United Nations rights report on Kashmir violates India's sovereignty: MEA

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses

India on Thursday rejected United Nations (UN) report of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as "fallacious, tendentious and motivated".

The government strongly rebutted the charges, with the MEA questioning "the intent in bringing out such a report". It added that the report is a selective compilation of largely unverified information.

The Ministry of External Affairs earlier said the report was "overtly prejudiced" and sought to build a "false narrative".

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, releasing the report said, "It is also why I will be urging the U.N. Human Rights Council to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent global investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir".

India said it was disturbing that the U.N. report described internationally-designated and U.N. -proscribed militant bodies as "armed groups" and militants as "leaders", as it undermined the U.N. -led consensus on zero tolerance of terrorism.

The U.N. report focuses mainly on serious violations in India's northern state of Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 to April 2018.

"This proposal is consistent with Pakistan's several calls to this effect since 2016, even as India has continued to ignore legitimate demands for probe into gross and systematic violations, including pellet guns, excessive use of force, arbitrary arrest and detentions as well as continued sexual violence as part of overall impunity enjoyed by Indian security forces", the handout read.

In the first of its kind report, the United Nations also talked about the gross violation of human rights in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable.

The UN report urged Pakistan to end its "misuse" of anti-terror legislation to persecute peaceful activists and quash dissent.

The rights office also says restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly make it hard to get information about conditions in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"The contents, scale and the narrative of killings, maiming, abuse and impunity articulated in the report is a reaffirmation of what Pakistan has long highlighted for the worldwide community".

The report also sought repealing of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 "urgently" and also "immediately remove the requirement for prior central government permission to prosecute security forces personnel accused of human rights violations in civilian courts". In recent weeks, Indian security forces also came under criticism when a video emerged of soldiers in a military vehicle running over three protesters in Srinagar - one of whom later died.

The report also criticised the use of the pellet-firing shotgun by security forces to quell the protests in which more than 6,000 people have suffered eye injuries.

Activists estimate that up to 145 civilians were killed by security forces and up to 20 civilians killed by armed groups in the same period, the report said.

"OHCHR's Report has rightly called for final political solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute through meaningful dialogue that includes the people of Kashmir".

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