236 persons killed in JK in 2014: JKCCS

Srinagar, Dec 31: About 236 persons were
killed in Kashmir during 2014 as
compared to 204 previous year, a report
by a civil society group said.
The report’ Jammu and Kashmir Human
Rights Review-2014’ prepared by Jammu
and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies
(JKCCS) states that in 2014, the killing
graph has gone upto 236 deaths in violent
incidents in comparison with previous
year 2013 which has registered 204
killings.
“Out of 236 persons, 53 were civilians, 82
armed forces and police personnel, 99
militants and two ex-armed forces
personnel. Out of the 53 civilians killed,
17 have been killed by armed forces
personnel, while 24 have been killed by
unidentified gunmen. There have been
killings of six civilians in the cross firing
incidents between army and militants.
During the border firing between Indian
and Pakistani soldiers, five civilians were
killed, while one person was killed in
clashes between the workers of two pro-
Indian political parties,” the report
reveals. “Incidents like Chattergam, in
which two teenage boys were killed and
equal number of boys critically injured,
only re-established the fact that the
patterns of violence remain unchanged.
Another aspect of the killings was the
assassinations of political workers by
unidentified gunmen. However, those
killings got eclipsed by a political blame
game of pro-Indian political parties, as
most of them occurred at the time of
elections,” it states.
The report states that over 1,000 persons
were arrested in the wake of elections in
Kashmir. “This year as well, there was no
respite for Kashmiri youth, majority being
students, from police harassment and
illegality. As the elections were
approaching the degree of surveillance
drastically increased. Officially, police
state that 590 boys were arrested from
different parts of the valley for conduct
of ‘smooth’ elections. However, Hurriyat
Conference states that over 1000 boys
were arrested in the backdrop of
elections,” it said.
The report states there was also “massive
crackdown” on groups campaigning for
Kashmir’s right of self-determination.
“The dissenting leaders were either put
under house detention or jailed without
any charge on the pretext of conducting
‘smooth’ polling in the valley and to
maintain ‘law and order’. The wide-scale
surveillance and arrests, the
government’s general hostility to dissent,
has led to widespread human rights
violations. Any signs of perceived dissent
in the valley are suppressed, frequently
preemptively and often brutally,” it states.
“The arbitrary use of the Jammu and
Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) which
has invited frequent criticism from
Kashmir civil society and Amnesty
International continues to be a state tool
to curb dissent. For example this year
Zubir Ahmed Turray, a resident of
Bonabazar, in Shopian was arrested on
charges of stone-pelting in April and was
slapped with PSA and shifted to a jail in
Jammu division. District Magistrate in
order vide number 01/DM/PSA/2014
slapped PSA on Turray and sent him to
district jail Udhampur,” the report states.
Citing examples, it said “Shakeel Ahmad
Bhat of Malik Angan, Fateh Kadal, who
was dubbed as ‘Rage Boy’ by foreign
media outlets and ‘Islamic Rage Boy’ by
rightwing bloggers. After booking him
under the PSA, he was sent to Udhampur
jail.”
“This year’s first case of enforced
disappearance was of Mushtaq Ahmad
Changa of Arampora, Haider Colony,
Sopore. Changa was arrested by a Special
Operations Group (SOG) contingent on the
intervening night of January 29/30, 2014
in presence of his family members.
Changa’s whereabouts were not disclosed
to his family after his arrest. For months
together Changa’s family struggled hard
to know his fate but in vain. Now the
family has moved to the court to locate
Changa. Kifayat Ahmad Khan, son of
Muhammad Sadiq Khan of Rampora
village of Uri had gone to New Delhi with
his truck on October 18 and since then
nothing has been heard of him. According
to his family, Kifayat went on October 22
from Delhi to Azadpur Mandi but did not
return,” it states.
The report states that 23 years after the
commission of the mass rape and torture
in Kunan and Poshpora villages of
Kupwara, “the conduct of the State parties
continues to be as expected: the Indian
State [army and government] continues to
deny criminality, and seeks to defame the
victims. The Government of Jammu and
Kashmir and the Jammu and Kashmir
Police [in this case investigating officers],
shamelessly defend the perpetrators of
crime. The extent to which the
Government of Jammu and Kashmir is
willing to go to defend the army is
brought out by the absurd and
contradictory stands taken by the
government counsel on the issue of
compensation before the High Court,” it
states.