'Just 32 rights violations in J&K in 12 yrs'

Updated on May 11, 2007 02:36 AM IST
Government claims there have been only 32 verified cases of human rights violations by the army and paramilitary in the valley in the past 12 years, reports Neelesh Misra.
HT Image
HT Image
None | ByNeelesh Misra, New Delhi

Kashmir looks rosy from the high-ceilinged offices of North Block: the government claims there have been only 32 verified cases of human rights violations by the army and paramilitary in the valley in the past 12 years.

The stunning claim was made by the Ministry of Home Affairs in response to a Right to Information application from the Hindustan Times. The Department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs at the ministry also said that no records of human rights violations were available for the period between 1989, when the insurgency began, and 1994. That period witnessed some of the worst violence of the insurgency.

The ministry said that 1,122 complaints of alleged human rights violations have been received against army and paramilitary personnel between 1994 and December 2006.

“Of these, 1,089 complaints have been investigated, 1,057 of them were found false; in 32 cases where the complaints were found genuine, penalties have been imposed on 61 personnel, while in six cases compensation has been awarded”, it said.

Justice M.Y. Kawoosa, chairman of the J&K Human Rights Commission, dismissed the claim. “I don’t believe this. We have received at least 3,600 cases. We have already disposed of 2,500 cases,” Kawoosa told HT. “And even that is not the complete picture. In those days, the turmoil was such that when people were murdered or tortured, their families were too scared to complain”.

Allegations of human rights violations from security forces and militants have been widespread in Kashmir for the past 17 years, amid wide discontentment against Indian rule.

An unspecified number of people have disappeared after being taken away for questioning. Civilians have been found dead after being branded militants.

Hundreds of allegations about old cases are tumbling out after a sweeping investigation into the killing of Abdur Rehman Paddar, a 37-year-old Kashmiri carpenter who was described as a Pakistani militant, killed and buried. The discovery prompted demands for a South Africa-type Truth and Reconciliation Commission to finally reveal the true picture of what has happened in Kashmir over two decades.

At least 300 cases of alleged human rights violations by the army are pending with the state’s Crime Branch, waiting for government permission before they can be prosecuted, a police official said on condition of anonymity. Militants have also been accused of human rights excesses. They have allegedly tortured and killed several people suspected of being informers. They often lob grenades at military vehicles driving through crowded public places in which civilians are routinely wounded and killed.

Since 1990, the Indian Army says that 12,389 civilians have been killed by militants, 3,323 killed in cross-fire in gunbattles between security forces and militants, and 19,676 civilians have been wounded by militants.

Other than those killed, the army says 5,246 civilians, including women, have been abducted by militants. It is not possible to independently verify the figures, and many civilians are known to have been wrongly targeted as militants.

“People are not going to trust these home ministry figures. No one is going to be misled by them,” said Sheikh Showkat, who teaches human rights at the University of Kashmir.

The state’s police system collapsed during the early years of militancy, when many parts of the capital Srinagar went out of control of central security forces, who responded with crushing force. Since 1990, the Jammu and Kashmir police force has lost 852 personnel, the home ministry says.

But apart from documentation by journalists in words and images, barely any official record is available of human rights excesses during that time.

“Human rights violations continue even now, but they are not as large scale as in the 1990s... At that time, there was civil war in every mohalla (neighbourhood),” Kawoosa said.

Email author: neelesh.misra@hindustantimes.com

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The ring road will help ease traffic congestion in the twin Ambala cities by serving as an alternative route for commuters headed to Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. (HT Pho)

    39-km ring road project: Ambala admn to disburse land compensation from next week

    Compensation against land acquired for the Ambala ring road project will be disbursed to land owners from next week, officials of the district administration said on Thursday. “NHAI has already released ₹150 crore for land compensation. Further process for disbursement will be initiated by the district revenue officer,” said Kuldeep Chand, an official from the technical branch of NHAI's Ambala zone office.

  • Self-financed courses are run on the fee collected from students and hence have a higher fee structure, compared to traditional courses. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Pegged as self-financed, several Panjab University courses proving economically unviable

    While the first decade of 2000s began with the launch of several self-financed courses at Panjab University, envisaging them as money-spinners, not all courses have managed financial viability in the long run. University Institute of Applied Management Sciences and University Institute of Legal Studies are generating surplus revenue. Even in the next near, the income of ₹7.05 crore fell short of the expenditure of ₹20.55 crore.

  • Investigators said the house was situated on the dividing road between Sectors 8 and 9 in Chandigarh, and the thieves scaled the rear wall before breaking the kitchen’s glass window to force entry. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Chandigarh family away at Shimla finds house burgled after return

    Thieves broke into a house in Sector 8-C while the family was away at Shimla, and decamped with ₹3.5 lakh in cash and some gold jewellery. On returning home on August 10, they found the cupboards in their house ransacked and ₹3.5 lakh in cash, along with gold jewellery, missing. On The complainant, a retired bank officer's complaint, Jagdeep Singh, police lodged an FIR under Sections 380 (theft) and 457 (house-trespass) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector-3 police station.

  • A carton of Kingfisher beer now costs <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>450- <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>500 in Punjab, compared to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>950 to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,000 in Chandigarh, where there has been no change in price. (HT Photo)

    Lower liquor prices in Punjab cause slump in sales in Chandigarh

    Cheaper booze in Punjab has left the liquor contractors in Chandigarh in red, as Bacchus lovers have turned to neighbouring Mohali for their liquor fix. After the recent cut in liquor prices in Punjab under its new excise policy, liquor vend contractors in Chandigarh claim their sales have declined by 40% to 50% within days and unless, the tax rate in Chandigarh is brought on par with Punjab, the slump in their sales will continue.

  • The deceased lineman, Mandeep Singh, was a resident of Sundran village, Dera Bassi. (iStock)

    Lineman electrocuted in Dera Bassi, PSPCL JE booked for negligence

    A day after a 26-year-old lineman was electrocuted to death while fixing power lines in Mubarakpur, Dera Bassi, the police on Thursday lodged an FIR against a junior engineer with the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited. The junior engineer, Talwinder Singh, was booked under Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. The deceased lineman, Mandeep Singh, was a resident of Sundran village, Dera Bassi.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, August 12, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now