The government-controlled National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India has dismissed a petition that urged the Commission to constitute an independent team which should visit Kashmir and compile an updated report on human rights situation in the troubled state.
As a journalist and social activist, I had filed the petition after a new report released by the UN Human Rights Office said there is an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice for all people in Kashmir.
While the UN Human Rights Office says it is not being given access to Kashmir to understand the ground realities, I urged NHRC to constitute an independent team which should visit Kashmir and compile an updated report on human rights situation in the troubled state. I also petitioned that NHRC should share this report with the UN Human Rights Office.
Moreover, I asked NHRC to convince the Indian government to give unconditional access to UN Human Rights Office which could plan to visit at least Indian-Administered Kashmir.
However, NHRC which is a toothless organization informed me in its email dated July 3, 2018 that my petition has been dismissed. Although the petition was on human rights situation in Kashmir, strangely NHRC registered it under the subject: “Muslims in India.” I had asked NHRC to correct this mistake, it did not.
NHRC gave the following reason for rejecting my petition:
“On perusal of the complaints listed above, it is seen that the requisite information about the incident of human rights violation / victim / complainant etc. has not been furnished in these complaints, as such it is not possible to consider the complaints by the Commission. Therefore, the complaints are filed and the cases are closed. However, the complainants, if they so desire, may again send a detailed complaint in the matter.”
My petition to NHRC and related information is given below.
Petition on UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir
June 15, 2018
Shri Justice H L Dattu
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
New Delhi, India
Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Pâquis CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
Dear Justice H L Dattu,
I am a government’s national award-winning journalist and social activist. Earlier, I have worked with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert.
During the past over a year, I have sent multiple reports to NHRC detailing human rights abuses in different cases particularly in Delhi. Although NHRC keeps writing letters about these cases to other departments, they ignore NHRC letters or give superficial replies. I am sorry to state that none of those cases are resolved. As NHRC has not been able to assert its authority, the government departments do not take NHRC’s directions seriously.
UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir
This case is about a new report released by the UN Human Rights Office on Thursday (June 14, 2018). The report says there is an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice for all people in Kashmir, who for seven decades have suffered a conflict that has claimed or ruined numerous lives.
The 49-page report – the first ever issued by the UN on the human rights situation in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir – details human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control, and highlights a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces.
“The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein while releasing the report.
“This is why any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties, and provide redress for victims,” he said.
“It is also why I will be urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir,” said Zeid.
Role of NHRC
While the UN Human Rights Office says it is not being given access to Kashmir to understand the ground realities, I urge NHRC to constitute an independent team which should visit Kashmir and compile an updated report on human rights situation in the troubled state. NHRC should share this report with the UN Human Rights Office.
Moreover, as the apex human rights organization in India, NHRC must also convince the Indian government to give unconditional access to UN Human Rights Office which could plan to visit at least Indian-Administered Kashmir.
This email should be considered as my formal petition to NHRC with the request that NHRC should cooperate with the UN Human Rights Office in order to know the exact extent of human rights violations in Kashmir.
Moreover, NHRC should redefine its role to become an effective organization to protect human rights in India.
You may please read the full UN Human Rights report at the following link:
Request for an early response.
Raman Media Network
Global News Service
463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16, Sector 4
Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078, INDIA
Another email that I sent to NHRC:
June 21, 2018
This is about NHRC Regn. No. : 440/90/0/2018. I had sent to NHRC a Petition on UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir on June 15, 2018 (reproduced in this email). It is not about “muslims in india” as you have wrongly stated.
You are requested to correct the error and inform me immediately.
NHRC did not correct the error.