Civil society asks state, non-state actors to abide by humanitarian law in J&K
The Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) has called upon the government and the United Jehad Council (UJC) to observe the International Humanitarian Law in the state during their operations.
It has sent an appeal to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, UJC chairman Syed Sallahudin, Northern Command of Indian Army’s core commander Lt. Gen BS Jaswal, Jammu and Kashmir Police director general Kuldeep Khoda and CRPF IGP PVK Reddy to comply with the laws.
“State of India, through its signing of various International humanitarian instruments and United Jehad Council (also its constituents) through their unilateral declarations, Code of Conduct and various public statements have been reiterating their position vis-à-vis the loss of civilian lives and property and talking about their mechanisms for ensuring protection of civilian life and property. But have failed to translate their commitments on the ground in Kashmir,” said a spokesman of the J-KCCS.
The spokesman said the commitments made by the state of India, besides her promises, from time to time has seen very little or no enforcement on ground during the heightened phase of conflict for the last two decades particularly with respect to the treatment meted out to civilian population.
“Also, the promises of non-state actors/organizations/groups hold little water in terms of their realization on ground. Civilian spaces continue to remain a contested site of direct hostilities between non-state and the state actors, which result in loss of precious lives, torture and humiliation of civilian populations,” he added.
Amid the obvious political simmer, and reported ‘prospect of hot summer’ coupled with many recent ‘civilian’ killings, the JKSCC spokesman said: “we as a civil society organisation feel duty-bound to remind the state as well as non-state actors of their moral/legal/religious obligations towards people.”
It has urged both state and non-state actors not to target civilian objects during their military operations. “During military operations, constant care must be taken to spare civilian population, civilians and civilian objects,” he added.
During and after the combat operations, the JKCSS appealed, wounded and sick must be collected and cared for.