Kashmir Caged: Child Abuses in Indian Occupied Kashmir

By Matthias Samuel

Matthias Samuel is a student in Quadi e Azam University Islamabad and writes about Human Rights issues

Human rights in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir are being violated for decades but the point is that now this barbaric non-sense violence of the Indian army has also started against children, it Is intolerable and the actions cannot be justified by any means.

According to the UN Secretary-General’s report on ‘Children and Armed Conflict’, “UN had verified over 25,000 grave violations against children globally from January to December 2019”. The top six violations against children in armed conflict, identified by UN Security Council include 1) killing and maiming of children, 2) recruitment and use of children as child soldiers, 3) sexual violence, 4) abduction, 5) attacks on schools and hospitals, 6) denial of humanitarian access.

All of these six points are being violated by the Indian forces and intelligence agencies. Kashmiri minors are the primary victims of numerous physical and emotional abuse and danger of displacement, which makes the minors extremely vulnerable. There are also reports minor girls to become specific targets of the Indian armed forces, rape victims is a phenomenon that has dramatically increased in the IOJK (Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir). Several times cases of severe cases of injuries have been reported.

The UN report also verified that nine schools have been attacked in IOJK and this wicked brutality of the Indian government, forces and intelligence agencies prove that India has failed to protect the children. While the Indian constitution 21A makes it clear that the government of India must provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to 14 years, the mournful part is that when all of India enjoys the basic right of education, only the children AJ&K are left and their schools are being destroyed and are being harassed and ordered to pick up weapons. UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict said that “boys and girls used and abused in armed conflict in the world have had their childhoods replaced by “pain, brutality, and fear while the world watches.”

The UN report tells that 23 children were killed on LOC by shelling from IOJK. 8 children were killed because of the so-called joint operations of the Central Reserve Police Force, the Indian Army and the Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the killing was mainly because of torture in detention, shootings, including from pellet guns, and cross-border shelling.  This is not the only thing responsible for the deaths of Kashmiri children, children have died due to indirect effects including hunger, unhygienic living conditions, poor water and sanitation, insufficient health care system along with diseases, and inevitable illnesses.

In a survey conducted by saving the children reported that almost 215,000 children are orphans, most of which are the result of violence by security forces. Life is miserable for these children they are born in a war zone in which the only thing they know is survival, they are hopeless and helpless. Reports only help to tell the harsh realities of the situation but do not do any justice. What the children of Kashmir need is help and quick actions to get them out of the miserable situation instead of sympathies. However, it is important to note that the UN appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to protect the children around LOC. Pakistan always raises the Kashmir issue at UNSC, pointing out child atrocities. The world needs to take a step to help them the UN security council, all the international security bodies including the Court of Justice has to hold India accountable for the human rights violation, especially and specifically against children.

Gold Medalist in Mass Communication and Journalism, Syeda Afshana is faculty at Media Education Research Centre, University of Kashmir (Indian Occupied Kashmir) who is also a visiting fellow at Centre of International Studies, Cambridge University has extensively written and reported on conflict issues related with women and children of IoK.

In one of her recent articles, she talked about the horrific incident of Bashir and his grandson who was brutally killed by Indian Forces in Sopore while he was traveling with his toddler grandson.

“The eyes feel flat and tired; the mood is one of sad patience; it seems an ugly story, grim and sad; Poor all of us when you come to think of it”. The recent shocking survival story of a three-year-old child from Kashmir (read as Indian Occupied Kashmir) brings us nearer to such a weary realization of vulnerability.

A child, who cannot grasp what death means, narrates the murder scene of his Grandpa by figuring out thud of gunshots: ‘He was shot dead….. Thhaak, Thhaak, Thhaak……’ His innocence is too traumatized to understand how horrific history has turned him into an unfortunate witness,’ she wrote.

bashir ahmed with his 3 year old grandson days before he was killed by Indian forces in front of his grandson
Bashir Ahmed with his 3-year-old grandson days before he was killed by Indian forces in front of his grandson

Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal who is the Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, the oldest English daily in Jammu and Kashmir in her article says:

Soon after the encounter, where the man, Bashir Khan, accompanied by his three-year-old grandson was seemingly caught, a heart-wrenching photograph of the little boy sitting on the blood-splattered body of his grandfather and crying, went viral. A photograph of the boy being carried by the police and yet another inside a police vehicle with a gifted arsenal of candies and chocolates, probably offered by the police to console him, were also in circulation”.

blood-soaked dead Bashir Ahmed with his 3-year old chest-riding grandson left no imprints on your heart and nothing is changed us (Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Valley).

It has been confirmed by Kashmiri journalists that the Indian Army after killing Bashir Ahmed put his grandson on his dead body and made photos and spread them to social media. This horrific act was done to send a message to Kashmiri people that nobody can save them from the hands of Indian Forces.

Unfortunately, the United Nations and its bodies are keeping silence over such brutal actions of Indian Forces.