HomeLatest NewsCongressional report exposes human rights violations in IIOJK, India

Congressional report exposes human rights violations in IIOJK, India

India commits grave human rights violations against Kashmiris

WASHINGTON: A recently published report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has highlighted severe human rights violations in India, particularly brutalities perpetrated by Hindu extremist elements supported by the Modi-led BJP and its parent body, the RSS. The Congressional report has drawn serious international concern.

According to the report, Kashmir, an internationally recognized disputed territory, has been the worst target of about a million army and paramilitary forces, the CRS report stated. In 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi abrogated Articles 370 and 35A, revoking the special status of Kashmir.

The report detailed that Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) was converted into a prison for its people. Indian forces have detained people without charge under the Special Powers Act, leading to serious human rights abuses.

The CRS report described that the world’s largest but so-called democracy has been repeatedly criticized for its treatment of minorities, especially Muslims, who face widespread atrocities at the hands of Hindus openly supported by the BJP-led government and its agencies.

According to the CRS report published in April 2024, India has been guilty of numerous serious human rights violations. “The Indian government has not taken any action against the officials who have been found involved in human rights violations,” the CRS report stated.

It further highlighted a sharp increase in such violations since Narendra Modi came to power in 2019. The Varieties of Democracy Project (V-Dem), based in Sweden, recently labeled India as one of the worst dictatorships of the past decade.

Earlier in 2021, the American Freedom House’s report warned, “Extremist Modi and his party are leading India towards the worst dictatorship.”

The CRS notes violent incidents against religious minorities, particularly Muslims, who face harassment, threats, and even murder.

Hindu extremist groups have been reported to attack Muslims for cow slaughter or trade, with a rise in these incidents over the years. Christians, the second-largest minority group affected, endure an average of 11 violent attacks per week.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken remarked in 2022 that some Indian officials participate in attacks on minority worship places and also facilitate these assaults.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended in 2020 that India be designated a country of particular concern under the International Religious Freedom Act.

The Press Freedom Report 2023 also expressed significant concerns regarding freedom of expression in India. The report cited severe restrictions on internet access, censorship of online content, and pressure on digital media, which undermine freedom of speech.

India was labeled the “world’s biggest offender” for internet blackouts for the fifth consecutive year, with 84 instances recorded in 2022 alone. Additionally, the CRS report criticized India’s anti-trafficking efforts as inadequate, with an 84 percent acquittal rate for traffickers. The constitutional changes made to Kashmir’s status in 2019 were seen as further marginalizing minorities.

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