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Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada   
Wednesday, 01 March 1995 00:00
Disclaimer

This document was prepared by the Research Directorate of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada on the basis of publicly available information, analysis and comment. All sources are cited. This document is not, and does not purport to be, either exhaustive with regard to conditions in the country surveyed or conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. For further information on current developments, please contact the Research Directorate.

2. BACKGROUND

2.1 Geographical and Historical Overview

The area commonly known as Kashmir is located in the Himalayas in the north of India and Pakistan, with an eastern section held by China (see map). Mountainous and remote, many parts of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir are tenuously linked by one main highway which runs from the winter capital, Jammu, in the south to the summer capital, Srinagar, in the north, and then splits to run east-west (Kadian 1992, map; India Today 15 Aug. 1994, 34; Horsely 1984, 708). The Kashmir or Jhelum Valley, in which Srinagar is located, is predominantly Muslim and has a population of about seven million (Malik Mar. 1993, 2). Jammu has a Hindu and Sikh majority, while Ladakh in the east is dominated by Shia Muslims and Buddhists (Asian Survey May 1994, 413; The Economist 29 Aug. 1992). Overall, Muslims comprise about two-thirds of the population in Jammu and Kashmir, making it the only Indian state with a Muslim majority (HRWAP Sept. 1994, 39).

The areas of Kashmir held by Pakistan include Azad (Free) Kashmir, whose capital is Muzaffarabad, and the Northern Areas, which include Gilgit, Hunza and Baltisan (Malik Mar. 1993, 2). The Indian and Pakistani-held areas are separated by the Line of Control, which is guarded by armies of both sides. India and Pakistan fought wars over the area in 1947 and 1965; fighting also took place in the region in 1971 during the war that eventually created Bangladesh (Thomas 1992, 23; Kadian 1992, 163). The 1972 Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan following that war appeared to have finalized the de facto borders and opened the way to future negotiations to solve the problem of Kashmir's status (Kadian 1992, 12).

However, a number of factors since then have contributed to the current situation. Internationally, the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, and the Afghan War in the 1980s, contributed to rising Islamic nationalism in Kashmir (Kadian 1992, 13; Malik Mar. 1993, 9). As well, many of the high-powered weapons supplied to Afghan Muslim rebels during the Afghan War have reportedly made their way into the hands of Kashmiri Muslim rebels, either through the help of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), or directly from the arms bazaars of northern Pakistan (India Today 15 May 1994a, 26-35; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 4-20).

Within Jammu and Kashmir, there was growing dissatisfaction throughout the 1980s with what was seen as increased corruption in the local government and interference by the central government (Kadian 1992, 16-17). This dissatisfaction was brought to a head after the 1987 state elections which were widely viewed as having been rigged in favour of the central government (Congress-I)-backed Kashmir National Conference and against the popular Muslim United Front (MUF) (AI Dec. 1993, 9; Kadian 1992, 19; Current History Dec. 1993, 428; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 40). Growing incidents of violence in Kashmir coincided with the more militant insurgency in nearby Punjab; the resulting drop in tourism hurt the Kashmir economy and left many young men unemployed, and thus "increasingly available to the militants" (Kadian 1992, 16; see also The Economist 27 Mar. 1993). The December 1989 kidnapping of the daughter of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, a Kashmiri and the central Indian government's first Muslim Home Minister, by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), helped to bring the insurgency into the international eye. The daughter was eventually released, but so too were five top militants, with the whole episode being widely viewed by Kashmiri Muslims as a victory (Kadian 1992, 10-11; Malik Mar. 1993, 11; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 40).

1990 saw the beginning of a massive exodus of Kashmiri Hindus, also known as Pandits, from the Kashmir Valley, into refugee camps in Jammu and other areas, following threats by the JKLF and other militant groups against them (United Nations 20 Jan. 1994, 71 art. 55; AI Dec. 1993, 10; Kadian 1992, 35; The Economist 10 Apr. 1993). The Congressional Human Rights Foundation, an independent human rights body from Washington, D.C., which sent a delegation to Kashmir in December 1993, reports that there are now some 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits displaced in India (1994). Rajesh Kadian, author The Kashmir Tangle: Issues and Options, states that some 10,000 Muslims, "mostly businessmen", also left the region, although mainly for economic reasons (Kadian 1992, 35).

Indian Army and paramilitary troops were brought into the state in large numbers after the state government was dismissed and President's Rule -- direct rule by the central government -- was decreed in 1990 (AI Dec. 1993, 9; Kadian 1992, 23-24). President's Rule is still in effect in the state, and was recently extended until April 1995 (CJ International Nov.-Dec. 1994a, 14; Christian Science Monitor 29 August 1994).

Tensions escalated in Jammu and Kashmir in October 1993 when Indian security forces lay siege to the Muslim shrine of Hazratbal in Srinagar, trapping Muslim militants inside. Several Muslim pilgrims were also in the shrine, which Muslims believe holds a sacred hair from the beard of the prophet Mohammed (United Nations 20 Jan. 1994, 71 art. 55; ibid., 76 arts. 56.13-56.14; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 48; Asian Survey Feb. 1994, 199). The situation was reminiscent of the 1984 siege of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, in which security forces stormed the temple, killing many and igniting the Sikh militancy for years to come [Please see the DIRB's January 1994 Question and Answer Series: India: Punjab Human Rights Update.] (The Economist 23 Oct. 1993; FEER 28 October 1993). During the Hazratbal siege, over 40 people were killed in one related incident in nearby Bijbehara, when Indian security forces fired on demonstrators (HRWAP Sept. 1994, 48; LCHR July 1994, 162-163; La Presse 27 Oct. 1993; Édition 1994: Journal de l'année 1994, 59). The militants at Hazratbal surrendered in mid-November 1993 (United Nations 20 Jan. 1994, 71 art. 55, 76 arts. 56.13-56.14; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 48; Asian Survey Feb. 1994, 199). However, Indian security forces occupied the shrine until August 1994, sparking many protests from Muslim groups, including a series of strikes in Jammu and Kashmir, and a hunger strike by JKLF leader Yasin Malik (AFP 7 Aug. 1994; ibid. 1 Aug. 1994; ibid. 25 July 1994). The lifting of the checkpoints was marked by state-wide celebrations. On the same day, however, a bomb blast in a Srinagar market killed at least six and injured another fifty people (AFP 7 Aug. 1994; CJ International Nov.-Dec. 1994a, 15).

Recently, the Indian Government has been promoting the idea of state elections in Jammu and Kashmir to replace President's Rule (VOA 14 Oct. 1994; ibid. 12 Oct. 1994; FEER 17 Nov. 1994; India Today 31 Oct. 1994, 28-29). At the end of October 1994, Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao announced the creation of a new Department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs, which he will personally head (UPI 5 Nov. 1994; India Today 30 Nov. 1994, 40-41). According to UPI, Rao's decision to supervise Kashmir directly is part of an effort to create a conducive atmosphere for elections. The major thrust of the new department would be to restore normalcy to Kashmir, initiate the political process, rebuild damaged infrastructure and accelerate development (UPI 5 Nov. 1994; see also India Today 30 Nov. 1994, 40-41).

As well, the Indian Government has released from detention a number of leading Kashmiri figures, including Shabir Shah, Ali Shah Geelani, and Abdul Ghani Lone, apparently in an effort to promote the elections (India Today 31 Oct. 1994, 28; FEER 17 Nov. 1994; The Economist 14 Oct. 1994; UPI 14 Oct. 1994). The most prominent is Shabir Shah, leader of the Jammu and Kashmir People's League, who had been detained on and off for about 18 years, and had most recently spent five years in detention under national security legislation without charge or trial (AI 19 Oct. 1994; India Today 15 Nov. 1994, 24-27; AFP 21 Oct. 1994). All of the above men have come out against the elections, as have the All Party Freedom (Hurriyat) Conference and the major militant groups (India Today 31 Oct. 1994, 28-29; ibid. 15 Nov. 1994, 27; FEER 17 Nov. 1994). According to some analysts, it appears doubtful that elections in Jammu and Kashmir could be successfully run, given the strong opposition by militant groups, the current lack of candidates, the many security difficulties, and the general suspicion among Kashmiris of central government initiatives (India Today 31 Oct. 1994, 28-29; FEER 17 Nov. 1994; UPI 5 Nov. 1994).

2.2 International Relations

Authors Samit Ganguly and Kanti Bajpai place Kashmir within a "giant arc of crisis," unstable and highly militarized, that extends "from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics in the Baltic and Central Asia, through Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, to China and India" (Asian Survey May 1994, 401). Much of the Muslim world has come to view the struggle in Kashmir as a religious one (India Today 15 May 1994c, 37; ibid. 15 May 1994d, 40). Muslim fighters from a variety of countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, and Sudan, reportedly began entering the Kashmiri militancy in large numbers in 1992, with a resultant worsening of militant violence (AI Dec. 1993, 11; UPI 7 Oct. 1993; AFP 16 June 1994; The Economist 9 Oct. 1993; India Today 15 May 1994a, 28-35).

The international implications of the conflict are deepened by the fact that both India and Pakistan are at least near, if not de facto, nuclear powers (The New York Times 4 Apr. 1992; Kadian 1992, 165; Asian Survey May 1994, 402; Radio Pakistan Network 25 Aug. 1994; Xinhua 16 Mar. 1992; The Times 26 Jan. 1994). Artillery exchanges between the two militaries over the Line of Control have been reported often in the last few years, with Pakistan commonly accusing the Indian army of shelling villages in Azad Kashmir, and India accusing the Pakistani forces of targeting Indian army positions to help Kashmiri rebels to cross the line (Kadian 1992, 32; The News 25 Aug. 1994; The Independent 6 June 1991; Radio Pakistan Overseas Service 6 July 1994; Radio Pakistan Network 26 June 1994).

A further war of words between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has been played out in the United Nations. Pakistan accuses India of severe human rights violations in Kashmir, and has used the UN platform to publicize the plight of Kashmiris (Le Devoir 2 Feb. 1994). India, for its part, accuses Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir by training and arming militant groups, most significantly the pro-Pakistani groups led by the Hizbul Mujahedin [Variations on this spelling in the literature include Hizbul Mujahadeen, Hizb-Ul Mujahideen, Hizbul Mujaheddin, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Hizbul Mujahedin, Hizbul Mujahedeen, Hizbul Mojahedin, and Hizbul Mujahideen.] (United Nations 12 Nov. 1993, 4-5, 13; United Nations 10 Feb. 1993, 4,6; United Nations 18 Feb. 1992, 2-3). In March 1994 the Pakistani government failed to get the UN Human Rights Commission to pass a resolution condemning India for human rights violations in Kashmir; instead the Indian government promised to allow greater access to Kashmir by international human rights investigators (AP 9 Mar. 1994; Asian Survey May 1994, 408). In 1994 the Indian Government allowed several visits to Kashmir by international delegations, including a team of US Congress members who visited for two days in November, and a delegation of British MPs who visited Srinagar in September during a fire fight between militants and security forces (UPI 16 Nov. 1994; AP 17 Nov. 1994; UPI 28 Sept. 1994; CHRF 1994). In separate August 1994 reports, however, both Amnesty International and Human Rights WatchAsia indicate that access to Jammu and Kashmir remains restricted for international human rights monitors (HRWA Aug. 1994, 20-21; AI Aug. 1994, 1). [The Amnesty International report states that although Amnesty International was allowed to visit India (Maharashtra State) in January 1994 for the first time in 14 years, negotiations for a visit to Jammu and Kashmir are on-going, with a date not yet set (Amnesty International Aug. 1994, 1). The Human Rights WatchAsia report mentions that the International Commission of the Red Cross was allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir in March 1993 "to conduct a survey of humanitarian needs" (Aug. 1994, 20). The Human Rights WatchAsia report, however, calls for the Indian government to allow access to Jammu and Kashmir by special UN rapporteurs reporting to the UN Human Rights Commission's working groups on disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (ibid., 20-21).] A November 1994 report indicates that the International Committee of the Red Cross has received permission to visit Kashmir, but will not be permitted to inspect military bases or Border Security Force (BSF) interrogation centres (The Observer 13 Nov. 1994).

Pakistan reportedly came under great pressure from the United States in January 1993 to withdraw support from the Kashmiri rebels. The World Trade Center bombing in New York City was linked to Pakistani-trained terrorists, and reportedly Pakistan was close to being named a terrorist state by the US (AFP 18 May 1994; Asian Survey Feb. 1994, 197; India Today 15 May 1994a, 28, 33). One press report indicates however that Pakistani support for Kashmiri militants, whether through official or private channels, remains strong today despite this US pressure (AFP 18 May 1994).

India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism in other parts of the country, including the Punjab, and of being behind the March 1993 Bombay bombings (India Today 15 May 1994d, 38, 40; Asian Survey Feb. 1994, 198), which killed 273 people, injured over a thousand, and set off violent Hindu-Muslim riots afterwards (Édition 1994: Journal de l'année 1994, 17). Pakistan, for its part, accuses India of sponsoring terrorism in Sindh, Punjab and other areas of Pakistan (The Times 9 June 1994; Kadian 1992, 162-63; Asian Survey Feb. 1994, 198). In addition, the Hindu-Muslim communal riots resulting from the destruction of the Babri Mosque at Ayodhya, India, in December 1992, further soured relations between the two countries and heightened the climate of distrust between Muslims and Hindus in other parts of India, including Kashmir (Asian Survey Feb. 1994, 198; India Today 15 May 1994a, 34; United Nations 20 Jan. 1994, 70 art. 55).

Negotiations between India and Pakistan for a peaceful permanent resolution of the status of Kashmir broke down in January 1994 (The Times 26 Jan. 1994; TASS 3 Jan. 1994; Reuters 4 Jan. 1994). Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has publicly rejected the "third option" for Kashmir -- Kashmiri independence -- and emphasized the importance of the accession of all of Kashmir to Pakistan (PTV Television Network 2 Aug. 1994; UPI 15 Aug. 1994). The Indian government meanwhile firmly maintains that the question of Kashmir is an internal Indian matter and that all solutions must lie within the framework of India's pluralistic democracy (UPI 15 Aug. 1994; Reuters 4 Jan. 1994; Kadian 1992, 160-161; Thomas 1992, 28). A plebiscite giving Kashmiris a chance to freely choose between remaining in India or Pakistan, joining India or Pakistan, or becoming an independent country, appears to be only a remote possibility, since Pakistan requires that Indian forces withdraw from Kashmir, and India requires that Pakistan withdraw from the Kashmiri areas it controls (Asian Survey May 1994, 413; United Nations 10 Feb. 1993, 7).

2.3 Media Access

One result of the climate of distrust between India and Pakistan seems to be a propaganda war between the two nations over Kashmir. Rahul Pathak, for example, reports in India Today on the use of propaganda by the Pakistani ISI and media against India:

The ISI's psychological war apparatus is used to heighten passions -- video films of the Bombay riots were shown in Dubai mosques before the blasts -- and convey instructions abroad. The Kashmir Media Service, headquartered in Islamabad, has disseminated several reports about rape and mayhem in the [Kashmir] Valley, which form the ammunition of the human rights campaign being spearheaded in the US by the Kashmiri American Council of Ghulam Nabi Fai (India Today 15 May 1994b, 35).

The first Indian journalist allowed to visit Kashmiri refugee camps in Azad Kashmir, in May 1994, reported the use of heavy propaganda by the authorities; her visit was choreographed to the extent that the "Kashmiri" refugees she was allowed to interview were unable to speak Kashmiri (India Today 15 May 1994f, 55-59). Other Indian sources report propaganda broadcasting by Pakistani electronic media over the Line of Control (Indian Express 1 Aug. 1994; Dainik Jagran 1 Aug. 1994; India Today 15 May 1994b, 35).

According to Country Reports 1993, "National television and radio [in India] are government monopolies and are frequently accused by opposition politicians and the print media of manipulating the news to the benefit of the Government" (1994, 1346). The Indian press, however, is often critical of the government and "as a whole champions human rights" (ibid., 1346). Yet in a war zone like Kashmir, information and movement can be constrained so that the press reports mainly the official version of events as released by military authorities (Press Council of India Jan. and July 1991, 66-68; AI Dec. 1993, 9). That "official" version is, according to the Press Council of India, at times "open to suspicion" (Press Council of India Jan. and July 1991, 108). As well, Country Reports 1993 indicates that

The 1971 Newspapers Incitements to Offenses Act remained in effect in Jammu and Kashmir throughout 1993. Under the Act, a district magistrate may restrict the press from carrying material resulting in "incitement to murder" or "any act of violence." Punishment permitted under the Act includes seizure of newspapers and printing presses (Country Reports 1993 1994, 1346).

In late August 1994, journalist Ghulam Mohammed Lone and his son were killed at home, in front of their family by a masked gunman in Kangan, 48 kilometers northeast of Srinagar. Lone had published a series of stories critical of security forces and had received threats from one military officer who had been the subject of one of Lone's reports. Lone's widow and local residents claim that Lone was killed by disguised army personnel, a charge the army has denied (Toronto Star 11 Sept. 1994; UPI 31 Aug. 1994).

In addition, four Indian journalists trying to report a grenade attack by militants were beaten by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel who reportedly found them to be in the way; an apology was issued later by the BSF commandant involved (AFP 20 Aug. 1994). Three journalists were beaten a year earlier by BSF members in Srinagar for unfavourable reporting (Country Reports 1993 1994, 1346; see also United Nations 23 Dec. 1992, art. 332).

The Indian media in Kashmir is also under great pressure from Kashmiri militant groups to report their side favourably (Country Reports 1993 1994, 1347; Kadian 1992, 150; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 48). For instance, AFP reported on 8 July 1994 that the state-run radio and television station in Srinagar had suffered its second rocket attack in a week from militants who wanted them to stop broadcasting "anti-militant propaganda." Country Reports 1993 indicates that in 1993 "newspapers in Srinagar regularly carried militant press releases attacking the Government and reported in detail on alleged human rights abuses. The Government has taken no steps to prevent Kashmiri papers from printing militant press releases" (Country Reports 1993 1994, 1346).

2.4 Main Militant Groups

There are two main militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir: the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which wants to establish an independent, secular Kashmir, and the Hizbul Mujahedin, which is fighting to join Pakistan (Kadian 1992, 28-32; Current History Dec. 1993, 427; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 20). In addition, sources estimate there are as many as 70 to 130 smaller militant groups also operating in the region, often with little coordination between them (Toronto Star 11 Sept. 1994; The Times 26 Jan. 1994; All India Radio Network 3 June 1994; The Economist 31 Oct. 1992; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 42; India Today 30 June 1994a, 47). The total number of miltants has been estimated at about 50,000 (Christian Science Monitor 29 Aug. 1994).

The JKLF was founded in the United Kingdom in 1976 through the merger of two other groups, the Plebiscite Front and the Azad Kashmir Front (Kadian 1992, 15); a Pakistani chapter was later formed in the early 1980s (ibid., 28). Amanullah Khan, who had been involved in the formation of an earlier group, the Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Front, in 1965, was also instrumental in the formation of the JKLF in both the UK and Pakistan, and remains a top leader today (Kadian 1992, 14-15; DIRB 30 Sept. 1994). The JKLF in Jammu and Kashmir is led by Yasin Malik and Javed Mir from Srinagar (ibid.; Kadian 1992, 29). Malik was arrested in 1990 and faces trial for allegedly killing five Indian Air Force members and for allegedly taking part in the kidnapping of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's daughter in 1989. He was released on bail due to poor health in June 1994 (India Today 15 June 1994a, 44), and was "seriously injured" in December 1994 by security forces during a protest march in Srinagar (UPI 10 Dec. 1994).

The JKLF has in the past reportedly received military training and weapons from Pakistan (HRWAP Sept. 1994, 18), although by mid-1991 Pakistani support had noticeably shifted towards the Hizbul Mujahedin and other pro-Pakistan groups (Kadian 1992, 31; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 20). The Human Rights Watch Arms Project reports that despite this lessening of support, the JKLF is still able to arm itself well:

the ranks of the JKLF are drawn mostly from the urban Muslim middle classes, boat owners and carpet makers who can afford to buy their own weapons, which means that they are not forced to rely on the largesse of the ISI. One press report quoted a member of the JKSLF [Jammu and Kashmir Students Liberation Front], the student wing of the JKLF, as stating that the JKSLF bought its arms from smugglers in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India itself (HRWAP Sept. 1994, 20).

Besides the JKSLF, other groups associated with the JKLF include smaller organizations such as the Kashmir Liberation Army (KLA), the Al-Fatah group, the People's League, and its sub-group the Al-Jihad (Kadian 1992, 29) [For more information on the JKLF and its factions, please consult the DIRB's database REFINFO.].

The Hizbul Mujahedin is the military wing of the Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami (Kadian 1992, 30; The Economist 9 Oct. 1993). It was founded in 1989 and is considered the largest and best armed of the Kashmiri militant organizations (Kadian 1992, 30; The Economist 9 Oct. 1993). The Hizbul Mujahedin began an "Islamization" drive in the Kashmir Valley in the early 1990s, reportedly forcing cinemas, video stores, beauty parlours and liquor stores to close, burning Hindi and English language videos it considered obscene, warning women to cover their bodies and faces, setting up shariah courts, and forcing restaurants and hotels to close during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan (Kadian 1992, 22, 30; AFP 29 July 1994; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 47). The Hizbul Mujahedin is said to have strong ties with Pakistan, and supports the merger of Kashmir with Pakistan (Kadian 1992, 31; HRWAP Sept. 1994, 20). The Human Rights Watch Arms Project names the following groups as also being pro-Pakistan:

the Islami-Jamiat-Tulba and the Muslim Students Federation...which are affiliated with the Jamaat-i-Islami political party.... The Hezb-e Ullah, the Hezb-e-Islami, the Muslim Janabaz Force, the Al Ulmar Mujahidin, Operation Balakote, the Tehreik-e-Jehadi-Islami, the Islamic Tehrik-e-Tulba, the Allah Tigers, the Zia Tiger Force, the Islamic Students' League, and the Jammu and Kashmir People's League, Al-Jihad, Al-Barq, Hizbollah, Ikhwan-ul-Muslimin, Jamait-ul Mujahidin, Al-Umar Mujahidin, Tekriqu-ul Majahidin, Allah Tigers, Ul-Ulmar Commandos, the Harakatul Ansar (HRWAP Sept. 1994, 42).

Several sources report that factionalism is common within all the militant organizations, and that fighting takes place between rival organizations (CHRF 1994; Country Reports 1993 1994, 1339; HRWA Aug. 1994, 2; AFP 16 June 1994; Kadian 1992, 28; India Today 15 July 1994, 33). According to Indian authorities, inter-factionalism has left 400 people dead in the last three years (AFP 16 June 1994), at least 200 in the first half of 1994 (India Today 15 July 1994, 33). Militant groups have been known to target one another's leaders: a recent example is the two attempts on the life of Yasin Malik in June 1994. Malik accused the Hizbul Mujahedin of being behind the attacks, while the Mujahedin claimed that factions of the JKLF had attacked their own leader (AFP 16 June 1994; All India Radio Network 3 June 1994). In July 1994 southern Kashmir religious leader Qazi Nissar Ahmad was killed, apparently by Muslim militants; Nissar had been liaising between militants and the Indian government in the case of two British tourists kidnapped by militants(India Today 15 July 1994, 33). India Today reports: "1994 clearly stands out for the number of militants killed not by the security forces but in internecine warfare. The rivalry exists not just between the pro-Pakistan and pro-azadi [freedom] groups but among the pro-Pakistan groups themselves" (ibid., 33). The same article specifically mentions fighting between the Muslim Mujahedin and the Hizbul Mujahedin in Baramulla and Kupwara, between the Hizbul Mujahedin and JKLF in Srinagar, and between the Hizbul Mujahedin and Al Barq in Kupwara (ibid., 33).

In September 1993 the Hizbul Mujahedin and JKLF worked together to help form the All Party Freedom (Hurriyat) Conference, an umbrella group of over 30 trade unions, political and religious organizations working together to separate from India (The Economist 9 Oct. 1993; Asian Survey May 1994, 411; India Today 30 June 1994a, 47; VOA 12 Oct. 1994). The Hurriyat Conference is led by Moulvi Umer Farooq, a Muslim spiritual leader, and has been active in leading strikes and protests in Jammu and Kashmir (CHRF 1994; AFP 29 July 1994; ibid. 13 July 1994). In October 1994, it supported a ban on elections in the state, calling instead for a UN-sponsored plebiscite on whether to remain within India (VOA 12 Oct. 1994).

Militant organizations in Kashmir have been accused of numerous human rights violations, which will be discussed in section 3.5.

2.5 Indian Security Forces

Indian security forces now number 400,000-500,000 or more in Jammu and Kashmir, and include Indian army personnel as well as members of paramilitary organizations such as the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) (CHRF 1994; Christian Science Monitor 29 Aug. 1994; Country Reports 1993 1994, 1345).

The local police are largely Muslim, while those in the security forces are generally not, a situation which has reportedly led to poor communications and mistrust between police and security forces organizations (The Economist 1 May 1993; AI Dec. 1993, 6). Some sources indicate that security forces from outside the state generally do not speak Kashmiri, are poorly briefed, face hostile conditions, are trained to use maximum force, and are the subject of intense resentment by most Kashmiris (AI Dec. 1993, 6; The Economist 1 May 1993). As well, Amnesty International reports that, "Although all the security forces theoretically operate under the supervision of the Director General of the Jammu and Kashmir Police (presently M.N. Sabharwal) in practice the army and paramilitary forces act independently of the local police" (Amnesty International Dec. 1993, 6). According to Kadian, "The [Kashmir] valley itself is criss-crossed by different lines of authority and varying chains of command between the army, the paramilitary forces, the local police, the Air Force, the half a dozen intelligence agencies and the central (federal) and state administrative machinery" (Kadian 1992, 149).

The lack of coordination between security forces was illustrated and exacerbated by the April 1993 killing of an off-duty Muslim Kashmiri police officer. Security forces officials claimed he was killed in cross-fire in a battle with militants, but Kashmiri police believed he died while in the custody of the BSF. The resulting six-day police strike was disbanded only after Indian army troops stormed the Srinagar police headquarters (LCHR July 1994, 162; Country Reports 1993 1994, 1339; The Economist 1 May 1993).

Security forces and police are apparently well-supplied with assault rifles, small arms, and other light weapons, explosives and armoured vehicles (HRWAP Sept. 1994, 49-50), although they reportedly make very little or no use of electronic surveillance in their war against the guerrillas (Kadian 1992, 149). Military vehicles tend to move in convoys for safety, and tactics usually revolve around patrols, and cordon and search operations, which target entire villages or neighbourhoods, using hooded "cats" (informants) to identify suspects for arrest (Toronto Star 11 Sept. 1994; Kadian 1992, 24-25, 150; CHRF 1994; HRWA Aug. 1994, 3; South China Morning Post 11 Aug. 1993; AI Dec. 1993, 4, 22). Curfews are common in troubled areas (Kadian 1992, 150; CHRF 1994; Country Reports 1993 1994, 1347; All India Radio Network 7 June 1994; BBC Summary 25 Jan. 1994). US Ambassador J. Kenneth Blackwell, who visited the region in December 1993 with the independent Congressional Human Rights Foundation, found that "the presence of military and police in Kashmir is overwhelming. Troops line every thoroughfare; heavily armed bunkers are on every corner" (CHRF 1994; see also India Today 30 June 1994a, 46; Toronto Star 11 Sept. 1994). In 1992 nearly 500 security forces members were killed in Jammu and Kashmir, and over 1,500 injured (AI Dec. 1993, 6).

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