Barbara Crossette from Srinagar (15 June 1990)

From New York Times: “Alienation turns Deadly

“Silent, barefoot men dug a very small grave recently at the Idgar Martyrs’ Cemetery, a new landmark on the outskirts of this battered city. The grave was for 6-year-old Sajad Ahmad Sofi, shot by Indian troops, his relatives said, as he tried to hide between his father’s legs during a search of the family home.”

”Put aside the malnutrition, the shortage of vaccines, the gastroenteritis, the trauma, the nightmares of children,” said Altaf Hussain, a pediatrician. ”Here we have 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds subjected to bullets. And to add insult to injury, we hear them dubbed ‘terrorists’ on the evening news from Delhi.”

“The former governor said he had no alternative but to impose long curfews – one lasted 16 days – and crack down on militancy while trying to rebuild local administration.] Human Rights Monitors Barred India bars international human rights organizations from visiting Kashmir, where all foreigners must register with the police on entering the valley. But several Indian teams of concerned citizens have visited the valley and written critical reports.”

“Between 11,000 and 15,000 Kashmiris have been detained without trial, according to members of the Kashmir Bar Association, who also say that bodies of some have been dumped along the Pakistan border to be labeled as ”infiltrators.”

“I showed them my police identity card,” he said. ”The colonel said, ‘This has no value in my eyes.’ ” Refusing to implicate a Kashmir police officer in the terrorist movement, he said, he was subjected to electric shock.”

”They also put hot irons on my back and thighs,” he said. ”When I asked for water, they threw petrol mixed with chilies on my wounds.”

“A woman in her mid-70’s said 32 soldiers of the Border Security Force entered the home where she lives with her son and his family. It was just after midnight. There was no warning.”

”They came in here where we were sleeping. I had 33,700 rupees [about $2,000] . They took 26,000. After they left, we discovered they had also stolen our radio, a watch, shoes, slippers, water glasses, a flashlight and a nutcracker.”

‘The security forces have entered hospitals, beaten patients, hit doctors, entered operating theaters, smashed instruments. Ambulances have been attacked. Curfew passes are confiscated. A number of people have died, unable to reach hospitals,” a doctor said.”

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