A Pattern of Impunity
With the bloody conflict in Indian-controlled Kashmir now in its fourth year, Indian troops have embarked on a “catch and kill” campaign against Muslim militants, resulting in a sharp escalation of human rights abuses, including summary executions of hundreds of detainees in the custody of security forces. Troops have also engaged in reprisal attacks against civilians, assaults on medical workers, rape, torture and arson. Masroof Sultan (pictured on the cover), was detained by security forces in April 1993, beaten, tortured with electric shock, then shot and left for dead. His testimony follows: “They stood me up against a tree and told me, ‘Now we will release you forever.’ I heard them cock their guns. Someone said, ‘One, two, three,’ then they fired. I was shot in both legs. I heard someone say, ‘Make sure he’s dead.’ One of them kicked me in the head and said, ‘he’s still alive.’ The officer said, ‘Shoot him in the heart.’ Then the soldier shot me in the chest and arm. Someone kicked me again and said, ‘He’s still alive.’ Then a voice said, ‘Shoot him in the head.’ A bullet grazed the back of my neck. I held my breath. Someone kicked me again, then shouted, ‘He’s dead.’” The Human Rights Crisis in Kashmir provides comprehensive documentation of the consequences of India’s abusive policy in Kashmir. It also documents violations by armed militants, including killings, rape and indiscriminate attacks in populated areas, and concludes that these abuses and India’s policy of impunity toward its own security forces has helped fuel the conflict and create a human rights disaster in Kashmir.