Human Lives Human Rights: There has been a surge in the civilian killings at the hands of Indian security forces in the occupied Kashmir. Indian forces have carried out extrajudicial executions, targeting and killing Kashmiri civilians for unproven offenses.
Kashmir, which is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan but ruled in parts by both countries, has been the site of innocent killings since the 1990s.
On Wednesday, police said in a statement: “three militants were killed in a shootout” in Srinagar, whereas minutes after this statement eyewitnesses claimed that “three boys were taken out from a car and shot dead on the street”.
Eyewitnesses of the incident claim that the three young boys were “unarmed and were shot dead by the armed forces in front of us”. Witnesses alleged that the trio was dragged down from a vehicle and shot dead.
The slain boys were identified as Mehran Yaseen Shalla, a Srinagar resident, Manzoor Ahmad Mir and Arafat Ahmad Sheikh, both from Pulwama.
A woman, who said she witnessed the incident, alleged that three youths were standing on a road. “The policemen came and fired indiscriminately on the trio. We could not initially understand what was happening, but they fired indiscriminately on the three, who ran towards a lane but police followed them and brought them in injured condition on road and kept them there till they breathed last and then took away the bodies,” she said in a video which has gone viral.
She said they were not carrying any weapons. “Had they been carrying any weapon, they would have retaliated”. The woman said if police had any suspicion about the trio, they could have arrested them as they were unarmed. Asked whether they had come in a vehicle, she said, “May be they had come on a bike or a vehicle but at that point of time, they were standing on the road near a three-wheeler”.
The killings triggered protests in Rambagh with women demanding an end to killings in Kashmir. Protests also took place in downtown Srinagar, where Mehran hailed from. The youth of the area also took to roads and chanted pro-freedom and pro-Islamic slogans. Several areas of Srinagar also observed spontaneous shutdown after the killings.
The fresh wave of innocent killings by Indian security forces under the pretext of so called encounters, appears to be an attack on the humanity.
Conditions on the ground in Kashmir are in a state of emergency. It is a place of no rights. Every neighborhood is impaired and each life is impacted. Here, the rule of law has long since collapsed.
Since 1990, Kashmir attests to extraordinary human rights crimes, including enforced disappearances, gendered and sexualized violence, displacement, torture, extrajudicial executions, the death penalty, and the burial of civilians in unknown, unmarked, and mass graves.
Non-governmental sources estimate between 70,000 and 90,000 people have died, including from extrajudicial executions. More than 8,000 have been involuntarily disappeared.
Human Lives Human Rights urges international community to wake up and take action against these daily crimes which have now become a habit for the Indian forces against the innocent civilians of Kashmir, for injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.