Amnesty accuses India of using excessive force on demonstrators in Kashmir

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Srinagar

Amnesty International on Wednesday criticised the Indian government for using excessive and arbitrary force on demonstrators last year post the July 8 killing of militant commander Burhan Wani.

“Security forces used arbitrary or excessive force against demonstrators on several occasions. In August, Shabir Ahmad Monga, a lecturer, was beaten to death by army soldiers,” said Amnesty in its annual report on human rights.

It also took at the Indian government for using “crude, colonial-era sedition law” to “silence government critics”.

“The killing of a leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen armed group in July sparked widespread protests. More than 80 people, mostly protesters, were killed in clashes and thousands injured. At least 14 people were killed and hundreds blinded by security forces’ use of pellet-firing shotguns, which are inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate,” said the report.

“The Jammu and Kashmir government imposed a curfew which lasted over two months. Private landline, mobile and internet service providers suspended their services for weeks on orders from state authorities. The communications shutdown undermined a range of human rights. Residents reported being unable to reach medical assistance in cases of emergencies.”

“In July, the state government prevented the publication of local newspapers in Kashmir for three days. In September, Khurram Parvez, a Kashmiri human rights defender, was arrested and detained for over two months on spurious grounds, a day after he was prevented from travelling to a UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Switzerland. In October, the government ordered a Srinagar-based newspaper to cease printing and publication on vague grounds. Hundreds of people, including children, were placed in administrative detention. Dozens of schools were set on fire by unidentified people.”

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