India slams OHCHR for comments on Jammu and Kashmir
India as a democratic country takes all necessary steps to counter cross border terrorism, the MEA said
India on Thursday hit out strongly against the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for its adverse remarks on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, stating the UN human rights body’s allegations against Indian law enforcement agencies and security forces are “baseless and unfounded.”
“We have seen the statement made by the Spokesperson of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on specific incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. The statement makes baseless and unfounded allegations against law enforcement authorities and security forces of India,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to media queries regarding the statement made by the Spokesperson of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on specific incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.
The MEA Spokesperson further said that OHCHR’s statement “betrays a complete lack of understanding” on the part of the UN body of “the security challenges faced by India from cross-border terrorism and its impact on the most fundamental human right ‘the Right to Life’ of our citizens including in Jammu and Kashmir.”
“Referring to proscribed terrorist organisations as ‘armed groups’ demonstrates a clear bias on the part of OHCHR,” the MEA Spokesperson said.
Bagchi said that India as a democratic country, with an abiding commitment to promote and protect the human rights of its citizens, “takes all necessary steps to counter cross border terrorism.”
“National security legislations, like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) were enacted by the Parliament to protect the sovereignty of India and ensure security of its citizens,” he added.
The arrest and subsequent detention of the individual referred to in the statement was done entirely as per provisions of law, the MEA Spokesperson maintained.
Authorities in India act against violations of law and not against legitimate exercise of rights. All such actions are strictly in accordance with the law, he said.
“We urge the OHCHR to develop a better understanding of the negative impact of terrorism on human rights,” the MEA Spokesperson added.
On Wednesday, OHCHR had expressed concern over the arrest of a Kashmiri activist under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the Indian authorities and had called for his release.
The OHCHR’s statement had alleged that under the UAPA, a person can be detained for months without charge. The UN rights body has demanded amendment in the law to bring it in line with the international human rights law and standards.