A Lawless State


Chief minister, Omar Abdullah, denied meeting a team of international human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, who are campaigning against the use of the draconian Public Safety Act on teenagers in Kashmir valley. Amnesty has recommended that such laws must be repealed, BILAL HANDOO reports.


Protest against PSA- Photo:Bilal Bahadur.

A team of Amnesty International (AI) who were in Kashmir termed the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) ‘Still a Lawless Law.’ The team said the PSA and its implementation in J&K continues to violate India’s obligations under international
human rights laws.

The human rights watchdog sought repeal of PSA and other legislations facilitating the use of administrative detentions. “Abolish the system of administrative detentions in J&K and either release or charge persons accused of committing criminal acts with recognizably criminal offences. Try them in a regular court with all safeguards provided,” the AI report states.

AI expressed serious concerns on the arbitrary detention of children in its 27-page report titled Still a Lawless Law, “During the recent visit in J&K, AI team found that in at least three cases, authorities detained children by falsely recording their age as being above 18.”

While quoting the case of 15-year old Umar Farooq Shiekh, a PSA detainee from Srinagar on March 29 2012, the report says the minor had already been arrested twice in 2012. The charges slapped on him, according to report, were of rioting, armed with deadly weapons, endangering human life or the personal safety of others, attempting to murder and assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty.

“When the J&K High Court granted him bail, the authorities arrested him again and charged him for the offence of ‘singing obscene songs’,” the report reveals. On February 27, 2012, the J&K High Court granted him bail in this case as well, and he was released.

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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