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

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.