UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced serious concern over the spate of killings of Kashmiri protesters in Indian occupied Kashmir, saying the escalating violence there “needs to be investigated.
“Civilians have to be protected wherever they are, whether it is in Gaza, whether it is in Jammu and Kashmir, whether it is in Yemen; it is a basic principle,” the secretary-general spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in reply to a reporter’s question at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters on Monday in New York.
“Any loss of civilians needs to be investigated wherever they occur,” he added
At least twenty people have been killed in Indian held Kashmir in some of the fiercest fightings this year in the disputed region, according to media reports.
Three soldiers and 11 Kashmiris were also killed during fierce clashes on Sunday.
Spokesman Dujarric said: “The Secretary-General is very concerned about the situation we see in Jammu and Kashmir.”
“He reminds that member states are responsible under the international humanitarian law to protect civilians,” he added.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his call on member states to find ways to address disputes in a peaceful manner.”
During protests on Monday in Srinagar, police intervened in the Polo View area on Residency Road as protesters tried to move towards the headquarters of UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan(UNMOGIP) in Sonwar area, according to reports.
Meanwhile, Security Council President Gustavo Meza-Cuadra said that there were so far no plans for the Council to take up the situation in Kashmir.
Meza-Cuadra, who is the Permanent Representative of Peru, which holds the rotating presidency for April, said in answer to a question: “This is an important topic. But at this time there is no consensus in order to address it. So far, for the time being, we don’t have anything planned on the (topic in the) programme.”