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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

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.

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”