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Report on rights abuse in J&K and Kashmir militancy

Context:

In their latest report, former Supreme Court (SC) judge and former Kashmir interlocutor, who head the Forum for Human Rights in J&K, have warned that “human rights abuses will continue unchecked till J&K remains under a Lieutenant-Governor administration and without an elected government”.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Constitution (Centre-State relations), GS-II: Governance (Government Policies & Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the latest report of the Forum for Human Rights in J&K
  2. About Kashmir militancy as J&K passes 2 years as UT
  3. Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019

About the latest report of the Forum for Human Rights in J&K

  • Most of the rights violations, including arbitrary detentions, prohibition on assembly, remain valid still – even as Jammu and Kashmir completes two years as a Union Territory (UT).
  • Close to 1,000 people are still in prison, including minors and elected legislators.
  • The report says that the J&K administration added a new vigilantism against government employees, whose social media content is now subject to police scrutiny for ‘anti-national activities’, potentially leading to dismissal. Eighteen government employees have already been dismissed
  • The report also pointed out that the ceasefire agreement between Indian and Pakistani Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) “restricted infiltration by armed groups and raised hopes that a wider peace process might follow”.
  • Notably, the J&K High Court has shown renewed commitment to the rights to bail and fair and speedy trial, coupled with scrutiny of the possible misuse of draconian legislation, such as the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Nevertheless, the J&K administration continues to oppose bail and stifle dissent on increasingly bizarre grounds.
  • The report recommended release of all remaining political detainees and repeal of the PSA and other preventive detention legislation.
  • The report called for involvement of local communities in facilitating the return of Kashmiri Pandits.

About Kashmir militancy as J&K passes 2 years as UT

  • As Jammu and Kashmir completes two years as a Union Territory (UT), militancy remains a major challenge to the security apparatus amid growing fears that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is likely to flip the striking capabilities of the militant outfits, especially the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM).
  • Though more than 60% recruits hail from districts in south Kashmir, there is growing recruitment in capital Srinagar, where frequency of militant attacks saw a major spur in 2021, and in north Kashmir as well.
  • In a sustained pressure maintained by the security agencies by launching multiple anti-militancy operations every day, at least 89 militants were killed in J&K so far, including the top brass of most of the militant outfits operating in the Valley.
  • However, a fresh list of 10 local militants released by the J&K police again highlighted that local militants continue to command and control the outfits such as the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the The Resistance Front (TRF) in the Valley.

Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019 by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah.
  • The Bill provides for reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
  • The Bill reorganises the state of Jammu and Kashmir into: (i) the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature, and (ii) the Union Territory of Ladakh without a legislature.
  • The Union Territory of Ladakh will comprise Kargil and Leh districts, and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will comprise the remaining territories of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be administered by the President, through an administrator appointed by him known as the Lieutenant Governor.
  • The Union Territory of Ladakh will be administered by the President, through a Lieutenant Governor appointed by him.
  • The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will be the common High Court for the Union Territories of Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.  Further, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have an Advocate General to provide legal advice to the government of the Union Territory.
  • The Legislative Council of the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be abolished.  Upon dissolution, all Bills pending in the Council will lapse.

-Source: The Hindu

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