Wikileaks: India ‘tortured’ Kashmir prisoners

JK Bank

[Syndicated from: BBC South Asia]

The International Committee of the Red Cross sent evidence to US diplomats about widespread torture by Indian security forces in Kashmir, according to cables obtained by Wikileaks.


Visits to detention centres in the region in 2002-04 revealed cases of beatings, electric shocks, sexual abuse and other types of ill-treatment.

The organisation concluded that India condoned torture in the region.

There has been no comment from the US. The ICRC said it was investigating.

The chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, told India’s NDTV channel that the allegations related to a period before his government took power and that he did not condone torture.

Correspondents say the revelations will be embarrassing for Delhi, coming at a time of heightened sensitivity in Kashmir, which is divided between Indian and Pakistani control.

They were published by The Guardian newspaper in the UK, one of five publications – including the New York Times, France’s Le Monde, El Pais in Spain and Germany’s Der Spiegel – given access to the entire archive of the reports from US diplomats out in the field by Wikileaks.

Wikileaks website says it has obtained more than 250,000 cables passed between the US State Department and hundreds of American diplomatic outposts – but it has so far only published a small sample of those messages.

The site’s founder, Julian Assange, was on Thursday freed on bail in London, where he is fighting extradition to Sweden over sex assault allegations made by two women. He denies any wrongdoing.

Electric shocks

The torture allegations come at a time of heightened tensions in Kashmir, with massive public protests and numerous curfews in recent months.

The ICRC told diplomats they had made 177 visits to detention centres and met 1,491 detainees, a cable published in the UK Guardian newspaper said.

Ill-treatment was reported in 852 cases, the ICRC said.

A total of 171 said they were beaten and 681 subjected to one or more of six forms of torture:

  • Electric shocks
  • Suspension from ceiling
  • Crushing of leg muscles
  • Legs split 180 degrees
  • Water torture
  • Sexual abuse

Nonetheless the situation was “much better than it was in the 1990s”, officials said.

There were no longer cases of security forces indiscriminately raiding villages and detaining their inhabitants, they added.

ICRC spokesman Alexis Heeb said the organisation was looking into the matter, but would not comment on the contents of the diplomatic correspondence as that was an internal communication between the US embassy in New Delhi and Washington.

The latest batch of documents to be released by Wikileaks is made up of diplomatic messages sent from US embassies around the world.

The website released 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July, and 400,000 documents about the Iraq war in October.

Washington has strongly criticised Wikileaks for publishing classified diplomatic cables and military reports.


  1. Kashmir is the story of treason from one decade to another which has been written with honour in thebooks of history. New pages will be full of humour but with deceit that the next generation will laugh and ponder to what these people have been.

    Social, moral and religious bankruptcy intruded in our thoughts and actions have led to increased possibility of our identity being vanished. Age old plague of exploitation seems to be occupying our genes. Our present ethos and ethics suggest we are slow poisoning our lives. Every dark story has an actor, evil is never alone ithas warden always which keeps on grooming it. Fingers which always stood above to point towardsoneness of creator are lowering to point to others. These hands which used to do work for the creatorare used to whip own brethren. But what this evil does is unclear and mysterious. For all our miseries there is always big reason called Indian Occupation. But the question is should we accuse Indian state foreroding our social fabric, of course yes but at the same time do we realize that they have not only been efficiently doing it but also employing us for own destruction. Exploiting people starts with corrupting their minds. Immorality and waywardness promoted in society is properly planned and managed by state ,be it liquor , drugs, promoting obscenity in the name of culture ,state sponsored brothels ,top officials workingas pimps for ministers and portraying Kashmir as sexdestination all this has a big reason to exist.

    So what have we been doing ? Have we been clear with our priorities ?Enemy is much more wiser, he has been fighting at different fronts at the same time ,so are we defending ? No of course not ,we have forgotten to act . Time is precious. We need to Sort out our priorities now. The remedy for all these diseases is freedom from India but at same the time we need to defend many things ,we can’t focus on only single entity while everything is robbed from us .Heart is dead while mind is exploited . Rising up from this age is not to keep puritywithin your life only and doing dikhir every night but the need of the hour is to keep check on everything around you, when you become determined, when you realizethat Allah has chosen you for this pious mission, then the change starts automatically. How can this change happen ? Change must start at every home, start learning andinvite others to learn Islam . Yes only thing is Dawah-calling people of faith to the call of Allah. Volunteer and start distributing pamphlets, be it if you are at college school or university. Get organised , start discussing with your friends,colleagues, nears and dear. Sisters adhere to Hijaab and ask others to do it. Tell them how state is sponsoring immorality andwaywardness. If we start a rigorous campaign in schools collegesand universities insha allah we will see a positive and Permanent change .

    This can start with Distributing pamphlets and pasting posters with the text quoted from Quran and Sahih Ahadith about modesty. Getting printed small stickers with Quran and Sahih Ahadith and paste them in public transport vehicles.Write a Graffiti inside and outside your institutions in one wordor one line, Organize seminars ,symposiums ,debates and groupdiscussions. We can create a movie clip on this subject and send it ourfriends via mobile. We can of course do much and contribute a lot butthis change must start within us. It is only we who can influence others .Remember , Revolution starts within ourselves ,this is high time to realize ,when we defend our religion we defend our existence.


    Team Aalaw