Jalil Andrabi has become of the latest victim of the six-year old central rule in Kashmir. His body, with his eyes gouged-out and a single bullet wound to his head, was recovered from the Jhelum river on March 27, 1996, three weeks after he was seen being abducted at gun-point by a group of men in Indian paramilitary uniforms.
Andrabi's murder was no less than a calculated political assassination - one directly rooted in the prevailing political and military situation in Kashmir. His activities as the chairman of the Kashmir Commission of Jurists, his work to document and expose rights abuses by the military, paramilitary and police forces in Kashmir, and his legal initiatives to seek justice for the victims are intimately connected with the violence that was directed at him personally.
Irrespective of who the actual kidnappers and assassins may be, it will be an error to consider this merely as a personal murder. This is but the latest in an ongoing policy of state terrorism that seeks to snuff out any exposure of the violent abuse of human rights by the authorities in power in Kashmir and India. The outrage exhibited by various individuals, institutions and official circles both inside and outside India over Andrabi's assassination must be seen as a call to end such terrorism. Andrabi dedicated his life to seek justice for Kashmiris - a demand that the forces of the status-quo in India have so far refused to yield to. Even though they have been forced to institute various inquiries and commissions, his death has neither changed the approach nor the policy of the authorities on this crucial question.
The AIPSG joins all other organizations in condemning this assassination and calls upon the authorities to investigate and punish those found guilty of this and other such crimes that Mr. Andrabi himself had documented in his lifetime. The AIPSG is of the opinion that the people must demand from the Indian government that the problem of violation of the rights of the people and the nation of Kashmir cannot and must not be solved by military occupation, state terrorism and draconian "black laws". Besides punishing those guilty of human rights violations, an immediate withdrawal of the military and paramilitary forces, the repeal of all "black laws" and the release of those detained under these laws will create favorable conditions for finding a solution to the problem of the rights of Kashmir and its people. It is a matter of the greatest import for any democratic polity when military force, draconian laws, extra-judicial killings and other forms of terror are used against one's own population when engaged in any struggle for rights. It is a fact that within the existing "rule of law" in India, the Indian people do not have any say on the deployment of these elements. However, people in nearly all parts of India have first hand experience of various forms of state terrorism. There is a need for all the people to come together to find ways to become effective in ending the use of state terror against any struggle for rights in India.
AIPSG, Earl Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
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