2017 as gruesome as 2016, Mirwaiz forum releases report

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Srinagar: In occupied Kashmir, the annual report released by Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat forum on the human rights situation in Kashmir has painted a grim picture of the overall scenario with figures suggesting that nothing has changed on ground and instead the graph of killings has shown an upward trend in year 2017.

The report prepared by the human rights division of the forum, released in Srinagar, says that the year saw 309 deaths of innocent people at the hands of Indian forces in the territory. “As compared to 2016, the graph of killings during this year showed upward trend,” the report read.

It stated that in 2017, the killings, incidents of violence, border firings and curbs on the public movement was witnessed throughout the year. “Imposition of curfew, restrictions on peoples’ movement, freezing internet services, disallowing protests, killing and injuries of people, use of lethal weapons as crowd control measure remained unchanged,” it said. “As the wounds of 2016 were still fresh, Kashmir suffered in 2017 as well.” The report also talks about the three civilian killings in eight days of December 2017 -two lactating women and a taxi driver. Stating that while resistance leadership were caged, National Investigation Agency conducted raids and arrested many leaders and framed them under frivolous charges, who stand detained in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

The report states that congregational Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar were disallowed for 18 Fridays while Mirwaiz Umar Farooq remained under house arrest most part of the year. The report also mentioned Farooq Ahmed Dar, who was made human shield during parliamentary elections in Budgam district with army tying him to their jeep. “This was brazen violation of international treaties and international humanitarian laws,” the report added.

“Serious allegations of a fake encounter from a family in Handwara area in August serve as a pointer that such incidents continue.” The report says that cases of violation of juvenile rights were also reported and it was learnt that the proper implementation of the Act concerning their rights remained a half-hearted exercise.

“In this horrific scenario, there is no respite to the people in Kashmir and every right-thinking person can see the futility of aggressive posturing as it has not yielded any positive result in the past,” it reads. “What should be paramount for all the concerned is a sincere effort.”

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq while commenting on the report wrote said, “Hurriyat Human Rights Division released its annual HR Report 2017 today. Killings have increased as violation of human rights continues unabated.”

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