Unlawful Profiling of Kashmiris Disguised as Census Raises Human Rights Concerns

Unlawful Profiling of Kashmiris Disguised as Census Raises Human Rights Concerns

March 5, 2024 Off By Sharp Media

In the restive region of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), concerns are escalating over the latest door-to-door census conducted by the local police, supported by the Indian Army and Central Armed Police Forces. While officially presented as a routine demographic exercise, this initiative is raising eyebrows as it appears to be a thinly veiled attempt at detailed profiling of innocent Kashmiris, sparking allegations of blatant human rights violations.

The controversial census comes on the heels of a trend that began in 2019 when Indian Occupied Forces established specialized wings and sections for surveillance, aimed at maintaining a comprehensive database on prominent citizens such as journalists, academics, and activists. This move has led to reports of subsequent harassment and intimidation by the Indian Occupied Forces against those targeted individuals.

Worryingly, the Indian Army has been actively involved in conducting similar exercises in remote rural areas of Kashmir, where houses are systematically marked with alphanumeric codes by local Public Relations (PR) units and Indian military personnel. This methodical approach raises concerns about the extent of intrusion into the lives of ordinary Kashmiri citizens and the potential misuse of collected data.

Adding to the controversy, in 2023, the IIOJK Police introduced GPS gadgets to monitor individuals released on bail by courts, further intensifying surveillance measures. Critics argue that such practices not only infringe upon the privacy of the residents but also raise questions about the legality and ethicality of monitoring individuals who have already undergone legal scrutiny.

What adds another layer to this issue is the revelation that the illegal police census is part of Operation Sarvashakti, an ongoing military operation conducted by the Indian Army’s 15th and 16th Corps, with a specific focus on inter-Corps boundary areas. This connection between the census and a larger military operation underscores the potential militarization of civilian life in the region, which is likely to exacerbate tensions and fuel discontent among the local population.

As human rights activists and concerned citizens raise their voices against what they perceive as a violation of privacy and civil liberties, the international community is urged to closely monitor the situation. The alleged unlawful profiling of Kashmiris under the guise of a census demands a thorough investigation to ensure that human rights are safeguarded, and the principles of justice and fairness are upheld in the troubled region.