SRINAGAR: Prisoners in Indian occupied Kashmir have been subjected to abuse and torture, including “water-boarding, sleep deprivation and sexualised torture”, a recently released report states.
The 560-page report titled “Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir” was released on Monday by Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and is the first comprehensive report on torture in the region.
The report highlights different torture techniques used by India, which includes sexual torture including rape and sodomy, water-boarding, burning of body parts with hot objects, solitary confinement and electrocution to the genitals.
The report uses 432 case studies to chart out trends, patterns and the perpetrators. According to findings, 70 per cent of torture victims are civilians and 11 per cent die due during or as a result of torture.
“Due to legal, political and moral impunity extended to the armed forces, not a single prosecution has taken place in any case of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir,” states the report.
“All the institutions of the State be it a legislature, executive, judiciary and armed forces form a part” of the torture, the report adds.
“Indian state does not discriminate when it comes to torture, with women and juveniles having also been subjected to it.”
“Entire populations have also been subjected to collective punishments like cordon and search operations (CASOs) during which torture and sexual violence has been common,” states the report.
The Indian Army is given a free hand when it comes to using torture and it is a tactic employed to “break people’s will”.
This is reflected in the Indian Army’s Doctrine on Sub-Conventional Operations, which states: “The endeavour should be to bring about a realization that fighting a government is a ‘no win’ situation and that their anti-government stance will only delay the process of restoration of peace and normalcy.”
Victims of torture are unwilling to seek justice due to “a lack of faith in institutions”.
“Of the 432 cases studied, only 27 had gone to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). 20 of these complainants obtained recommendations in their favour,” the report states.
According to the report, victims of torture have suffered long-term effects both physically and psychologically.