International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 19, 2009
MILITARIZATION WITH IMPUNITY:
A Brief on Rape and Murder in Shopian, Kashmir
Dr. Angana Chatterji, Convener IPTK and Professor, Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies
Advocate Parvez Imroz, Convener IPTK and Founder, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
Gautam Navlakha, Convener IPTK and Editorial Consultant, Economic and Political Weekly
Zahir-Ud-Din, Convener IPTK and Vice-President, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
Advocate Mihir Desai, Legal Counsel IPTK and Lawyer, Mumbai High Court and Supreme Court of India
Khurram Parvez, Liaison IPTK and Programme Coordinator, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
Enclosed, please find our brief on the events and investigative process in Shopian, Kashmir, connected to the brutalization and death of Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan in end May 2009, in which the state security forces have been implicated.
While investigations have emphasized the procedural conduct of the police in their handling of the investigation, they failed to focus on the actual crimes that were committed, or the conduct of state institutions. The investigations in Shopian have not focused on the identification and prosecution of perpetrators or on addressing structural realities of militarization in Kashmir that foster and perpetuate gendered and sexualized violences, and undermine rule of law and justice. The investigations have instead concentrated on locating ‘collaborators’ and manufacturing scapegoats to subdue public outcry. ‘Control’ rather than ‘justice’ has organized the focus of the state apparatus, including all processes related to civic, criminal, and judicial matters.
What is the ‘truth’ of the matter, who are in the know, and what is being shielded?
We were compelled to write this brief to mark the inability of the state apparatus to deliver justice. We urge civil society institutions and international human rights groups and those working with issues of social justice to seek accountability.
In writing this, we have visited, and been in contact with, the family of Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan, and civil society leaders and organizations in Shopian, and in Srinagar. We are grateful for the collegiality extended us, and especially to those that placed themselves at risk to offer us insight.