“471 torture centres still function in Kashmir”

A still from the documentary ‘Kashmir’s Torture Trail’

A human rights defender group, Voice of Victims’, based in the Kashmir region on Thursday claimed that 471 torture centers are still functioning in Kashmir.

In a statement issued here, the group claimed that every fifth Kashmiri is victim of torture and after every five kilometers there is one torture centre. “471 torture centres of Indian armed troops are still functioning in Kashmir.”

The group said that India had been using torture as a weapon of war to terrorize people and to curb the political movement of right to self-determination. “There are about four lakh people who have been tortured from a moderate to severe degree. Ninety nine per cent of all those who were or are being arrested are subjected to torture,” said Abdul Qadeer, the Executive Director of the group.

“Methods of torture like head dipping in water, rolling on front side legs, electric shocks, inserting chili powder in private parts, cutting body parts or mutilating, keeping detainee naked during torture, sexually abusing, legs or arms stretching, inserting iron rods, hanging upside down, forced to drink excessive water, and humiliation are worst and all of them have been experimented on Kashmiri people,” said Qadeer.

Coordinator of the rights group, Abdul Rouf Khan, emphasized the need to encourage the survivors of torture so that they would not feel isolated in the society. He also expressed his concern over the silence of the international organizations working on the issue of torture in different countries and appealed them to come forward.

He said that a youth from Baramulla, Mohmmad Afsar Khan, is the recent example of torture which needs immediate attention of international human rights organizations.

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