HRW report criticises India for gross human rights violations, abuses

The Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organisation, has criticised India for gross human rights violations, including the draconian clampdown in India Occupied Kashmir, mob violence against Muslims, impunity for New Delhi’s security forces and violence against women and other minorities.
On August 5, the Indian government revoked the special status of IOK and rushed through a presidential decree in a bid to fully integrate its only Muslim-majority region with the rest of the country, hours after imposing a major security clampdown in the region.
Thousands of people were placed under ‘preventive’ detention, internet and cell phones were shut down which prompted international condemnation.
“By November, even though some restrictions were lifted, hundreds remained in detention and mobile phone services and internet access was still limited. The government blocked opposition politicians, foreign diplomats, and international journalists from independent visits to Kashmir.”
According to the human rights body, the Indian government also failed to properly enforce the Indian Supreme Court directives to prevent and investigate mob attacks, often led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters, on religious minorities and other vulnerable communities.
“Mob violence against minorities, especially Muslims, by extremist Hindu groups affiliated with the ruling BJP continued throughout the year, amid rumors that they traded or killed cows for beef.”
“Since May 2015, 50 people have been killed and over 250 people injured in such attacks. Muslims were also beaten and forced to chant Hindu slogans. Police failed to properly investigate the crimes, stalled investigations, ignored procedures, and filed criminal cases against witnesses to harass and intimidate them,” said the report.
The report, by the research and advocacy group, further deplored that there were “credible, serious allegations of beatings and torture by security forces”.
HRW further criticised the Indian government for its failure to not review or repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, which gives soldiers effective immunity from prosecution for serious human rights abuses.
“In Uttar Pradesh state, police continued to commit extrajudicial killings with impunity. As of June, at least 77 people had been killed and over 1,100 injured since the BJP state government took office in March 2017.”
“The killings highlighted continued lack of accountability for police abuses and the failure to enforce police reforms,” the report stated.
HRW elaborated and referred to the divisive Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by the Indian government, which excluded approximately two million people of mostly Muslim origin, putting them at risk of being stateless.
UN human rights spokesperson Jeremy Laurence added that CAA does not extend the same protection to Muslim migrants as to six other religious minorities fleeing persecution, thereby undermining India’s commitment to equality before the law, enshrined in its constitution.Highlighting continued high-profile cases of violence against women, the report said several rape cases were reported, including against a BJP leader.
The report added that the case highlighted how women seeking justice face significant barriers, including police refusal to register cases, victim-blaming, intimidation and violence, and lack of witness protection.
The report also states that in April 2019, a sexual harassment complaint against the sitting chief justice of the Supreme Court illustrated similar challenges. Other women who complained against powerful men also became vulnerable to criminal defamation cases.
“The Modi government continued its widespread practice of harassing and sometimes prosecuting outspoken human rights defenders and journalists for criticising government officials and policies,” said the report in reference to pressure and other tactics employed against those advocating for equal rights.

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South Punjab News : HRW report criticises India for gross human rights violations, abuses
HRW report criticises India for gross human rights violations, abuses
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