India’s killing spree in IIOJK worsened in 2020

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 ISLAMABAD   –  India’s killing spree in occupied Kashmir wors­ened in 2020 despite global calls to resolve the issue peacefully.

The Indian occupation­al forces killed 474 Kash­miris in 312 cordon and search operations (CA­SOs) and 124 gunfights and destroyed 657 hous­es. 

The year 2020 may be recorded as “Zero Year” in the human history for the COVID-19 pandemic that forced most of glob­al citizenry inside their homes to save them­selves from the deadly infection. 

However, for Indian-oc­cupied Kashmir, this year added more complica­tions and saw no letup in atrocities committed by the Indian occupy­ing forces. This annual report prepared by Le­gal Forum for Oppressed Voices of Kashmir on the situation of human rights in Indian Illegal­ly Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) covers the period from January 1 to December 30 2020. Year 2020 also saw India launching a broad-day inhuman attack on Kash­mir’s civil society, raiding residencies and offices of human rights defenders, journalists and civil soci­ety organisations. 

From January 1 to De­cember 30 2020, the In­dian occupying forces launched the so-called 312 CASOs and cordon and destroy operations (CDOs) which result­ed in 124 encounters in which 232 mujahideen died fighting Indian oc­cupying forces. During encounters at least 657 houses were also van­dalised and destroyed by the Indian occupying forces. 

The destruction of ci­vilian properties during encounters saw an in­crease during the COV­ID-19 lockdown enforced by the government; an entire village in Budgam district was vandalized rendering many families homeless and without shelter. 

Despite the fact that United Nations Secre­tary General Antonio Gu­terres called for a global ceasefire in conflict re­gions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But, as usual offender of international law and agreements, India de­fied the call from world’s highest office and contin­ued with its war crimes policies in Indian-occu­pied Jammu and Kash­mir. 

At least 65 civilians were killed in different violence-related acci­dents included extraju­dicial killing of 3 labour­ers in Shopian in a staged gun fight by Indian occu­pational forces. 

In 2020, the journalists working for Kashmir and international media con­tinued to be at the receiv­ing end of the pressure, intimidation and harass­ment by the Indian au­thorities. Many journal­ists were booked under criminal laws while one still remains behind bars amid delayed trial by the government agencies. 

The governing authori­ties launched new media policy in which govern­ment now holds full con­trol on newspapers and magazines. 2020 also witnessed the continua­tion of the ban on high-speed internet services which remained in force since August 5, 2019. 

The right to access in­formation continues to be severely restrict­ed in Jammu and Kash­mir as part of India’s all-out onslaught against Kashmiris as there were 141 instances of inter­net blockades record­ed amid deadly pandem­ic, when internet was of utmost importance for health authorities as well as general public. During the period from January 01 to December 30, 2773 persons were detained and arrested by Indian occupational forces and lodged in different jails across India. 

The year also saw one of the worst assaults on human rights when In­dia rushed its agencies to occupied Kashmir which raided residencies and of­fices of journalists, human rights workers and civil society organisations. 

In early November, In­dia’s so-called anti-terror body National Investiga­tion Agency (NIA) raid­ed residence of Khurram Parvez, Parvaiz Bukhari besides others. The raids were held on rights bod­ies’ offices and non-gov­ernmental organisations (NGOs). This is unprec­edented wherein Jour­nalists and human rights defenders are put under such humiliation.

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