NEW DELHI: India on Monday lodged a strong diplomatic protest over a new report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which claimed it has found “serious human rights violations and patterns of impunity in Jammu and Kashmir”.
The government rubbished the report saying it was published with a motivated narrative. The report, a follow up to the one the UN rights office filed last year, called on India to “respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law”.
The report also tore into Pakistan saying “there were significant human rights concerns witnessed” in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs lit into the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for legitimising terrorism and said the assertions in the report are in violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and ignore the core issue of cross-border terror.
The OHCHR report released on Monday is an update on its first report that came out in June last year. India had described the first report as fallacious, tendentious and motivated.
In this year’s report, the UN body laid out recommendations for both countries and sought an investigation into “all civilian killings since July 2016” and also into “the excessive use of force by security forces including serious injuries caused by the use of pellet guns immediately.”
Sharply reacting to the claims, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “The update seems to be a contrived effort to create an artificial parity between the world’s largest and the most vibrant democracy and a country that openly practices state-sponsored terrorism.”
The second report alleges a whopping 160 civilian killings in Kashmir in 2018 as against the Union government’s data of 37 civilians being killed last year — up to December 2, 2018.
The UN report relied on data collected by JKCCS, a rights group, and RTI queries.
JKCCS has sometimes been criticised for exaggerating cases of rights violations