Altaf Hamid Rao,
MIRPUR (AJK), (Parliament Times) : Veteran human rights activist and chairman Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) Altaf Hussain Wani has demanded an independent probe into the incidents of extra-judicial killings of Kashmiri youth in the Indian occupied Kashmir.
In a statement issued here Thursday, the KIIR chief while voicing his grave concern over surge in custodial killings in the Indian-held territory said that the Indian occupation forces deployed in length and breadth have turned the Kashmir valley virtually into a slaughterhouse where innocent and educated youth were hunted down and killed in fake encounters after being labeled as “terrorist or hybrid militants”.
Citing the killing of Kulgam youth Shahid Ahmad Tantray during a stage-managed encounter, Wani said that the killing of Tantray speaks volumes about the danger and insecurity of the lives of arrested young men while in custody.”
“This is the second such killing in just over a month. In October, another Kashmiri youth Imran Bashir Ganaie a resident of Shopian was arrested and later killed in a similar fashion”, he said adding that the Hurriyat leadership as well as the rights defenders fervently raised their voice against this barbarism and asked for a probe by independent agencies.
He said that it was quite alarming that the Indian occupation forces have started a fresh killing campaign under the guise of so-called “hybrid militancy”. He said that the Indian forces deployed in Kashmir have the worst track record and they have never shied away from killing innocent civilians to fulfill their desire for material gains, seeking incentives and promotions.
Meanwhile, the KIIR chairman expressed his grave concern over the continued detention of prominent Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez and demanded his immediate release. Highlighting the woeful plight of Parvez and his family Wani said that he was being punished for raising his voice for the voiceless people and India’s brutal suppression against Kashmiris.
Hailing the UN expert’s demand for the urgent release of Khurram Parvez, the KIIR Chief said that the JKCCS Coordinator and chairperson Asian Forum for Involuntary and Enforced Disappearances was being victimized for his tireless work documenting and reporting serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearances and unlawful killings in the Indian held territory.
Wani said that it was quite alarming that his detention has been extended five times by the NIA Special Court in New Delhi under Section 43D(2)(b) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). “So far NIA authorities have miserably failed to produce a single piece of evidence against him in the court of law”, he said.
The Indian authorities, he said, must release Parvez immediately and unconditionally, and all charges against him must be dropped as demanded by International Human rights groups and UN experts
He said that the Indian government was hell-bent on choking every voice of dissent in Kashmir to enable complete silence in the region. Arresting Kashmiri human rights defenders and journalists, he said, was part of the BJP government’s clamp-down campaign to suppress the dissenting voices and make sure that no one raises his/her voice against the brutalities inflicted upon Kashmiris.