The sore issue of alleged human right violations in Kashmir, this time scooped by WikiLeaks broadcasts, has sparked another round of sparring between the two main parties in the state.
The ruling National Conference and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have got down to their usual business of blaming each other, now on this matter.
J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Friday his government did neither condone torture, nor turn a “blind eye” to reports of excesses by the security forces in the state.
“We don’t condone torture and will not turn a blind eye to reports of human rights violations,” he said. “Not only the state government but the Centre too has a policy of zero tolerance to human rights abuses.”
Abdullah said his government was the first to allow international human rights organisations to visit the valley.
He, however, refused to comment on the WikiLeaks expose on the abuse of detainees in the state.
The WikiLeaks dispatches show that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) briefed US diplomats in New Delhi in 2005 about
the purported use of electrocution, beating and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees.
“I am not getting into it ... It pertains to 2005 and you know who was in power that time,” Abdullah said, referring to the PDP-Congress coalition, which ruled the state from November 2002 to August 2008.
The chief minister's remarks, however, did not find many takers in the state. PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said: “Omar Abdullah should be the last person talking about human rights abuses. The PDP’s tenure is for everybody to see and we don’t need any certificate from anybody but own people.”
“We inherited from the National Conference (in 2002) a Kashmir in which human rights violations were at their peak,” she said.
Moderate separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also objected to the chief minister’s remark.
“How can one say there are no human rights violations now? One hundred and twenty civilians died in the most recent unrest in the valley. Human rights violation is a reality in Kashmir and the WikiLeaks has vindicated our stand,” the Mirwaiz said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross briefed US diplomats in New Delhi in 2005 about the purported use of electrocution, beating and sexual humiliation against detainees
Omar Abdullah says in 2005, PDP-Cong coalition was in power
In his defence, he points out his government was the first to allow international human rights organsations to visit the Valley
PDP’s response: We inherited from the NC (in 2002) a Kashmir in which human rights
violations were at their peak.