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Separatists seek investigation by UN War Crimes Tribunal

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Srinagar, Feb 23: Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on Friday reiterated demand for impartial investigation into the Kunan-Poshapora mass rape.

Referring to Kunan-Poshpora tragedy, the separatists trio in a joint statement said that this heart wrenching incident is a “living proof of the state terrorism and fascism of India in Kashmir, and it can be assumed that how-grave war crimes are committed by the occupational forces in Jammu & Kashmir.”

In their appeal to UN Secretary General, they sought an investigation in Kunan-Poshpora and other incidents here by the UN War Crimes Tribunal, saying it is the moral duty of international community to investigate these cases and help declare the perpetrators as war criminals. “Indian forces are involved in war crimes here as were Serbs in Bosnia and in Kosovo,” they added.

“Scores of women including elderly and minors were sexually assaulted on the intervening night of 23rd and 24th February, 1991 by troops of 4 Rajputana Rifles and 68 Mountain Brigade,” the statement said, adding that the “mass rape in Kunan-Poshapora was not the first incident of its kind but humiliation of women-folk by Indian forces in state continues for the last 27 years.”

The statement said that “New Delhi despite clear proof, evidences and reports from local authorities, did not take any notice of it. Instead, it encourages its armed personnel to indulge in such cases and use it (rape) as a weapon of war.”

Referring to statement of then Home Minister and BJP leader L K Advani, the separatist trio said that, “he (Advani) is on record to have said the forces could not be prosecuted as it may affect their morale while dealing with their enemies.”

“The government forces as well as other state institutions have no constitutional or legal obligation or binding, nor are they accountable for the wrongdoings of armed forces,” they said.

“The state government has till date failed to do anything substantial in this regard. Actually, it is the Ministry of Home Affairs which runs the affairs in Jammu and Kashmir and they are least bothered about such inhuman incidents,” the joint statement said.

Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik also alleged that “not only are the occupational forces of India creating hurdles, but the successive state governments including NC and PDP also played a criminal role in this regard and till date they have never made any sincere attempt to register any case against culprits.”

“Whether it was NC, Congress or the PDP in power, everybody tried to conceal the Kunan-Poshpora incident,” they alleged.

Referring to the recent rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua, they said “there is no let-up in offences against women, and it is because of criminal silence maintained by the international community that such inhuman incidents continue to take place in Jammu and Kashmir.”

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