed the day when he migrated to Baramulla from a nearby village so that his children could get better education. His elder son who is fifteen-year-old was arrested recently on charges of stone throwing and let off after a warning by the judge when the boy turned out to be a minor.

“He was a stone-pelter but, thanks to a police official, he doesn’t indulge in it anymore. But Shoaib was playing carom on that day. He doesn’t throw stones. He is too small. He had gone there to watch the clashes, like many other kids,” his father told me.

Shoaib’s furious mother joined her husband as they together started cursing their son for joining young boys who were watching the clashes on May 7. I closed my notebook and asked Shoiab if he could accompany me to a nearby street. As I walked out of the narrow alleys of Old Town, I kept thinking about Shoiab and his father’s journey from a small village to Baramulla, and as much I walked away from Shoiab’s home, I felt leaving a dark trail behind me.


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Narendra Modi victory would be ‘lightning rod for militants’

India elections: Narendra Modi victory would be ‘lightning rod for militants’

Victory for Hindu nationalist politician could lead to increased recruitment to extremist Islamic organisations, experts fear
Kashmiri Muslims confront Indian policemen after they arrested a youth during a protest

Kashmiri Muslims confront Indian policemen after they arrested a youth during a protest. Photograph: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images


The apple trees are in blossom and the sky is cobalt blue. Dogs snarl at strangers outside the home where Asif Wani grew up in the village of Drobgam. Under a canopy in the garden, the dead 24-year-old’s father watches as sweet tea is served to neighbours and cousins who have come to pay their respects.

Wani, a member of an extremist Islamist group active in the disputed former Himalayan princedom of Kashmir, died in a firefight with Indian armed forces 10 days ago. Two other young militants were also killed – and an Indian army officer and soldier. Tens of thousands have died in Kashmir as army, paramilitaries and police have battled local and foreign separatist and Islamist fighters for 25 years.

“I am happy he did what he did,” said Abdul Razzaq, Wani’s father, who told the Times of India newspaper he was “proud [his] son laid down his life for the country”.

The incident barely registered outside Kashmir, which was split betweenIndia and Pakistan in 1947. India is focused on the final days of a hard-fought general election, which appears likely to be won by Narendra Modi, a controversial Hindu nationalist politician, and candidate for the opposition Bharatiya Janata party.

Modi, 63, is reviled by many Muslims in south Asia due to persistent allegations that he allowed, or even encouraged, mob violence in 2002 in the western Indian state of Gujarat shortly after he took power there. More than 1,000 people died, largely Muslims, in the violence that followed a fire on a train, which killed 59 Hindu pilgrims.

Though the politician has denied any wrongdoing and a supreme court investigation did not find evidence to uphold the charge, the events of 2002 are repeatedly mentioned in extremist propaganda across the region.

Indian security officials say many militants detained locally refer to their anger at the riots of 2002 to explain their involvement in extremism.

Serving and recently retired western counter-terrorism officials overseas warn that a victory for Modi could lead to increased recruitment to extremist Islamic organisations in the region and reinforce propaganda efforts of violent international groups such as al-Qaida.

“The concern is people who would have remained on the fringes of militancy in calmer times may now be drawn in,” said one US-based security official and frequent visitor to south Asia.

Another recently retired US official described Modi as a “lightning rod both for internal and Pakistan-based militant groups”.

There are some signs of an increasing radicalisation among India’s 150 million-strong Muslim community though the number involved in violence remains extremely small.

Videos released late last year by a newly formed extremist group calling itself Ansar ul Tauheed al Hindi and apparently based in Afghanistan or western Pakistan call for violent attacks in India in revenge for incidents including the 2002 Gujarat riots and sectarian violence in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh earlier in 2013.

One video, called From Kandahar to Delhi, refers to Indians, who the group said had joined their ranks.

There have also been a series of bombings that have been blamed on a local Islamic militant cell. One, in the northern city of Patna, appeared to target Modi directly. Another blast occurred on a train in the southern city of Chennai last week.

Local newspapers have reported a case of two Chennai college students who intelligence services believe are training with jihadist groups in Syria.

However, a series of arrests of major figures has significantly undermined the capabilities of local groups and networks referred to by Indian security agencies as Indian mujahideen.

One “significant variable” is the potential reaction of Pakistan-based militants to a Modi victory, the officials said. Many such groups have long been active in India, either in Kashmir or more widely. Officials said Wani, the dead Kashmiri, had belonged to first to Jaish-e-Mohammed and then to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. Both groups are based in Pakistan.

Extremists from Lashkar-e-Taiba, another Pakistan-based group, were responsible for the bloody attack on Mumbai, India’s commercial capital in 2008.

Security officials in India are concerned that the imminent withdrawal of US combat forces from Afghanistan will trigger increased violence, especially in Kashmir.

The conflict in Afghanistan has acted as a pressure valve for many of the most extreme groups and the Pakistani security establishment “might feel the need to let them vent”, said Nigel Inkster, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

Violence in Kashmir has been declining steadily since 2001 with 49 people killed so far this year, according to the Institute for Conflict Management, a Delhi-based thinktank. In 2001, more than 4,000 died.

There are about 150 armed extremists operating in Kashmir, according to local intelligence estimates, a fraction of the number even a few years ago.

The background of Wani, the dead militant, suggests that other factors, particularly local dynamics and personal associations, could be more significant than any actions of a new prime minister, however polarising.

A studious but not devout teenager, Wani appears to have been radicalised during 13 months in prison after arrest in 2010 for his role in demonstrations in Kashmir against Indian authorities.

He disappeared from home six months after his release without charge and joined a local militant groups. Officials say Wani was linked to the murder of at least one local elected councillor – a frequent tactic by extremist groups to intimidate local communities – and was killed with two other young men he had met in jail.

Several other members of his family had died in the conflict, and dozens of men from his village had been involved in militancy, local journalists said. After his time in prison, family members said, Wani became “very religious”.

Razzaq, the dead man’s father, said he was not bothered who won the elections.

“Their lives in India and our lives have nothing in common,” the 44-year-old told the Guardian.

Inkster, the IISS expert, said much would depend on Modi’s actions when in power, if he wins.

“What he does and particularly whether he keeps the more extreme Hindu tendencies in check will be key,” he said.


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Press Release – The Impunity Continues: Kunan Poshpora Public Prosecutor

The Impunity Continues: Kunan Poshpora Public Prosecutor
Appointed As Central Government Standing Counsel

Press Release

On April 5, 2014, the revision petition filed by the Indian army to shut down investigations in the 1991 Kunan Poshpora mass rape and torture case was listed for arguments before Sessions Judge, Kupwara. Advocate Parvez Imroz, appearing for the survivors, raised an objection that the Public Prosecutor, Ghulam Mohammad Shah had also been appointed as a Central Government Standing Counsel [CGSC] during the pendency of the revision petition. Not surprisingly, Indian army counsel Karnail Singh raised no objections to this dual appointment, while the Public Prosecutor first protested and then agreed that he had no right to argue the matter. It is a matter of shame that officials appointed to pursue the case on behalf of the survivors collaborate with accused, that is, the Indian army in ensuring that justice is delayed and denied.

This is clearly an example of professional misconduct, lack of integrity and is in violation of the terms of engagement of CGSC which states that a standing counsel cannot appear in any case against Union of India. The Sessions Judge took serious note of this obvious conflict of interest and ordered that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir through Commissioner/Secretary, Law Department appoint a Special Public Prosecutor within 10 days (Copy to Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara). Unfortunately for the survivors, the Law Minister, Mr. Saifullah Mir is himself under a cloud, for making unauthorized payments of Rupees 1 Lakh each to the victims, on the pretense that it was an official compensation payment.

Meanwhile, SP Abdul Jabbar continues to carry out no investigations in the case, and merely seeks extensions, and the Chief Prosecuting Officer defends him in the ongoing contempt case. To add to the collusion between the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian State, the new Special Public Prosecutor will now be appointed by the law department which is headed by Law Minister, Mir Saifullah who sought to buy out the Kunan Poshpora survivors by paying them Rs. 39 Lacs in cash in May 2012 under the false pretext that it was official payment following the SHRC recommendations in October 2011. On 5 March 2014, in response to a RTI, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir Home Department stated that no compensation/relief had in fact been paid.

There have now been 10 consecutive dates where the revision petition has been adjourned without hearing arguments on behalf of Kunan Poshpora survivors. The proceedings in the court today showed the complete collusion of the Government with the Union of India and the Indian Army at every level in providing impunity to perpetrators in this case. It requires to be investigated whether Public Prosecutor Ghulam Mohammad Shah was deliberately appointed at this particular juncture by the Union of India to subvert the processes of justice in this case.

The contempt case against SP Abdul Jabbar and the Indian Army revision petition are now listed for 19 April 2014.

Support Group for Justice for Kunan Poshpora
Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society


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Kashmir Has A Right To Secede

flag of the state of Jammu and Kashmir Русский...

flag of the state of Jammu and Kashmir Русский: Флаг Джамму и Кашмира (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


By Abdul Majid Zargar


24 March, 2014


Crimea has finally seceded from Ukraine. It made a history of sorts when 97% of its population, including the sizeable minority of Tatars voted in favor of the secession. The event has brought Crimea to the centre of international attention. Some may argue that soon after its declaration of independence, it was annexed by Russia but that is different story & subject matter of a separate debate.


The right of self determination resulting in secession from a State got first conceptualized as a response against colonialism but following World War I, it took a definite shape as a principle of International law. The pronouncement of two Human Rights Covenants extended the ambit of this right as one available to all peoples. Simultaneously the Resolutions of the General Assembly, laid emphasis that this right was available to even peoples of sovereign states. In the last two decades, no contemporary norm of International law has been as much widely debated as the right of self determination of various groups of people or sub-groups of a nation, has been. This right means the choice of a people or a nation to determine freely by itself, its political and legal status as a separate entity and therefore it is the norm which is entrenched upon fundamental human-rights thesis that states that all peoples are equally entitled to be in control of their own fortunes & destinies.


This has raised an all important question of Kashmir’s right to secede from Indian State, even accepting for a moment for discussion sake, the Indian claim of Kashmir being its integral part. The answer is provided by Matthew J Webb in his Book published in 2012-Kashmir’s Right to Secede: A Critical Examination of Contemporary Theories of Secession. According to Matthew, an Australian professor of political sciences & Humanities, there are generally three theories which justify the right of people to a self determination or secession from a nation State. These are “nationalist theory”, “liberal-democratic theory” , and ‘just cause theory” and he has explored the issue of Kashmir’s right to secede with a critical & scholarly evaluation & analysis of these three streams of secessionist theory.


Webb upholds the right of Kashmir to secede from Indian Union on “Just cause theory”. He claims that since the Hindu ruler’s act of accession of State to India, without knowing the will of his subjects, there has been a wide gulf between India’s democratic and secular ideals and the reality of it’s relationship with Srinagar. This has led to various bouts of disillusionments, the first of them as early as the 1950s. Persistent calls for Kashmiri secession have only intensified through the next three-and-a-half decades as disenchantment with assertive Indian actions mounted and finally took a violent turn in November 1989.He says that Kashmir has been treated unjustly & unfairly since inception. He cites reports by Amnesty International (1998, 2008 and 2011), Asia Watch and Physicians for Human Rights (1993), which have detailed arbitrary arrests, beatings, electrocution, intentional destruction of property, rape, torture, execution. To further substantiate his case, Webb also discusses the notorious Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1990 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which have contributed to the detention without trial of an estimated 8000 to 20,000 Kashmiris. He cites presence of mass graves & enforced disappearances as proof enough of India’s complicity in committing crimes against humanity rendering itself liable to international intervention & coercive action. Webb presents the two-decades of physical, psychological and sexual abuse resulting from the heavy-handed tactics of Indian security forces and the accompanying lack of legal redress as “perhaps the most compelling just cause for Kashmir’s secession.”In conclusion


Webb describes Indian state as a “violent psychopath” not given to reason, and the Kashmir valley as a “small child” compelled to use deadly force. He acknowledges the efforts of people of Kashmir to obtain their right first by peaceful means & upon consistent denial, by an armed struggle. Webb seeks to convince the whole world that India’s sustained, serious and systematic infringements of Kashmir’s fundamental human rights, added to its steadfast refusal to allow third-party mediation in Kashmir has created a crisis of Indian credibility and integrity among the comity of nations.


This book provides a new way of looking at the Kashmir dispute, by asking what these theories tell us about Kashmir, and in turn what the example of Kashmir allows us to learn about these theories. More importantly it lays a theoretical foundation for Kashmir’s right to secede from Indian Union.


(The author is a practicing Chartered accountant: E mail [email protected])



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After 23 years – Ex-DC Kupwara breaks silence on #KunanPoshpora ‘mass rape’ #Vaw

Varghese asked me to close the case in national interest; when I refused, he threatened my family’

Srinagar: A top government officer, who had briefly probed the infamous ‘mass rape’ by the Army soldiers in twin hamlets of Kunan-Poshpora in Kupwara district in 1991, on Sunday broke his 23-year silence on the incident which many believe changed Kashmir forever, saying when he refused to give clean chit to the culprits and close the case, he was threatened and transferred from one place to another.
Syed Mohammad Yasin, who was Deputy Commissioner Kupwara at the time of the incident, recalled his visit to the twin villages after receiving information from village chowkidar about the mass rape.
“I was shocked to see the plight of the women. The victims, including old and young, were weeping and crying. They narrated their ordeal. I must say I felt ashamed while recording their statements. A woman told me that she was kept under jackboots by the soldiers while her daughter and daughter-in-law were being raped before her eyes. A pregnant woman was not spared either; she gave birth to a deformed baby four days after the incident,” Yasin said.
“I collected bloodstained clothes of victims and empty wine bottles from the village and handed them over to the police for investigations. The men too were interrogated so that they don’t take up the issue or disclose the tragic events to the masses,” Yasin said while addressing a gathering at a hotel here on the ‘Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day’ organized by J&K Coalition of Civil Society, the support group for ‘Justice for Kunan-Poshpora Survivors’ to mark 23rd anniversary of the ‘mass rape’.
Yasin reiterated what he had mentioned in his report about the February 23, 1991 incident—“the soldiers from 4 Rajputana Rifles behaved like wild beasts and allegedly gang raped up to 32 women without any consideration of their age, marital status or pregnancy. The victims ranged in age from 13 to 60.”
Yasin said the Press Council of India team led by senior journalist B G Varghese, which later gave a clean chit to the Army, had asked him to “save the soldiers in the national interest.”
“I told him (Varghese) ‘are you not ashamed of what your Army has done in Kunan-Poshpora?’ However, he started threatening me and my family. Even the Special Secretary tried to persuade me to close the case. However, I refused to do so. Later, I was transferred from one place to another but I never comprised over my report.”
Yasin said the then Governor had summoned him and asked what made him to write that Army soldiers had acted like beasts. “I replied that they were worse than beasts.” He also said the then Special Secretary, SS Kapur, had direct involvement in trying to shelve the case and shield the perpetrators.
“What kind of democracy is India? How do they claim that their Army is disciplined? They have the worst Army. The Kunan-Poshpora mass rape is a blot on the face of Indian democracy,” Yasin said.
Many survivors also spoke during the Sunday event and narrated their stories, bringing tears into the eyes of many in the audience.
“I had been married for just 10 days and had returned to my paternal home on February 22. The Army came and hell broke loose. It was the night of Karbala. Our lives were devastated forever,” one of the survivors of the mass rape said. “Twenty-three years on, our suffering seems nowhere to end. The dark night has left scars on our hearts and minds. It is haunting us. We don’t have answers for the questions our kids ask about that dark night,” she said, while struggling to hold back tears.
“We were dead on that night. Just that we breathe doesn’t mean we’re alive,” she said. She said she and the other women were living “only to take the struggle for justice to its logical end.”
Javed Ahmed, a victim’s son, told the audience that he had to quit his studies due to social stigma. At the school, he said, his classmates taunted him.
Expressing solidarity with the victims of Kunan-Poshpora, Shakeel Ahangar, husband of Neelofar and brother of Asiya, who were allegedly raped and murdered in south Kashmir’s Shopian township in 2009, said the incidents of rape “will continue to occur unless Kashmir is set free from the Indian occupation.”
“I request the parents not to send their children on Army-sponsored tours. Our youth are not safe. Our women are not safe,” he said. He said he doesn’t have any answer when his 5-year-old son talks about his mother and aunt. “Justice seems impossible. However, we have to continue our struggle,” Shakeel said before bursting into tears.
Munazah Rashid, a member of the support group for ‘Justice for Kunan-Poshpora Survivors’, said that every women is contributing their bit in the struggle for the mass rape victims. “State is like a confused soul. They don’t know if they want to side with the oppressed or the oppressor. However, we’ll stand by the victims till end,” she said.
Abdul Gani Tantray, a social activist from Banihal narrated how the soldiers involved in the rape, murder and disappearances were let off by courts. Even in certain cases, he said, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) shelved the cases under carpet by granting ‘compensation’ to the victims. 

Read more here —



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Press Release – SSSC demands Justice for Kunan Posjpora Victims , repeal #AFSPA




On the 23rd anniversary of the shameful Kunan Poshpora incident, SSSC demands justice for the victims. In the incident, about 100 women were raped on the same night by soldiers of the Rajputana Rifles in the Kunan and Poshpora village in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been 23 years but still there is no justice. None of the guilty officers have been prosecuted.


Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign(SSSC), a nation-wide campaign in support of Irom Sharmila and against AFSPA, demands that justice be given to the victims. SSSC believes that all those who believe in humanity and justice must raise voice against this inhuman and shameful act by the army and demand the repealing of laws that enable and protect the guilty.


We feel that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act that is imposed in North-East and Jammu & Kashmir and gives unrestrained powers to the armed forces equips the soldier to unleash inhumanity. This incident which was not the first and the last is a result of this. AFSPA not only grants unrestrained powers but also does not have any provision for check and transparency. So inspite of massive protest and fact finding reports, no security personal got punished by any court due to impunity provided to them under Section 7 of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act).


We consider it to be against justice and humanity. Therefore, we, hereby, condemn the incident once again and demand that:


  • Culprits of Kunan Poshpora must be punished
  • ‘Immediate’ implementation of Justice Verma Recommendation to end Impunity of security personals for the cases of ‘rape’
  • AFSPA must be repealed from J&K and North East
Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign will write letters to all members of parliament to raise voice for Repeal AFSPA.
Issued by
Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC)



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