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J&K: Baseless allegations in UN statement on civilian killings, activist’s arrest, says India

India on Thursday criticised the United Nations’ statement on recent civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir and the arrest of Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez. The external affairs ministry said that the allegations made by the United Nations about the country’s law enforcement authorities and security forces were “baseless and unfounded”.

Parvez had been arrested by the National Investigation Agency in November in a case registered under the Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act. He has been accused of criminal conspiracy and waging war against the government.

The agency also alleged that Parvez had been in contact with “overground workers” of a Pakistani militant group. Overground workers help arrange logistics for militant groups.

Several human rights organisations have spoken out against Parvez’s arrest, asserting that anti-terror laws were being misused to stifle dissent in India. On Wednesday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had expressed concern about the activist’s arrest and demanded his release.

“Parvez, who has now been in custody for more than a week, is accused of terrorism-related offences,” the UN body’s spokesperson Rupert Colville had said. “We are unaware of the factual basis of the charges. He is known as a tireless advocate for families of the disappeared and has been targeted before for his human rights work.”

Colville added that Parvez had…

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