Human Rights In Jammu And Kashmir > Page 2
The Indian press has been lauded internationally for its freedom. Freedom of expression is a norm in Indian society, jealously guarded by the representatives of the Fourth estate. In fact Amnesty it self has acknowledged that a great deal of its information has been culled from the Indian media. But muzzling and manipulating the press has been a regular practice followed by the terrorists in the Valley. Prominent media personalities have been killed. Details of the repression of the media by the terrorists are given in a separate chapter.
An independent judiciary has been one of the hallmarks of Indian democracy. It has been a champion of Human Rights. At the height of the forcible armed occupation of the Hazratbal Shrine by armed militants in late 1993, it was the Indian Supreme Court that ordered the Government to provide sustenance to the people inside the shrine. The independence of the Indian judiciary has been lauded world wide ... and it is the representatives of this institution who have been targeted by the terrorists.
There has been targeted killing of political leaders and workers, including former legislators of the State. Three top political leaders, Maulvi Mohd. Farooq, Chairman of the Awami Action Committee, (May 21, 1990), Abdul Jabbar, a former Minister (April 18, 1990) and Maulana Masoodi, State level National Conference leader (December 1990) were gunned down by terrorists. Many former legislators of the Congress and the National Conference have fallen victims to militants' bullets. Prominent citizens and opinion makers have been selectively eliminated to prevent any scope for dissent against the activities of the terrorists. The minority community of Hindus has been selectively targeted leading to an exodus from the Valley.
Countless civilians, including Muslims, have been raped tortured and killed for being informers or for refusing to join the ranks of the militants or to assist them. The oppression of civilians by the terrorists has heightened as disenchantment with the latter's activities has increased.
A sustained effort has been made by the terrorists to change the very tolerant character of Islam practiced for centuries in the Valley. The Islam being introduced by the terrorists throws acid on women who do not wear the burqa, an all encompassing robe. 400 schools have been destroyed and education disrupted so that children are freed from the mainstream and turned into rabid fundamentalists, particularly by the pro-Pakistan groups like the Hezb-ul-Mujaheddin.
As disenchantment with militancy grows in the Valley and on occasion the people of the Valley have voiced their opposition to acts of terrorism, Pakistan has begun to send in armed foreign mercenaries to re-inforce the Jehad.
Humanitarian institutions such as hospitals in the Valley have been subjected to intimidation with doctors being threatened; hospital premises being used to hide weapons; doctors and nurses being kidnapped and killed in order to compel obedience to the terrorists' diktats. The situation has forced many reputable medical practitioners to leave the Valley and to seek employment elsewhere.
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