THREAD on Torture as a weapon used by Indian State in Kashmir.


“Till I am alive, I will continue to fight for justice and speak truth to power” - A Kashmiri torture survivor.
India’s response to conflict in Kashmir shows characteristics of classic counterinsurgency warfare, where military strategies are both ‘population centric’ & ‘enemy-centric’. Widespread HR violations, including use of indiscriminate torture, tactic employed to break people’s will
We Kashmiris have witnessed gross violations of HR in form of extra-judicial executions, illegal detentions, torture, sexual violence, disappearances, arson & vandalism of civilian properties, restriction on congregational & religious activities, media gags, & communications ban.
Unlike other forms of heinous human rights abuses like extra-judicial killings, disappearances or indiscriminate and force exemplified by the use of pellet shotguns, torture is a state crime that often remains hidden, unless the victim dies as a result of his/her injuries.
As many deaths due to torture-related injuries are not immediate but may occur after years or even decades, accurate figures of such fatalities and morbidity are extremely hard to estimate. Here we have to talk about forms of torture perpetrated by various arms of the State.
Torture emerges as one of the ways of retaliation by the State against the we Kashmiris. But it also emerges as part of routine, intrinsic to the very existence of the Indian State and its occupation in Kashmir.
For me it is such a painful ordeal to write about this but I have to.
Torture and vast majority of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to which people may be subjected and which cause physical and psychological suffering have been deployed unflinchingly and applied in Kashmir.
Apart from verbal abuse, other forms of torture that we come across include stripping, beatings with sticks, iron rods/belts, Roller whereby heavy wooden log or an iron rod is rolled over legs, with extra weight applied to it by SF men who sit on the opposite sides of the rod.
Also, water-boarding, electrocution, hanging from ceiling (jahaaz), submerging detainees’ head in water (sometimes mixed with chilli powder), burning of the body with iron rods, heaters or cigarette butts, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, rape and sodomy, and what not.
The thread is about engineered systematic torture executed by Indian State in Kashmir.
Survivors of torture have battled with psychological issues long after their physical wounds were healed.
Indian armed forces and police have used torture without any distinction of affiliation, gender or age.
Victims of torture suffer from psychological difficulty after being subjected to torture. A considerable chunk of population suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Minors have been tortured. Professionals like doctors, paramedics, employees and journalists have also been regularly targeted and assaulted since the early 1990s.
The mid-1990s saw the emergence of State controlled ‘pro-government militants’, colloquially referred to as naabid or Ikhwan, consisting of armed groups which had begun operating as clandestine counter-insurgents on behalf of the Indian army.
Ikhwan operated with absolute impunity, openly engaging in criminal acts & terrorising people. 1994 saw the establishment of the STF (later renamed SOG) as counterinsurgency wing of police. STF soon became notorious for its ‘excesses’ including routine use of torture & reprisals.
1996 J&K Assembly elections, after which NC came to power, saw widespread coercion by Ikhwanis & Indian forces to make people vote. PDP came to power in 2002 on promises of disbanding notoriously brutal SOG, demilitarisation & beautification of city areas, called ‘Healing Touch’
Instead of disbanding SOG, PDP ensured its merger with JK Police and led to entire Police department getting involved in counter-insurgency operations. Since then, as a consequence the JKP has also become highly militarized. Thanks to puppets installed as proxies of occupation.
In the absence of any legislature criminalizing torture and the absolute impunity that the Indian forces enjoy in Kashmir, torture continues unabated. Presently the main targets of torture are young boys, our youth, our future.
"It is our gun that has made elections and democracy possible in Kashmir." - Papa Kishtwari, Deputy Supreme Commander of Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon, second in command to Kuka Parray, notorious counter-insurgent and electoral candidate.

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