By Chaman Lal Gadoo
Terrorism is violation of human rights. Terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir motivated by Muslim Jehad, is a graver violation of human rights. All crusades are a negation of human rights as all crusades underline ideological absolutism. The Muslim crusade, which seeks extermination of the religious and ethnic minorities in Jammu & Kashmir and establishment of ?Nizam-e-Mustafa?, contravenes the principle of equality and the due process of law, which is the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Terrorism, whatever its ideology and objectives, is a crime against humanity, a crime against the laws of war.
It will be a travesty of human history to ignore the crucial factor of terrorist violence in Jammu & Kashmir.
Terrorism, directed against the civil population of a state to enforce change. Terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir is a process of political violence which has specified political commitments aimed to separate Jammu & Kashmir state from India and secure its annexation to Pakistan.
In 1946, on the eve of the British withdrawal from India, the All India Muslim League, which spearheaded the struggle of the Indian Muslims for a separate Muslim state in India, mounted a massive campaign of terror, when it launched ?direct action? to enforce the division of India. Millions of people were killed, maimed and disabled; thousands of women abducted and subjected to assault; and many more millions were uprooted from their hearths and homes. Neither the British nor the Congress were able to withstand the political consequences of the ?direct action? and accepted the division of India and the creation of Pakistan.
The terrorist violence raging in Jammu & Kashmir is another ?direct action? that Pakistan and Muslim secessionists inside the state have launched to force a second Partition on India.
The princely states were not brought within the ambit of the Partition and the princes were, at the instance of the Muslim League, ensured the right to place themselves in the balance of power with the creation of Pakistan. The Muslim League rejected the principle of population ratio and geographical contiguity as a basis for the accession of states because it sought to absorb the Muslim-ruled states in India: Hyderabad, Junagarh, Kalat, Bhopal which had filled the coffers of the League and provided funds on which the League had won the referendum in the North-West Frontier Province. Jammu & Kashmir, the League leaders believed, was always in their pocket, for the Muslims in the state could be signalled after the Muslim rulers had acceded to Pakistan, to overthrow their Hindu ruler and invite Pakistan to take over. The ruler of the Jammu & Kashmir state upturned the League plans, when he acceded to India in October 1947.
The terrorist violence raging in Jammu & Kashmir is another ?direct action? that Pakistan and Muslim secessionists inside the state have launched to force a second partition on India. The campaign of terror spread in Jammu and Kashmir follows the same pattern which the ?direct action? followed in 1946: genocide of Hindus, their ethnic cleansing by forced exodus from the Muslim-majority provinces of India, and the destruction of their religious identity.
The last 14 years of Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism, has claimed more lives than conventional wars. About 10,000 security personnel have lost their lives in all conventional wars that India has fought till date. The security personnel killed in various terrorist action is more than 10,000, the number of civilians who have lost their lives to terrorism is over 70,000. Terrorism in India is actually a proxy war in which sophisticated armaments, communication techniques and computerised instruments besides weapons of mass destruction are widely used. The weapons used by terrorists for subversion include various types of self-reloading assault rifles, mortars and artillery, rockets including booster rockets, explosives of all types, mines and missiles. Security personnel have seized all these weapons in a large quantity. The seizure of explosives is amazing?it is about 50,000 kilograms and has the potential to blast every inch of the Indian soil.
On January 19, 1990, late in the night, hundreds and thousands of Kashmiri Muslims came out on the streets and the loudspeakers fitted on the mosques started blaring ?Kashmiri Pandits?Leave Kashmir at once and leave your women here; otherwise face death!? All hell broke loose. Hundreds of innocent Kashmiri Pandits?men, women and children were killed in cold blood. Their houses were burnt, business establishments looted and temples desecrated. Among those killed were people from all sections of the Hindu society?teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, political activists, mediamen, intellectuals and men of small means; the worst affected were the women. The terrorist killings were accompanied by torture and atrocities unheard of in the annals of human history, which tantamount to grave crimes against ethics and against humanity. Torture deaths were effected through inhuman practices which included strangulation by using steel wires, hanging, burning alive, gouging out of the eyes before assassination, slicing, drowning and slaughter. The widespread killings in Kashmir, assault on women, the fear of conversions and shocking experience of being forced to join the terrorist campaign against India?were some of the main reason which drove out Hindus from their homeland.
The total breakdown of law and order machinery spread a sense of insecurity, which was so severe that most of the Hindus escaped from the Valley in the dark hours of the night, only with their shirts on. In this chaos, more than 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits left their homes, their business and property and migrated to Jammu and Delhi primarily. For the first time Kashmiri Pandits became refugees in their own country! This way the ethnic cleansing of Hindus was completed. These are facts of history.
After successfully hounding out more than 400,000 of Kashmiri Hindus from the Valley, terrorist moved to Jammu province, particularly Doda district for carrying out their similar designs. Terrorism in Doda district is not a new phenomenon. Being contiguous to the Valley, it has also been susceptible to spillover of terrorism from Kashmir. Other districts of Jammu also faced similar threats from terrorists.
A continuous disinformation campaign about terrorist violence in Kashmir, is that the Muslims were subjected to economic deprivations which resulted in widespread poverty among them. According to the latest National Sample Survey (NSS), Kashmir has the lowest poverty ratio than any state in India. Only 3.5 per cent of Kashmir'spopulation was below the poverty line in 1999-2000. The national average was as high as 26.1 per cent.
Even Jammu city has been its target, especially the Raghunathji Mandir which is situated in the heart of the city. On March 31, 2002, the first attack was carried out by terrorists on Raghunathji Mandir which left scores of civilians dead; and during the second attack on the temple on November 25, 2002, 10 civilians including a security personnel were killed and 52 were injured, many of them seriously.
An important dimension of human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir, which has received much less attention than it deserves, is the genocide of minorities. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the convention on prevention and punishment due to the crime of genocide in 1951. Genocide is unanimously declared as a crime and is punishable under International Law. The National Human Rights Commission made important findings in its order dated June 11, 1999, ?The Commission is constrained to observe that acts akin to genocide have occurred in respect of Kashmiri Pandits.?
There has been a continuous disinformation campaign about terrorist violence in Kashmir, that the Muslims were subjected to economic deprivations which resulted in wide-spread poverty among them. According to the National Sample Survey (NSS), Kashmir has the lowest poverty ratio than any state in India. Only 3.5 per cent of Kashmir'spopulation was below the poverty line in 1999-2000. The national average was as high as 26.1 per cent. Maharashtra is the second richest state in India, but its poverty ratio is 25 per cent only, just below the national average; whereas Orissa has the highest poverty ratio at 47.2!
Kashmir has a majority of Muslims, therefore, is it they alone who have the right to live there, whereas Hindus cannot live there. But the Muslims can live in India where they are not the majority but practically the entire population?86.4 per cent, comprises of Hindus. No wonder we have as many as 10 million alien Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh living illegally in secular India.
The most significant change at the national level that has come about recently is the growing awareness among the Hindus of the dangers that various forms of communalism, casteism and divisive politics pose to the country. There is a clear-cut indication that a Hindu response to Congress misrule has emerged and is gradually consolidating itself. Our hopes are tied to it.
The community of Kashmiri Pandits faces several problems at present. The foremost problem is that they are smouldering in exile since the last 14 years. The community in exile is faced by problems of rehabilitation, poverty, unemployment and the crisis of identity. The Government of India should look into these violations of human rights of Kashmir and Doda Hindus and save them from further humiliation.
In tattered tents we have lived and in the hot sun we survived among poisonous snakes and scorpions, amidst sickness and epidemics. But we did not surrender our self-respect and honour and God willing, will never do!
(Chairman, Joint Human Right Committee, WA-88, Shakarpur, Delhi-110 092.)
Killing of Hindus in Kashmir
| The terrorist killings have been accompanied by torture unheard of in the annals of human history. Torture deaths have been brought about by inhuman practices as described below: