The Congress and the BJP have trashed a UN report on alleged human rights violations in Kashmir as a “prejudiced attempt” by vested interests to hurt India’s sovereignty and national interests. The Congress supported the government on its stand rejecting the report and said it needed to be junked as it had not taken into account the ground realities in Kashmir and had encouraged terrorists by terming them militant groups.
The BJP trashed the report as “prejudiced and baseless”. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released its first-ever report on alleged human rights violation in Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and demanded an international probe into it. “Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir… Impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in Kashmir continues as there has been little movement towards credibly investigating complaints including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region,” the report said.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the report had been prepared without understanding the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and asked if the United Nations should overlook state-sponsored terrorism being exported on Indian soil by Pakistan.
“Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inseparable part of India. We reject UN Human Rights Report as a prejudiced attempt by vested interests to hurt India’s sovereignty and national interests,” he said. “Congress party supports the government’s stand in dismissing the report,” he added.
Union minister Harshvardhan said the report was based on “largely unverified information”.
“No one, not even any global body has the right to question the sovereignty & integrity of India. Such malicious reports can only help undermine the credentials of the agency,” he tweeted.
Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said it seemed that the report had been prepared by “juveniles” as they did not know the intricacies of the problem. “It is very fashionable to talk about human rights. We reject this report,” he said.
BJP’s spokesperson Anil Baluni rejected it as prejudiced and baseless, saying it was “incomprehensible” and added that the only issue about the Valley was the violence caused by Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. “The BJP completely rejects the report. It is baseless and prejudiced,” he said in a statement.
“In Indian culture even tree and water are conserved and so the charge of human rights violation against our country is absolutely ridiculous and incomprehensible,” he said. CPI leader D Raja, however, called for introspection and asked the government to look into charges instead of rejecting the report outright. “India is an important member of the United Nations. Instead of outrightly rejecting the report India should do serious and appropriate retrospection as to why such a report has been given. Every day there are some incidents happening and we all agree that everyday situation is becoming worst and deteriorating,” he said.
The UNHRC, Surjewala of the Congress said, prepared the report remotely with zero understanding of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“How does the report justify terrorism by self-styled militants of JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen? Should the UN overlook the state-sponsored terrorism being exported on Indian soil by Pakistan?” Surjewala asked on Twitter. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel echoed him and said the report was mischievous and misleading.
“We reject any such ploy to interfere in the internal affairs of India as Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. The government deserves our full support to deal with the report.”
Addressing reporters at the AICC headquarters, Congress leader and former Union minister Rajeev Shukla also condemned the report and said the Congress party supported the stand taken by the government of India on the issue.
He also said terrorists cannot be termed militant groups fighting for their cause.
“I feel the United Nations report has been prepared without visiting the ground and I do not consider it right. The Congress supports the stand taken by the government of India… terming terrorists as militant groups and encouraging them should be rejected and condemned,” he said.
The report is “not right” and should be rejected outright, he said, as he demanded strong action against terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir. “We reject and condemn this report, which is completely uncalled for,” he added.
India earlier on Thursday rejected the UN report alleging human rights violations in Kashmir as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”. In a strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the report is “overtly prejudiced” and seeks to build a “false narrative”. It violated the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it said.