UN report on Kashmir baseless, army shows restraint in J&K: Defence Minister

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday rejected a UN report on alleged human rights violation in Kashmir, saying Indian Army exercises maximum restraint in carrying out operations in the troubled state.

“It was a report which was prepared sitting somewhere else. The assessment is totally without basis. The Indian Army shows maximum restraint in conducting operations including in J&K,” she told reporters.

Earlier this month, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had released the first-ever report on alleged human rights violation in Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and demanded an international probe into it, evoking a sharp reaction from India which had termed the document as “fallacious and motivated”.

Sitharaman’s criticism of the report came on a day UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres voiced support for the UN human rights chief’s call for an independent international investigation into the human rights situation in Kashmir.

“As you can imagine, all the action of the Human Rights High Commissioner is an action that represents the voice of the UN in relation to that issue,” Guterres told reporters in New York.

Asked about recruitment of youths in Kashmir by militant outfits, Sitharaman said the security forces are keeping an eye on it.

“We are also focusing who is behind motivating them (to join the militant outfits,” she said.

She also said that the Army has not been given any fresh instructions after Jammu and Kashmir was brought under the Governor’s rule.