Human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir
Human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir union territory are an ongoing issue in nothern part of India. The abuses range from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech. The Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Personnel (BSF) and various separatist militant groups have been accused and held accountable for committing severe human rights abuses against Kashmiri civilians.
Some rights groups say more than 100,000 people have died since 1989 while the official figures from Indian sources state the estimates of number of civilians killed due to the insurgency as above 50,000. According to scholar Seema Kazi, the crimes by militants are incomparable to the larger scale abuse by Indian state forces. India accuses the Pakistan Army and its state sponsored terrorist outfits for abusing human rights in Jammu and Kashmir by violating the ceasefire and continuing to kill Kashmiri civilians, a claim rejected by Pakistan which blames the Indian Army for the violation of Line of Control.
Diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks revealed that the Red Cross had briefed US officials in Delhi in 2005 about the use of torture from 2002–2004 by security forces against hundreds of detainees suspected of being connected to or having information about militants.
In a 1993 report, Human Rights Watch stated that Indian security forces "assaulted civilians during search operations, tortured and summarily executed detainees in custody and murdered civilians in reprisal attacks"; according to the report, militants had also targeted civilians, but to a lesser extent than security forces.
Rape was regularly used as a means to "punish and humiliate" communities. Scholar Seema Kazi says it is used as a weapon of war by the state against the population. A 2010 US state department report stated that the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir had carried out extrajudicial killings of civilians and suspected insurgents. The report also described killings and abuse being carried out by insurgents and separatists.
In 2010, statistics presented to the Indian government's Cabinet Committee on Security showed that for the first time since the 1980s, the number of civilian deaths attributed to the Indian forces was higher than those attributed to insurgents' actions. The Indian Army claims that 97% of the reports about the human rights abuse have been found to be "fake or motivated" based on the investigation performed by the Army. However, a report by the US State Department said, "Indian authorities use Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to avoid holding its security forces responsible for the deaths of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir."
Militant violence led by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front against 219 pandits according Jammu and Kashmir government sources has led to the migration of several hundred thousands of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits, who before their exodus comprised an estimated ~5% of Kashmir valley's population.
According to Asia Watch, the militant organisations forced the Hindus residing in the Kashmir valley to flee and become refugees in Delhi and Jammu. The chief perpetrators were the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front and the Hizbul Mujahideen. Migration continued until a vast majority of the Kashmiri Pandits were evicted out of the valley after having suffered many acts of violence, including sexual assault on women, arson, torture and extortion of property. Some of the separatist leaders in Kashmir reject these allegations.
The Indian government is attempting to reinstate the displaced Pandits in Kashmir. According to the J & K government an amount of Rs. 71.95 crore was spent in providing relief and other facilities to the Kashmiri migrants living in Jammu and other parts in 2007–08, Rs. 70.33 crore in 2008-09 and Rs. 68.59 crore from 2009 up to January 2010. The remnants of Kashmiri Pandits have been living in Jammu, but most of them believe that, until the violence ceases, returning to Kashmir is not an option.