Altaf Hamid Rao
Islamabad/ MIRPUR (AJK), (Parliament Times) : Chairman Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) Altaf Hussain Wani has condemned in strong terms the torture of veteran rights activist and chairman International Forum for Justice and Human Rights Mr. Muhammad Ahasan Untoo by the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the KIIR chief while highlighting Mr. Untoo’s peerless contribution in highlighting Indian brutalities and the plight of common Kashmiris said that IFJHR chairman has been tortured and incarcerated many times in the past for his human rights activism. “He is one of the bold and brave voices of the region who is being victimized just for standing up for the rights of common Kashmiris, calling spade a spade and speaking truth to the power”, Wani said adding that atrocious attack on Untoo was a sheer hooliganism and a flagrant violation of basic human rights.
Urging the world human rights organization to take effective notice of the Indian brutalities, the KIIR chairman said that the BJP government was hell bent on choking every dissenting voice in Kashmir. “Intimidation, torture, arbitrary arrests of rights defenders and terrorizing their families remain to be one of the extreme measures the Indian government has been using as a state policy to enable complete silence on Kashmir and to subdue critical voices who dare to speak truth to power”, Mr. Wani said adding that it was high time that the world should break its silence and hold Indian government accountable for the past and ongoing human rights abuses in the region.
It is worth recalling here that Mr. Untoo’s was ruthlessly thrashed and beaten to a pulp by the CRPF and police cops on 19 October while he was on a private visit to Watergam village of Rafiabad area of district Baramulla. He has been under fire over the role he played in exposing India’s dodgy and destructive role in Kashmir. His organization (IFJHR) is a regular contributor to the human rights mechanism especially sending parallel reports to Universal periodic reviews.
Earlier, Untoo received death threats from unknown and unidentified numbers, especially after attending an online webinar organized as a sideline event of 48th Session of UN human rights council.