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PDP Leader Waheed Para Stripped Naked, Tortured In NIA Custody: UN Rights Panel Writes To Modi Government

Ishfaq-ul-Hassan | India Tomorrow

SRINAGAR—A UN human rights panel has claimed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had allegedly tortured and stripped jailed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youth president Waheed ur Rehman Para for discussing Kashmir situation with UN representatives. 

In their letter to the external affairs ministry, a group of United Nations special rapporteurs, appointed to oversee the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, have written to the centre asking it to provide information about Para, Irfan Ahmad Dar, and Naseer Ahmad Wani.

Para was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for alleged militant links on November 25 last year. Irfan Ahmad Dar, a shopkeeper from Sopore, was allegedly killed in custody last year. Naseer Ahmad Wani, a 19-year-old youth from Shopian has gone missing in custody after he was arrested in 2019 disappearance.

“He (Para) was held in a dark, underground cell at sub-zero temperature, was deprived of sleep, kicked, slapped, beaten with rods, stripped naked, and hung upside down. His ill-treatment was recorded. Para was examined by a government doctor three times since his arrest last November and three times by a psychiatrist. He requested medication for insomnia and anxiety,” the UN report said.

The report said Para had received threats following the meeting “with NIA indicating that he was inviting trouble by engaging in such events”.  “Our concern in the case of Waheed Para is heightened by the fact that his arrest and detention appear to be linked to his interaction with UN Security Council members, which would amount to acts of reprisals for such cooperation,” said the report.

Besides Para, the UN experts also highlighted the issue of torture and ill-treatment committed of two others against Irfan Ahmad Dar and Naseer Ahmad Wani.  

NIA, however, has dismissed the report as “false”.

The report is undersigned by a special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment Nils Melzer, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) Elina Steinerte, chair-rapporteur of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances Tae-Ung Baik, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard, and special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism Fionnuala Ní Aoláin.

UN officials said they had received information related to “allegations of arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance and torture and ill-treatment committed against” related to Waheed Para, Irfan Ahmad Dar, and Naseer Ahmad Wani.

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