Human rights lawyer Parvez Imroz stated in a press conference on April 30 that the Indian army and the Jammu and Kashmir government are conspiring to kill him.
Parvez Imroz has worked to document human rights abuses perpetrated by the Indian security forces and the Kashmiri army. He is the founder and director of the Public Commission on Human Rights, co-founder of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), and co-founder and President of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS).
On April 30, Imroz told reporters in Srinagar that an unidentified man he called a government-sponsored gunman came to his house at Kralpora area early Saturday morning. According to a press statement:
“The man said he wanted to discuss some case with me. But I’d already told my wife not to open the door to any stranger as many human rights defenders have been eliminated here before,” Imroz said, adding that he was at loss to understand what case the man wanted to discuss at 5.30 AM.
Since the Kashmir Valley has restrictions on civilian movement at night, Imroz was suspicious.
“I’m convinced he was a renegade gunman sent by the Army to eliminate me,” Imroz said. He said the man left after 15 minutes but not before banging the door in frustration.
In the past fifteen years, the Kashmiri government has eliminated many human rights activists, such as Jalil Andrabi. Last year, a gunman came to the home of senior lawyer Peer Husssam-ud-Din Banday to discuss a case, and killed him. These killings are part of the government’s attempt to suppress information regarding enforced disappearances from spreading to the international community.
The Army has opposed the attempts of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), part of the JKCCS, to build a monument in memory of the disappeared. In June 2001, the State Police demolished the monument’s foundation stone the day after it was laid at Eidgah martyrs graveyard. After the APDP again laid a foundation stone on April 21, 2005 for the monument, the army harassed the residents of Narbal, where the stone was laid. Imroz added that the Indian Border Security Force recently barged into a local hotel where JKCCS members and activists from Mumbai were discussing plans for the monument.
The JKCCS has appealed to the international community to take action to ensure the safety of Parvez Imroz and other human rights activists.
Indian Home Minister
Mr. Shivraj Patil
Tel: 23092462, 23017256
Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir
Mufti Mohammad Sayed
Director General of Police, Kashmir
J&K Coalition of Civil Society
The Bund, Amira Kadal,
Srinagar 190001, Kashmir
tel # 91-194-2482820 (O)
Fax # 91-194-2478464
Mobile # 91-9419013553