UK Law Firm Seeks Arrest Of Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, Army Chief For War Crimes In Kashmir
A London-based law firm, Stoke White, has filed a report with the British Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit seeking the arrest of India’s Home Minister Amit Shah and Indian army chief Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane, citing extensive evidence of their role in crimes against humanity in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Such evidence includes the torture, kidnapping, and murder of activists, journalists, and civilians in India’s only Muslim-majority province, which has seen a brutal military occupation for over three decades.
The law firm’s report, given to UK police on January 18, is based on over 2,000 testimonies recorded from 2020-2021, beginning months after the Indian government revoked Kashmir’s Constitutionally-mandated semi-autonomy in 2019. The report also accused eight unnamed senior Indian military officials of direct involvement in torture and other war crimes in Kashmir.
“There is strong reason to believe that Indian authorities are conducting war crimes and other violence against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir,” the report stated. The law firm said that, in light of such incriminating evidence, the police should arrest Naravane and Shah if they set foot in the UK.
“We are asking the U.K. government to do their duty and investigate and arrest them for what they did based on the evidence we supplied to them. We want them to be held accountable,” said Hakan Camuz, Director of International Law at Stoke White.
For decades, India’s atrocities in Kashmir have been documented and criticized by the United Nations, as well as civil rights watchdogs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Since 2019, Kashmiri civilians have been subjected to even more severe oppression, including further curtailment of the freedom of speech, arbitrary detentions, internet blackouts, police brutality, killings, and increased military occupation.
RSS’s Terrorist Outfit Bajrang Dal Attacks, Murders Muslim Man, 19, In Karnataka
In yet another brutal Hindu extremist mob lynching, terrorists from the violent Hindu extremist group Bajrang Dal, which is an offshoot of the paramilitary Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), attacked and murdered Sameer Shahpur in Karnataka. Sameer, 19, was accompanied by his friend Shamsheer, who too was badly wounded in the attack. CCTV footage of the attack shows the terrorists stopping Sameer and Shamsheer as they rode on a bike and stabbing Sameer in the chest with a knife. Shamsheer suffered other wounds from a deadly weapon and was in critical condition.
This brutal attack came on the heels of a hate speech rally organized by the RSS in the same town, where former RSS secretary Sanju Nalwad was recorded spewing anti-Muslim vitriol, claiming that “the Bajrang Dal will protect [Hindus]” and that even the police were with them. Soon after, the attack against Sameer and Shamsheer was reported. Four men belonging to Bajrang Dal have been arrested. Five more people involved in the murder are yet to be arrested.
“My brother had no enmity with any of them,” Sameer’s brother Zubair said. “[For the] past two months, RSS guys have been creating communal issues here. He was murdered right after anti-MusIim speeches delivered by RSS and Bajrang Dal, the same day. I want justice for my brother. All those involved in this should be caught, arrested and punished. What happened with my brother, shouldn’t happen with any other brothers. This is my appeal.”
The RSS is an Indian paramilitary organization that is the spearhead of the Hindu extremist movement. Nathruam Godse, the man who murdered Gandhi, was an active member of the RSS during his lifetime. In modern times, the RSS has direct links to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which takes the Hindu supremacist ideals of the RSS and seeks to codify them through discriminatory anti-minority policy.
Hindu Extremists Vandalize Muslim Shrine, Claim They Are Preventing “Land Jihad”
Hindu extremists in Himachal Pradesh state filmed themselves destroying a Muslim shrine, claiming that they were removing “illegal” structures that were built in the name of “land Jihad.” This is the second shrine the Hindu supremacist group has destroyed in the past 15 days in an effort to intimidate and harass Muslims in the area. In the video, multiple Hindu extremists can be seen smashing the dome of the shrine with hammers.
“The land Jihad will not be tolerated… Every illegal [shrine] will have the same result. The Hindu heroes of Himachal will continue their campaign against Islamic Jihad,” said Harish Ramkali, a member of the extremist group, in a social media post accompanying the video of the destruction.
“[We] will free every corner of Devbhoomi [holy land]. Will eradicate the land Jihad from Devbhoomi. Listen Aurangzeb’s illegitimate children – wherever you go in Devbhoomi you will find Shivaji standing against you,” threatened Kamal Gautam, another extremist, in the caption alongside the video. “Aurangzeb’s illegitimate children” is a derogatory way of referring to Muslims, who are routinely called non-Indian or anti-national by Hindu extremists.
So far, Himachal Pradesh officials have taken no action against this extremist group, despite their open declaration of their goal to continue their hate crime spree against Muslims.
Hindu Extremist Leader Who Called For Mosque Demolition Arrested
Hindu extremist leader Rishikumar Swamiji was arrested on January 18 after he called for the destruction of a mosque in Karnataka state. In an incriminating video, he is seen standing in front of the mosque, calling for Hindus to destroy it “immediately,” and also claiming that the pillars and walls of the mosque symbolise Hindu architecture. Despite his clearly inflammatory statements, his attorney said his statements were not controversial.
Calls for the destruction of mosques have grown increasingly common in Modi’s India. Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and a vicious Hindu supremacist, has repeatedly encouraged Hindu supremacists in Mathura city to destroy a mosque that has been standing since the 16th century. Mosques were also the target of vandalisms and arson during the outbreaks of anti-Muslim in Tripura state in 2021, and during the 2020 Delhi pogroms.
Last year, officials in Uttar Pradesh razed a 100-year-old mosque in Barabanki district overnight on the false allegation that it was illegally constructed.
Mosque demolitions have also led to bloody communal violence in the last. The Babri Masjid was demolished by a Hindu extremist mob in 1992, who claimed that the Mughal-era mosque had been constructed on land holy to Hindus.