SRINAGAR: The United Nations, alarmed at the violence in Indian-controlled Kashmir, has sought access to the disputed Himalayan state to probe accusations of serious human rights violations.
“We requested full and unhindered access to the affected population, to interview a variety of individuals on the ground, including victims, witnesses, security forces, and with access to relevant documentation,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement. “Such access would enable us to provide an independent and fact-based analysis of the situation, which is so crucial in volatile, politically-charged situations.”
Hussein added that he has been seeking access for a team to visit both Indian-controlled Kashmir and Azad Kashmir to “independently and thoroughly look into and verify allegations of violations of international law to be able to establish the facts accurately”.
“Given the seriousness of the allegations of the use of excessive force, allegations of state sponsorship of violence, as well as the number of people killed and the very large number of people injured, the continuing unrest and the almost daily reports of violence in the region, it is unfortunate that our sincere attempts to independently assess the facts in relation to reports of human rights violations have failed..”
In the latest violence on Wednesday, militants killed three members of the Indian security forces when they ambushed an army convoy and then fired on a police jeep that arrived.
An unknown number of gunmen opened fire on the two army trucks and a police car travelling through Baramulla district, 60 kilometres west of Srinagar.