Monday, October 22, 2007

Kashmir: A Glimpse at the Atrocities

* Statistics of Atrocities of Indian Occupational Forces in Kashmir
* Rape En Masse - Ayesha Kagal
* Mubina's Story - Derek Brown, The Guardian
* Angry Voices from the Valley of Death
* The Rape of Loura
* Hospital Crackdowns - William W. Baker's treatise, "Kashmir, Happy Valley, Valley of Death"
* From Christopher Thomas' Article in "The Times"
* Organ Removal - the Black Market - William Baker, "Kashmir, Happy Valley, Valley of Death

Please be warned that much of the following content is extremely graphic and disturbing.

Atrocities of Indian Occupational Forces in Kashmir
from "The Army of Madinah in Kashmir" by 'Eesa al-Hindi

Since 1990 - Oct.1996

* 59 750 Murdered
* 49 000 Murdered by indiscriminate firing
* 550 Burnt alive
* 3 200 Bound and drowned in the River Jhelum
* 4 500 Murdered crossing the cease-fire line

Early 1990's estimate:

* 15 873 Rape cases (reported)
* 934 Women murdered in gang rapes
* 756 Rendered disabled
* 43 390 Men and women held in prison without trial
* 11 600 Youth in torture cells
* 97 654 Burnt houses and shops
* 250 678 Refugees (successfully crossed) in Pakistan (1)
* 30 Schools destroyed
* 189 Schools and hospitals bomb blasted
* 200 Primary school children burnt alive on October 1, 1990
* 358 Hospital Clinics destroyed
* 346 Mosques destroyed
* 358 Children died without treatment
* 66 094 Houses and shops burnt
* 1 480 Cattle burnt
* 1 225 Food burnt (worth in dollars)
* 1 123 Forest burnt (worth in millions of dollars)
* 848 Hospitals and schools burnt
* + Thousands of people dismissed from jobs

And the persecution is still continuing at an ever-increasing rate. In a land where even gatherings of more than four persons is prohibited, everyday is a nightmare; every place is a holocaust. Every family has suffered in one way or another.

How tormented could life become? Ask the MUSLIMS of KASHMIR...

(1) It is illegal for Kashmiri Muslims to emigrate anywhere other than India

Ayesha Kagal

On the 10th and 11th August 1990, the army soldiers, rank and file hovering around Pazi Pora, Bali Pora, Konun and others seemed to have been overtaken by vengeance, greed, lust and revenge. They would shoot anyone:- a passer by; a farmer; a teenage boy; an aged man; an old woman or a outh busy with his vocation. The jawans (Indian soldiers) were seen carrying bottles of liquor in their pockets and guns in their hands. More than a company descended on Pazi Pora and isolated forcily women folk from children and men, against the protests and weeping and wailing. Most of the cowmen had run for safety to the forest, but still 20 to 30 women were lodged in a spacious house. The army jawans got a scent of their presence, and pounced on them like vultures. All of them were brought out from their hiding place and 10-15 robust, attractive and healthy women were isolated between the age of seven years and fifty years. One group of lusty soldiers tore their clothes to shreds and rendered them nude. A bonfire was made of thier dresses and other garments at the edge of a field of rice. Committee members found the remnants of burnt clothes even after a week. Another group gulping liquor from bottles jumped over them and took them back to the same hiding place from where they were forced out, there they were raped. A seven-year old girl who was raped was still bleeding five days after the horrific ordeal. The group took their turns raping while crying slogans of "jai hind" and so on! [Reproduced "Kashmir Aflame", vol.1&2, Aug. 1990, Tahreek-e-Hurriyet-e-Kashmir].

Rapes and sodomy are very common. Soldiers rape young girls and young boys in the presence of family members. Leeches are often placed on genitals. Family members are woefully forced to rape other members of the family. To humiliate and disintegrate the person, soldiers will squeeze the breasts and genitals, insert metal rods and live cigarettes inside the vagina and rectum. Detainees are forced to perform oral sex on soldiers and to swallow the ejaculate.

In an army firing in Sonar bazaar, two lanes away in the mohalla, a bullet ripped through the face of Mushtaq Malik, a twenty-one year old first student who also attended stenography classes. His family confirmed Mushtaq's death when they identified his wristwatch, after he had been buried. [Ayesha Kagal, Sunday Review Times of Indian, New Dehlis, April 29, 1990]

Derek Brown, the Guardian, May 26th 1990

Mubina Ghani is eighteen, and her face is dark with suffering. On May 18, on the way home from her wedding to her first night in her husband's home, she was shot and then gang-raped by Indian soldiers.

In the general hospital in Anantnag, fifty kilometres from the Kashmir capital, Srinagar, Mubina is squatting on a bad in a foetid general ward. Alongside is her husband. Without protests, she hobbles to the operating theatre, where there is a measure of privacy. Her pain is beyond understanding. As she softly speaks, the horror is almost unbearable.

After the wedding, she says through an interpreter, she boarded a bus with her husband and aunt, to her new home. The aunt was a chaperone-cum-companion.

The bus, which had twenty four passengers and two crew, was stopped by a contingent of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). There was no curfew in that area, but they had carried passes, just in case. They were allowed to proceed.

Some distance further on, there was a second roadblock, this time manned by the Border Security Forces (BSF).

"We started to get down but we were given no chance to show our passes. They opened fire without warning. They fired through the windows and from machine guns underneath their vehicle. We lay down under the seats and pretended to be dead. After the shooting, they came inside and started to beat everyone," said Mubina.

One passenger was dead. Many others had bullet wounds including Mubina and her husband, Abdul-Rashid. She went on, "All those who were not seriously wounded were told to stand in a row and ordered to raise their hands. The two ladies (Mubina and her aunt) were forcibly separated and ordered into a field."

While the bus was systematically looted - the plunder included some twelve thousand rupees (about four hundred pounds) given to the newly weds - Mubina and her aunt were stripped of their jewellery. Mubina, in Anantnag hospital, points to her unadorned ears and hands in shame. Even her wedding ring is missing.

She went on, "In the field, the soldiers first took off their clothes. I do not know how many there were. We were crying bitterly. I told them that I had not yet seen my husband, but they did not listen. They took off our clothes. They bit my chest and then I was raped. Between four to six Indian soldiers raped me, I think". Mubina's aunt is between forty and fifty years old. She was around seven months pregnant. Two days after being brought to the hospital, she left and has now disappeared without trace


"I want to suck their blood but how can I do it?" (Ruksana, 16, resident of Baallipora)

"If you give me training, I will kill the men who raped me". (Shaila, 22, resident of Pazipora)

"Whenever I see an army man now I feel like jumping into my grave".
(Rabia, 29, resident of Kupwara)

These are the bitter, angry outbursts of Kashmiri women who have been sexually assaulted. Ironically enough by the keeprs of law and order - the Indian army and security forces, stationed in the Valley. ["Kashmir Bleeds"]

"On 31st march a group of children of the age group 11-12 assembled at the house of a teacher to have tuition from their tutor in Vicharnag locality of Srinagar. The teacher was non-Muslim and all students except one were also non-Muslims. There was an incident in the vicinity and the BSF men burst into a house. The Border Security Force men asked the identity of the pupils with their names. Only the Muslim boy was shot and murdered".
["Situation in Kashmir", an Indian Report]

Weekly Takbeer, Srinagar, October 31st, 1990

She had arrived in Srinagar on October 7th, 1990, from a trip to Ladakh and was lodged in a houseboat on the banks of Dal Lake along with her three friends. Little did she know of the fate that awaited her in Srinagar.

Born in 1966, 24-year old Miss Loura Jane Lambie, a Canadian agricultural science student was on a stroll on October 11th on the boulevard in Srinagar when it was just getting towards darkness. Near the Centaur Hotel, she was having a chat with three local boys asking them about what was going on in Kashmir and was immediately waylaid by personnel of the Indian National Security Guards (MSG) travelling in a white Maruti van. They were armed with automatic weapons and were also carrying a walkie talkie with them. One of them, tall but slim, warned Loura not to get into conversation with local Muslim youths, "All of them are very dangerous terrorists and can also molest you at this desolate spot", he told her.

When the guards asked as to whom she was, she replied, "A Canadian". "You shall have to accompany us to the police station," and thus Loura was asked to board the vehicle. Instead of any police station, Loura was taken to the Oberoi Palace Hotel where the guards had a drink from their own bottles because the bar in the Hotel was closed. She did not drink though she was invited to do so. The guards then ordered her to go back to the houseboat at that late hour, for the Kashmiri militants could kill her at any spot. The guards also took away her purse. Loura was taken to a garden near chasma Shahi. It was 1am on October 12.

One of the guards directed loura to undress but she did not oblige. Her clothes were then torn and she was laid on the ground and gangraped. She cried under the open sky but there was no one to listen to her moans and shrieks except the sleeping state governor, Girish Saxena, in Raj Bhavan, which is situated only a few hundred yards from the scene of the incident. For a change, Loura was taken to another adjacent garden and the gangrape by five guards of the helpless victim continued. Finally, she fell unconscious.

A semi-conscious Loura was then dropped on the roadside, at a slight distnace away from where she had been picked up the previous evening. On being sighted by the locals, she was carried to the police station at Nehru Park where a case for kidnapping and rape was registered under sections 366 and 376 of the Ranbir Penal Code under First Information Report No. 90/40. The police officers at the station recommended a medical examination of the victim and Loura was taken to Lal Ded Women's hospital in Srinagar."All Indian men are scoundrels, I'll not permit you to examine me", - Loura shouted at the male doctor in the hospital. Two female doctors then examined her ascertaining that dead sperms were found in her uterus and in the passage leading to it. There were scratchs on her thighs, arms and breasts, which only testify that she resisted.

Loura Jane Lambie told pressmen that very day how brutally "security" guards raped her. The matter when brought to the higher authorities in the state and also when it was taken up with the government of India by the Canadian High Commission in New Dehli, the state police registered a case against the guards, arresting two of them whom Loura had conveniently identified in a batch of sixty-four guards paraded before her. She recognised them despite the fact that both of them had shaved off their beards.
Loura was kept in protective custody by the state authorities and was allowed an interview with the state governor on October 13 who promised that stern action would be taken against the guards-turned-rapists.The authorities acted swiftly in view of the Canadhan government taking a serious notice of the incident and it was in a record time that an inquiry was conducted and culprits punished.

Here lies the difference between the rape of a foreigner and that of a Muslim Kashmiri woman. The latter is treated as an allegation and passes off unnoticed and unwept.

From William W. Baker's treatise, "Kashmir, Happy Valley, Valley of Death".
The American author visited the Occupied territories in 1994:

"Hospital crackdowns occur at all three major hospitals as verified by doctors. These "crackdowns" amount to a shutdown of the hospitals and usually accuse the surgeons of "harbouring" illegal weapons and resistance fighters. While enduring these searches, the hospitals are totally shut down. The doctors and hospital staff are not allowed to care for their patients whle the search goes on. All staff are confiend to their quarters and offices, and as a result, many critically ill patients undergoing surgery were left to die on the operating tables!

"Under the guise of conducting a "security search" the authorities often physically abuse the patients, as was the case of Mrs. Parveena Sheikh, a forty-five year old cancer victim, who along with other patients suffering from severly painful afflictions, were rolled over and over in their beds while the soldiers, laughing, continued to ask, "where are the arms?". Their laughter was unable to cover up the screams of the victims as monitors, intravenous lines, and catheters were ripped from their veins.

Mr. 'Abdul-Rahim, thirty-five years of age, and suffering from a treatable liver abscess with metabolic acidosis and hypertension was on a life saving I/V line. As he was rolled over and over and the line ripped away, the physician on duty was prevented from restrating the I/V line for nearly an hour and as a result Mr. Rahim suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. I met six families at the hospital who had family members die while the security forces carried out their crackdowns. It is important to note that in all the crackdowns and searches of the hospital not a single weapon or "militant" was found, no had the doctos and staff ever knowingly hidden either arms or resistance fighters. "Suspected" Mujahideen were often taken fromthe hospital immediately after surgery and in some cases in the midst of emergency surgery! Many never returned , and those that were brought back to the hospital were near dead.

From Christopher Thomas' article in The Times, London, 10 August, 1993

Students are targets in the streets of Kashmir as was the case of a twenty-year old man walking to school in the middle of the afternoon. An Indian army truck with a machine gune mounted in the back pulled alongside and soliders ordered him to look at them, and upon doing so he was shot through the throat. He was left where he fell until some other civilians took him to the hospital. A doctor explained that the bullet tore through the young man's trachea and oesophagus, finally crushing his spine. This handsome young Kashmiri was unable to speak, and the doctor continued to tell the effects of that single bullet, that this young man could not eat, could not breathe, could not even move and was only awaiting the peace and freedom of a hastening death. It was asked for the young man's prognosis; "He is going to die very, very soon", was the reply. Mercifully, this innocent youth died several days later.

Masroof Sultan, nineteen, takes off his shirt to reveal ten bullet wounds and the scars of torture by electric shocks. A doctor's report states that bullet injuries were sustained to the right thigh, left thigh, both arms, neck, chest and head. That he lived is embarassing to those who shot him; he is scared they will come back to complete the job. His story tells much about the tactics of Indian Security Forces in Kashmir.

The official version is that he was shot in "crossfire", which must be dismissed as nonsense by anybody who has seen Mr. Sultan's multiple wounds. According to him, he was put up against a tree by soliders from the Border Security Forces, a paramilitary group and shot by men with rifles. He said he was shot again when he was seen to be alive. A third wave of bullets smashed into him to make sure.

"An officer put his hand in front of my mouth to feel if I was breathing. I held my breath. I was semi-conscious", he said. He has had four operations so far, and doctors say he needs two more. He cannot walk properly because his thigh was broken and his knees were injured, he says, from being beaten with sticks during interrogation. The doctor's report, from the bone and joint hospital in Srinagar, is unequivocal in its prognosis: "permanent disability".

Until recently, before soldiers ordered him off a bus and decided he was a freedom fighter, he was a science sutdent. He was apparently singled out for interrogation because he came from an area of Srinagar with a reputation for resistance. He had not even been identified by "cats" - informants. They are called "cats" because only their eyes can be seen, i.e. they were a hood. "The cat has the power of life and death" [astaghfirullaah]. says Mufti Bahauddin Farooqi, former chief-justice of Jammu and Kashmir and now a human rights worker. "He can get anyone arrested and murdered just by pointing a finger"; cats usually turn informer because they are threatened or tortured; it is probable that some are paid.

Mr. Sultan's life changed forever, when, some hours after being taken off the bus, he was sent to an interrogation centre. He said there was a rope hanging from the ceiling, a big roller, - this heavy device is used for rolling over the legs and body, a common and well documented form of torture in Kashmir - and a piece of apparatus that turned out to be an electric shock system. He said bare wires were attached to his penis and big toes, then water thrown over him.

"I was given three shocks. I lost my senses. Blood came from my nose and mouth. They beat my knees with sticks".After the torture, he was taken away, and outside a building used by the Border Security Forces, he was shot. No young man in Kashmir is safe from the Security forces. That is why so many of them live in refugee camps on the Pakistan side of Kashmir. It is exceptionally hard to find anyone, young or old, in the Kashmir Valley who does not want Kashmir to secede from India.

From William W. Baker's "Kashmir, Happy Valley, Valley of Death":

"Nothing could ever have prepared me for another encounter with a young Kashmiri victim of the occupation forces. Twenty year old Muhammad Rafiq Mir, son of Abdul-Ghani Mir from the area of Khomoh, Shutloo, Baramullah, was picked up by the security forces on January 1st of 1991 when he and twelve other Kashmiris were attempting to make their way to the freedom of Azad Kashmir (an outlawed and illegal emigration). I will let his own words, taken from a signed document, tell what happened next:

"We were taken to a place which looked like a hospital because some people were in green uniforms and masks and others in military uniforms. I was put on a table, blood was taken out from my arm. A wire was put from my groin and something was view on a screen. During this process, I felt heat in my body. After that, all I know is that I was feeling pain. One doctor told me that my left kidney had been removed".

The next day, the young man was taken along with others who had undergone surgery and thrown from the back of an army where he complained of severe pain. On the bottom portion of the testament of Rafiq Mir are the comments of the examining physicians who after careful examinations and x-rays conclude: "A twenty-year old male, Muhamamd Rafiq Mir is apparently in good health with a elft lumber scar. The scar is about eight inches in length well-healed. The pink colour of the scar indicates that it is a recent one. On questioning, he does not give history of any complaint referable to his urinary system. He has never had any hematuria, dysuria, obliqurea, or urinary colic. He had no pain in the region of the scar. He has never been told by a doctor that he had any problem with his kidneys. Upon examination, he does not reveal any clinical abnormality except the scar in the left lumber region. Further tests indicate the absence of his left kidney. It apepars a normally functioning leftr kidney and urethra have been surgically removed! The circumstances of his operation suggest his kidney has been used for a transplant and was removed against his will"

While in the Valley of Kashmir I learned of several other citizens who had likewise had healthy organs removed, although most of the others were found dead with kidneys, livers and other organs missing. I have the sworn testimony of Younis Khan of the Ganderbal District where I was staying, which testifies that his brother was taken off a bus along with twelve others by Border Security Forces. One month later his body was found and taken to the Institute of Medical Science whereupon the doctors determined that his brother, twenty-nine year old Bashir Khan, died of physical torture and one kidney was missing from the body. As incredible as this may seen, since returning to the United States there have been a number of special documentary programs on American television, especially on the "Discovery" channel, December 11, 1993, which exposed the huge black market in India for human organs!

Additionally various other vile torture methods are also brought into force. One other such instrument being a rolling pin with nails with jut out from the wood piece as described to us by an unfortunate victim who was subjected to this type of ordeal. This apparatus is rolled over various parts of the victim's body, the sequence of events being thus:

Firstly, the layer of the human skin tissues begins to peel off after which the inside tissue is penetrated which also starts to remove until finally the bone is reached. The examples are macabre and plentiful, and yet inspite of the perpetration of all this savage violence, the will of the Muslims from Kashmir remains well intact, unbroken.

The above mentioned victim, a young man, in fact following his torture ordeal still allowed us not only to secretly bath in his house but also granted us a fresh change of clothes. All this without even requesting a single penny of payment from us for all his efforts and material. Of a surety, the severe brutality of the Indian occupational forces has only served to strengthen relations between the civilians and the Mujahideen. It has caused a bond of some great magnitude to develop, one of mutual love, respect, appreciation and moreover, a heartfelt brotherhood united in their efforts.

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