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AI Expresses Concern Over IHK Indian Brutalities

London—The London-based world human rights body, Amnesty International has expressed serious concern over the excessive use of brute force by Indian troops on protesters in occupied Kashmir.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the Amnesty International in a statement issued in London said that Indian authorities should avoid excessive use of force while dealing with demonstrators in occupied Kashmir.

It said that during the last month, a total of 11 persons, at least eight of them teenagers, were killed in shootings by the Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel stationed across the Kashmir valley, as protestors held demonstrations in Srinagar, Sopore and other towns, which were put under curfew. The Amnesty International demanded probe into all the killings to bring the involved troops to justice.

It also urged India to take steps to ensure protection of the right to life in the occupied territory under international law. It said that at least 35 people sustained injuries during the demonstrations so far. The statement said that on June 11, 17-year-old, Tufail Ahmed Mattoo of Srinagar was killed, according to initial reports, by a teargas shell fired by the police at the protestors. However, later reports said that he was shot in the head.

It maintained that on June 20, during the protests over the killing of Tufail Ahmed Mattoo, a 24-year-old carpet weaver of Srinagar, Rafiq Ahmed Bangroo, sustained serious head injuries, went into coma and later succumbed at a hospital on June 19. It said that the next day witnessed further protests over the death of Bangroo, and a 19-year-old relative of Bangroo, Javed Malla, was killed in the CRPF firing. The Amnesty statement pointed out that on June 25, two teenaged children, Firdous Ahmad Kakroo and Shakeel Ahmad Ganai were killed as the CRPF personnel fired at demonstrators in Sopore town. It said that over the next two days, the town witnessed the deaths of Bilal Ahmed Wani, 22, and Tajamul Ahmad Bhat, 17, as the CRPF personnel fired to quell protestors. The statement stated that on June 28, demonstrators on the outskirts of Baramulla town clashed with the CRPF personnel after which another youth, Tariq Ahmed Rather was shot dead.

The Amnesty statement said that the next day, three protestors, 15-year-old, Ishfaq Ahmed Khanday, 17-year-old Imtiyaz Ahmed Itoo and 19-year-old Shujatul Islam – were shot dead in Islamabad. The Amnesty International reminded the Indian authorities that they had an obligation to protect the right to life in accordance with international law. “This includes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a state party, and standards such as the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, which state that firearms should be used only when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life,” it added.—Online

Pakistan Observer

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