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PANUN KASHMIR MOVEMENT (PKM) & HUMAN RIGHTS
A BRIEF
  1. Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM) submitted its first memorandum to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at New Delhi on March 7th, 1994. The memorandum was submitted to the Commission by a delegation comprising of S/Shri Ashwani Kumar, Convener, PKM, D.N Munshi, H.N Nehru, Utpal Koul, Vijay Handoo, Dr.M.K Teng, Late D.N Raina, Bansi Lal Koul and Shri C.L Gadoo. The delegation was accompanied by hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits who courted arrest at New Delhi police station followed by a press conference on the same day. The Secretary General of the Commission assured the delegation to put the memorandum before the full Commission at an earliest. The delegation also urged upon the commission to visit Jammu to have an on the spot assessment of the situation regarding the community.
  1. In June 1994,the full Commission made a visit to the J&K State and PKM was invited to meet the Commission at Jammu on 7th June, 1994. This time PKM submitted a detailed memorandum to the NHRC and in its discussion with the Commission cited a number o f examples to prove its point. On its return to New Delhi, the NHRC remained in constant touch with Panun Kashmir Movement and sent an invitation to it for a meeting on 5th Oct'95 at New Delhi. The meeting discussed mainly the issues that would come up for the meeting, slated for the next month with the full Commission. The full Commission in its meeting on 16th Nov, 1995 with the representatives of the Panun Kashmir Movement urged upon the PKM to provide the Commission the details regarding the human rights violations in Kashmir and also decided to sit for another meeting on 20th Dec, 1995 at New Delhi.
  1. This time Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM) submitted a detailed documentation of various human rights violations to the Commission and also sought more time to submit its volume II in the next meeting which was fixed for 16th Jan'96. On 16th Jan'96, volume II of the documentation was also submitted to the Commission at New Delhi. Consequent upon a number of reasons, PKM decided to release the whole documentation done with the NHRC. The published voluminous documentation titled "REPORT (on human rights violations in Kashmir)" was released in a programme at Constitution Club, New Delhi on 23rd Jan'96 by Shri S.L Shakdhar, ex-CEC of India. The other important dignitaries who were present on this occasion included S/Shri P.N Lekhi, Arun Shourie, D.N Munshi, K. N Sahni, M.L Koul and L.C Koul besides Shri Ashwani Kumar, Convener, PKM and other activists of the organisation. Due to public pressure the REPORT was again released at Jammu in a function on 5th Feb, 1996. This time it was released by Sh. M.M Khajuria, ex-DGP of the J&K State. The other dignitaries present on the occasion included Dr. Jitender Singh, Tilak Raj Sharma, Dr. V.D Sharma and other activists of Panun Kashmir Movement.
  1. The REPORT received wide attention of press at both national and international level and was editorially commented upon by the media both print and electronic throughout the length and breadth of the country. In an atmosphere of appreciation, National Human Rights Commission again invited PKM for one more meeting on 16th Feb.'96 at New Delhi. This time NHRC Chairman urged upon the delegation to give the Commission a list of priorities which could be considered upon by the Commission. On our reluctance to do so, the Chairman assured that the list of priorities would not in any way dilute or jeopardise the original submission put by PKM which clearly stated that the Commission may :-
    • In pursuance of the power vested in the Commission vide proviso (a) of sub-section (i) of section 17 of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 initiate a suo-motto enquiry into the :-
      • Genocide,
      • Exodus and
      • Apartheid of the Kashmiri Hindu Community.
    • Consider to fix a time-frame for finalisation of its findings/report.
    • Fix up the responsibility in regard to human rights violations committed against us and review the factors that inhibit to enjoy the human rights and
    • recommend appropriate remedial measures to redress the wrongs and humiliations suffered by the Kashmiri Hindu Community.


    Following an unambiguous & clear assurance by the Chairman, NHRC, our delegation sought one weeks time to finalise an "interim package" that we would submit for consideration to NHRC on priority. On our return, at Jammu and after having several rounds of meetings with different members of various foras and organisations of the community, a seven point 'interim package' was faxed to the Commission from Jammu. The package included relief measures for traders, employees, students, non-camp dwellers, orchardists, agriculturists, fire sufferers and relief takers.
     

  1. As a follow-up action NHRC invited the PKM and the State Govt. for a meeting at New-Delhi on 13th March 1996. The meeting was attended by the full Commission, PKM delegation and four representatives of J&K Govt which included the Chief Secretary, Resident Commissioner -Delhi, Education Secretary and Relief Commissioner. The meeting had hectic discussion and lasted for more than three hours. On 30th March, 1996, NHRC, acting on the complaint of Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM) recommended various relief measures for Kashmiri Pandit displaced community.
  1. In continuation of earlier action, a review meeting was organised at Commission's New Delhi Office on 1st July 1996. Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM) as usual received formal letter form NHRC through its F.NO.9/56/94-LD dated June 5th, 1996, vide which the Registrar (Law) invited the PKM delegation to meet the Commission at the Commission's office at Sardar Patel Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi, on the 1st July 1996. The Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM) participated in the meeting accordingly. The meeting was followed by one more meeting at Jammu on 11th July, 1996 which was attended by the Secretary General & Registrar (Law) of the Commission, PKM and the Chief Secretary, Revenue Secretary and Relief Commissioner of J&K Govt. The Commission invited PKM formally for a meeting fixed for 6th Jan 1997 consequent upon the new Chairman of NHRC taking over the reigns of the Commission on 29th Nov, 1996.
    The press coverage provided to the human rights activity of PKM has proved quite beneficial. We feel grateful to the positive attitude of the media in this regard. A few brilliant pieces of independent reporting and editorial comments are reproduced here to encourage all those activists in our society who are devoted to the cause of protection and promotion of human rights.

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