Skip to main content

Indian army "dismissed" 96 per cent of human rights violations in J&K: Amnesty

Long wait for justice: Family of  Ashiq Husain Ganai,
allegedly tortured and killed by armymen in 1993
By Our Representative
Top rights organization Amnesty International’s recently-released report, even as attacking Government of India for failing to take cognizance of security forces’ alleged attacks on civilians in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), has regretted that the Indian army has “dismissed" 96 per cent of the allegations of human rights violations brought against its personnel since 1993.
Making an analysis of the data with the Indian Army’s Human Rights Cell, the report states, “The army had received 1,532 allegations of human rights violations, 995 from Jammu and Kashmir, 485 from North-eastern states, and 52 complaints from other states.” Of these, it adds, “1,508 were investigated, and 24 investigations remained pending as of 2011.”
The report, which has already created a flutter, has called for an end to the use of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K detailing 58 case studies of alleged excesses by armed forces in the state. Reacting to it, Union home minister Rajnath Singh has ruled out revocation of the AFSPA, saying the situation was not conductive for it.
“Out of a total of 995 complaints of human rights violations against the army in J&K, 986 have been investigated by the army to date, while 9 investigations currently remain pending”, the Amnesty report states, underlining, “The army says it found through internal enquiries that 961 of these allegations were false/baseless.”
While the report quotes the Indian Army data in the report to say that in 25 cases allegations were found to be true and 129 army personnel were punished, it regrets, when Amnesty sought details of how investigations and trials were conducted in nine cases it identified, “no replies were received.”
“Multiple applications for information under the Right to Information Act sent in 2013 to the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs regarding investigations and trials conducted by the military and security forces since 1990 in relation to Jammu and Kashmir also received no reply”, the Amnesty has said.
Pointing out that this runs contrary to the “growing acceptance internationally that military courts should not have jurisdiction to try security forces for human rights violations”, Amnesty insists, "Instead, the jurisdiction of military courts should be limited to offences of a strictly military nature committed by military personnel, such as desertion or insubordination.”
To prove its point, Amnesty quotes a UN document, which states, “The jurisdiction of military tribunals must be restricted solely to specifically military offences committed by military personnel, to the exclusion of human rights violations, which shall come under the jurisdiction of the ordinary domestic courts…”
Alleging that “the military justice system in India has been a key instrument in shielding alleged perpetrators of human rights violations, particularly those accused of custodial torture and extrajudicial executions, from prosecution and accountability”, Amnesty insists, they “suffer from particular structural flaws causing them to fall short of international fair trial standards, and rendering them unsuitable for prosecuting human rights violations.”
“The dominant role of the commanding officer of the unit, corps or department of the accused in their investigation and trial raises serious concerns about the independence of those appointed to dispense justice”, Amnesty points out, adding, “Each member of the court is appointed by the convening officer, and is their subordinate in rank.”
Amnesty quotes UC Jha, a former Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force, as saying, “[A convening authority] is not a lawyer and generally has no formal legal training. His power and discretion to make disciplinary decisions regarding his subordinates stem from his authority as a leader.This often clashes with another compelling military interest, which is maintaining a fair and impartial system of military justice.”
Pointing out that the current military justice system lacks of “transparency about the status and outcomes of military trials”, Amnesty quotes Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, killed by personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) in 2000. The father and wife of Sheikh were summoned to testify before a General Security Force Court (GSFC) three times in 2011. But till mid-June 2015, “the family remains unaware of the final findings and any action taken against the alleged perpetrators.”

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Gandhi's grandson, Khudai Khidmatgar chief among advisers to US Hindu rights group

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), a US-wide advocacy organization claiming to be committed to the "ideals of multi-religious pluralism in the United States, India and beyond", advocate peace, justice and human rights of all communities from a Hindu perspective, has declared it has appointed a group of advisors, including Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi.