India hits out at OHCHR for comments on J&K

Kashmir GMK Photo / Faizan Mir
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The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday slammed the statements issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on specific incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, calling it “baseless and unfounded allegations against law enforcement authorities and security forces of India”.

The MEA also called out the “clear bias” shown by OHCHR in referring to proscribed terrorist organisations as “armed groups”.

In response to media queries regarding the statement made by the Spokesperson of OHCHR on Wednesday, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “We have seen the statement made by the Spokesperson of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on specific incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The statement makes baseless and unfounded allegations against law enforcement authorities and security forces of India.

“It also betrays a complete lack of understanding on the part of the OHCHR of the security challenges faced by India from cross-border terrorism and its impact on the most fundamental human right ‘the Right to Life’ of our citizens including in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Referring to proscribed terrorist organisations as ‘armed groups’ demonstrates a clear bias on the part of OHCHR.

 

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“As a democratic country, with an abiding commitment to promote and protect the human rights of its citizens, India takes all necessary steps to counter cross border terrorism.

“National security legislations, like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) were enacted by the Parliament to protect the sovereignty of India and ensure security of its citizens.

“The arrest and subsequent detention of the individual referred to in the statement was done entirely as per provisions of law.

“Authorities in India act against violations of law and not against legitimate exercise of rights. All such actions are strictly in accordance with the law.

“We urge the OHCHR to develop a better understanding of the negative impact of terrorism on human rights.”

On Wednesday, the OHCHR issued the statement over the arrest of a Kashmiri youth “expressing its concern”.

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