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248 killed in Kashmir in 2023, Indian forces murdered 66 civilians, destroyed hundreds houses

248 killed in Kashmir in 2023, Indian forces murdered 66 civilians, destroyed hundreds houses

By Khushal Khan 


ISLAMABAD -  The Legal Forum for Kashmir (LFK) in latest report reveled that Indian forces murdered 66 Kashmiri civilians in 2023 as 248 people including 82 freedom fighters and over 100 Indian army soldiers killed during last one year.


According to the annual report, titled “Human Rights Situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJK): January to December 2023.” The annual report aims to shed light on the ongoing human rights situation in the Indian-Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJK). 


It presents an in-depth analysis of various human rights issues, including heightened militarization, land grabbing by the Indian Occupying Forces and the occupying authorities, excessive use of force against non-combatants, extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary detentions, prohibition of the public assembly, mass imprisonments, curbs on press and freedom of speech, nomenclature and demographic changes with a larger settler colonial design.


According to the LFK annual report, January- December 2023 saw a new trend of state repression and counterinsurgency operations in the war-trampled region of IOJK. 


On the ground, the violations of International Human Rights law (IHRL) and International Humanitarian law (IHL) led to appalling human tragedies. 


Indian occupying authorities and the occupying forces stationed in IOJK have perpetrated a series of ‘Atrocity crimes’: Indian occupying forces persisted in their repressive policies and disregard for international law and the principle of the Right of Selfdetermination. 


A total of 260 Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) were reported by the local media which are just a fraction of the total Search Operations launched by the Occupying Forces. This year so far LFK has recorded 248 killings in multiple incidents of violence across IOJK. 


The armed action of India’s Occupying Forces against the native population as a result of heightened military presence has resulted in the killing of 82 Indigenous freedom fighters and 100 Indian occupying forces personnel from Jan to December 2023. 


At least 70 encounters took place between the Indian Occupying Forces and the freedom fighters of Kashmir. 


During these CASOs, vandalism, and destruction of 138 civilian properties were reported. 


Also, 171 instances of Internet Shut down in IOJK were reported. India’s Infamous anti-terror investigation agencies National Investigation Agency (NIA) & State Investigation Agency (SIA) have attached 200 Properties across IOJK in the year 2023


 Indian occupying authorities annihilate the critical voices of Kashmiris by pervasive surveillance to monitor the daily lives, violating the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, and privacy rights of Kashmiris.


 To intensify restrictions on social media users in IOJK, police have been given free access to track accounts of all Kashmiris in the name of monitoring anti-India activities. 


Police claimed to have secured direct cooperation from social media giants, including WhatsApp, X, Snapchat, Instagram, Telegram, and TikTok LFK reports the torture and custodial death case at Dhera Ki Gali and Buffliaz in the PoonchRajouri belt of IOJK. 


According to the families, the three men – Mohammad Showkat, 22, Safeer Hussain, 45, and Shabir Ahmad, 32, were detained by IOF at the hilly Topa Pir village in Poonch district on 22 December 2023. 


The Torture victims and the families of deceased testify that before the custodial death of three civilian’s Indian army stripped them three naked and used chili powder over the sensitive body parts to inflict more bodily harm. 


India has accelerated its efforts to dominate every means of dissent and seize properties of native inhabitants, paving the way for outsiders to settle in the region. In the name of “retrieving state land”, the occupational authorities and their auxiliaries seized over 178005.213 acres in Kashmir region and 25159.56 acres in Jammu as alleged “encroached” by the residents 



In its annual report, LFK call the international community must take cognizance of the evidence presented in this report. 


All the cases of extrajudicial killing, arbitrary detention, and torture of civilians, the curbs on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion, the demographic changes, and all other measures aimed at the ethnic cleansing of Kashmir Muslims must not go unheeded. 



The International response against the aforementioned ‘Atrocity crimes’ as well as other patterns of egregious violations, some amounting to war crimes and Crimes against humanity perpetrated by Indian Occupying Forces was inconsistent. 


On 11 December 2023, the Supreme Court of India (SCI) pronounced the verdict of the 16 hearings pertaining to the petitions challenging the August 5, 2019 unilateral decision of the Indian parliament to abrogate the semi-autonomous status of UN-recognized disputed territory. 



The 476- page judgment upheld the validity of the CO 273 bifurcating the erstwhile state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The mainstream political parties, Kashmiri civil society and renowned Indian jurists including former SCI judges criticized the verdict of fivejudge Constitutional Bench stating that the court has misinterpreted the constitutional framework including the federal structure and distorted the legal history of Jammu and Kashmir. 



LFK also condemns India’s attempt to hold the G20 tourism meeting in IOJK, portraying a facade of normalcy and aimed at whitewashing the direct abuses perpetrated by IOF against the civilian population

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