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500 security personnel accused in HR violations in J&K: Report
2 Major Generals, 3 Brigs, 9 Colonels, 3 Lieutenant Cols, 78 Majors and 25 Captains also involved
SRINAGAR, Dec 6: As many as 500 security personals including the senior officials are involved in human rights abuse in Jammu and Kashmir in last more than two decades of turbulence, reveals the report.

The study report prepared by the two human rights groups International Peoples Tribunal (Kashmir) and Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (J&K CCS) by using government information, witnesses testimonies and judicial cases accused that that there is a policy “not to genuinely investigate or prosecute” the armed forces for human rights violations in the state.

“There is a policy not to genuinely investigate or prosecute the armed forces for human rights violations in the state and in only occasional cases, the orders for compensatory relief have been given but not to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the group said in its report released in a press conference here.

The report was released by renowned Human Rights activists Gautam Navlakha, Parvez Imroz, Khuram Parveez and Kartik Murukutla.

On the contrary, however, the group said that alleged perpetrators of crimes are awarded, rewarded and promoted by the state government.

They said that out of 214 cases, a list emerges of 500 individual perpetrators, which include 235 army personnel, 123 paramilitary personnel, 111 Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel and 31 Government backed militants or associates.

“Interestingly, the alleged perpetrators are two Major Generals and three Brigadiers of the Indian Army, besides nine Colonels, three Lieutenant Colonels, 78 Majors and 25 Captains,” it adds.

They said the report was prepared in two years using information gleaned mostly from official documents and witness testimonies, in cases available with IPTK and CCS.

“The State documents used range from police records, judicial and quasi-judicial records and Government documents. IPTK and CCS using the Right to Information legislations sought information on First Information Reports, High Court petition numbers and other documentation,” they said.

Stating that the disclosure of information portrays the state of impunity prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir, the groups said that among 37 senior officials of police and paramilitary forces, a recently retired Director General Police and serving Inspector General allegedly exists.

They said the crimes committed against the people of Jammu and Kashmir indicate a “decisive will” of India as part of its policy.

However, the Human Rights Group in its report said that the concept of individual criminal responsibility is well established under international criminal law. “From Nuremberg to the United Nations ad hoc tribunals – like the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia - to the most recent, the International Criminal Court (ICC), the focus of international law has gradually moved from laying responsibility for crimes from the general – the State – to the individual – the perpetrator”.

While the judiciary plays a vital role in conflict zones to ensure the justice to the victims, the report reveals that despite the occasional passing of strong orders, they have numerous examples in its report of the High Court effectively “condoning” the continuation of violations.

“The general experience in Jammu and Kashmir has been that judicial and quasi-judicial authorities such as the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) have allowed themselves to be conscious of the power and will of the executive, thereby rendering themselves subservient to the State. The impunity fostered by the judicial processes has been compounded by the existence of draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990 [AFSPA].

Suggesting further action and investigations into the alleged cases of Human Rights violation, the groups, however, said that based on this information, they cannot conclusively pronounce on the guilt of any of the alleged perpetrators.

“Our report suggests more action and investigations to bring perpetrators of crime to the justice,” they said.

“Our search for truth and justice has taken a step forward with this report,” noted human rights activist, Gautam Navlakha said. “At a time when India is bidding for the permanent seat in UN Security Council, it is imperative to bring this report on international arena.”

“With this report, one can point out that seeking justice under Indian justice system is not possible because crimes committed in J&K are beyond the realm of Indian justice system. Therefore it is essential to seek justice from international justice system,” said Gautam.
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News Updated at : Thursday, December 6, 2012
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