Two weeks after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) released a controversial report on Kashmir, the displaced Kashmiri Hindus have decided to counter the document by formulating a comprehensive report on the excesses and massacres committed by Pakistan-supported terror groups in J&K since 1989-90.
Activists and representative groups of 3.5 lakh Pandits have already rejected the first-ever document prepared under UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, for its allegedly biased and partisan view.
The community has said that the UN had ignored the plight of minority Hindus who were forced to leave their ancient homeland after a selective killing campaign organised by separatist insurgents in the Valley. India also reacted sharply to the report for trying to ‘legitimise terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir supported by Pakistan’.
“We will submit our own report to human rights groups and the United Nations office with facts in the next few months. The UN document has mentioned figures of Pandits killed during 30 years of violence in Kashmir but it has ignored basic facts about the plight of the population,” said Sanjay Tikku, president, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti.
The document has mentioned paragraphs on the community and merely attributed migration to “disturbed conditions prevailing in the Valley during 1989-90”, Tikku said.
“The exodus was a planned extermination of a peaceful community. The UN has for years completely overlooked the violation of rights of our people and turned a blind eye towards us. We reject the report,” said Col (retd) Tej Tikko, president, All India Kashmiri Samaj.
“The UNHRC has adopted the Hurriyat Conference line on Kashmir. The council has remained silent about the first victims of the armed conflict in J&K. The report loses relevance,” said Ashwani Chrungoo, president, Panun Kashmir. The group had about 15 years back prepared a detailed document, ‘Kashmir Documentation’, about the role of separatist armed groups and radical elements in killing innocent people in the Valley.
Observations by human rights groups
The National Human Rights Commission (of India) had observed in the 1990s that acts akin to genocide have occurred with Pandits and a ‘genocide-type design’ may exist
The US Committee for Refugees had observed that “fundamentalist terrorists had driven the Pandits out by systematic ethnic cleansing”
Amnesty International reports have repeatedly said “among the civilian population, the Hindus have been frequently targeted by the armed opposition groups. Those that have stayed behind in Kashmir have been subjected to frequent abuse”
Major massacres of Kashmiri Pandits
March 21, 1997 – Sangrampora (Budgam) – Seven killed
January 26, 1998 – Wandhama, (Srinagar) – 23 killed
March 23, 2003 – Nadimarg (Shopian) – 24 people gunned down