India rejects United Nations report on human rights violation in Kashmir as 'fallacious'


India on Thursday rejected a United Nations Human Rights Office report that alleged widespread rights abuse by the Indian armed forces on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and called for an global investigation into such "instances". It is fallacious, tendentious and motivated. It further called the report a selective compilation of largely unverified information. "It is overtly prejudiced and seeks to build a false narrative". The report violates India's sovereignty and is disturbing that those behind this report have chosen to describe internationally designated and United Nations -proscribed terrorist entities as "armed groups" and terrorists as "leaders".

The verdant Kashmir valley, nestled below snow-capped Himalayan peaks, has been disputed by India and Pakistan since the time of independence and Pakistan's creation, and its border is one of the most heavily militarized in the world.

"This proposal is consistent with Pakistan's several calls to this effect since 2016, even as India has continued to ignore legitimate demands for probe into gross and systematic violations, including pellet guns, excessive use of force, arbitrary arrest and detentions as well as continued sexual violence as part of overall impunity enjoyed by Indian security forces", the handout read.

India has already conveyed its view and protest against the report to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The UN "Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of J-K from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad J-K and Gilgit-Baltistan" also noted since the late 1980s, "a variety of armed groups has been actively operating in the Indian state of J-K".

"Despite the Government of Pakistan's assertions of denial of any support to these groups, experts believe that Pakistan's military continues to support their operations across the Line of Control in Indian-Administered Kashmir", the report said. "The Congress supports the government's stand", said the party.

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The report also criticised the use of the pellet-firing shotgun by security forces to quell the protests in which more than 6,000 people have suffered eye injuries.

"This gives security forces virtual immunity against prosecution for any human rights violation".

Mountainous Kashmir, which is Muslim majority, is divided between the nuclear-armed neighbors, who both claim it in full and have fought two of their three wars over the region since their separation in 1947.

"Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir", the report says, noting that the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 (PSA) have "created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations".

The report said the United Nations body chief met with representatives of both governments following an upsurge of violence in July 2016 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani by security forces.