A week after the United Nations report on human rights violations in Kashmir was published, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday, July 16, released data on the number of militant infiltration in J&K.
Minister of Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy said that the number of armed infiltration in the valley has increased from 119 in 2016 to 143 attacks in 2018. The number of militants killed also increased from 35 in 2016 to 59 killed in 2017. The data claims that 32 militants were killed in military operations in 2018, reported ANI.
Reddy also revealed that the number of security officials killed in military conflict has decreased from 15 personnel in 2016 to five in 2018.
The Ministry said that the armed conflict in Kashmir valley is mainly due to cross-border sponsored terror activities and only four militants have been arrested since 2016. The MHA data showed that militant infiltration in the valley reduced by 43 per cent in the first half of 2019.
On Tuesday, July 16, Union Minister Manish Tiwari submitted a Zero Hour notice in the Lok Sabha to discuss the UN report on human violation in Kashmir. India has rejected the claims made by the report, which said that civilian casualties due to the armed conflict in Kashmir in 2018 were the recorded in a decade.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar slammed the report and called it "false and motivated." He condemned the UN body for its 'failure' to recognise the independent judiciary, human rights institutions and other mechanisms in the state that "safeguard, protect and promote constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights to all citizens of India."
UN Report on human rights violation
Stating that 160 civilians were killed in 2018, the report cited data collected by Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). It stated that around 586 people, including 267 militants and 159 Indian security personnel, were killed due to the violent conflict in the region. The number is the highest since 2008.
Official data published by the Indian Union Ministry for Home Affairs was also accused by UN of deliberately stating "lower casualty figures, citing 37 civilians, 238 terrorists and 86 security personnel killed in the 11 months up to 2 December 2018."
It was claimed that the report did not appropriately substantiate arguments of security officials violating human rights in Kashmir. The report was accused of being soft on Pakistan despite its evident role in cross-border terrorism.
It was highlighted that the UN report said NGOs, human rights defenders and journalist in India are able to operate and document the ongoing human rights violations. But in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan region "restrictions on the freedoms of expression, opinion, peaceful assembly and association" have obstructed the ability to monitor human rights abuses.