Today's Paper

India cuts off UN panel after J&K report

Reacting angrily to a submission from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC) on alleged violations in Jammu and Kashmir, India has informed the United Nations body that it will no longer entertain any communication with the HRC’s Special Rapporteurs on its report.

The report from the UN body came at the same time as a report from two NGOs in Jammu and Kashmir on alleged cases of torture, was released in Srinagar, which was endorsed by a former UN Special Rapporteur.

Queries on action taken

The current Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial Executions, Torture, and Right to Health — Agnes Callamard, Dainius Puras and Nils Melzer respectively — had referred to a previous June 2018 report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and written to the government in March 2019, asking about steps taken by New Delhi to address alleged human rights violations listed in the report.

In addition, the Special Rapporteurs had listed “13 cases of concern” from the year 2018 alone in which “four children were among eight civilians killed by members of the security forces.”

Rejecting all the claims, the Indian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva replied to the OHCHR on April 23, saying that “India... does not intend to engage further with these mandate holders or any other mandate holders on the issue,” whom it accused of “individual prejudice”.

‘Clear bias’ alleged

India had also rejected the OHCHR’s report on the “Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir” — the first ever such report on J&K that came out in June 2018 — and accused the High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of “clear bias” in bringing it out.

When asked, the MEA clarified that India’s stand on not engaging with the special rapporteurs was only for those wishing to refer to the OHCHR report.