Five Members of National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)
Activists and Human Rights Defenders
Jammu & Kashmir
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on October 24, 2019, regarding the attempt to harass and intimidate the members of National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)’s delegation led by prominent social activists and human rights defenders including Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, Dr. Sandeep Pandey, Prafulla Samantara of Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Odisha, Mr. Faisal Khan and Mohammed Javed from Delhi and Kerala’s Musthafa Mohamed of the Khudai Khidmatgar. They were prevented from entering the locked down Kashmir valley and detained at the Srinagar airport on the orders of the Budgam district executive magistrate, after which they were forcibly sent back to Delhi. The five individuals are all social and human rights activists working on issues ranging from land rights to communal harmony.
Since removing several constitutional provisions in August 2019 Indian authorities have flooded the Kashmir Valley with thousands of additional troops and a severe communication blockade, with restrictions on internet and phone lines have remained. Freedom of association and movement has been drastically affected by the thousands of arrests and detentions of locals. Though the government has claimed that there is no official curfew, the five activists, who shared about their return from Kashmir, at a press conference held at Press Club of India in Delhi on October 5, 2019, were informed by police they would be arrested under prohibitory orders — Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
According to sources on October 4, 2019 around 7.30am, the delegation of the five activists landed at Srinagar airport in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and forcibly sent back to Delhi on two separate commercial flights filled with soldiers between 4 and 4.30pm in the evening. As per sources, it was on the orders of the Budgam district executive magistrate that they were detained at the airport, as individual notices in the name of Prafulla Samantara, Faisal Khan and Sandeep Pandey were issued by District Magistrate of Budgam. This issue alleged that “credible inputs” from various agencies pointed to an intent to organise protests in different parts of Kashmir on the issue of abrogation of Article 370 and the withdrawal of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, which could pose a threat to law and order situation in Kashmir. The notice also prohibited their entry into Jammu & Kashmir till further orders.