The Human Rights Watch on Friday said that Indian government was using counterterrorism operations to silence peaceful dissenters, human rights activists, and journalists, as it slammed the recent NIA raids on activists’ homes, NGOs and a newspaper office in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, and Bangalore.
“India faces serious security challenges, but instead of addressing the problems in a rights-respecting manner, the authorities appear determined to crush peaceful criticism and calls for accountability,” Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said. “Using authoritarian tactics against outspoken critics and journalists needs to stop.”
“The Indian government seeks to be a global leader, but instead is drawing international criticism by systematically weakening the country’s long-respected democratic institutions,” she said. “The government should alter course by upholding democratic principles and protecting the human rights of all its citizens.”
In its statement on the raids, HRW noted that the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons were groups that had long worked for “justice for victims of security force abuses”.
JKCCS and ADPD were among the home and offices raided this week. Others included AFP journalist Parvaiz Bukhari’s home, Greater Kashmir’s office and the NGO Athrout.
“While the government has eased some restrictions in the state over the past year, it continues to impose harsh and discriminatory restrictions on Muslim-majority areas in Jammu and Kashmir,...