Defending her claims about alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, Shehla Rashid says she is ready to present evidence to the army.
Facing severe criticism over her comments about alleged human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir People’s Movement leader Shehla Rashid has said she is ready to provide proof of allegations to the Indian Army.
In an exclusive interview to India Today TV on Tuesday, Shehla Rashid said, “Let the army conduct an impartial investigation. I will depose before them and give them all the proof with details.”
Shehla Rashid had landed in a controversy after she took to Twitter to claim that the Indian Army was indiscriminately picking up men, raiding houses and torturing people in Jammu and Kashmir.
A day after her tweet, a Supreme Court lawyer filed a complaint accusing Shehla Rashid of “spreading fake news with the intention to malign the image of Indian Army”.
On the SC lawyer accusing her of “deliberately and intentionally spreading fake news with the intention to incite violence in the country”, Shehla Rashid on Tuesday asked how her tweets will incite violence in Kashmir where internet is suspended. “If at all, it is the action of armed forces that will incite violence,” Shehla Rashid said.
WILL ARMY TAKE ACTION? ASKS SHEHLA
While she continued to defend her claims, Shehla Rashid asked if the army will take action in case she is able to furnish proof to the government and the Indian Army.
“What happens if I come out with proof? This is not about that but about whatever little Kashmiris are saying right now is being termed as baseless. What proof does the army have that my allegations are false?” Shehla Rashid asked. “If all these [allegations] are proved true, is the army ready to court-martial those responsible?” she questioned.
“We saw how an Army major breached the standard operating procedure of the forces but was honoured. So my proof doesn’t really matter,” Shehla Rashid said. The army has been doing excesses, it’s nothing new, she alleged.
REITERATES STAND ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
On the situation in Kashmir, Shehla Rashid termed government’s clampdown on communication lines in Kashmir as a gross violation of rights.
“Kashmiris are actively prevented from recording anything. My cousins who come back from Downtown told me that security forces ransacked their houses. What the government is doing right now by shutting down the communication lines is a gross violation of human rights,” Shehla Rashid said.
“I have spoken to people from the Valley who spoke about excesses done by our security forces. These are not people who spread rumours. These are genuine Kashmiris who are facing the wrath,” Shehla Rashid said.
NOTHING AGAINST THE ARMY: SHEHLA
Saying she has nothing against the army, Shehla Rashid said her claims were based on genuine testimonies. “All these will come out if the government opens up communication lines. I have no vested interest to speak against the Indian Army.”
KASHMIRIS, PAKISTAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSULTED: SHEHLA
Expressing her concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions, Shehla Rashid said, “Insurgency will increase. People are already going missing, joining militancy ranks. Abrogation won’t get development. We should have brought people on board, even Pakistan, if that is what was needed,” Shehla Rashid said.
Shehla said abrogation will not bring development in Kashmir citing its conflict-zone status. “Kashmir issue has to be solved. Forced development will never flourish. Everybody wants peace but not this way,” Shehla Rashid said.
Saying rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits was her party’s priority, Shehla Rashid asked, “I also want them to come back but how is peace possible in a scenario like this where the government had to lie to pilgrims, tourists, and students. If the government is saying abrogation will give a chance to Kashmiri Pandits to come back, who are they really fooling?”
The former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president claimed that armed insurgency will follow. “People are already going missing. Some may have already joined militant ranks,” Shehla Rashid said.