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We don't condone torture, says Omar on Kashmir WikiLeaks

india Updated: Dec 17, 2010 15:39 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said his government doesn't condone torture as he refused to comment on the WikiLeaks expose on the systematic abuse of detainees in the troubled state.

"I am not getting into it...It pertains to 2005 and you know who was in power that time," Abdullah said, referring to the coalition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress that ruled the state from November 2002 to August 2008.

"We don't condone torture. We never have and we never will," he said, adding his government was the first that allowed a team of Amnesty International to travel to the state in the last 20 years of insurgency.

The chief minister's remarks to reporters came as latest WikiLeaks dispatches reveal that US diplomats in Delhi were briefed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2005 about the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees.

Other cables show that American diplomats, as recently as 2007, were concerned about widespread human rights abuses by Indian security forces, who they said relied on torture for confessions, the Guardian reported Friday.

The most highly charged dispatch is likely to be an April 2005 cable from the US embassy in Delhi which reports that the ICRC had become frustrated with the Indian government which, they said, had not acted to halt the "continued ill-treatment of detainees".

The embassy reported that the ICRC concluded that India "condones torture" and that the torture victims were civilians as militants were routinely killed.