Contents:

1. Summary
2. Background
3. Action required
4. Sample letters

1. Summary

A cycle of violence has erupted again in India’s troubled Kashmir valley
since 11th June 2010 with the shooting to death of a schoolboy by Indian troops. Until 29th June 2010, eleven Kashmiri youths have been killed by the heavily armed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The Indian authorities have imposed a curfew and deployed thousands of troops in Kashmir’s main towns in an effort to restore order in the volatile Muslim-majority province, which is at the centre of a decades-old sovereignty dispute between India and neighbouring Pakistan.

2.  Background

The latest wave of trouble began on June 11, 2010 when a seventeen-year-old Kashmiri youth, Tufail Ahmad Mattoo died after he was hit by a teargas shell fired by the police during a routine post-Friday prayers protest in downtown in Srinagar. His death sparked angry clashes between stone-pelting youths and the heavily armed CRPF.

On June 19, Rafiq Ahmad Bangaroo, 27, who was beaten up by CRPF men near his residence in old Srinagar on June 12, died in hospital. The next day, mourners returning from Bangaroo’s burial attacked a CRPF mobile bunker with stones. They were reciprocated with fire, killing Bangaroo’s neighbour Javaid Ahmad Malla, 26, and wounding three others.

On June 25, Shakeel Ganai, 17, and Firdous Khan, 18, were killed by CRPF men in Sopore. On June 27, Bilal Ahmed Wani, 22, died following the firing in Sopore. On June 28, Tajamul Bashir, 20, and Tauqeer Rather, 9, were killed in Delina and Sopore.

On June 29, Ishtiyaq Ahmed, 15, Imtiyaz Ahmed Itoo, 17, and Shujaat-ul-Islam, 17, died in a CRPF firing in the southern town of Anantnag. This cycle of 11 killings in less than three weeks by the police and paramilitary forces across Kashmir is a gross violation of human rights conducted by the Indian government against the people of Kashmir. The chief minister, Omar Abdullah has resorted to imposing a curfew to curtail street protests from spreading further.

More information at: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?266068

Read also: Kashmir: Act before foreign forces land in Srinagar by Zafarul-Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette at:  http://ihrc.org.uk/news/articles/9416-kashmir-act-before-foreign-forces-land-in-srinagar

3. Action required

The Media Review Network urges all decent, freedom loving and human rights activists to write to the following authorities and urge them to remind India of its human rights commitments and demand an end to the killings of Kashmiri civilians.

a) Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
 (Fax: 0091-11-230-19334, e-mail: manmohan@sansad.nic.inThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

b) Shri P. Chidambaram, The Union Home Minister
(Fax: 0091-11-230-92979, e-mail: hm@nic.inThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

c) Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner,
The Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights
(Fax: nil,   e-mail: InfoDesk@ohchr.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

d) Baroness Catherine Ashton,
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
(Fax: nil,   e-mail: catherine.ashten@ec.europa.euThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it /
  lutz.guellner@ec.europa.euThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

e) Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, The Secretary General
Organisation of Islamic Conference
(Fax: +966-2651-2283, e-mail: cabinet@oic-oic.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

f)  Minister of Department of International Relations & Co-Operation South Africa, Ms Maite Nkoana Mashabane (Tel: +2712 351 002, email minister@dirco.co.zaThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

 ACT NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!

Bibi Ayesha Laher
Media Liason
Media Review Network
Cell: 082 841 9105
Tell: 012 374 1635
Email: info@mediareviewnet.com

“And what reason has you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.” (Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75)

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4.  Sample lettersA sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to Media Review Network. This is very important as it helps Media Review Network to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.——————————————————————————————————–Date:H.E. Dr. Manmohan SinghPrime Minister of IndiaThe Prime Minister’s OfficeSouth Block, Raisina HillNew DelhiIndia-110 011.Your Excellency,HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN KASHMIRWe write to register our strong protest against the excessive force used by your security forces on stone-throwing demonstrators in the Indian-administered Kashmir region which has resulted in the shooting and killing of 11 youths, most of them in their teens, in less than three weeks.The latest wave of unrest began on June 11 when a seventeen-year-old Kashmiri youth, Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, died after he was hit by a teargas shell fired by the police during a routine post-Friday prayers protest in downtown Srinagar.From June 19 till June 29, ten other Kashmiri youths, aged 15 to 27 years, had been shot and killed by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Srinagar, Sopore, Delina and Anantnag giving an average of one Kashmiri youth being killed per day.The public anger against the state authorities was triggered by the earlier fake encounter by the CRPF and the police in the Machil sector of Kupawara district in which fifteen civilians; all aged between nine to twenty five years, were shot and killed in cold blood.On the human rights situation in Kashmir, the website India Together comments: “The human rights record of the Indian security forces in Kashmir has been characterized by arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and extrajudicial killings.”  It further records that ‘2477 civilians had been killed by the Indian forces in the period 1990-1998 (PTI release, 13 September 1998), according to conservative estimates by official sources which mostly exclude thousands of custodial killings. In April 1997, the Minister of State for Home Affairs admitted that 454 persons were missing since 1990.’ It is shocking that the Home Ministry has not taken effective action to stop these serious violations of the human rights of the Kashmiris.Your Home Minister Mr. Chidambaram’s response to the demonstrations by youths calling for freedom, Azadi, is to call in the Army and use disproportionate force to suppress them. As in Orissa, in Kashmir too, force and state violence did not, and will never, work. His blaming Pakistan’s Lashkar – e – Taiba for the unrest is baseless and can be viewed only as propaganda. His statement will serve only to prevent efforts to address the real grievances of the Kashmiris, and would strengthen the hands of the Hindutva extremists opposed to negotiations between India and Pakistan to resolve their six decades-old conflict.The unrest in Kashmir is a manifestation of a deeper problem which requires a political solution. It is rooted in the denial of the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir after the disastrous partitioning of India by the British colonial government in 1947. Despite the passage of time, the yearning for freedom among Kashmiris is still alive and burning. A new generation of youths has assumed the responsibility to continue the struggle for freedom and nothing, neither tanks nor bullets, can kill their spirit and will.Majority of the people in Kashmir, India and Pakistan long for peace, justice and socio-economic development. Civil society organizations are carrying out activities to connect people from the three territories and promote friendship and peace.  The India-Pakistan Peace Caravan, “Aman ke Badhte Qadam”, which left Mumbai and Karachi  simultaneously on 27th July and will meet at Wagah-Atari border on 13th August, 2010 is a good example of civil society initiative to resolve the conflict which should be reciprocated by the governments.You need to engage all concerned parties – leaders of Kashmir’s Azadi movement and Pakistani leaders – to find a peaceful solution to the wasteful conflict which is draining the resources of India and Pakistan and causing suffering and misery for millions. Peace will unite the people who have been artificially divided, and release the forces and the energy for the economic, social, cultural and spiritual development of the region.We call upon Your Excellency to take urgent and effective action to:

  • Act against those members of the security forces responsible for the killing and violation of human rights of civilians.
  • Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which shields the security forces from being made accountable for human rights violations and promotes a culture of impunity.
  • Withdraw the CRPF from Kashmir and confine the role of the army to defending India’s borders. Internal security should be the responsibility of the local police.
  • Initiate talks with the leaders of the Azadi movement and the Pakistan government to find a just solution to the conflict

We trust you will give serious consideration to our appeal and favour us with an early reply.Kind regards.Yours sincerely,———————————————————————————————-Date:H.E. Shri P. ChidambaramThe Union Home Minister,Ministry of Home Affairs, North BlockCentral SecretariatNew Delhi – 110 001Your Excellency,HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN KASHMIRWe write to register our strong protest against the excessive force used by your security forces on stone-throwing demonstrators in the Indian-administered Kashmir region which has resulted in the shooting and killing of 11 youths, most of them in their teens, in less than three weeks. The latest wave of unrest began on June 11 when a seventeen-year-old Kashmiri youth, Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, died after he was hit by a teargas shell fired by the police during a routine post-Friday prayers protest in downtown Srinagar. From June 19 till June 29, ten other Kashmiri youths, aged 15 to 27 years, had been shot and killed by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Srinagar, Sopore, Delina and Anantnag giving an average of one Kashmiri youth being killed per day.The public anger against the state authorities was triggered by the earlier fake encounter by the CRPF and the police in the Machil sector of Kupawara district in which fifteen civilians; all aged between nine to twenty five years, were shot and killed in cold blood.On the human rights situation in Kashmir, the website India Together comments: “The human rights record of the Indian security forces in Kashmir has been characterized by arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and extrajudicial killings.”  It further records that ‘2477 civilians had been killed by the Indian forces in the period 1990-1998 (PTI release, 13 September 1998), according to conservative estimates by official sources which mostly exclude thousands of custodial killings. In April 1997, the Minister of State for Home Affairs admitted that 454 persons were missing since 1990.’ It is shocking that the Home Ministry has not taken effective action to stop these serious violations of the human rights of the Kashmiris.Your response to the demonstrations by youths calling for freedom, Azadi, is to call in the Army and use disproportionate force to suppress them. As in Orissa, in Kashmir too, force and state violence did not, and will never, work. Your blaming Pakistan’s Lashkar – e – Taiba for the unrest is baseless and can be viewed only as propaganda. Your statement will serve only to prevent efforts to address the real grievances of the Kashmiris, and would strengthen the hands of the Hindutva extremists opposed to negotiations between India and Pakistan to resolve their six decades-old conflict.The unrest in Kashmir is a manifestation of a deeper problem which requires a political solution. It is rooted in the denial of the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir after the disastrous partitioning of India by the British colonial government in 1947. Despite the passage of time, the yearning for freedom among Kashmiris is still alive and burning. A new generation of youths has assumed the responsibility to continue the struggle for freedom and nothing, neither tanks nor bullets, can kill their spirit and will. Majority of the people in Kashmir, India and Pakistan long for peace, justice and socio-economic development.Civil society organizations are carrying out activities to connect people from the three territories and promote friendship and peace.  The India-Pakistan Peace Caravan, “Aman ke  Badhte Qadam”, which left Mumbai and Karachi  simultaneously on 27th July and will meet at Wagah-Atari border on 13th August, 2010 is a good example of civil society initiative to resolve the conflict which should be reciprocated by the governments.You need to engage all concerned parties – leaders of Kashmir’s Azadi movement and Pakistani leaders – to find a peaceful solution to the wasteful conflict which is draining the resources of India and Pakistan and causing suffering and misery for millions. Peace will unite the people who have been artificially divided, and release the forces and the energy for the economic, social, cultural and spiritual development of the region.We call upon Your Excellency to take urgent and effective action to:

  • Act against those members of the security forces responsible for the killing and violation of human rights of civilians.
  • Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which shields the security forces from being made accountable for human rights violations and promotes a culture of impunity.
  • Withdraw the CRPF from Kashmir and confine the role of the army to defending India’s borders. Internal security should be the responsibility of the local police.
  • Initiate talks with the leaders of the Azadi movement and the Pakistan government to find a just solution to the conflict.

We trust you will give serious consideration to our appeal and favour uswith an early reply.Kind regards.Yours sincerely, ————————————————————————————————Date:H.E. Baroness Catherine AshtonEU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security PolicyCouncil of the European Union Rue de la Loi 175,B-1048 Brussels Belgium.And H.E. Navanethem PillayHigh Commissioner Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human RightsUnited Nations Office at GenevaPalais Wilson, 52 rue des Paqui,CH-1201 GenevaSwitzerlandYour Excellency,HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN KASHMIRWe write to bring to your attention the excessive force used by the Indian security forces on stone-throwing demonstrators in the Indian-administered Kashmir region which has resulted in the shooting and killing of 11 youths, most of them in their teens, in less than three weeks. The latest wave of unrest began on June 11 when a seventeen-year-old Kashmiri youth, Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, died after he was hit by a teargas shell fired by the police during a routine post-Friday prayers protest in downtown Srinagar.From June 19 till June 29, ten other Kashmiri youths, aged 15 to 27 years, had been shot and killed by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Srinagar, Sopore, Delina and Anantnag giving an average of one Kashmir youth being killed per day. The public anger against the state authorities was triggered by the earlier fake encounter by the CRPF and the police in the Machil sector of Kupawara district in which fifteen civilians; all aged between nine to twenty five years, were shot and killed in cold blood.On the human rights situation in Kashmir, the website India Together comments: “The human rights record of the Indian security forces in Kashmir has been characterized by arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and extrajudicial killings.”  It further records that ‘2477 civilians had been killed by the Indian forces in the period 1990-1998 (PTI release, 13 September 1998), according to conservative estimates by official sources which mostly exclude thousands of custodial killings.In April 1997, the Minister of State for Home Affairs admitted that 454 persons were missing since 1990.’ It is shocking that the Home Ministry has not taken effective action to stop these serious violations of the human rights of the Kashmiris. India’s Home Minister’s response to the demonstrations by youths calling for freedom, Azadi, is to call in the Army and use disproportionate force to suppress them. As in Orissa, in Kashmir too, force and state violence did not, and will never, work. His blaming Pakistan’s Lashkar – e – Taiba for the unrest is baseless and can be viewed only as propaganda. His statement will serve only to prevent efforts to address the real grievances of the Kashmiris, and would strengthen the hands of the Hindutva extremists opposed to negotiations between India and Pakistan to resolve their six decades-old conflict.The unrest in Kashmir is a manifestation of a deeper problem which requires a political solution. It is rooted in the denial of the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir after the disastrous partitioning of India by the British colonial government in 1947. Despite the passage of time, the yearning for freedom among Kashmiris is still alive and burning. A new generation of youths has assumed the responsibility to continue the struggle for freedom and nothing, neither tanks nor bullets, can kill their spirit and will. Majority of the people in Kashmir, India and Pakistan long for peace, justice and socio-economic development. Civil society organizations are carrying out activities to connect people from the three territories and promote friendship and peace.  The India-Pakistan Peace Caravan, “Aman ke Badhte Qadam”, which left Mumbai and Karachi  simultaneously on 27th July and will meet at Wagah-Atari border on 13th August, 2010 is a good example of civil society initiative to resolve the conflict which should be  reciprocated by the governments.The Indian government needs to engage all concerned parties – leaders of Kashmir’s Azadi movement and Pakistani leaders – to find a peaceful solution to the wasteful conflict which is draining the resources of India and Pakistan and causing suffering and misery for millions. Peace will unite the people who have been artificially divided, and release the forces and the energy for the economic, social, cultural and spiritual development of the region.We call upon Your Excellency to urge the Indian government to take urgent and effective action to:

  • Act against those members of the security forces responsible for the killing and violation of human rights of civilians.
  • Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which shields the security forces from being made accountable for human rights violations and promotes a culture of impunity.
  • Withdraw the CRPF from Kashmir and confine the role of the army to defending India’s borders. Internal security should be the responsibility of the local police.
  • Initiate talks with the leaders of the Azadi movement and the Pakistan government to find a just solution to the conflict

We trust you will give serious consideration to our appeal and favour us with an early reply.Kind regards.Yours sincerely, ———————————————————————————————————Date:H.E. Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin IhsanogluSecretary GeneralThe Organisation of Islamic ConferenceMadinah RoadP.O. Box 178, Jeddah- 21411Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaYour Excellency,HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN KASHMIRWe write to bring to your attention the excessive force used by the Indian security forces on stone-throwing demonstrators in the Indian-administered Kashmir region which has resulted in the shooting and killing of 11 youths, most of them in their teens, in less than three weeks. The latest wave of unrest began on June 11 when a seventeen-year-old Kashmiri youth, Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, died after he was hit by a teargas shell fired by the police during a routine post-Friday prayers protest in downtown Srinagar.From June 19 till June 29, ten other Kashmiri youths, aged 15 to 27 years, had been shot and killed by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Srinagar, Sopore, Delina and Anantnag giving an average of one Kashmiri youth being killed per day. The public anger against the state authorities was triggered by the earlier fake encounter by the CRPF and the police in the Machil sector of Kupawara district in which fifteen civilians; all aged between nine to twenty five years, were shot and killed in cold blood. On the human rights situation in Kashmir, the website India Together comments: “The human rights record of the Indian security forces in Kashmir has been characterized by arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and extrajudicial killings.”It further records that ‘2477 civilians had been killed by the Indian forces in the period 1990-1998 (PTI release, 13 September 1998), according to conservative estimates by official sources which mostly exclude thousands of custodial killings. In April 1997, the Minister of State for Home Affairs admitted that 454 persons were missing since 1990.’It is shocking that the Home Ministry has not taken effective action to stop these serious violations of the human rights of the Kashmiris. India’s Home Minister’s response to the demonstrations by youths calling for freedom, Azadi, is to call in the Army and use disproportionate force to suppress them. As in Orissa, in Kashmir too, force and state violence did not, and will never, work. His blaming Pakistan’s Lashkar – e – Taiba for the unrest is baseless and can be viewed only as propaganda. His statement will serve only to prevent efforts to address the real grievances of the Kashmiris, and would strengthen the hands of the Hindutva extremists opposed to negotiations between India and Pakistan to resolve their six decades-old conflict.The unrest in Kashmir is a manifestation of a deeper problem which requires a political solution. It is rooted in the denial of the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir after the disastrous partitioning of India by the British colonial government in 1947. Despite the passage of time, the yearning for freedom among Kashmiris is still alive and burning. A new generation of youths has assumed the responsibility to continue the struggle for freedom and nothing, neither tanks nor bullets, can kill their spirit and will. Majority of the people in Kashmir, India and Pakistan long for peace, justice and socio-economic development.Civil society organizations are carrying out activities to connect people from the three territories and promote friendship and peace.  The India-Pakistan Peace Caravan, “Aman ke Badhte Qadam”, which left Mumbai and Karachi  simultaneously on 27th July and will meet at Wagah-Atari border on 13th August, 2010 is a good example of civil society initiative to resolve the conflict which should be reciprocated by the governments. The Indian government needs to engage all concerned parties – leaders of Kashmir’s Azadi movement and Pakistani leaders – to find a peaceful solution to the wasteful conflict which is draining the resources of India and Pakistan and causing suffering and misery for millions.Peace will unite the people who have been artificially divided, and release the forces and the energy for the economic, social, cultural and spiritual development of the region. Kashmir is a Muslim state which has been occupied by India and Pakistan. The OIC as an international body mandated by its Charter to protect Muslims should take the initiative to enable the Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination.We urge you to take concrete steps to do justice to the people of Kashmir including bringing this matter to the United Nations.We call upon Your Excellency to urge the Indian government to take urgent and effective action to:

  • Act against those members of the security forces responsible for the killing and violation of human rights of civilians.
  • Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which shields the security forces from being made accountable for human rights violations and promotes a culture of impunity.
  • Withdraw the CRPF from Kashmir and confine the role of the army to defending India’s borders. Internal security should be the responsibility of the local police.
  • Initiate talks with the leaders of the Azadi movement and the Pakistan government to find a just solution to the conflict.

We trust you will give serious consideration to our appeal and favour us with an early reply.Kind regards.Yours sincerely,(Source: CITIZENS INTERNATIONAL)

 

MRN

Author: MRN Network

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.