At least 312 people including 86 Indian soldiers killed in 2022 in Kashmir
By Mashal Khan
ISLAMABAD: At least 312 people including 86 Indian soldiers and 181 militants were killed during clashes in Indian-administered Kashmir in 2022, according to an international advocacy group's annual report.
The legal forum for Kashmir in its Annual Human Rights Review - Indian occupied Kashmir, 2022, said that Indian forces carried out over 200 major cordon and search operations and destroyed 212 residential houses during 2022.
During 116 military operations, Indian forces killed 181 freedom fighters and 45 civilians
The report covers the time period from January to December 2022.
“Like previous years, 2022 again witnessed bloodshed of Kashmiris and silencing of Kashmir’s civil society, arbitrary arrest of human rights defenders, journalists and religious clergy,” said in the report.
“The unparalleled censorship and blackout on all forms of media coverage about the ongoing situation in the war-trampled region has made it more vulnerable for human rights organizations and media to work freely.
India intensified its military density in Kashmir- deploying and mobilizing aggressively 900,000 forces. In addition to this India has engaged more than 130,000 police personnel in anti-resistance operations and created more counterinsurgent agencies like SIA and SIU .
The Indian state remains infamous as the 'Internet shutdown capital of the world', ranking first globally for chronic Internet shutting downs. India also stringently employs internet surveillance machinery against Kashmiris and profiles internet users unethically, its said.
“India's counterterrorism agency attached two dozen properties including schools of Jamaat-e-Islami. Illegal acquisition of land by Indian military and paramilitary forces remained another dominant rights violation issue in IOJK,” according to the report.
In January 2022, thousands of acres of land in Gulmarg and Sonamarg area of Occupied Kashmir were declared as ‘strategic areas’ and given to Indian military.
“This is a brazen violation of International Law governing the disputed nature of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The excessive use of force and impunity enjoyed by Indian forces in IOJK has increased the “Atrocity Crimes” manifold,” the organization said.
“There have been numerous cases of extrajudicial/custodial killings and denial of burial rites to the family members of civilians and rebels alike.
“Altaf Ahmad Shah, a prominent pro-freedom leader from Indian Occupied Kashmir died in the Indian custody while fighting renal cancer. Shah, 66, was being held in the high-security Tihar prison in the Indian capital, New Delhi, for the past five years. Shah’s family had raised alarm about his deteriorating health condition many occasions. Kashmiri prisoners of war continue to suffer in various Indian jails and torture centers. On multiple occasions Indian state agencies have taken prisoners out and killed them in military operations,” according to the report.
Indian authorities also continued to use torture and Sexual violence as a weapon of choice.
Resistance and dissent have been criminalized as Indian state continues to use masquerading language and cloaked terminology to hoodwink international community.
The Indian authorities in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have terminated services of at least 40 employees, citing their affinity to resistance ideology during this year.
“This social, cultural, economic and political disempowerment is carried to infuse fear among Kashmiri populace and create coercive disciplining.GOI is recruiting retired security personnel from all over India for civilian posts in OJK.
“Religious freedom remains curtailed for the Muslim majority region. It has been 198 weeks in the last six-years that Kashmir’s largest mosque, Jamia Masjid remains locked down. Dozens of Imams and preachers were routinely harassed, while many of them were booked under draconian laws like UAPA and PSA,” said the LFK.
The report also pointed out that massive administrative and legislative changes arming and aiding the Indian settler colonial project saw massive land grabs by Indian defense and Hindu right-wing capitalists paving way for demographic change.
“In a bid to disempower native Muslim population, India extended voting rights to all the Indian citizens living temporarily in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. These arbitrary orders tantamount to changing the demography of Occupied Kashmir and implemented coercively and incessantly,” its concluded.