OIC delegation takes note of civilians killed in India-held Kashmir

During a visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, a high-level delegation of the Organisa­tion of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Independent Perma­nent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) took notice of the killing of four civilians by Indian border forces in India-held Kashmir, said a Wednesday press release issued by the Foreign Office.

Three civilians were killed and 28 others injured in anti-India protests that erupted on Tuesday following a gun battle between suspected separatists and Indian forces that resulted in the death of one of the militants.

The gun battle began after police and soldiers cordoned off the southern town of Chadoora following a tip-off that at least one militant was hiding in a house.

Intense clashes between rock-throwing protesters and Indian forces, who started firing into the crowd, erupted just a few hundred metres from the besieged house. The militant was reportedly killed in the fighting.

According to a statement released by IPHRC, the delegation, which is being headed by Med S.K. Kaggwa, also visited refugee camps and interacted with Kashmiri refugees who have migrated from IHK to escape Indian atrocities.

The delegation met with the president and the prime minister of AJK, who briefed them on the intensified, ongoing human rights violations of innocent Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces, the statement said.

A meeting was also held between the delegation and members of the Hurriyat leadership, the statement said.

The leadership informed the delegation that Indian occupation forces have prevented people from offering Friday prayers and children from attending schools.

“The Hurriyat leadership either remains imprisoned or under house arrest,” the statement added.

It also noted that held Kashmir is “one of the most heavily militarized zones on the planet with one soldier to every 17 civilians.”

Earlier this week, the delegation also held a meeting with the Prime Minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, in Islamabad.

During the meeting, Aziz condemned the reprehensible Indian practice of using live ammunition and pellet guns, as a result of which more than 150 innocent Kashmiri Muslims have been killed, 20,000 have been injured and scores of people, including young girls and children, have been blinded.

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