GENEVA: (Anmol News) The United Nations human rights chief Thursday expressed serious concern over the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir, which has been under a repressive lockdown for nearly six months, as well as on the escalating anti-Muslim violence in New Delhi where a number of people have been killed during peaceful protests against the controversial citizenship act.
Addressing the Human Rights Council, Michelle Bachelet, the high commissioner for human rights, appealed to the Indian leaders to take steps to prevent violence.
“In India more broadly, the Citizenship Amendment Act adopted last December is of great concern,” she told the 47-member Geneva-based Council.
“Indians in huge numbers, and from all communities, have expressed in a mostly peaceful manner, their opposition to the Act, and support for the country’s long tradition of secularism,” Ms.Bachelet added.
The high commissioner expressed concern over reports of police “inaction” in the face of attacks against Muslims by Hindu groups, as well as previous reports of excessive use of force by police against peaceful protesters.
“This has now widened into broader inter-communal attacks, with 24 people killed since Sunday 23 February. I appeal to all political leaders to prevent violence,” she added.
In Indian occupied Kashmir, Ms. Bachelet regretted that no steps have been taken to address allegations of excessive use of force and other serious human rights violations by security forces.
At the same time, she noted that while some political leaders have been released, and ordinary life may be returning to normal in some respects, as many as 800 people reportedly remain in detention, including political leaders and activists.
“Schools, businesses and livelihoods have been disrupted by the continued heavy military presence,” the high commissioner said.
She also noted that the Indian government has partially restored mobile and internet services, after a decision by the Indian Supreme Court, adding that the authorities continue to impose excessive restrictions on the use of social media.