Custodial Violence in Kashmir by the Indian Security Forces: A Spontaneous Consequence or a Deliberate Counter-Insurgency Policy?

By Deol, Satnam Singh; Ganai, Rayees Ahmad | International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, July-December 2018 | Go to article overview

Custodial Violence in Kashmir by the Indian Security Forces: A Spontaneous Consequence or a Deliberate Counter-Insurgency Policy?


Deol, Satnam Singh, Ganai, Rayees Ahmad, International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences


Introduction

The Valley of Kashmir geographically occupies a key position by touching the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China (Ray, 1969). Kashmir is situated in the western Himalayas at an average height of 6,000 feet above the sea. Its area has been estimated as 1,800 to 1,900 square miles (Husain, 1974). The total area of the state of Jammu and Kashmir which came into being after 1846 was 80,900 square miles, including 4,144 square miles of POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) and 63,553 square miles of the areas of Ladakh, Baltistan and Gilgit (Dabla, 2012). The whole population of Kashmir, including POK and all type of migrants who live outside the state or other parts of the world is about 15.5 million; 10.1 million in Jammu and Kashmir, 4.5 million in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and 1.5 million in different countries of the world (Wani, 1996). While Kashmir Valley has 97 per cent Muslim majority population, Jammu and Ladakh regions have Hindu and Buddhist majorities respectively. The minorities in Kashmir are composed of the Kashmiri Pandits, the Kashmiri Sikhs and the Kashmiri Christians (Chatterji, 2011). The Muslims in Jammu and Ladakh region are in minority as they are 41 per cent of the total population of Jammu while 27 per cent of the total population of Ladakh. Above all, the Muslims constitute 99 percent of the total population of POK and 67 percent of the Indian administered Kashmir (Korbel, 2008).

Political Historical Overview of Kashmir

During ancient period, the famous dynasties to rule over Kashmir were, i.e., the Mauriya dynasty (320 to 220 BC) and the Khushan dynasty (200 to 300 BC) (Ratnaparkhi, 2011). During the medieval era, the Lohara dynasty (1103 to 1320 A.D), the Sultan dynasty (1339-1586 A.D.) and the Mughal dynasty (1586 to 1753) were the major reigns to rule over Kashmir (Kaul, 1963). Afghans also ruled Kashmir for 66 years (1753 to 1819) (Sufi, 1974). After the Afgans, the Sikh rule lasted for 27 years (1819-1846) and the downfall of the Sikh rule paved the way for rise of the Dogra dynasty (1846 to 1947) (Widmalm, 2002). The trace of the rise of organized politics in Kashmir dates back to 1930 when the atrocities and the tyranny of the Dogra rulers reached to its extreme level. It gave rise to political consciousness among the educated class and the aware and awakened people started organizing associations and parties against the Dogras (Siraj, 1998). The first such type of association was an unofficial political outfit called the 'Reading Room Party' lead by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah (Bose, 2011). Due to his organized campaign against the rule of Dogra dynasty, Sheikh Moahmmad Abdullah came to be known as Sher-e-Kashmir (Lion of Kashmir) (Joshi, 2007). Later, he formed the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference at Srinagar in October 1932 to direct the nascent but growing movement for social and political change. Maharaja Hari Singh was the last ruler of the state when India attained independence in 1947 (Khurshid, 1994).

Unfortunately the state of Jammu and Kashmir became the victim of Pakistan's invasion, who invaded it on October 22, 1947 (Sharma, 2004). Maharaja Hari Singh, being the head of state, requested India to admit the accession and send armed forces instantaneously to hold the attack and save the state of Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistani invaders (Khanna, 2008). The central government of India, under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru agreed to provide support and send their armed forces to protect the state. In October 1949, India's Constituent Assembly inserted a special provision in the Indian Constitution, Article 306A, extending such autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 of the Indian constitution was a 'temporary provision' granting special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir under Part XXI of the constitution of India, which dealt with 'Temporary Transitional and Special provisions'. Though, it was specified that even this arrangement was an interim system, pending the promised plebiscite (Ganguly, 2003). …

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