Pakistan on Saturday called for a judicial inquiry into the extrajudicial killing of three Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK) in July this year.
On Friday, the Indian army said that it had launched disciplinary proceedings against an unspecified number of soldiers following an inquiry into the killing of the suspected fighters.
According to a statement by the Foreign Office, the Indian army’s statement an “acknowledgement that Indian occupation forces are guilty of war crimes in IOK (Illegally Occupied Kashmir)”.
A spokesman of the Indian Army had said that evidence showed soldiers had exceeded their powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which grants the army broad authority including shoot-to-kill powers.
The families of the three men have denied any possibility of the slain having ties with militant groups as claimed by the Indian army.
Further, the FO’s statement said that the three Kashmiri boys — 25-year-old Imtiyaz Ahmed, Mohammad Ibrar, 20, and 16-year-old Abrar Ahmed — had come to Shopian to work in an apple orchard as labourers but were killed during a “so-called ‘cordon and search’ operation”.
It added that the Indian army had claimed that the three boys were “unidentified terrorists” to cover up their “cold-blooded murder” and had buried them in a graveyard marked for “foreign terrorists” instead of returning their bodies to their families.
“The Indian occupation army itself has admitted that the three innocent Kashmiri labourers were killed extra-judicially — a hallmark of Indian occupation forces’ state-terrorism in IIOJK. In [its] statement, the Indian army has accepted that the powers vested under the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act were exceeded,” the FO said.
“Since its illegal and unilateral actions of Aug 5, 2019, in IIOJK, India has taken its brutalisation of innocent Kashmiris to a new level. More than 300, mostly young, Kashmiris have been extra-judicially killed by the Indian occupation forces in fake ‘encounters’ and staged ‘cordon-and-search’ operations in IOK during the past one year.”
The Foreign Office called for a “transparent judicial inquiry, under international scrutiny, into the extra-judicial killing” of the three Kashmiris, while urging the international community to take notice of the incident.
“The international community must take immediate cognisance of the July 18, 2020, episode in IOK as well as other acts indicative of the RSS-BJP regime’s genocidal tendencies and hold it accountable for continuing crimes against the Kashmiri people,” it stressed.
In 2010, three Indian army officers were found guilty of killing three labourers under the guise of forcibly terming them as Pakistani infiltrators near the Line of Control (LoC).