The history of using Human Shields in Kashmir is an old one but has been caught on tape for the first time, a recent incident has brought back the memories of the past.
Farooq Ahmad Dar narrates his ordeal:
Tanveer (name changed), a banker from Baramulla, remembers how, when he was in his early teens, a group of Indian Army personnel tried to use him as a human shield. When he resisted, he was beaten up ruthlessly and was bedridden for many days. His family didn’t complain to the authorities, just like most of us. There was nothing unusual in what had happened. It is a routine in Kashmir.
A few cases did make it to the headlines. In January 2002, Indian army used 9 Muslims as human shields in Rajori. In February 2004, 5 civilians were used as human shields in Bandipora. In 2005, 2 villagers were used as human shields in Pattan. Even though these cases received huge media coverage, Justice is pending.
In his memoirs, Basharat Peer narrates an incident where he saw an Army Major handing over a bomb to an old man and ordering him to go inside a house where militants were trapped.
The Present Chief Minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti has herself accepted to the fact that India uses Human Shields in Kashmir.
After this recent incident, people took to twitter to share their experiences:
I was made to search our house, under the beds, with soldiers pointing guns behind me looking for 'terrorists'. I was a little boy in 90s. https://t.co/vlbU0kCYCo
— faysal (@_Faysal) April 15, 2017
I have experienced this horror when I was 17 and then decided to become a photojournalist. https://t.co/l5oFLHngRY
— Altaf Qadri (@AltafQadriAP) April 15, 2017
I was sent in a house during a raid where Army thought militants were hiding during night, luckily for me they were not and I am alive.
— Zahid Bhat (@bhatzahid) April 15, 2017
I remember in 2010 ,I was taken to open the lock of the store room with the gun barrel pointed at my neck.
— Iamumair (@iamumair_zameer) April 15, 2017
This happened with me as recently as 5-6 years ago. There was a crackdown in our locality and only me & my sister were home. Terrifying!
— Suhaib (@SuhaiibM) April 15, 2017
Army came to search house on suspicion of militants, i was called, asked to open doors of rooms and army men standing behind me b4 going in
— Junayd. (@junaidrafiqi) April 15, 2017
In my village Ind Army used people as human shields almost everyday during so called crackdowns and search operations. Such cowards they are https://t.co/oMJVTMxkxY
— Khalid Mahmood (@_koshur) April 15, 2017
When it comes to using human shields, Indian forces do it every single day in Kashmir. While traveling along the Islamabad-Srinagar highway,
— Umar Lateef Misgar (@kaashur) April 15, 2017
Using human shields is considered a war crime by nations that are party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and India is its signatory.
Also as per Article 13 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules: Parties to the conflict are prohibited from placing or keeping members of the civilian population subject to their authority in or near military objectives, with the idea of inducing the enemy to refrain from attacking those objectives.
Here is an excerpt from Indian Army Doctrine:
Is this the healing touch? Is this winning hearts and minds? We doubt.
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