Troops 'use torture' in Kashmir

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The Independent Online
NEW DELHI (Reuter) - A US human rights report yesterday accused Indian security forces fighting insurgency in Kashmir of systematically torturing detainees.

'Virtually everyone taken into custody by the security forces in Kashmir is tortured,' said the report by Asia Watch and the Physicians for Human Rights group. 'Methods of torture include severe beatings, electric shock . . . burning with heated objects and sexual molestation.'

'One common form of torture involves crushing the leg muscles with a heavy wooden roller,' said the report. It said doctors in Kashmir had reported 37 cases in which such torture had released toxins from the damaged muscles, which caused kidney failure and three people had died as a result.

The Indian government, in an official reply printed as a part of the report, made no direct response to the torture accusations but said action had been taken in the past two years against more than 100 security men accused of human rights abuses.