International Human Rights Day is being commemorated on December 10 across the globe with a commitment to uphold the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) adopted Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), ensuring basic human rights to all people.
But India, despite being on the radar of global human rights bodies, for its systematic and gruesome policies against minorities especially Muslims and Kashmiris in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), is blatantly violating the human norms and international declarations. Human Rights Watch in its latest report said that the India government adopted laws and policies that discriminated against religious minorities, especially Muslims. “This, coupled with vilification of Muslims by some BJP leaders and police failure to take action against BJP supporters who commit violence, emboldened Hindu nationalist groups to attack Muslims and government critics with impunity,” it said. The critics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in India including activists, journalists, peaceful protesters, and even poets, actors, and businesses are increasingly risked politically motivated harassment, prosecutions, and tax raids.
Indian authorities shut down rights groups using foreign funding regulations or allegations of financial irregularities.
The Indian security forces have turned IIOJ&K into an open-air prison while the Indian minorities are facing saffron-junta-led terrorism and extremism with full backing of BJP leadership. These human rights abuses in IIOJK range from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech. Human Rights Watch in its report further said that five UN experts have raised concerns about “the repressive measures and broader pattern of systematic infringements of fundamental rights used against the local population, as well as of intimidations, searches and confiscations committed by national security agents.”
The Muslims in India are increasingly becoming victims of Hindutva terrorism as they have been portrayed as “children of invaders” whose ancestors exploited Hindus for centuries. On this pretext, their fundamental human rights, including life, liberty and freedom of expression, are denied and they’re regularly targeted for their beliefs. In December 2019, Modi government introduced discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which excluded Muslims and allowed Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsi immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to get Indian nationality. During Modi’s first term as prime minister, the cow vigilantes are also active as part of India’s violent polity. Since then, from 2014 onwards and during the seven years of his first and now in the second term, violence over the ownership and eating of cows has become such a norm that it is barely reported anymore. Journalists in IIOJK faced increased harassment by the authorities, including raids and arrests on terrorism charges.
In June, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention expressed concerns over “alleged arbitrary detention and intimidation of journalists covering the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.” Allegations of torture and extrajudicial killings in India persisted with the National Human Rights Commission registering 143 deaths in police custody and 104 alleged extrajudicial killings in the first nine months in 2021. By September, the police had reportedly killed 27 people in alleged extrajudicial killings and injured 40 others in Assam. In a video shared on social media, police were seen beating the man after he was shot and a photographer hired by the local authorities stomping on the body of the injured man.__Daily Times