Activist Shehla Rashid says she is ready to give evidence of rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir

New Delhi: Political activist Shehla Rashid on Thursday affirmed that she stands by her remarks about alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, as she got into an argument with journalists over the issue.

On August 18, Shehla Rashid had alleged that the Indian Army was indiscriminately picking up men, raiding houses and torturing people in Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked about the proof for her contentious claims, which drew sharp responses from the Indian Army, Shehla Rashid said, “I will give the proof when the Indian Army establishes an inquiry. I have given you my statement. Has the army launched any inquiry?”

“All I have said is based on factual discussions with people who have come from Kashmir and have certainly no reason to lie. I have given a lot of statements, not just one. People are running out of LPG cylinders, cooking gas in Kashmir,” she said.

The former vice president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union said if the army begins an inquiry, she will depose before them and “will give them the details of the incidents… where they have happened”.

“Let them start an inquiry and if what I am saying is found to be true, then the Indian Army should give an assurance that the guilty will be punished,” she said.

When asked by a reporter to give evidence for the claims she made on Twitter, Shehla Rashid said, “Why should I give evidence to you? Why shouldn’t I tweet? Has it been banned under the Modi government?”

“You should go to Kashmir and show what’s happening on the ground. Indulging in hooliganism here will not serve any purpose. You are not showing what I am saying. I have not indulged in any rumor-mongering. I am absolutely confident. I stand by my statement,” she said.

“There’s torture… gross human rights violations happening in Kashmir. If you want to become the government’s spokesperson, please be. I am not a government spokesperson. Please go and seek a post in the BJP headquarters and contest elections,” she said to one of the reporters.