Srinagar, September 14 (Kashmir Voice): The Amnesty International has said that the Indian government and local authorities in occupied Kashmir have failed to give any concrete assurance about complete ban on the use of pellet guns in the territory.
According to media sources, Aakar Patel, Executive Director of the Amnesty International, addressing a press conference in Srinagar said the crowd control measures adopted by the police and paramilitary forces in Kashmir violate international standards. He said the government claims that pellet gun is not lethal, but the injuries and deaths caused by this “cruel weapon bear testimony to how dangerous, inaccurate and indiscriminate it is.” “There is no proper way to use pellet-firing. It is irresponsible of authorities to continue to the use of pellet guns despite being aware of the damage they do,” Patel said.
He said the Amnesty International calls on Indian government as well as local authorities in Kashmir to immediately stop the use of pellet-firing and ensure that the use of all other weapons is in line with the international human rights standards. “Authorities should also provide full compensation in line with international standards to those injured by pellet-firing and the families of those killed,” Patel said.
Shailesh Rai, senior policy advisor at the Amnesty International said that in Kashmir, police and paramilitary forces were violating the international standards on crowd control. “The argument put forth by the forces that if bullets would be used on the protestors, then the casualties would rise, is misleading. Bullets are used when there is an imminent threat to life not for dispersing the crowd,” Rai said.
He said the UN code of conduct for law enforcement officials states that “law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent requite for the performance of their duty.”
“The UN basic principles on the use of force and firearms state that force should only be used when unavoidable and law enforcement officials should exercise restraint in using force and minimize damage and injury,” he added. Recommending “less harmful ways” to tackle stone-throwing protestors in Kashmir, the Amnesty said that the statement of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) that protests in Kashmir “were threat to their personnel” was “misleading”. “It is not just,” Rai said of the statement made by the CRPF’s top officer in Kashmir. Rai said it was worrying that the government had denied information on pellet guns. “We have filed RTIs but there has been no (more) information about the 12-bore pump-action gun,” he said. Advocating a complete ban on use of pellet guns, the Amnesty International team led by Aakar Patel sought compensation and rehabilitation for its victims. “It is a cruel weapon,” said Rai. “The victims have been suffering from mental, psychological issues which need proper medical aid.”
Meanwhile, the Amnesty International in its report released in Srinagar, yesterday, has come up with several recommendations, which it believes governments in Delhi and Srinagar should follow:
a) Immediately stop the use of pellet-firing shotguns on public demonstrations, and ensure that the use of other weapons is in line with international human rights standards on the use of force.
b) Provide full reparation in line with international standards to those who have been injured by pellet-firing shotguns, and to the families of those killed. This must include adequate compensation and rehabilitation, including any medical and psychological care that may be needed.
c) Initiate prompt, independent and impartial civilian criminal investigations into all incidents where the use of pellet-firing shotguns led to deaths or serious injuries to establish whether arbitrary or excessive force was used, and where sufficient evidence is found, prosecute those suspected of responsibility in civilian courts.
d) Provide relevant training on crowd control measures and the use of force and firearms to security force personnel of the central and state governments, as laid out in the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials. The report states that the Amnesty International India wrote to police and Central Reserve Police Force seeking information on whether any of their personnel had been injured by pellets in Kashmir. “No responses were received,” the report reads. KASHMIR VOICE
Srinagar, September 14 (Kashmir Voice): In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani has said that pro-India Kashmiri parties are playing a dubious role in the people’s agitation against attempts to abrogate Article 35A of the Indian Constitution.
According to media sources, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement in Srinagar said these parties are exploiting sentiments of innocent people to retain and grab power. “For the past seven decades,” he added, “The subjugated people are suffering because of hypocritical behaviour of double dealers.” Cautioning people about their deceit, the pro-freedom leader appealed to common people not to fall in line of these political hypocrites and be steadfast and serious about the sacred freedom movement, for which Kashmiri people are offering innumerable sacrifices. Denouncing the National Investigative Agency (NIA) and the puppet regime in Kashmir, Syed Ali Gilani said that pro-freedom leadership including Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Ayaz Muhammad Akbar, Pir Saifullah, Raja Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Noor Muhammad Kalwal, Advocate Miyan Abdul Qayoom, Zameer Ahmad Sheikh, Kamran Yousuf, Sajjad Ahmed, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi and Ghulam Nabi Sumji were either unlawfully detained in Tihar jail or had been summoned by NIA and their residences raided to scare and harass them. Hailing the meritorious services and sacrifices rendered by Dukhtaran-i-Millat chief Aasiya Andrabi and her personal secretary Sofi Fahmeeda, Gilani said, “We salute them for their steadfastness, persistence and commitment.” “India’s judiciary has failed to bring justice to these brave ladies who have repeatedly been bailed out by courts,” added Gilani. He also paid tributes to those lodged in jails and detention centres, and appealed to the International Committee of Red Cross, Amnesty International, and other global human rights watchdogs to use their influence for the immediate release of all detainees. Syed Ali Gilani also paid tributes to detainees lodged in Jammu and Kashmir and outside jails including. KASHMIR VOICE
New Delhi, September 14 (Kashmir Voice): A Delhi court has extended the judicial custody of Hurriyat leader, Shabbir Ahmad Shah in a decade-old fake case.
According to media sources, Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma extended the custody of Shabbir Ahmad Shah till September 27 when he was produced before the court through video-conferencing after expiry of earlier custody. During the arguments, Shabbir Shah’s advocate M S Khan told the court that his client was not given proper medical and other necessary facilities in the jail. The court has sought a reply from the authorities concerned on Khan’s submission. Shabbir Shah was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on July 26, a day after several Hurriyat leaders were taken into custody of the Indian National Investigating Agency (NIA). Meanwhile, the Democratic Freedom Party in a statement strongly condemned the extension in Shabbir Ahmad Shah’s judicial remand by two more weeks. A DFP spokesperson said the Shabbir Ahmad Shah remained in custody of by Enforcement Directorate the fact that he is suffering from various ailments. The statement said that Shabbir Ahmad Shah was being denied basic facilities including the food prescribed by doctors. On the other hand, after receiving summons, Dr Bilquies Shah, the wife of Shabbir Ahmad Shah, has left for Delhi to present herself before the Enforcement Directorate. She is repeatedly receiving summons from ED since the arrest of her husband. KASHMIR VOICE
Srinagar, September 14 (Kashmir Voice): In occupied Kashmir, the Jamaat-e-Islami has condemned the continued arrest of its several leaders terming it violation of human rights.
According to media sources, the JI in a statement issued in Srinagar said police produced Advocate Zahid Ali and Farooq Ahmad Sheikh in a court and were remanded to judicial custody till September 21.
It said both the leaders have been detained by police since August 4 and later on sent them to District Jail, Islamabad. The Jamaat appealed to the international community including human rights groups to take strong note of the volatile situation being faced by hapless, innocent and unarmed Kashmiris at the hands of Indian forces and urged them to come for the resolution of Kashmir dispute as per the aspirations of Kashmiri people without any further delay. KASHMIR VOICE