Some 139 people, including 18 civilians, have been killed in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) since January this year, according to a human rights report.
According to a bi-annual human rights report released on Wednesday by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Indian forces conducted 202 cordons and search operations and 30 gunfights during which 58 houses were destroyed and 350 people were arrested.
Of those killed, 57 were suspected pro-freedom fighters and 64 Indian troops.
At least 58 houses, according to the report, were vandalised and destroyed by the Indian occupational forces during suspected clashes with the rebels.
While 18 civilians were killed in different violence-related incidents, including the extra-judicial killing of top pro-freedom leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehraie by Indian occupational forces and a mother-daughter duo by a mysterious blast in Handwara district.
There were 40 instances of internet blockades recorded from Jan. 1 to June 30 2021.
During this period, 350 persons were detained and arrested by Indian forces and lodged in different jails across India, the report added.
There has been a surge in clashes and detentions in IIOJK since the scrapping of the valley's long-standing semi-autonomous status in August 2019 by the Modi-led BJP government.
Last week, a widely publicised meeting of pro-Indian Kashmiri politicians convened by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to produce any results, as Kashmiri leaders demanded that the August 2019 move be reversed before further talks.
IIOJK under 'constant fear and state-enforced silence'
Islamabad-based Legal Forum for Kashmir said in its independent report that IIOJK is “under unprecedented censorship and this undemocratic forms of muzzling the voices of people have intensified manifold after the revocation of Article 370 and 35(A).”
“The subsequent raids on human rights groups, activists, and journalists have made it more difficult for organisations to work under constant fear and state-enforced silence on the people of IIOJK. Under such dire circumstances, reports on human rights violations become an inevitable imperative for all organisations working in and outside of IIOJK,” the forum, an international legal advocacy group on Kashmir, said.
“IIOJK experienced a massive surge in coronavirus cases due to the Indian government’s criminal mismanagement of the Covid-19 response otherwise highly militarised region, which had already suffered a debilitating lockdown before the pandemic started,” the report noted.
It added: “The arbitrary use of the anti-terror laws and the National Investigation Agency against the civilian population, human rights defenders and journalists continued in IIOJK despite a sustained third wave of Covid-19 lockdown enforced by the government.”
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