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Human Rights Watch paints grim picture of Kashmir in its 2017 report

‘Internet choked for 27 times last year in Valley’


KNS

Srinagar, Jan 26 (KNS): The New York based rights organisation, Human Rights Watch in its recently released report has painted a grim picture of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. It also held government responsible for failing to revoke AFSPA in the state.
The annual report of the year 2017 released this week by the Human Rights Watch stated that in the first 10 months of 2017, there were 42 reported militant attacks in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in which 184 people were killed, including 44 security force personnel.
The report also mentioned that in May, last year, the army gave a commendation to an officer who used a bystander unlawfully as a “human shield” to evacuate security personnel and election staff from a mob in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district.
“The government failed to review and repeal the abusive Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), in force in Jammu and Kashmir and in parts of India’s northeastern region, which gives soldiers who commit violations effective immunity from prosecution. At time of writing, the government had yet to comply with a Supreme Court ruling civilian authorities should investigate all allegations of violations by troops,” reads the report.
The report also stated that Children’s education was frequently disrupted in areas facing conflict and violent protests. “Clashes between protesters and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir state that began in July 2016, continued to simmer throughout 2017, leading to frequent closing of schools and colleges. In May 2017, a student was killed by paramilitary forces inside a government school in Anantnag district during a violent protest,” the report mentioned.
It also talked about the internet shutdowns that have become so frequent in the Valley. the report claimed by November 2017, internet was shut by the state authorities 27 times. “In August, the government issued rules to govern temporary shutdown of the internet and telecommunications services in the event of a public emergency or public safety [issue]. However, the rules do not specify what the government considers to be a public emergency, or a threat,” the report added. (KNS) 


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