coronavirus update indiaas on : 28 September 2020 06:31 GMT+5:30
UN Rights Chief Says, "Deeply Concerned," On Kashmir, Raises Assam Also
UN Human Rights panel chief raises Kashmir, says "Deeply concerned about impact of recent actions" by the Indian government
New Delhi: The lockdown of the state of Jammu and Kashmir had entered its sixth week, to which the chief of the United Nations Human Rights Council said that she was "deeply concerned" about the severe restrictions ordered by the centre since it scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's special status last month.
"I am deeply concerned about the impact of recent actions by the Government of India on the human rights of Kashmiris, including restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists," the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in her opening statement at the 42st session of the Human Rights Council.
"While I continue to urge the Governments of India and Pakistan to ensure that human rights are respected and protected, I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people's access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained. It is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future," she added.
The Indian government had last month, scrapped provisions of Article 370 of the constitution, withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir's decades-old special status. It also divided the state into two union territories.
The chief of the United Nations Human Rights Council said that her office continues to receive reports on the human rights situation on both sides of the Line of Control.
Ms Bachelet had said that it was important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future.
India said that the matter of Jammu and Kashmir was internal and had strongly criticised Pakistan's efforts to raise it at international forums.
Ms Bachelet also said the National Register of Citizens or NRC in Assam, intended to weed out illegal immigrants, has caused great uncertainty and anxiety, with some 19 lakh people excluded from the final list published on August 31.
She appealed to the Indian government to ensure due process during the appeals process, prevent deportation or detention, and ensure people are protected from statelessness.
On NRC, India has said that it's updation was statutory, transparent, legal process mandated by the Supreme Court of India. It maintains that the exclusion from the NRC has no implication on the rights of an individual resident in Assam. The External Affairs Ministry said in a statement last week, "For those who are not in the final list will not be detained and will continue to enjoy all the rights as before till they have exhausted all the remedies available under the law. It does not make the excluded person 'Stateless'."
"It also does not make him or her a 'foreigner', within the legal meaning of the term. They will not be deprived of any rights or entitlements which they have enjoyed before," the statement said.
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