Security and Human Rights in the Kashmir Valley

August 7, 2010

Violence has escalated in the Kashmir Valley yet again, leaving 9 people dead, including at least one woman.  This comes after violence a couple of weeks ago left 14 dead.  The valley has been under a curfew, but anger has boiled over against Indian security forces and government institutions.  The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, has called for calm.  That’s a good idea, but I’m more than a little concerned at the ham-handed way the Kashmiri police, the state government and the central government are dealing with the protests.

It’s certainly understandable for the government to want to prevent damage to government buildings, but shooting people who are protesting is not only a violation of human rights standards, but it also pisses people off and makes them even less inclined to see India as anything but a foreign occupier who does not care about the security and human rights of Kashmiris.  Given Kashmir’s history within India since 1947, you would think that the Government of India will do everything it can to prevent civilian deaths, but it seems that they can never learn their lesson.