Atrocities against Hindu populations in Kashmir have long been a part of the region’s history. It grew even more violent in 1965, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister and President, proclaimed a thousand-year war on India in the UN Security Council, also known as Bleed India with a Thousand Cuts, a military doctrine to attack India. Due to the endless political savagery waged by Pakistan on India, post its birth after independence, Kashmir has turned out to be one of the most dangerous places on the planet.
To bring attention to the atrocities against Hindus in Kashmir, and the role of Pakistan, Red Lantern Analytica has written a letter to Ms. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Michèle Coninsx, UN Assistant Secretary-General Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate United Nations.
In a recent incident in Jammu & Kashmir, three civilians were gunned down by terrorists within a span of an hour. The first incident occurred in Srinagar’s Iqbal Park, where an eminent Kashmiri Pandit who was a chemist, Makhan Lal Bindroo, proprietor of Srinagar’s most renowned drug store, was shot dead by the terrorists in the Bandipora regions. Bindroo was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital. Within the next one hour, the second incident took place, when the militants struck at Hawal area of the city, killing a non-local street vendor, Virender, who used to sell bhelpuri, was shot at point blank and died on the spot. The third incident took place at Naidkhai in Bandipora district, where Mohammad Shafi Lone was shot dead. While the police did not identify any specific terror group behind the attack, TRF asserted responsibility for the attack. In a statement, TRF asked Kashmiris not to grieve his demise. This terror group also targeted the daughter of the deceased, who challenged the gunmen who killed her father to face her in a debate. The TRF also warned everyone in Kashmir, about their intention to kill people belonging to the minority Hindu and Sikh Communities. These kinds of brutal crimes against innocent Kashmiri Pandits took back the entire nation by shock.
That was not all, two more civilians working as teachers in a government school in the Eidgah area of Srinagar, were shot dead by the terrorists. One of the victims was identified by police as Satinder Kaur and Deepak Chand, belonging to the region’s minority Sikh and Hindu communities.
Recent cases of people being targeted, primarily from non-Muslim minorities, have sparked widespread resentment among India’s Hindu population. Many fears a recurrence of the 1990’s Hindu Exodus from Kashmir, when Kashmiri Pandits were subjected to ethnic cleansing and extermination by local and Pakistani-backed Islamic militants.
Pakistan has been continuously abetting incidents of cross border terrorism, by terrorists nurtured on the Pakistani soil, had been a regular strategy by Pakistan’s ISI, to implement in reality, the promise made by their former President Bhutto to “Bleed India with a Thousand Cuts”.
There are many incidences of cross border terrorism by Pakistan. The first incident happened in Kashmir in the 1980s, when groups of trained terrorists crossed the border into India. According to Kashmir, however, the cross-border terrorism that Pakistan was abetting was nothing more than a component of the Kashmiris’ “freedom struggle” for which Pakistan offered spiritual support. However, when the Director General of the ISI declared in the Pakistani National Assembly that the ISI was financing this support in Kashmir, this claim was debunked.
Kashmir has witnessed escalation of violence over the period of time. There have been incidents such as the terror attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab on 2nd January, 2016. The death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani at the hands of the Indian Security Forces, spinning out into violence on streets. Then came the terror strike on Indian Security forces in Uri on 8th September, 2016. India did the surgical strike on terror outfits in POJK in 2016 and managed to control stone pelting. Then came the Pulwama terrorist attack of 14th February, 2019, as a response to which India carried out an airstrike at Balakot on 26th of the same month.
After the revocation of Articles 35A and 370, though it was perceived that militancy would decline, the formation of the TRF destroyed the new hope. The TRF or the “The Resistance Front”, comes as a sophisticated version of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. Since its formation, there had been many incidents of brutal attacks on civilians by members of the TRF. And now this one. The killing of the Kashmiri Pandit chemist is like the last blow. If the security scenario in Kashmir is not taken up by the premiere Human Rights organizations like the UN, then the day is not far, when Pakistan would in the name of Jihad wipe off the remaining Hindu population from the entire Kashmir and become successful in bleeding India with thousand cuts
Based on this evidence that establishes the atrocities against Hindus, Red Lantern Analytica, in their letter to the abovementioned authority, has implored them to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Kashmir to assess the danger posed by the presence of terror elements in the valley and to investigate killings of civilians by such terrorists and ensure that the OHCHR takes Suo moto cognizance of the matter and constitutes a special committee to investigate the matter after the fact-finding mission submits its report. It also implored to create a committee with special rapporteurs to focus on issues of terrorism in Kashmir and assess the role of Pakistan in the process.
The United Nations Counter-terrorism Committee and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights should take prompt action to maintain peace in Kashmir and protect Kashmiri pandits.