Amnesty International Tuesday called on on the government of India to immediately halt the demolition of homes in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Amnesty International believes the demolitions, which began Saturday, are “an extension of the brutal human rights violations the region of Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim majority region of India, has historically witnessed.”
Amnesty reports that houses in the districts of Srinagar, Budgam, Anantnag and Baramulla were razed and demolished on February 4 and 5, allegedly without notice. Local media reports also claim that homeowners who had documents of proof were not allowed to make their claims before their homes were destroyed.
Chairman of Amnesty International India Aakar Ptel discussed the demolitions with respect to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. As a state party under this covenant, India must provide suitable housing to people, and any evictions must be justified and well reasoned. Moreover, they must be reasonable while providing notice of the same, along with legal remedies and legal aid in case of infringement of rights. Patel stressed that nobody must be left homeless as a result of these evictions, lest they become “vulnerable” to more human rights violations.
Patel urged India to halt their anti encroachment operations and ensure the establishment of safeguards and international human rights standards before any eviction is carried out. Further, the victims must be compensated and have access to legal remedies, so that those responsible are accordingly held accountable.