LAST UPDATED: March 31, 2021, 10:12 a.m.
Chennai: The United States in its Human Rights Conduct Report states that the Indian government has taken steps to improve the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir and restore normalcy in the erstwhile state.
The report mentions recruitment and use of security personnel, civilian killings and torture and child soldiers by separatist insurgents and militants in Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast and Maoist-affected areas.
The report states that India is a multilateral, federal, parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislature. The country’s report on the 2020 Human Rights Conduct for the US Congress states that the Indian government has partially restored Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, besides successfully conducting local District Development Council elections, in which opposition parties have achieved a majority.
Non-government forces, including organized rebels and militants, carried out several murders. In Jharkhand and Bihar, Maoists continued to attack security forces and infrastructure, including roads, railways and communication towers. The SATP reported that 99 civilians, 106 security forces members and 383 militants or rebels died during the year as a result of the terrorist attacks. It was the lowest number of civilians killed since the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) began reporting this data in 2000. In July, militants killed six party leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, important human rights issues for India have also been mentioned in the US report. The report mentions restrictions on freedom of expression and the press, including violence, threats of violence or inappropriate arrests against journalists, social media speech, censorship and the use of criminal libel laws to block sites, on illegal organizations Highly restrictive rules, restrictions on political participation, widespread corruption in government at all levels and tolerating violations of religious freedom in the country.