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Indicted INQUIRY

NN-SHRC-OfficeThe memories of 2008 Amarnath land row got refreshed this week with the new comprehensive inquiry by Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on human rights abuses allegedly committed by government forces while dealing with street protests.

After conducting a comprehensive inquiry for nearly three years into the circumstances that led to killing of over 60 youth in forces’ action to quell protests, SHRC indicted police and security forces for using disproportionate force on unarmed protesters during the Amarnath land row. And it has also recommended to the government to constitute a high level inquiry commission to identify the accused men in uniform and initiate criminal proceedings against them.

In its 25-page judgment, the SHRC’s division bench comprising of Javaid Kawoosa and Rafiq Fida have observed that there was no justification for police and forces to use disproportionate force against unarmed protesters.

“In 2008…the state agencies should have dealt with people in such a way so that they should have been provided reasonable space for expressing the same without reverting back to subversive activities, but instead the State Agencies mishandled the situation and used iron hand to curb the disturbances instead of capitulating the unarmed resentment,” it observes.

The SHRC had initiated investigation into the civilian killing in 2008 on a complaint lodged by Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, head of Human Rights Commission, All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Rajbagh Srinagar. He had moved the petition in 2009 regarding 62 of such victims who were killed due to “excessive and disproportionate use” of force on peaceful protestors. The complainant had prayed for due compensatory reliefs in favour of the families of killed and those who sustained injuries.

The Commission states that police and Paramilitary forces are called discipline forces only ‘because they cannot go berserk at their own whim and irrationally use more force than required to bring law and order situation under control.’

“It was however, after the damage was done that the State Government realized the mistake and took elementary steps to pay ex-gratia reliefs in favour of the NoKs of the deceased/injured but there is no substitute for life and nothing in this world can compensate a family which has lost their loved ones,” it observes.



Wani Vs Kichloo

NN-kichloo---majid-waniThe “arrogant” word used by Roads & Buildings Minister Abdul Majid Wani to describe MoS Home, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo did not auger well for his supporters back home in Kishtwar.

Of late, Kishtwar National Conference (NC) leaders and workers joined the bandwagon and took exception to the statement of Wani against Kichloo. They appealed Chief Minister to look into the matter immediately in the interest of the people of Kishtwar.

Earlier lashing out at his junior minister and National Conference leader Kichloo, Wani termed him arrogant, with vested interest to tarnish the image of coalition government.

Pertinently, on June 14, Kichloo had written to the chief minister Omar Abdullah complaining him that he was being bypassed by his senior minister in important departmental matters including transfers of officers ever since he took oath of office as Minister on January 15.

“…It is only the arrogance and vested interests of the Hon’ble MoS concerned which forced him to take such an abrasive path. The Hon’ble Chief Minister is appealed to take the matter seriously and take immediate action against the erring MoS who is hell bent to tarnish the image of the present coalition government,” Wani has said.

After Wani, it was Kichloo’s turn to reply: “If somebody raises finger against a thief, will you call that arrogance. If that is arrogance I am ready to apologize. Let him come up with a case of corruption against me and then demand my ouster from the government. I will continue to raise my voice against malfunctioning of the department till it gets streamlined.”

NC wing of Kishtwar soon chipped in with a press statement and resented the Wani’s remarks and took exception to, what they said, “use of undesired words such as ‘arrogant’ etc.”

“The statement hurt the sentiments of entire Kishtwar constituency as the people there had a lot of respect and regard for the Kichloo family,” the spokesman said.




NN-police-on-strikeEver wonder what happens when lawmakers turn lawbreakers? In Ganderbal, young cadets under training at a police academy went on a night long rampage against alleged harassment by seniors and use of abusive language.

In order to get their voices heard, the cadets of police training school complex in Ganderbal smashed window panes, damaged vehicles on the Srinagar-Leh highway.

Scores of trainees at the Manigam police training school shouted slogans against the school principal, alleging ‘moral turpitude, financial corruption and use of abusive language’.

As per the report the trainees shouted slogans against the PTC Principal and alleged that he is “indulging in corruption and use of abusive language” with cadets. The cadets, reports revealed, refused to proceed on Yatra duty till they are not passed out from the college. They have alleged that they are under training for the past 16 months and according to rules they should have passed out after nine months training.

The trainees were reported to have damaged canteens and window panes of  barracks. And then they took to  Srinagar-Leh highway, forcing traffic to halt on the busy route.

Many of the protesters masked their faces with handkerchiefs. On the streets, they snapped the electricity lines, plunging the entire area into darkness.

Most of the trainees were recruited from old city areas of Srinagar after 2010 protests to address the problems of unemployed youths. The old city youth again gave a tougher time to the men in khaki, when the khakis were protesting against khakis.

The nightlong rampage that started on Wednesday lasted till early hours of Thursday and ended only after some senior police officers intervened.

The hue and cry raised by the trainees at night created panic and fear in the adjacent villages where residents wondered if the militants had attacked the police training school.




Reopened FELONY

NN-kunan-poshporaThroughout the world rape cases are heard on a priority basis. But in Kashmir the victims of Kunan Poshapora mass rape are waiting for justice since last 22 years.

This Saturday, June 22 the victims of the mass rape are going to address the media in Srinagar for the first time. This is going to be their first joint press conference where the survivors, villagers of Kunan-Poshpora along with human rights activists will address the media and the civil society on the future struggle for justice.

The recent judgment of Judicial Magistrate Kupwara has brought some relief to the victims of Kunan Poshpora.

The victims of the incident in Kunan-Poshpora villages had filed a protest petition in the court against the police’s closure report in their case.

The Judicial Magistrate Kupwara JA Geelani dismissed the conclusion report submitted by police in the recently filed closure report and returned the case file to the police, asking for “further investigation to unravel the identity of those who happen to be perpetrators within three months.

The petition, filed by the counsel advocate Parvez Imroz on June 10, 2013, mentioned that police investigation into the case was incomplete. Despite having information on file regarding the involvement of 125 personnel of 4 Rajputana Rifles, the police had not questioned them, neither an identification parade was conducted, it reads.

At least 30 women were allegedly gang-raped by the troopers in the intervening night of February 23/24 in 1991. After the incident in 1991, police had lodged an FIR under section 376, 452 and 342 at police station Trehgam against the Army.

In 2011, the J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) recommended to the Government to re-investigate the case. The Commission had asked for constitution of a Special Investigation Team headed by an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police who would conduct the investigation. But nothing really was done on ground.

However, the Press Council of India (PCI) team, that visited Kashmir in June 1991, claimed the charges against army were “well-concocted bundle of fabricated lies.”

The J&K government closed the investigation as “untraced”. Following this, the victims approached the SHRC in 2004.





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