HRW hails Govt's action on teenager's killing, a first in 20 years | india | Hindustan Times
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HRW hails Govt's action on teenager's killing, a first in 20 years

A global human rights body has hailed the Jammu and Kashmir Government's action against a Border Security Force ( BSF) trooper suspected of killing a Kashmiri teenager as an important step to curtail security force abuses, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2010 20:35 IST
Arun Joshi

A global human rights body has hailed the Jammu and Kashmir Government's action against a Border Security Force ( BSF) trooper suspected of killing a Kashmiri teenager as an important step to curtail security force abuses

New York-based Human Rights Watch ( HRW) that has been monitoring Kashmir situation described the arrest of BSF constable Lakhvinder as some thing extremely rare . It is for the first time in the past 20 years that any global human rights group has spoken of authorities action in this kind of language.

In a release circulated to media, the HRW said. It is extremely rare for the security forces in Kashmir to turn over one of their own to the civilian justice system. Now they should go a step further to see if senior officers were also responsible.

The Indian authorities' arrest of a Border Security Force constable suspected of killing a Kashmiri teenager could be an important step to curtail security force abuses. The government should also investigate and appropriately punish any senior officers implicated in the case.

Human Rights Watch has documented large numbers of cases of serious human rights abuses by both police and militants in the two-decade separatist conflict in Jammu and Kashmir.

It however, noted that abuses have declined in recent years, but Kashmiris say that accountability for violations by government forces, including enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, torture, and killings, is essential for lasting peace.

The Indian military operates in Jammu and Kashmir under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which provides soldiers immunity from prosecution unless sanctioned by the government. The Border Security Force and other paramilitary forces usually refuse to allow civilian jurisdiction over their personnel and handle misconduct with internal tribunals. However, in a highly unusual decision, the Home Ministry in New Delhi has promised full cooperation to ensure that Zahid Farooq's killers are identified and prosecuted.