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Human rights violations worsening in Kashmir, Turkish lawmaker

ANKARA: A senior Turkish lawmaker on Tuesday called on the Indian government to end the worsening human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir “as immediately as possible.”

“Human rights violations have shown a massive increase in Jammu and Kashmir since Aug. 5, 2019,” Hakan Cavusoglu, the head of parliament’s Human Rights Commission, said in a statement.

Cavusoglu mentioned how thousands of troops were deployed to the region in early August before India took the sudden, unprecedented move of revoking the region’s special status.

Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir has been facing a communications blackout since Aug. 5, when New Delhi stripped the disputed region of special provisions guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

“I call on the Indian government to end the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir as immediately as possible,” he said.

Cavusoglu said the recent incidents in the region “turned Kashmir into one of the most sensitive regions in the world.”

From 1954 until Aug. 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed special status under the Indian Constitution, which allowed it to enact its own laws.

The provisions also protected the region’s citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

After New Delhi’s move of scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, it has been under a near-complete lockdown since Aug. 5.

Several rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly called on India to lift restrictions and release political detainees.

Indian authorities, however, claim that daytime restrictions have been lifted in 90% of the region.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.

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